Monday, November 28, 2011

November Steelies on the PM

Sheepishly I have to admit that "Big Al" aka my father.... showed me a thing or two on the PM last week. We fished for fall steelies (my first fall trip ever on the PM) the day before Turkey day.

Dad was 3 for 3. I was 1 for 7. Ouch. Dad fished about 2 hours. I fished 8+hrs. Ouch. But I ask... why does it have to be about numbers? Isn't this about the 'experience' the 'journey'!?

Nevertheless, I landed my personal best. A totally pissed off male that tipped the scales at 13.5lbs.... I was proud of it, even if just a welter weight compared to some of the other hogs on this blog.

No question the fall fish are stronger, as they lose horsepower and LBs over the winter and after sex. With the tighter water of the PM (vs. the MO or Manistee) the degree of difficulty is definitely greater. You can't chase the fish in the boat, you actually have to fight it and pull it back up stream. Other details. All the PM fish are 100% wild. No stocked genes in the system.

So back to the story... I was getting a HUGE MASSIVE NEVER BEFORE SEEN amount of crap from my Dad and Tommy. As all signs pointed to an 0 for 6 day and the humiliation of getting crushed by fish after anynumber of numskull moves: failed hook sets, bad line management, setting the hood upstream, etc., etc., etc., I was faking a good mood at 4:20pm trying to accept that most likely I would be skunked and would have to drive back with my Dad and hear about it... for months if not years... and even worse having to show photos to my son of Grandad's fish.

So I put all the karma on the line as we approached the last pool of the day, declared with gamblers confidence, "Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, 2 strikes, down by 3".... and then said, "last cast of the day... it's now or never baby" (which has NEVER ever in the history of my life produced a strike). And then. Booyah. It happened. A massive down river run that nearly ended the way the previous 6 misses ended... but then I got some leverage and landed the dude.

Pretty fun times. Can't recommend Tommy Lynch enough. He's tough and not-kind to people who refuse to learn.... he busted my chops for 7.98 hrs... but you learn and improve and actually start to cast less and fish more. Great times shared with my Dad on the river... even if he did deliver a total old-man smackdown.

(guide enhanced, notice my middle finger is larger than my my head)

(Reality pic ... still my biggest steelie to hand in 10 years of chasing)

(Dad's nonchalant 10lb Male)

(Dad's 11lb male)