Quest for Giants
August 23, 2017
August 22nd 2017
The gang was back again today but this time I had four & Don had only one. It seemed that everyone wanted to have a chance at catching their first sturgeon. All but Clayton however as he was happy to be alone, just fishing for bass & walleye.
A later than usual start had us under the wire as there were several storms expected to arrive during the day. We finally got set up in the new area, around 10:00 awaiting our first bite. Although there were fish all around, it took almost 30 minutes before we had an actual bite from a sturgeon. Many nibblers had me checking and adding worms to the hooks prior, as the gobies were like piranhas.
Sam had the honors of battling the beast as I loaded the rod and now they were getting a firsthand look at exactly what to expect. This fish was a bulldog as it remained on the bottom for most of the fight. It lasted almost 20 minutes as well and gave Sam quite the workout! The fish never took to the air but stayed deep making me think he had a really large fish on the end of the line. Eventually he did manage to bring it close and everyone got their first look at a real live dinosaur! It was XXL and the fun was just about to begin! I told Sam that was the easy part, now it was going to get hard! I must admit that it was quite funny to watch as he tried to hoist the beast up for a few pics. In the end, he had to sit for the photos as it was just way too heavy to stand. A great release after and we resumed our quest for another one.
I had hoped to get all four of these guys into a full rotation but the weather wasn’t on our side. The light winds had turned ugly and were now blowing much harder from the south making it tough to stay anchored. For over an hour we battled the conditions and never really felt comfortable in being anchored. The boat was all twisted around and even with the aid of a drift sock, it wasn’t perfect. Eventually the anchor just released and we were now drifting. Time to set up in another location!
I repositioned in another area again in hopes of being able to stay anchored. Although it wasn’t easy, I did manage to keep it stuck and we were able to fish again. I had Anthony and Mat holding their rods and I had the other one in my hand, looking for another fish. We all had plenty of non sturgeon bites that had me re baiting the lines frequently. Just when I wasn’t sure about remaining here, Anthony reeled up on a fish and had a baby sturgeon for his reward. Amazingly enough, it gave quite a struggle as it neared the boat, pulling line from the reel like a big dog. He held it for a few pics but would have rather battled a monster like his uncle had earlier.
For a while we weren’t sure if we would be able to remain here with the strong south winds. There was a storm system coming and it had picked up the blow with the pre frontal conditions. Luckily for us, it stayed mostly north and passed us by with only a little drizzle. In fact, once it was gone, the water flattened out and we were actually able to get the rods back in the rod holders and fish comfortably.
Joe had decided that he was going to let everyone have a shot at the sturgeon first, so Mat was up next. With the conditions almost perfect now, I was sure we would have our chance. One of the rods telegraphed an actual bite and I was on it immediately. I reared back and loaded the rod for Mat to take. He wasn’t sure of the actual size until I realized the line was coming up to the surface and was about to go airborne! We all saw the beast and it was large! It immediately sounded to the bottom again, screaming line from the reel. The fight wasn’t a long one but lasted about 10 minutes and just when he thought it was almost over, the fish went insane again. It leaped and ripped another 75 feet of line from the reel, sounding to the bottom one more time. What comes in, must go out! Mat finally brought his fish close enough for me to net and the battle was officially over. At least the first part! Now he had to hold it and that wasn’t going to be easy!
I prepped the tarp for him this time after realizing I should have done it on the first one. It would be a lot easier on the fish and him as well. He had a little trouble lifting it but with proper instruction, he was able to hold it for several pics before torpedoing it back in the water. Three down, one to go! I had hoped to be able to get into another one foe Joe and reset everything in anticipation of a bite.
We had been anchored for a brief period before I started to see signs of a wind change. It was now starting to blow from the east, signifying another weather change, again! One look at the radar and I knew why! We were going to get crushed in less than 30 minutes and badly. I pulled the lines and cleaned everything up, heading closer to the launch to fish. I also informed Don in the other boat to do the same.
We spent about 5 minutes fishing before we started to hear the thunder in the background. Time to leave! I usually end up running in once the rain hits but this time I was prepared and off the water before anything got really bad. I even had a chance to put everything away properly before the lightning alert siren screamed. It was coming and the lake was starting to disappear! The only thing we saw was a wall of water and huge winds. Everyone was in the truck and safely tucked out of the storm. The waves even got so bad that all we could see were walls of white and the torrential downpour confirmed we had made the right decision.
There’s never any doubt in my mind when I call the day due to storms and this one was very electrical. No fish is worth taking a chance when Mother Nature throws this at you! All of these guys knew the call was the right one and had no problem with the decision either. It poured for quite a while we were sitting comfortably dry in the vehicle. I eventually drove them to a nearby bar where they had a quick drink before calling another cab to take them back to their hotel. Apparently the one they had ordered earlier was too stupid to find their way to the address of the boat ramp. It was over 30 minutes and three conversations with them later that we decided to just go!
Their two days here had proved to be very interesting and although there may not have been that many fish caught, there were some really good ones. They had endured all kinds of weather as well as an eclipse and tasted walleye for the first time. Despite the bizarre weather, we had somehow made it work and their trip was a success. Staying in Montreal was just a bonus as they had access to some of the finest restaurants and took advantage of the great food they had to offer. I’m pretty sure this will become an annual thing as plans of a return trip are already being talked about. Hopefully next year all the stars will align and there will be more and bigger fish landed by all. Either way, we will make it work and everyone will have another great time while here in Montreal!