I set out to Deerfield to hit one of my favorite spots for Lake Trout. I drilled about 20 holes and set my warriors the same way, varying depths to try and locate where the fish are running. My closest flag went off twice in a very short time, producing nice sized Lake Trout.
I quickly drilled a few new holes in that line to start jigging in. After about 5 minutes with no action, I decided to jig a little higher in the column, but as I raised up I couldn’t find my jig on my Vexilar FLX-28. I raised up a few more times, there was no tension showing I had a fish on, but I still couldn’t mark my jig.
I started to reel my line in and I could feel the smallest pull back. I figured, must be a small perch since I was using a Clam Outdoors Drop-Kick jig with a Maki plastic, which the perch at Deerfield really love to. I was having a problem getting my jig out of the hole, it kept snagging on the corner of the ice.
Which I have did quite a few times after losing a fish, but I could still feel a fish pulling back while looking at what appeared to be an empty hook. I was extremely confused to what was going on.
Finally, I stuck my hand down the hole to pull the jig off and I have another line hooked onto my Drop-Kick jig. I figure ok, someone has snapped a fish off and I got the extra line tangled onto my hook. I start hand lining one side in, there's clearly a lot of weight to just be hand pulling slack line, but from the opposite direction there is a fish pulling very hard.
I thought I had 2 fish on 2 different lines, possibly tangled in my warriors. Until, I pull a rod up the hole with the Arctic Warrior bracket still attached. I knew right away I had just caught one of Craig Oyler’s rods since I had seen that warrior setup before.
I couldn't stop laughing at what had just happened, I mean what are the odds? I have caught a lot of fish on my Clam Outdoors Arctic Warriors, but catching an Arctic Warrior with a fish still on the line was a first for me.
I was quickly reminded why the warrior was down on the bottom to start with. This fish took a massive run, throwing black mud all over my Ice Armor by Clam Ascent Suit from the drag spinning so fast. This setup was quite a bit lighter then what I use with my warriors, and with a wet drag, I was hesitant to put too much pressure on the fish.
After about 7 minutes of fighting the fish and trying to catch my breath from laughing so hard, I got the fish onto the ice. It wasn't the biggest fish in the lake at 6 to 8 lbs, but with the fight he put up after dragging a rod for 2 days... I can't wait to see that fish again in a few years!
I stopped by Craig's and dropped his rod off on the way home, and swapped stories on what happened. Great fighting fish and a great story, very cool day.