A Crazy Day
August 31, 2014
Max, Matt & Chip fished with me today on a local lake for a variety of different species. We began around 7:30 and headed to an area to do a little trolling. Walleye & pike were what we were after and I hoped it would be as good as it was just a couple of days earlier. The sky was loaded with clouds but the weather called for sunshine for the entire day. Go figure! It took a little while to get the first reel to fire but when it did, it was exactly what we were looking for. Matt brought in a nice high slot walleye and into the livewell it went for dinner that night. As I continued, I noticed that I was marking fish but nothing was moving. I changed up lures multiple times and had a few more reels barely go off signifying that they weren’t active. Compared to just a couple of days ago when they were making reels scream, it was definitely slow. In fact, several of them barely made a sound and I was back to hitting the throttle to lock them up once again! The water temps were over 72 degrees and should have been perfect, but apparently not to them. We covered a lot of area and might have caught about 10 or so northerns when Max finally hooked another walleye. This one was just about the same size as the previous one Matt had landed and joined his twin in the tank. Several pike later I decided to switch it up and relocate for another species. Sturgeon was what we were going for and I don’t think any of the guys were ready for what was going to happen next. We pulled the lines and made a long run in hopes of a few bites. As today was much nicer than yesterday, it was no surprise that there were so many boats on the water. Thankfully this is the last long weekend of the summer and hopefully traffic will be much better in the coming weeks! As I slid into the zone where the dinosaurs lived, I began marking them and knew someone would be fighting a beast pretty quick. Well, Chip was the first to tangle with one and although a big guy, this fish just trashed him. After a little while of playing tug of war, his arms were just burning. I love it when this happens! Eventually he got the better of the fish and I was able to slide the net under it for a few pics. Although not one of the largest that I had seen this season, it was giant to them and made for a bunch of great photos. A quick release had us back in the game and a little while later, it was Matt’s turn to tangle with one. I could tell by the way it was fighting that this one was much larger and knew he too would soon be in pain. I hadn’t realized that his elbow was already hurting from a previous tendonitis issue and this wasn’t going to help matters either. The fight was a long one and this fish didn’t come in easy. It seemed like every time he started to gain, the fish sounded again. Eventually he started bringing it higher up and we saw bubbles. Always a good sign as it signifies nearing the end! When we caught a glimpse of this monster, they couldn’t believe their eyes. It was almost twice the size of the one Chip had landed earlier and Matt was just relieved that the fight was almost over. I tried to get her in the net but had a hard time turning the head to put the entire fish in the bowl. I really need to get a bigger net! When I hoisted it aboard, I realized just how heavy it was and knew Matt would need help to hold her for the pics. He was physically exhausted and could barely hold a pencil with his bad arm. Max got the thick part and Matt took the tail as they attempted to raise it for the pictures. Although it wasn’t easy, they managed to hang on to her long enough for me to snap a few before the release. After this was all over and before we were to get the lines back in again, I offered to fix Matt’s elbow. Reluctant at what I was going to do, I think he knew anything would be better than the pain he was in and agreed. A pressure point in the forearm was what was causing the inflammation and it had to be released. After about 30 seconds of severe pain, he was temporarily cured. He would have to continue this process on his own if he stood any chance of getting rid of the problem. For the moment though, he was cured! Good thing too because he landed two more sturgeon in the next hour that would have put him in the hospital if I hadn’t done what I had done. Chip also got to tangle with another one of his own again but the hook pulled out after a few minutes of fight. Max was the only one not on the board and really wanted one of his own and then it happened. We had remained here for longer than I wanted but hooking Max up was the reason why. His was the smallest one I had encountered and it tore him up as well. Although not as lengthy a battle, it did have the strength to make his arms burn too! Several pics later, it was released and we were done. It was time to change up and try for something a little smaller. We packed it in for here and attempted to try a few areas for smallmouth and walleye. As there were so many boats on the water, it wasn’t easy at all to find areas to fish. Between all the traffic and many, many fishermen, I had to pick & chose areas where we would be able to cast. I finally settled on a couple of places out of the main highway and they managed to land several smallies. We fished till about 5:00 and called it a day. I knew I had my work cut out for me just getting back to the launch. It felt like rush hour on any major autoroute! After running the gauntlet I was happy to see the ramp was free and pulled out in no time. These guys had experienced an amazing day of fishing and all had a "slam" with multiple species of fish landed. I think the ones they will remember the most will be the monsters from the deep as they experienced it in spades today. So much so that they all left with sore muscles from the lengthy battles they had. Nothing a few beer and a massage can’t fix! Great day for fishing!!