Antique lure collector Dan Basore and I were standing outside the Muskie Show at Pheasant Run talking about fishing trips we had won at the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance Fund Raiser. I had won several trips including a day on
I had also won a guided drift boat day on the
The meeting turned out to be very good for me but not for Dan. He was skunked on his recent drift boat trip on the Fox. I on the other hand – well, let me tell you the story.
When fall came near I contacted Mike and he said he would get back to me when the smallies moved into deep water off the points. Mike contacted me and we set the date for October 5. Mike said we’d meet at the
We used medium spinning tackle with eight pound test fluorocarbon line to a swivel. Above the swivel was a half ounce barrel sinker. From the swivel there was a five foot, eight pound fluorocarbon leader to a red Gamakatsu octopus hook. We nose hooked the six inch perch, cast out and let the sinkers fall into fifty-one feet of water and started a slow troll with the electric motor. We opened the reel bail and held the line on the tip of the finger in case we needed to drop the line and let the fish run when they hit.
Mike caught several smallies before I finally was finally able to sense a hit through the stretch of over fifty feet of line. I let the line peel out across my finger, and told Mike I had a hit. We began chasing after the fish and I closed the bail and began reeling until we caught up to the fish. When the fish stopped running I set the hook. After a short battle Mike netted a nice northern pike for me. Amazingly, the line wasn’t cut even though the hook was inside the pikes mouth. The perch had slid up the line and was a little chewed up but still lively.
We spent half the morning catching smallies and a few more pike before the bite started to slow. Mike had a second location in mind but didn’t want to leave while we were still catching fish. Finally we made a move to the southwest side of the lake not far from