Memorable Fishing Trips

November 9, 2015 by  

Open water season in my part of the world is winding down. There might be a couple more trips in the boat, but I’m getting the ice-fishing stuff ready to go. It’s at this time of year that I like to look back at the season just completed. Every year has trips that are more memorable than others, for one reason or another. Following are a couple of very memorable trips from this past open water fishing season.

My first memorable experience of the year was also my first fishing trip of the year. I was on Sturgeon Bay fishing smallmouth bass with my friend, Mike Gottheardt. Mike is a fishing tackle sales rep who is also an outstanding angler.  We were going to be fishing smallmouth. I have fished Sturgeon Bay several times and know that it is an outstanding fishery for smallmouth bass.

Smallmouth Bass Sturgeon Bay

Mike Gottheardt with a Sturgeon Bay smallmouth. In most waters, this would be a really nice smallie: on Sturgeon Bay, it’s just another bass.

Our arrival at Sturgeon Bay coincided with a major weather front that brought high winds: winds so strong that they dictated where we could fish. The first day we fished protected and not so protected areas in the shipping channel. We caught a good number of smallmouth, and they were all of a nice size. However, Mike knew that we could do better, so the next day we decided to fish an area that he felt would hold bigger fish. The only downside was that we would need to run some rough water to get there. We would be traveling right into the wind, and then right with the wind for a mile or two.

We left the boat landing and the water was calm.  We went around the point and the water wasn’t so calm anymore.  We considered turning around, but then remembered there were smallmouth to catch and we only had to run the rough stuff for a mile or two. It was one of the roughest runs I’ve ever made, but my boat did an outstanding job, and so did my Guidewear foul weather gear. We got to our spot and indeed the smallmouth were there. And they were nice ones. Mike wasn’t satisfied though. This was the first time in my life that someone apologized that the smallmouth only averaged about three pounds.

Family Fishing Trips

Sam Amsbaugh says he still enjoys the fishing trips he and his uncle go on annually. His uncle believes him. His uncle also believes in aliens from other planets.

Another memorable trip: for the past probably ten years my nephew Sam and I have been making an annual two-day trip to Minnesota to fish for whatever bit. It’s usually largemouth bass. I think Sam still enjoys this trip, but maybe he’s just humoring his aging uncle: I don’t know and it doesn’t matter.

This year we fished with my friend, Duane Peterson. Duane and I have been fishing together for almost 30 years, but it was always business related: we were usually making television shows and there was pressure to catch some fish for the camera. This time we just went fishing and it was wonderful. Duane took us to some of his favorite lakes. When we got tired of catching largemouth bass on jig-worms, we went to another lake and caught them on surface baits, and when that wore down, we went to another lake and caught’em on spinnerbaits. We accomplished nothing from a business perspective and so much from a personal perspective. This was one of the best fishing trips I’ve been on in many years, and look forward to repeating it in future years.

Largemouth Bass Bemidji

Duane Peterson with one of many largemouth bass taken on a two-day fishing trip on lakes in the Bemidji Minnesota area.

We go fishing to experience the thrill and magic of catching a fish, but sometimes we get too wrapped up in that. For many of us, if we just think a bit, it’s the other elements of a fishing trip that make the trip memorable. Next time you’re on the water or the ice, take note of the things other than just the fish-catching and I think you’ll enjoy the experience even more.

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