October 1, 2017
Neil & Mike joined me today, in search of the giants! Neil had heard about these dinosaurs and was hoping to tangle with one of his own. I knew his wish was about to come true!
We launched in a brisk 45 degree air temp and I was glad that I had brought my fall rain gear. I immediately headed to an area and idled around, looking for the perfect spot. Once I found what I was looking for, I dropped the anchor and set the rods. All that was left now, was the wait!
They had decided that Mike would take the first rod and it wasn’t long before we were bit. I wanted to show them what was needed and picked the rod up when the fish hit. I quickly reared back and we were locked! Much coaching was needed for Mike as he didn’t fish very often, but with plenty of instruction from both of us, he was able to bring the fish to net. Although not a real giant, it was still the biggest thing he had ever caught and well worth several pics before the release.
Neil was up next and I really wanted him to tangle with a beast. Well, as luck would have it, that’s exactly what happened. He picked up the rod when the fish bit and reared back on an absolute monster. We soon saw exactly how big, when it took to the air and showed its size. I don’t think Neil ever imagined that he would be locked up on something this big, in freshwater! The raw power of these sturgeon really needs to be experienced, in order to be believed! He fought it for almost 15 minutes before I was able to slip the net under his catch. The battle was over but the hard part was about to begin. He now had to hold it for the pics and it wasn’t going to be easy. We took many shots with the fish on his lap and a couple of him standing for comparison. He torpedoed the beast back immediately when we were done and it shot right to the depths from where she had come from.
I reset all the lines and we waited for what seemed like eternity. Just when we were about to make a move, I picked up one of the rods and accidently set on a fish. It had bit at the exact time I began reeling and I passed it off to Mike knowing it wasn’t very big. I also saw a fish biting on the last line and grabbed the rod, setting into another heavy weight. I immediately gave the rod to Neil making it an official double! Mike had the small sturgeon to the boat and I did a quick release. This allowed Neil to pass the last line over to Mike so that he could battle something much larger. Although it was quite the fire drill, we managed to make it work! Mike was about to land something that would dwarf his first personal best! We got a confirmation minutes later when it went into the air and showed itself for all to see. It was large and about to beat him up good! The battle lasted almost 15 minutes once again and multiple hard runs were made before I slid the net under his catch. He was relieved but not for very long as it was time for the pics! Mike struggled a bit but eventually managed to get it up on his lap for some great shots, followed by the release. They had both officially landed giants and my work was done!
We decided to try for one more and I reset all the lines hoping to get Neil one last fish. I guess we waited about 15 minutes and he grabbed one of the rods, setting into another good one. This fish fought harder than all of the fish previously caught and I really thought it was going to be another monster. Although it never jumped, it took him for many long runs and from side to side, multiple times. About ten minutes passed before we saw what he was into and I netted the last sturgeon of the trip. We still took several pics and returned it to the water, packing everything up for the day. We were going to fish for something much smaller now!
Over the last couple of days I had installed a new electric motor on the boat and was about to see it in action. I prepped a couple of drop shot rods and headed to an area for bass & walleye. The Motor Guide Xi5 would take a bit of getting use to but I was really looking forward to the anchor feature, to be able to hold on specific spots. Well as soon as I was where I needed to be, I set it on and went about my business. I was now able to leave the motor and do things without drifting everywhere! It didn’t take Neil long before he was tight to a nice smallie and I loved the idea of netting his fish and not having to return to the spot afterwards, by motor.
We held in this area for a while, shifting slightly to get better angles and Neil managed to catch a bunch of bass in the process. Mike however kept losing his fish as he wasn’t use to fishing and this technique was causing him difficulties. I eventually opted for other areas in hopes of better success!
Our next stop wasn’t much better as we had officially lost our wind! The lake was an absolute mirror and it wasn’t easy for either of them now. Drifting was at a snail’s pace and no bites were had. I moved once again and got on top of a high number of fish, but would they bite? The lack of wind definitely wasn’t helping the cause and I had to change up techniques one more time. I pulled a couple of jigging rods out of the locker and demonstrated how they needed to be fished. Neil managed to get one of them to bite and reeled in a nice walleye. Too bad it went over 22 inches though and a pic was all we got! We moved around hoping for more but the bites were really light and the fish were missed. Time for another change! As I was marking all kinds of fish in this area, I decided to try drop shotting but this time with the worms. Almost on cue, Neil was hooked up but it was a perch. There were large schools of perch with larger walleye and bass mixed in and the worms were getting the perch. Not surprising! Neil hadn’t caught a perch in years and was happy to see some of the larger ones he was getting. Mike also was getting a few but I wanted the predators! At one point, Neil definitely hooked into something substantially larger but with the small hook, it came off while reeling in.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon with similar results and eventually called it a day. Our primary emphasis today was on the sturgeon and the results were epic! Both Neil & Mike had landed monsters and checked another species off their bucket list. The late afternoon struggle to catch smaller fish had not been as great, but there were still a number of fish landed regardless. Overall the day went pretty much as planned and I know that if we had remained fishing for the beasts, there would have been plenty more caught. All in all, a great day of fishing!