2009 Big Fish Story Contest

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2009 Big Fish Story Contest

Postby bwca » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:47 am

Big Fish Story Contest
2009

Have you fished the BWCA or Quetico some time in the past? Share your "big fish" story and you may be a winner of a five day Kevlar canoe rental!

Rules:
    Everyone is welcome to participate, amateur or professional.
    There is no limit to the number of submissions.
    Submissions will be accepted through November 30th, 2009.
    If the story is copyrighted, you must be the rightful copyright owner.
    Authors retain the rights to their stories.

You are welcome, and encouraged to post photos with your story. Photographers retain the rights to their photographs. When posting, please refrain from posting HUGE image files. An ideal size is 640 x 480.

Entry:
To enter, simply post your fish story here in this thread, or somewhere in the Fishing category.

Prizes:
The contest winner will receive a five day Kevlar canoe rental courtesy of Voyageur North Outfitters; 3 days 2 nights lodging in Brainerd courtesy of TwinCitiesSavings.com; and a copy of Walleye Tactics, Tips, & Tales by Mark Strand courtesy of BoundaryWatersCanoeArea.com.

Your stories may also be featured on BoundaryWatersCanoeArea.com (http://www.bwca.cc).

Judging:
This year's contest will be judged by Shawn Perich. Shawn is a writer and avid angler who lives on the North Shore. His first book, The North Shore: A Four Season Guide to Minnesota's Favorite Destination, was followed by Fishing Lake Superior: A Complete Guide to Stream, Shoreline, and Open-Water Angling. Shawn has served as the editor of the Cook County News Herald in Grand Marais and as the editor of Fins and Feathers magazine. His work has appeared in Sports Afield and Fly Rod and Reel. He is a regular columnist for Outdoor News.
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Shawn Perich
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Re: 2009 Big Fish Story Contest

Postby bwca » Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:27 pm

Let's get your entries in! I just added another prize. Walleye Tactics, Tips, & Tales by Mark Strand.
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Re: 2009 Big Fish Story Contest

Postby garytindfw » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:08 am

OK this is quite a whopper. I recruited a group of guys for a week long trip to lake Thomas in August several years back. This was a lake I had never seen or fished before. The group included 4 guys that had fished quite a bit but had never been to the boundry watters, one guy who had never fished in his life, and myself a vetran of about 15 week long trips. We portaged most of a day and by the time we got to our camp site there was just enough time to set up camp and cook dinner. We awoke to a beautiful morning, calm and not a cloud in the sky. Six excited anglers set out to explore the lake with an agreement to return at 2pm for a fish fry. I paired with the virgin angler and set out. I tried everything in my arsenal calling on all my years of experience but could not coax even a minnow. By 10 am I knew something was weird, there was not a ripple on the lake and big balls of baitfish were at the surface in the middle of the lake. A high pressure system was surely to blame, but as all weather, I was sure it would change soon. When we met back up at 2 there was not a single fish, not a single cloud, and not a single ripple on the water. The kind of day to take a postcard picture but not the kind of day to catch fish.
This continued throughout the day, not one single puff of wind all day and no fish. I got up early the next morning determined to catch something, I put my depth finder on the canoe, my partner was sore and tired and wanted to sleep in so I went out solo. The weather was exactly the same so I decided to go deep. Note that I am not a particularly good deep water fisherman nor do I know what species this lake has in it. Since I was solo I used a 3-way swivel and a chunk of lead to slow troll a beetle spin deep. I figured this would be a good presentation in deep water. After about 30 minutes I hung a fish, a big fish, I fought the it on my ultralite for probably 5 minutes then suddenly my line went slack. The hook on the cheap lead head had straightned out with 6 pound test. But my heart was pumping so I went back to camp and told the group, who grabed their gear and set out.
I had instructed the group on what tackle to bring before the trip, and they all had the basic tackle, but since I had never had to go deep in the boundry watters before I didn't suggest any deep water tackle to them. But my box with 20 years of accumulated tackle resembling a tackle shop more than a personal box, I had plenty to share. Within an hour I had spotted something I wanted to try on my LCD, schooling fish at 80 feet in the 100 ft trench just north of the island chain. I knew these had to be lake trout, I thought perhaps since they are in 80 feet of water, that they may not notice that the crasiest high pressure system in history was preventing the fish from biting. After trying several things trolling , jigging spoons, kastmasters, even some lead chunks I used for salmon when I lived in Washington. One time I saw a fish follow a spoon up to about 40ft as I reeled it in, but no bites. Then I found a giant red plug that said 40 feet on it. It had a bill the size of a serving spoon and when trying to troll it you could tell. It was like pulling a water skiier with a canoe. So again I went to the 3 way swivel and a 2 oz sinker. On the very first pass over the trench I hung amy first laker. She was a 12 pound beauty and supplied a great meal for 6 hungry fishermen. After lunch I loand out all my lead and 3 way swivels to the other guys, but by early evening only one more fish had been caught, again on the red monster but this one about 4 pounds.
So the tally: 6 fishermen 2 days in the boundry watters and just 2 fish, not a stitch of wind nor a cloud for 2 straight days. Day 3 was the same as the first 2 no wind at all and no clouds. I have fished my whole life and never before have I seen a high pressure system like this. I now had 5 angry friends that had heard all my amazing fishing stories of the boundry waters and had not caught a single fish.
Day 3 produced 2 fish, I caught a 10 pound pike deep trolling and one of the other guys finally broke through with a 1 pounder. I lost the big red plug on a snag and was very upset, as it was responsible for 95% of our meals by weight. New tally 3 days no wind, no clouds, 3 fish for me, one dink for one guy, and 4 guys fishless.
Day 4 the high pressure continued, and no fish were caught until a trickle of wind finally blew about 4 pm. When we met back just before dark there were 4 pike and one laker. Enough for a frybut still 3 guys had not caught a single fish in 4 days including my partner.
Day five the wind and clouds came, and so did fish. We caught 4 or 5 walleye and about more that 50 pike of various sizes. No smallies though, I later found out that lakes Thomas and Frasier didn't have smallmouth (That looked bad on me because that was one of my selling points for the trip). But oddly enough my partner was still fishless.
On day 6 I found some weedbeds on Frasier that were awsome pike producers, I caught several in the 7 to 12 pound range on a buzz bait in the evening and everyone caught fish again except for my partner. I probably had 60 or so now, terrible by boundry waters standards but considering the conditions I guess it was OK, but my partner had not had a single bite, zip, nil nada. Statistically this seemed impossible.
Day 7 everyone killed them except for my partner. I even quit fishing, and started to just guide him telling him where to cast and what to do, still nothing. We portaged to another lake in the afternood, still nothing. At one point I had him cast several times to a fallen tree by a bolder in a cut along the shore, sure that there was a pike there. After a half a dozen attempts he said "you havn't thrown a cast on this lake, maybe there are no fish in it at all". I picked up my bait caster fired one cast at the log and caught a 5 pound northern. He had fished solo from the front of the canoe ALL day and had no fish, I threw one cast and caught a five pounder. That evening we went back to the weedbed where I caught all the pike the evening before. I gave him the buxxbait I had used and let him cast while I just sat an watched a moose eat lillies. Nothing still, he said that he was jinxed and that I might as well fis so at least someone could have some fun. So I did and proceeded to catch 6 or 7 before it was pitch black.
Day 8 was our last morning and he was determined to break the spell. Several guys including myself had had luck the past few days with big willow leaf spinnerbaits with perch colored tails. I decided that we should weight them down and troll some deepwater points. After an a couple of hours I had 2 nice pike and a big walleye, but still nothing for my partner. We were approaching the point where I had caught all the mornings fish when he said "I'm hung up". I looked back and saw his line heading towards the shore. I said " you are hung on a fish". He was using a bass rod and reel with a pistol grip and probably 12 pound test. Well, he fought the monster for well over 20 minutes. At one point he didn't think he could hold on any longer, he had only the reel out of the water and the entire rod was bent under the canoe and the fish was on the opposite side. After many long drag stripping runs followed by pumping and reeling I caught first glimps of the fish, It was a huge pike, one the size I have never seen before. Well the old dinosaur of a fish finally tired orso I thought and he came to the surface. I had cleared the center of the canoe of lifejackets and gear to make a spot for the monster. I got down on my knees and sone how hoisted the slimy beast in the canoe. It did what pikes do flop like crazy once in the boat bt this guy was so big and strong I thought he was going to flop out, so I covered him with (my partners life jacket) and held him down. You could have heard the hollering back in Ely. He broke the curse and did so with the fish of a lifetime. The pike weighed in at 28 pounds. Needless to say hwe had to portage the monster out and he eventually had the fish mounted.
There is more to the story but I won't bore you any longer with this epic.
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Re: 2009 Big Fish Story Contest

Postby bwca » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:35 am

Congratulations Gary on your win in the Big Fish Story Contest!
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