In Search of IGFA Records
June 21, 2015
Brian & his daughter Lauren were with me this morning on a sketchy kind of day. The weather forecast had changed so much lately that we didn’t know what to expect. What was originally 20 to 30mm of rain, somehow turned into nada. I expected the worst and hoped for the best as we launched the boat and headed on the water. Lauren had over 30 IGFA records for the female junior division and hoped to add a few more today. We would be searching for several line class records in both fly and conventional. She began on the fly rod and Brian conventional tackle just to keep the fish honest. As always, lady luck shined on her and she drew first blood with a small pike. I told them that there would be much larger today and after a quick pic, she released the little guy. As she had never caught northerns before it was a thrill nonetheless. She quickly hooked into another one not long after right about the same size and was loving it on the fly. Her dad however wasn’t doing as well and I continued changing up lures until he finally connected. His however was a walleye and right in the slot. If we were keeping anything today, this would have made it into the livewell. It was the fish’s lucky day as a pic was all that they wanted! We played around this area for several hours picking at them but I wasn’t impressed with the numbers or even the size. Time for a relocation and hopefully better results. I moved around a lot and had them casting flies shallow but to no avail. Time to shift again and this time it was a good choice. I had gone deeper and found a really good concentration of fish off shore. Lauren was locking up every few minutes on the fly and several of the fish were good pike and walleye. They managed to get quite a few fish that would qualify and we livewelled all the good ones for later registration. Her dad was also into fish on the fly now and they were both having a blast. The weather had held off all day with only overcast skies but little to no wind. I knew we would eventually have some rain but hoped it wouldn’t arrive until we were off the water. Both Brian & Lauren were running flies, so I decided to get a third rod out and use the rod holder for them. This extra line also managed several fish and conventional tackle was adding even more fish to the livewell to be qualified later. Lauren got the shock of her life on the next fly hook up. Shortly after the pike leaped out of the water, the fish got much heavier. The rod loaded even more and line was now going out. Whatever she was into was big and I was second guessing the fish that I had seen jump. Well, after a few minutes I knew what had happened and she was officially into her very first ever musky. Yuup, the musky ate the pike that ate the fly! I had no idea how this was to end and hoped for a shot at the beast with a deep walleye net. I knew that if I could just get the front half in the net, I could grab the back end and haul it into the boat. When Lauren finally brought the fish up high enough for us to see, she was in shock. This thing was giant and had her pike crossways in its mouth. At any time all the fish had to do was open its mouth and let it go. Fortunately for us, it had no intentions of releasing its grip on dinner. A few times she almost had it close enough for a shot with the net but not close enough for my liking. I knew I would only get one chance and wanted to make it count. Well as bad luck would have it, the damn fly pulled out and the musky left with its meal. Although heartbreaking, there was really nothing we could have done differently. She said that this was the biggest fish she had ever hooked into and although a little disappointed, happy to have done battle with it. We regrouped and got the lines back in the water and managed several more fish in the remainder of the day. One last hookup and we called it a day. It was right around 4:00 and we had fish to register on shore. The rules state that you have to be on land for all the weight, measurements and pics so off we went. By the time it was all said and done, they had 7 more line class records to send in. Bass, walleye & pike with an almost musky! They had come to Montreal to check out a possible University for her to go to next year. With any luck she’ll chose McGill and have more chances at redemption. Today was almost as much fun for me as it was for them. I always love a challenge and going after records was it! We were even lucky with the weather and never even got a drop all day. Basically this turned out to be a great day on the water and the only thing that could have made it better was “The One That Got Away”!