The BDN asked readers to submit some of their more memorable fishing tales. This is the latest installment, submitted by Eric Day of Bangor.
I have been reading your readers’ fishing stories and thought I would send along a few of my own (just a small sample of some of the crazy, unlikely stories of 50 years of fishing)
Years ago — 40 to be accurate — I was 15 and spending time at a family friend’s fishing camp in northern Maine.
We would head out in two boats and troll the river for brook trout for the day, myself, my buddy Jim, my dad and our family friend John, aka Hack, who was responsible for my love of brook trout fishing.
We would fish all day and return in the evening and park the boats in the calm inlet just off the main river in front of camp, and after dinner I would always head down to the inlet just before sunset to fish from shore. You could always count on a few fat trout.
As I was fishing, my buddy Jim came down to check on how I was doing — and just as soon as he got there, I got a nice fish on. I was so excited, and kept saying, “This is a big big fish.” It was dark by then, and my buddy grabbed the net. It was difficult to see, and we decided he should take a shot at netting the fish in the dark. He tried to scoop up the fish and cut the line.
I was so bummed out but under the circumstances these things happen. Fast forward to the next evening: I’m at the inlet fishing at sunset. This time my dad comes down to wet a line after the fish story Jim and I had told the night before. We fished for a few minutes and I told him, “The big one is back.” I had had a few good hits.
He humored me and said, “OK, I guess I’ll make one last cast.” He cast his line and all hell broke loose.
I’m telling him, “I told you I told you!” He hauled this 2-plus-pound brook trout up onto shore. As he grabbed the trout, he said, “This is strange. It’s got two lines and hooks in its mouth.”
The fish had my dad’s hook and my line-and-spinner hook setup from the night before in its mouth. I must admit I was kind of bummed out, but it’s a great fishing story I have remembered for a long time.
And that’s not the last time something similar has happened. Back in 2005 three friends and I were fishing Lake Ontario for king salmon with a guide. We hooked a nice king salmon, and as it neared the boat, it snapped the line. Our guide’s first mate was angry because when the line snapped he lost his favorite Dipsy Diver.
About 15 minutes later fishing, among 25 other boats (we called it “combat fishing,” with all the guides fishing the same area chasing the school of kings), we get a hookup and land a beautiful king salmon and, yes, hanging from its mouth was the same Dipsy Diver setup we had lost. Crazy, but the first mate was happy!
One more story: Last year on a five-day trip to Long Lake, on the evening of the first day I caught a 15-inch salmon with this strange deformity on his left gill plate; it was shaped like a half moon, a perfect half circle. It was a very strange-looking injury, and my buddy and I both were at a loss of what had caused it. I released the salmon to swim another day. On Day 4, again in the evening, I catch another 15-inch salmon and to our surprise it has the same deformity on his left gill plate. It was the same fish three days later! I released it to swim another day. Crazy!