One October day last fall, I had a hard time finding a fishing partner since it was a work day for most and it was raining. I called a few business owners, and close friends, but they were all busy making money. Others that I thought could take off, either did not want to fish in the rain and 40 degree weather, did not have a license yet (my brother-in-law employee) or were not home. One was on the lake already with another bro-in-law… I guess I called him too late.
At any rate, I was not going to stay home (or at work) just dreaming about catching fish, I wanted to be in my boat at least trying to catch fish.
One final option was my neighbor, Kurt, who was unemployed at the moment. I knocked on his door at 11am. I more or less told him that I was going fishing in 1/2 hour and if he wanted to come, be outside. He followed me out the door saying that he definitely will come, but has to run to town for chewing tobacco. Ok, I said, I won’t leave without you.
Well , it rained all the way to the lake, but quit just as we started to get the boat ready to launch. No dock, but not to worry, we have launched before without it. I’ve even done it by myself a time or two.
Just as we cast off, another bro-in-law (I have about 10 of them) pulled up in his boat (from the lake, he was the one with one of my possibilities for deck hand) and gave a good fishing report. The lakers are sluggish, so go slow, under 1.9 to 2.2 mph and they are on the boottom, so try to troll with your lures just about snagging bottom. Ok, good advice.
On our first pass over the reef, where the water goes from 35 feet deep up to 14 feet, we caught 2 lakers almost simutaneously and instead of just trolling, we anchored in a likely spot on the reef and started jigging with light tackle. My rod is a medium weight, 6 foot pole with an open face spinning reel with 6lb test line. I caught several before snagging on the bottom and losing my jig. My partner did not have much luck, losing several lures and jigs. One was a definite fish, that he fought for a few tugs before it snapped his line, but what fun!
By this time, we had our limit, but kept them live in the live well, so we went back to trolling. Almost every pass over the reef, there was one or two fish hooked, but sometimes got snagged on the bottom.
Speaking of snags, Kurt snagged up with a long line out the back and as soon as I realized it was a snag, I stopped the motor and reeled in the other lines. Then we motored back to the supposed snag, and it started to fight. 10 minutes later he landed a beautiful 13 lb laker. What a suprise to both of us, and he was embarrassed that he did not know it was a fish!
I paid my dues in lost tackle, I think about $25 worth, but as I told Kurt: “Last summer I was talking to an old fisherman, who is retired from his regular job now and has lots of time to fish. The way he put it was …’I buy fishing tackle to lose it… I know that if I am not losing tackle, I am not fishing enough. It’s part of the program, par for the course, you gotta expect it and not lose sleep over it.'”