The Big Finish
September 8, 2016
This was the third and final day this week that Doc was with me and I wasn’t sure what to expect. He had caught some big fish the last couple of days. Could he manage more this time out? The weather was suppose to get bad before mid day with rotating winds from several directions, ending in a big SE. I didn’t want to wait for them to arrive so I headed out in hopes of more big fish. As usual, we set up and waited for one of these sturgeon to bite. Although it did take a little while longer this morning, we got bit. Doc was locked up on another giant and loving every minute of it! I don’t think it jumped but the fight was really a strong battle that lasted almost 10 minutes once again. Another average fish was soon netted, photographed and immediately released. We were officially on the board! We went right back it and baited up one more time in hopes of something larger. The conditions were almost perfect with flat calm and overcast skies but for some reason the fish didn’t seem very active. Right about the time I was about to relocate, I felt a pick up and was tight to another good one. Doc was really getting to like fighting these things and enjoyed the aerials as much as the hard fights. Who doesn’t like big heavies? After about 5 minutes or so, we were able to get it into the net and a quick release was made. Doc already had plenty of big fish pics and this was just another average one. I decided to relocate and found some fish further away, dropping anchor once again. This time when the rod dipped, Doc was into a catfish. It may not have been a big one but it was definitely one of the nicest looking ones. Several shots and another release. We managed to get a few other fish during the morning that included a bass, a walleye and another big, ugly cat. After lunch sometime, Doc saw the rod on his side getting bit and lifted with a firm hookset. In the beginning it was fighting alright and then it turned and began taking line like it wasn’t going to stop. I had to unpin the anchor rope and drift down in order to regain some of the lost line. Even at this, it was still ripping it off the reel pretty good. I had thoughts of a fouled fish but wasn’t sure. When it finally breached, I realized why. It was large and definitely hooked properly. This was an epic battle that took almost 15 minutes . I filmed it for Doc in hopes of another jump, but it never happened. I did get some good coverage of the fish alongside the boat and it was really long! Eventually I netted it and we brought in aboard for more pics. Doc wanted to measure the fish and had brought along an IGFA ruler just for this reason. We couldn’t believe its length and it had a really good girth as well. Definitely the one we wanted to complete his three days of giants. Doc shot all kinds of pics showing its size in hopes of submitting it to IGFA for a release record. We also took several pics for us after and released it back with difficulty. It was really heavy! In hindsight, we should have pulled the plug, but we reset the lines instead. In the next hour or so we had plenty of false strikes and possible a real one or two but came up empty. When we finally decided to leave, it was because of the weather. The rain was starting to come in and I headed to a bass & walleye spot to finish up the day. We pounded on the fish here and Doc managed to get into some really nice smallies as well as quality eyes before we ended the day. The rain had been on & off and fell hard at times but we endured. In fact we had endured all three days of excellent fishing on this mix up week. What had been scheduled for one type of fishing had turned out better than he could have expected. He not only got to catch something different for a change but they were giants! He also had a blast catching all kinds of bass & walleye each day as we winded down from the big heavies. I know he will want more the next time he’s here and with any luck, I’ll have another day or two available for him to fish. Perfect conditions and an excellent end to his confused week of fishing!!