Twin Ports River Monster Caught!
Earlier today I was talking with a couple of guys at work about how it would be funny if we did a Twin Ports river monster segment, where we'd try to catch some huge fish in the St. Louis River. I never thought I'd actually hook one just a few hours later. Here's what happened.
I was fishing up the St. Louis River, near buoy 29. I was targeting walleye, using a crawler harness off of the bottom. I had a couple of soft bites, but nothing hooked after about 45 minutes of fishing. I figured it was a little early in the day and probably wasn't prime fishing, so I started to troll into a little shallower water to see if I could at least get some perch or maybe a smaller northern or something.
Then, it hit. There were a couple sharp pulls and then I went to set the hook. At first, I figured I had snagged a log or large branch underwater because of the weight. There was hardly any fight. Within a few seconds I saw it come to the top of the water and just about crapped my pants. It was a smaller fish (I think walleye about 12 inches) in the mouth of a monster northern pike. Knowing I wasn't set up to haul something this big in with my 6lb test line, I immediately grabbed my phone and took a photo.
I was able to get it right next to the boat and tried for several minutes to net it. This wasn't an easy task as I was by myself. I held the rod in my left hand as it kept trying to dive and grabbed the net with my right. This was pointless as the fishing net was way too small to even get half of it in. After a few minutes the fish was able to snap the line and swim off. Which to be honest with you, was kind of a relief.
I wasn't able to get a tape measure of it, and the photo doesn't do it justice without a size comparison. I can honestly tell you though that the fish in it's mouth is about a foot long. I'd have to guess this fish was probably around 45 inches, if not more. It was huge.
Definitely the biggest fish I've ever caught. After that, the wind shifted from the lake and white caps started to roll on the river. I decided I should head back, as nothing was going to top that for the rest of the day.