Luck of the draw

Some­times fish­ing can be very hum­bling

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - CRAIG STAPON

Ev­ery once in a while, fish­ing can be a very hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence.

It re­ally doesn’t mat­ter what your skill level is or how good you think you are.

There are days that you can go out and try ev­ery­thing you know about an­gling a cer­tain species and have your butt served to you on a plat­ter.

I just had the un­for­tu­nate ex­pe­ri­ence of ex­actly that.

As Musky fish­er­man we ex­pect slow times and are cer­tainly used to put­ting in time and work­ing hard to catch a few.

We are pretty happy to see a few if we are cast­ing and are su­per stoked if we get a strike.

Well, my son and I did just about ev­ery­thing I could think of this past week­end only to get a big black and white stripe across our backs. Yes, I know that if you troll around it’s the luck of the draw, some days you catch some days you don’t!

Justin and I tossed good neck down ar­eas and trolled sev­eral miles with only one sniff.

We were out in Moore Bay on Lake of the Woods as we trolled look­ing for toothy crit­ters. Our speed var­ied from 3.5 to about 4.5 miles per hour. I usu­ally troll faster but the water tem­per­a­ture is drop­ping to 40 de­grees and the fish are re­ally slow­ing down on the fall chow down. We moved around the bay cast­ing and trolling for about 7 hours with­out re­sults.

The most ex­cit­ing thing that hap­pened dur­ing the day aside for me eat­ing a pile of Miller’s beef jerky was ac­tu­ally kind of crazy. I was work­ing 20 feet of water trolling three baits. We had two Jakes on and a depth raider. As we ap­proached the point of a wind-swept is­land Bryan Lupe’s rod was smoked! The fish hit so hard that it ac­tu­ally spun the rod holder 45 de­grees and we al­most lost the rod. I have never seen that in my life.

Well to cut the story short, we didn’t land the fish, the hook floated to the top as the hook was not set. This is ex­actly why I pre­fer to hold my rod while trolling. I want to feel the strike when the fish hits and not leave the op­por­tu­nity for equip­ment fail­ure. we fished for over 6 hours for that sin­gle bite and it was gone as quick as it ap­peared. I can tell you one thing, af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing that I will not use a rod holder again.

Hey, I see all kinds of boats set up us­ing them when they are trolling and I think most are made for wall­eye fish­ing and cer­tainly not the strike of a 50-inch fish.

Lots of boats were ver­ti­cle jig­ging, look­ing for the big bite. That’s not a bad idea if you’re around some bait fish or have marked a few at a point. I was pretty happy to see all the an­gling ac­tiv­ity down by the green jug in tran­quil chan­nel. I had the chance to talk to a few boys from Min­nesota and ran in to good buddy J.P. Kennedy (Kenora Wall­eye Clas­sic fame) and his crew.

I also had the chance to de­brief with some of the guys out on the lake. The best line I heard all week was from a su­perb an­gler from Kenora, Dave Ben­nett. This guy can catch fish with the best of them and he told me af­ter last week­end he might take up drink­ing. Funny I had the same thought.

David Toews man­aged to shake up a cou­ple with his pop, good on you David, glad to see you took the old man out. Seemed to be a fa­ther son week­end. I will go try again this week­end, I will be out there dressed warm hunt­ing for those big ones. Shout out to all the boys out still look­ing for the gi­ant. Not too many week­ends left, good luck to you all.

Till next week, “Keep your lines tight.”

CRAIG STAPON PHO­TOS

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