Fishing forum: How about the one that got away?

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ImageRarejem
Feb 21, 2010 9:42 AM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
I know that every hunter and fisherman has some wonderful stories about "the one that got away" so I thought that it might be fun to share a few.

Of course you know that for the most part, "the one that got away" was a beastie of incredible size and skill, and that is most often the reason that he has managed to evade capture. I can honestly say that although I have lost several monsters from the end of my line for one reason or another, I have never had as emotionally frustrating a loss as my Mom did when we were salmon fishing in Langara, BC.

First of all, to set the scene. Langara is in the north end of the Queen Charlotte islands, and that area is still almost completely wild. When you are fishing off of it's coast, you will have dozens of bald eagles flying overhead, and it is very common to see a pod of orcas swim by, or have a gray whale blow within a short distance of your boat. Sealions, seals, and porpoise are everywhere.

It was a misty morning, and my Mom had hooked a giant Chinook salmon. Chinook have their own style of "playing" with an angler, and you have to go through the routine, because if you try to "horse" them in, you WILL lose them. Their first trick is to dive down down down, spooling out yards and yards of line. Let him dive, and then bring him back up slowly. After the run, he will allow you to gain some ground, but when he rests for a minute, the dive begins again. This routine can go on for quite a while. When the salmon has decided that diving is not going to get him free, then he will try a long run away from the boat, but closer to the surface. The same game ensues, but this time horizontally rather than vertically. This is the time when you get a chance to see the size of your fish, as when he is resting, he will more often than not be just below the surface with his dorsal fin and tail showing on the surface. Mom's was a monster! And he was getting tired....she had been fighting him for about thirty minutes. He was not ready to come in yet, but it was getting very very close. AND THEN all of a sudden..........

A big shadow came up from underneath the salmon, and Mom's line went burning off of the reel until a SNAP, and all tension was gone. And up out of the water came a monster sea lion with Mom's salmon in it's mouth. Not only did the bugger steal her fish, but he actually played with it in front of us as if to say "Neener Neener"! He threw it up in the air, clapped his flippers, caught it again, chomped on it.... playing with his food, and looking at us the whole time with a smug smirk!

It happend so fast that we didn't get pictures of the incident... we were just staring in shock at the thief. All I can offer is a picture of the scene of the crime...

Thumbnail by Rarejem

You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
ImageRarejem
Feb 21, 2010 10:16 AM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
I will add one more story, which was in the same place, but was with my brother's fish. He had not been fishing with us when Mom's fish had gotten stolen. Of course, we told him the story, and punctuated it with some facts we were told by the fishmaster the evening Mom's fish was taken. We were told by the fishmaster that the sealions love Chinook salmon, and that is all you have to worry about them taking off of your line. In addition, he said that the sealions "watch" the boats in the area. He said that they recognize the zip of a reel going out when a fish is running, and they also recognize the motion of standing up and fighting a fish. If they see this going on, they will wait and watch until the salmon is on the surface, and CHOMP, away it goes. He also said that you didn't have to worry about the sealions with any other fish, as they weren't interested in anything but the Chinook.

SO......... My brother came to Langara fishing with us the following year. We kept a strict lookout for the sealion when any of us had a salmon on, and didn't have any issues. We also fish halibut in that water, which is what we were doing the afternoon of this particular story. Halibut in that area range anywhere from five pounds to two hundred, and the limit is two per person per trip. It was the begining of our trip, so we were being really careful about which halibut we kept, as of course, we were looking for the monster. My brother had reeled in one that was probably about fifteen pounds, which is still very good eating size, but like I said... it was the beginning of the trip. I was responsible for netting, so had netted the fish initially, but kept him in the water until we decided if we wanted to keep him or set him free. After a short debate, we decided that we were going to turn him loose and hope for a bigger one down the road. I had put the net down and was holding the line in one hand and a pair of pliers to get the hook out in the other, when......... you guessed it! Another shadow from the deep! All my brother could say was "don't you do it!" before the sealion happily chomped the halibut off of the line. I could have patted him on the nose when he did it...............

So much for the theory that they only steal Chinook salmon!

Again, no picture as it happend to fast, but we did get a picture of one of the theives a bit later on........

Thumbnail by Rarejem

You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
ImageUniQueTreasures
Feb 21, 2010 10:30 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Awesome idea for a thread! Thank you! You are an excellent story teller, setting the scene and making us sit on the edge of our seats! I tip my hat to you.

I can't wait to hear other stories of the "One that got away"!
ImageMidnitedog
Feb 21, 2010 12:02 PM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Great stories. I enjoyed both of them.

Here's one more that "got away".
I worked with a guy on and off for twenty five years and knew that on weekends he ran a charter boat on Lake Ontario, Yukon Joe Charters. So anyway Joe and I are back working together and my wife and I decided to get together with another couple and take our two kids on a fishing trip with Joe for a weekend. On the first day we go out after Smallmouth Bass with light poles and 5 lb test lines, the Smallmouth's were not being very cooperative for the first hour and then we found them big time. I'm baiting the kids hooks, tying jigs on my wife's line and catching some my self, they were around 1-2 lbs and everybody's having a blast. All of a sudden my wife got a hold of a nice one and she's fighting with it for a few minutes an got it almost to the boat when it turned sideways, Joe tells her that ones over 5 lbs, no sooner did he say that when the line snaps, the look on her face was not pretty and of coarse Joe being the expert fisherman announced that the knot I had tied broke, then he looks at me and smiles. That was pretty much the end of me for the day! I fell out of grace for the rest of the day. We did get a nice mess of them and had a great supper with Joe and his wife, fresh bass and sweet corn that evening so it all ended well.
Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageUniQueTreasures
Feb 21, 2010 12:08 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
I've got one.....

The year was 1988. Hubby and I have gone camping for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. We decided to go to the Dam at Dam B to fish for a bit. We're standing there at the top of the dam, he's fishing.... I'm fishing.... suddenly my pole bends to the point of almost snapping. I look over the rail where we are standing and I'm pulling up this monster catfish. I look up and there are people watching me all around the dam. I'm pulling... the fish is pulling back. He's almost to the top of the rail and the line snaps. Oh Man! As though that wasn't bad enough, the man behind me asks to see my fishing license. Rut Roh, the one I have expired at the end of the year and I forgot to get a new one. Yep, $68 dollars later, and no fish, we went home. (sigh) I've never fished without a license since that day.
ImageMidnitedog
Feb 21, 2010 12:13 PM CST
Name: B Kisner
Bradford county Pa.
Ouch!!
Any day my feet hit the floor is a good day
ImageRarejem
Feb 21, 2010 10:18 PM CST
Name: Julie Gair
South Prairie, Washington
Midnitedog wrote:

Joe being the expert fisherman announced that the knot I had tied broke, then he looks at me and smiles. That was pretty much the end of me for the day! I fell out of grace for the rest of the day. .


I hate it when that happens! I am usually the knot tier in our group, and one year salmon fishing I got really bad line cuts on my hands because of the cold, so I naievely just used the needle nose pliers to "tighten" my knots (we use pretty heavy line). Needless to say, the first two heavy hits, the lines broke right at my knot. I was in the doghouse and kicked off of knot duty for the rest of the day.... I feel your pain!

Janet, yours is a great story too! I am not sure if it would have been better or worse if you would have gotten the fish...........

Hate those lessons learned the hard way! Sad
You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!
ImagePNWMountaingirl
Feb 24, 2010 2:46 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
This is a lesson I should have had permanently imbedded in my brain years ago but, alas, once in a while I still forget--------
Some years back, I was fishing with my husband for Walleye, Muskie, and Northern Pike in Minnesota. Things had been really slow but I suddenly hooked onto something very big. I fought it for what seemed like forever and finally got it up to the boat. With my husband standing by with the net, we got a look at one huge Muskie. I was pretty tired by then, so when I went to bring it to the net I grabbed the pole with both hands. Unfortunately I grabbed the line along with the pole. Snap!!!!! He never let me forget that time, (but I think he might have been secretly glad that I hadn't outfished him that day.)
ImageUniQueTreasures
Feb 24, 2010 4:25 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Hi Sharon!

Welcome to the Fishing place! Man oh Man... that had to be a huge disappointment to have gotten him so close and then to lose him. At least you got to get a good eyeball on him.

I'd love to see some of your fish if you have any photos. I've never seen any of those you listed. I've heard of them, but never actually seen any of them.

I had no idea when I started this cubit that it would be so educational for me. I love learning new things about the outdoors.

Sharon, we're glad you're here and hope you'll share more fun stories with us.

Janet
ImagePNWMountaingirl
Feb 26, 2010 3:14 PM CST
Name: Sharon
South Prairie, WA
Janet, we have LOTS of pictures of our fish. You may be sorry you asked. Most of our posting is done at break times at work, however, so the pictures are not usually accessible when we want them. Spring is so busy in our yards that we are often way too tired on the weekend evenings to do much posting. You WILL see them, however.
A good rainy day can keep us less busy although we also have greenhouses to play in. Oh, by the way, Rarejem (Julie) is my daughter, neighbor, and best friend. Also one of my favorite fishing partners. Yes, we also love to see what fishing produces in other parts of the country. You all know what some of our fish (salmon and halibut) taste like but I don't think we are familiar with some of yours. We did fish walleye back in MN and were happy to find them in good supply here on some of the lakes connected to the Columbia River. Hear tell that the dam workers from the Midwest transplanted them here. We think walleye are the very best fresh water tasting fish.
ImageUniQueTreasures
Feb 26, 2010 4:46 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Well Hi Sharon! It's awesome that you are close, not only in being neighbors, but being friends too! My Mom is one of my very best friends and I know how blessed I am to have her.

I've seen your fish then and seen the huge COMBO fish that you and Julie caught! What a monster! It's awesome that you can fish together. I know she's proud of you!!!

It's great that you all can garden together too. I really enjoyed spending a month with my Mom this past summer in Virginia. She put out a few hanging baskets, but waited for me to get there to really add some spectacular color to her big white house. She lives in Virginia 6 months of the year and San Antonio the other 6 months.

I like both fresh water fish and salt water fish. Heck, I'd eat fish every day if I could!
ImageTwinLakesChef
Oct 15, 2010 8:01 AM CST
Name: Arlene Marshall
Twin Lakes, IA & Orange, CA
Zone 4B
Living on a lake you'd think fishing would be part of my everyday life and I would like it to be. My dad didn't live on a lake but fishing was one of his great joys, along with trapping, pheasant hunting & deer hunting. We always ate what he managed to bring home. In later years, hunters around here no longer wanted to pay the fees to have their deer prepared for freezing . They would bring the deer to my dad and he would process it. This time of year he would have 3 or 4 deer hanging in his garage.

Our grandaughter comes every summer from CA for a two week stay with us. She will soon be 22 years old and she still loves to come and stay with us.

I usually put a large water bottle or soda bottle out as a bobber and tie it to the dock. The big catfish come in after dark or around 2 AM and take the bait. I was in some other part of the house and she was down here by herself. I came back downstairs and there she was out on the dock, pulling on the string and she had a big one . . . no net . . looking distressed. I flew out the door grabbing the net, and running down the dock. She was very excited to pull in a 5 lb catfish . . . on garden string.

Unfortunately, another evening, I left her along to go do something for DH and she came and got me. The DNR was at my door, giving me a ticket for an unattended pole . . . $ 85. I have been very bad over the last 4 years. I throw my line in with a lighted bobber and sit and watch TV. I look out every once in a while; if I see the bobber has radically changed position, I'm out there pulling one in. If I get up in the middle of the night for a drink of water, I'm checking. Many a night I have been out there in my jammies, pulling in a fish.

I guess you would call me an armchair fisherman.Thumb of 2010-10-15/TwinLakesChef/08eadc
Yum Yum Divas ~ ~ "Most recipes are not invention . . . but evolutions"
ImageUniQueTreasures
Oct 15, 2010 5:03 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Wow

I love stories like that. And having the photo was the icing on the cake!!!!!!!!!!!!
ImageTwinLakesChef
Oct 15, 2010 6:49 PM CST
Name: Arlene Marshall
Twin Lakes, IA & Orange, CA
Zone 4B
Thank you, Janet.
I read on your cubit but rarely post. Mainly because most of the fishing posts are about deepsea fishing, which we have also done.
Yum Yum Divas ~ ~ "Most recipes are not invention . . . but evolutions"

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