Big Al Returns
July 20, 2017
It had been a long time since I had seen Darren’s dad Al, but the stars finally aligned today and he was back! He was scheduled to fish with us and would be at the water before 9. As we had a couple of hours to kill, Darren & I headed out early to see if we could get into a few walleye for him to take home. The winds were blowing pretty good from the SW causing a couple of foot chop and I knew it would be great for what we would be doing. Drop shotting over deeper water shoals was on the menu and it didn’t take long for the first high end keeper eye to arrive in the net. We made a few passes over the area and hooked several bass and a couple of smaller walleye before we received the call. Al must have been excited because it was only 8:00 and he was already on his way! One more drift and we were headed back to the ramp for the pick up. He had brought along Yomel for assistance as he required some aid for doing certain things now. It was great to see the smile on his face as we helped him into the boat and headed out. I had thought that trolling would be the simplest method to get him into fish but it was all but that. I spent well over an hour covering good looking water without a single touch. Although I was marking all kinds of fish, they weren’t cooperating. Eventually I was forced to pull the plug on this area and make a long to another spot that had been previously producing. I reset the lines and continued the troll and eventually found some fish. A couple of smaller pike were landed but the bite was still rather slow. The reels weren’t even going off very hard and several times I was forced to throttle down in order to pin the fish to the lures. I don’t know what was going on but I knew that if I worked through it and made some adjustments, it would get better. Well it definitely worked as the next time the reel fired it went off hard! Big Al was into a really good fish and I knew exactly what it was. I was hoping to get him a big walleye and here it was! After struggling some, it eventually came to the net and he was all smiles. Daren held it for some great pics and it was soon released to grow again. I quickly reset the lines and ran back through the same area and almost immediately, another reel fired. This time Yomel was to reel in his first ever Canadian eye. It fell right in the slot and went into the livewell immediately after. For the next several hours we scoured the area and managed to land all kinds of pike, both small & large and even another keeper walleye. Al reeled in many fish before they decided to call it a day. They wanted to beat any possible traffic so we headed back by 2:00. Al definitely enjoyed himself today and I just hope he gets back out again this season! Yomel & Al headed home and Darren & I went back out for the last couple of hours to see if we could get a few more walleye for them as well.
We decided to try more drop shotting and jigging over deep shoals and in a the short time out, managed 3 more walleye for Darren to bring to his dad. Along with the walleye there were several good smallies also boated. It was hard to leave the fish biting but by 4:30 we finally pulled the plug on the day. It was all about Al today and even Darren was surprised at how well he looked and moved around. I think Al needs to get out and do more fishing this year as today did him the world of good! He was so full of energy and excitement that he was all smiles again! All in all, everyone had a great time today!