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Upon request....the one that got away.

851 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  mrfish/OH
Jack asked that I'd repost this story here, so here you go.....
Bad omen. Talked to Dave by phone last night. We decided to hit the river relatively early. The bad omen was I broke my paddleholder preping the boat to meet Dave in Lawrenceburg, I just got a bad feeling when that happened. No big problems getting there, launched at a rough ramp, 4WD is certainly recommended. We went right to a spot, talked to some guys who were using walleye stuff (bottom bouncers & nightcrawlers), they had caught some nice cats they told us. We anchor down on the snaghole from H.E double EL. Dave got sore fingers from re-tieing. I suggested we move about 20' from where we were. We did. I got one rod out, as I was setting up the second. ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................I grab it, engage the spool, and hang on. This is a big fish, and I mean BIG and STRONG !! I've got my drag set firm, but not tight. This fish hit an 8" live skipjack, I thumb the spool slightly trying to turn him & slow him down. Nada.....looks like it might spool my new 7000C4 reel of the 25# line. This is not dream either ;) Finally it slows down, I start moving him back, he's out well over 100 yards now in some strong current. After about 5-10 minutes, my other rod goes down, I ask Dave to reel it in. After 15-20 minutes, I ask Dave to take my picture. I could gain about 10-15' occasionally, but then it would take it back & more. After 1/2 hour, my back is acheing, my left arm is cramping, the rod is still bent hard, I tell Dave maybe we should pull anchor & follow it. He thinks I'm kidding (next time we will) Anyway, I'm defenseless against the current with this huge fish, I just crank the handle 1/2 turn at a time winching him in when the hook pulls out. No kidding, it must've been a 40# class or more fish. Most likely a bluecat, as we caught alot of them & no flats. Also it made a screaming hit, and even after the drag was on, still ran like a freight train !
I did manage to catch a 22# blue that day, felt like nothing after that big one.

I made up for it by catching a 62# fish about 2 weeks later. I can't really complain too much, I had landed a 31-4 & 31-8 flatheads in the 8 days prior & then 3 or 4 fish over 30# the following week too !! Of course SEVERAL fish 20-25# blues & flatheads all the time from Sept. on.

May have been this one's Daddy or his baby brother, I'll never know, I don't worry about it either. This fish took away the pain !!
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:D :D :D
Thanks for reposting Jim, maybe you can hook that gig dude in 2003...I would be much satisfied with the 62-lb you caught..Bigger than many guides have landed.

I noticed that too, but I wasn't going to say anything. I checked on some sites at Santee Cooper and alot to the guides' best fish this year were under 50#, low 40's to be more accurate. Just goes to show that preparation & hard work, learning the habits, time on the water and "luck" can pay off. They are also catching 20 fish a day over 15-20# at Santee Cooper right now. We might make a run there. They say anyone can catch nice cats there.....so I know I'd have a shot too !
It puts some stress on me to try to top it. I know a guy who's been chasing a bigger fish than the 75# flathead he caught over 15 years ago in KS. He's got some 50's since then, and is after that elusive 100# fish !! Sort of sounds like me. I have no doubt we'll hit several 40#-50# blues and 30#-40# flats. That 100# fish is going to be the tough one. Actually, I'll call it now....I'll break the 50# mark on a bluecat this year too, mark my words !;)
Alot of guys never catch a fish over 60# so I'm real glad I was lucky enough to do so. If it happens again, great, I'm certainly ready for them, if I don't , it's not a problem, I still have a great time busting the 20# & 30# fish.
That fish that got away.....never know, it was probably a 40-50# fish that got in that current , I think now had it been like the one I landed, it would've spooled me. The current was cooking where we anchored that day.:)
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