The fishing game is one that is occasionally disrupted by strange and fantastical moments. In ice fishing these moments are truly amplified by the fact that all you are looking at is a dark hole into the deep abyss with little or no knowledge of the happenings below.
In a recent trip to Lake Rosseau, my friends and I had the pleasure of having one of these tall tales unfold before us on one sunny day in February. After a decent morning of catching smaller lake trout, suddenly my eye was caught by my friend’s fishing rod doubled over with his drag blasting off line. I sprang over with my video camera and frantically filmed as he fought the beast over several deep runs. Eventually the trout tired but when it arrived at the hole it was both sideways and tangled in the line. There we stood staring down the hole seeing only the fat spotty belly, pondering how to pull the fish through the ice. It was a pause one moment too long! With one weighty thrash the trout pulled the line to the edge of the hole and snapped off. We helplessly watched as it slowly dove back into the depths with my friend’s lure. We were excited by the fight but disappointed by the loss.
We reserved to resume our fishing and we each returned to our respective holes mumbling about how awesome that would have been to land that fish. Minutes passed when suddenly I felt my rod tip drop. “Fish On!”, I screeched. I could tell the fish was heavy but the fight was short. As it rose to the hole I was stunned by the sight of my buddy’s lure dangling from its lips. Its head turned into the hole and its face poked from the icy water just as my line snapped on his teeth. Panicking as it began to sink back into the hole, I grabbed the fish on the tip of the jaw with its sharp teeth digging into my fingers. “Go ahead and bite me!” I thought, “We can’t lose this fish twice!” I hauled the fish onto the ice and began to scream like I had won the lottery. We removed my friend’s lure, took a few pictures and sent the fish home to the depths. I have had a fish bite the same lure twice but this was something else. Our holes were nearly 50 feet away from each other and several minutes passed between hookings. The fish was maybe about 10 pounds. It wasn’t a monster as far as Lakers are concerned, but it was a legend that day.