Diminished Winds & Success
August 24, 2016
Another morning, another big wind! Although it did drop some from last night, I still had constant 2 footers and didn’t know if I would be able to anchor for the sturgeon. Donald & Barry wanted a beast and I was going to try everything to get them one, or two! Once we arrived, it didn’t look as bad as I thought and I was able to hold on the very first try. I set up but there would be no rod holders today with all the big wave action bouncing us up & down. Back to rod in hand I guess! Plenty of nibblers & worm replacements and only a few possible hits in the first hour or so, then increased winds. As with yesterday, I thought the anchor would pull and we would have to change species once again. To my surprise, it moved and locked in almost immediately afterwards. Barry managed to get one small sturgeon and a smallie while we were there, but nothing big. Once the winds really picked up later in the morning, I decided to leave. We were now bouncing in 3 footers and even holding the rod wasn’t working. It wasn’t until I tried to pull anchor that I realized why we were holding so well. I couldn’t get it out! It was in there and wouldn’t budge even when I went past the rope with the motor. I eventually had Donald on the line and I tried a few different angles to get it out. Success and glad of it as I had already destroyed one anchor this season and didn’t want to cut the line and lose another. We raced to the next location and switched the rods to lighter bass tackle. I instructed them on how to use the baits and made several demonstration casts. Although the winds were blowing big, I knew the fish were here and hoped for the best. Donald was up front with me and I was trying to show him how to deal with the wind but it wasn’t easy. Between the current and the blow, he was having a hard time casting far enough to get bit. Add all the slack in the line caused a big bow and his bait was racing across the water at warp speed! I was finally able to show him a few tricks that helped with control and he began to have some action. Several fish were following the bait and one of them even pounced on it at the boat. It left him with only the hook and a little disappointed. In the next several casts, same thing with a small pod of smallies all trying to eat his soft plastic without success. I think he was moving it too quickly and pulled it out of the strike zone without a hookup. The winds weren’t making it any easier either as line control was minimal at best. We moved along and Barry had a blow up on his bait that also resulted in a loss. It definitely wasn’t going as planned and I just kept moving along looking for some aggressive bites. I tried a couple of other areas further away with similar results and was contemplating another move when I realized that the winds had diminished. I still wanted to get them a big fish and decided to give the area another try for sturgeon. I had a backup plan if it was just an illusion but as luck would have it, I was right. This was the least amount of wind I had seen since last Friday and I was excited. Anchoring up wasn’t an issue and we were back in the game! Not only were we able to hold but I was even able to raise the bimini top and fish in the shade. It was like a totally different day now and I knew we were going to get lucky. A couple of missed strikes had me wondering if it would happen and then Donald reeled into a good one. Almost in sync, I too reeled into something and now we were doubled up. Barry got the rod as I cleared his and the fights began. I saw that Donald’s fish was rising and told them to expect a jump. It took to the air and we saw that it wasn’t large, just a good one. Barry’s on the other hand seemed much heavier and eventually took line out and leaped as well. This one was large! Fortunately I was able to land Donald’s fish long before Barry’s was ready and took several pics. I could see that Barry was having a difficult time with his fish and more line was going out than coming in. To make matters worse, he had a bad shoulder and had to pass the rod off to Donald to finish the battle. Even Donald had a tough time with this fish as she was rather robust and girthy adding more weight than usual. After several attempts at bringing her to net, he finally managed and we had the beast. I don’t think I’ve had one this fat before based on the overall length. She definitely didn’t miss too many meals! Donald had thought the hard part was over but soon found out that it had just begun. Now he had to lift it for the pics and realized just how heavy she was. I had to shoot fast as he didn’t hold it long before tossing it back in the water. They had finally got to tackle with what I had warned them of and now realized just how hard they fight. I wanted to see if I could get them a bigger one and after several relocations, realized it just wasn’t going to happen. All we had to show for our efforts was the smallmouth that Barry landed. With limited time remaining before they had to leave, I made a short stop in a walleye zone to try and drop shot. This too was unproductive and after several missed strikes, called it a day. My whole focus today was to get them a couple of big sturgeon and managed one really good one and two other smaller ones. Once the winds diminished, I was actually able to fish for them properly. I’m sure that if we had calmer water all day, we would have had a few more fish to play with. At least we had a few hours to get it done and succeeded! Finally, less winds and calmer seas!!