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#1209894 - 03/02/09 09:28 AM Most Memorable Fishing Trip

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 26196
Loc: Spring Hill, TN

Stolen topic from Chattanooga Fishing Forums, but writing my story took me out of this small office and put me back bankside to a very cool day, so thought I'd share and see what you all had to pull out of your bags.
This will sound odd because it's not a story based on success. Well... not success as it's normally measured.

I was grown and married and had recently found a position that brought be back to within 7 miles of my hometown on the Missouri River about an hour from St. Louis. That big mean river had been a mysterious force to me all of my life. My family was not much on the outdoors, little fishing and no hunting, but somehow the bug had taken root deeply within me. My goal was to catch a large catfish from that mighty river. By my standards at the time, anything over 5 pounds would be considered epic.

I'd read several issues of the relatively new Infisherman magazine spotlighting catfishing techniques and was just starting to get a handle on moving beyond worm and hook fishing. My day off has always been Thursday, which generally finds me alone in my pursuits outdoors. On this particular warm late spring day I had fished up a couple of creek minnows and was wading through a giant field of unidentified lush green plants that looked suspiciously like tomatoes, between the sewage treatment plant and the river. Along the way I was picking up big grasshoppers as added resources.

I was in a virgin fishing spot, by which I mean no leftover worm or liver cups, no forked sticks upraised, nothing but rock and drift. Looking at the churning water I tried to figure out what the eddies were doing. I had my biggest rod, a 6.5' Ugly Stick with a Shakespeare spinning reel, loaded with 12 lb. test line, which was quite the case of overkill for my fishing history. I also had on the biggest sinker I'd ever seen, something almost 4 ounces, attached to the line on a dropper, with a hook about 12 inches up. I speared a creek chub that must have been nearly 6 inches onto a hook and cast it out.

The Missouri is a rough river which has been aggressively channelized by the MO Corp of Engineers for the primary purpose of streamlining barge traffic. It regularly takes its toll on pleasure boaters and unwary fishermen. It also moved my line around behind that wing dam like a washing machine on spin cycle. I watched the tip of my rod surge and relax rhythmically, at first reaching for the pole on every surge, but gradually sinking into a cautious relaxation. One surge, however, did not seem keep rhythm, did not relax. My brow knit together as I tentatively picked up the pole and gave a slight pull.

It was like I had prodded a bull! The rod leaped forward and my knuckles went as white as my shocked face. It was the first time I had hooked something that played music for me, and my 12 lb. line starting plucking notes that steadily climbed in octaves... ping... ping...!!

The line swaying in the breeze at the end of my rod was not nearly as limp as my arms and legs. I sat in the profound silence that followed the string symphony played for an audience of one. The river thundered it's constant applause and my body started twitching off an overload of belated adrenaline. I stared dumbly at the reel in my hand, seeing for the first time where the plastic drag control knob had been broken off. I pulled on the line to find that the drag setting was tighter than the bedroom door locks at a convent.

But for the first time in my life I had hooked a fish that had busted right out of my tackle within 10 seconds. No one was there that day to wonder why I sat empty handed on the banks of the Missouri River with a smile on my face. ;0)
Some hunt for racks, some hunt for roasts. I hunt for sheer joy; the aforementioned items are merely fringe benefits.

#1211730 - 03/03/09 07:41 AM Re: Most Memorable Fishing Trip [Re: Nimrod777]
10 Point

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 3110
Loc: East TN

A couple of years ago my nephew and I went drift fishing from Ft Lauderdale. I had been 3 time before. When we went to the docks, the other captians said they weren't going out that day and asked if we were "sea worthy" and if not than we shouldn't go out. I really didn't know what that meant but had a hunch it had something to do with sea sickness. We'll I get sic pretty easy but had been before and wanted to go again. We finally found a boat going out later that day. This would be a four hour trip. About 30-45 minutes into the trip my 6' 4" 260lb nephew starts to barf. The ship mates brought out some cools wet towels and a bottle of water. I think he threw up one more time. Myself, I got sick too almost as soon as the boat stopped the first time. I didn't throw up and wasn't letting on that I was sick. Each time the boat stopped bow into the 6' waves, they would turn us starboard or port side and we would be rocking where I was going in a forward to back motion (because we were sitting facing port side). After a few stops it was about time to head back. With about an hour to go, I start barfing my guts out!!!! I mean it was so bad that I only attempted to leave the edge of the boat once for the rest of the hour. It was so bad I heard a girl say "thats discusting" and I never flinched. It was so bad, that one guy hauled in a small (about 3-4') shark right beside me and I never moved. Thatr shark was flopping all around within a couple of feet of me and I never moved. I was sofa king sick that I threw up the whole rest of the way back until we got back inside the bay. The funny thing was that those guys never offered me a dang thing. No water and no cool towel, which would have been nice since I barf blown up on my face from the wind. When we got back, the guys from the "Sweet Emily" gave me and my nephew a free T-Shirt. The captian told us, "If I can't catch you a fish then at least I'll give you a shirt."
LIVE! From the valley...
"Mindless boob that voted for him."

#1211831 - 03/03/09 08:31 AM Re: Most Memorable Fishing Trip [Re: A.K.A.]

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 26196
Loc: Spring Hill, TN

Oh dang man! That's hardcore!
Some hunt for racks, some hunt for roasts. I hunt for sheer joy; the aforementioned items are merely fringe benefits.

#1212892 - 03/03/09 02:40 PM Re: Most Memorable Fishing Trip [Re: Nimrod777]
Cerebral Assassin
16 Point

Registered: 08/07/01
Posts: 10428
Loc: Cleveland, TN USA

My most memorable fishing trip, the one that has the ultimate "fish that got away" story happened in 1991. A group of us had chartered a boat out of Treasure Island Marina in PC Beach. The King Mackeral were running hard and so were the Jack Crevalle. The deck hand rigged up some high speed rigs to run on our trip out. The other guys were sitting in the cabin not paying any attention and I was on the back deck watching the poles. Just as we left cleared the wing wall at St. Andrew Bay State Park started out in the gulf I saw one of the lures jump about 6 feet up in the air. It hit the water and then the pole it was attached too bent double. The deck hand was grabbing the pole and told me get my butt over there and start reeling.

He handed me the pole and it felt like I was a hold of mule. The
drag was signing and all I could do was try to reel. The deck hand finally got the Captain's attention and told him to stop the boat and start backing toward the fish. When I finally got it's head turned around it made a surface run and jumped out of the water what looked like 10 feet. I immediately thought Marlin but the deck hand told me it was a sail fish. I fought it for about 10 minutes and it got off.

Thankfully, the group of guys I was fishing with were all standing on the deck when it left the water and saw it. I was pretty well done for the day then. \:D

The moral to the story is: When your fishing in the gulf always expect the unexpected.
I make good money, I help the Family, but one thing must be understood, I would never go against the Godfather. Ruger is a man I respect. Luca Brasi

#1220207 - 03/06/09 09:53 AM Re: Most Memorable Fishing Trip [Re: Kirk]
6 Point

Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 707
Loc: Way back in Booger Woods.........

I have had many memorable fishing trips over the last 25 or so years. but id have to say the one that stands out the most in my mind was the one year that dad and i went to see my uncle and gramdma in clewiston florida. we barrowed my uncles skeeter boat and put in on okichobie (s/p) right off of roland martins marina. i had just graduated from a zebco 33 to a spinning rod ( i was 9 i think) and was fishing a culprit 7 1/2 inch worm in black with red tail worm. i casted into some lilly pads and thought i had gotten hung up. so dad trolls over so i can get un tangled when all the sudden the water just exploded. it took me 10 minutes to get that bass in the boat but i did it by my self. the fish weighed 9.6 pounds. and to date is the biggest bass ive ever caught. i had a smile on my face for weeks and i think dad was just as happy about it as i was.

Appalachian Mountain Hunters

#1221166 - 03/06/09 04:14 PM Re: Most Memorable Fishing Trip [Re: dcsoldier44]
8 Point

Registered: 12/07/07
Posts: 1962
Loc: TN

Fished Dale Hollow one spring with two friends. Caught 69 bass small mouth, large mouth and Kentucky's. All on top water and did not keep a single fish. Several fish over 5 lbs.

Fished Guntersville as a young lad with a high school friend. Put out of mud creek and ran up to the duck pond. It was cold and overcast. Did not catch a fish until 3pm. The sun popped out and warmed the water on the north shore of the old pond. Between 3 and dark we caught over 40 fish with some in the 6 pound range. There were so many fish on that bank an old man and his grandson asked if we cared if they fished it with us. We said no and they caught all they wanted as well.

These are the two trips I will never forget.
Dream like you are going to live forever, Live like you are going to die tomorrow...James Dean

#1221410 - 03/06/09 07:25 PM Re: Most Memorable Fishing Trip [Re: turkeyhunter64]
14 Point

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 8600
Loc: Mount Carmel, TN

My most memorable fishing trip would have to be a trip I made to Canada with some friends back in 1990. Six of us rented a cabin on a small lake (cannot even attempt to spell the name) in Ontario. The trip started being a lot of fun when we were going across the border. The Canadian border guards had apparently never talked to hillbillies before and we had quite a communication problem for awhile. We fished for a week and caught boatloads of northern pike every day. The cabin did not have running water, so we had to take baths in the lake (the ice out only been gone for a couple of weeks). One of the fellows that went has passed on now, but I still get a kick out of looking at pictures from the trip.
The older we get....the better we was.

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