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Topic Summary - Displaying 10 post(s). Click here to show all
Posted by: portage dog
Posted on: Nov 16th, 2022 at 10:16pm
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WOW!  That is amazing!  Jimbo with hair!!!  Cheesy

Nice fish, btw!
Posted by: solotripper
Posted on: Nov 16th, 2022 at 9:59pm
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I always stop to fish any streams that run into a lake.
There is usually a little Honey Hole there. You find it, you'll never know what's waiting there to grab a easy meal.

Posted by: Jimbo
Posted on: Nov 16th, 2022 at 8:30pm
The smallmouth I'm holding in the (hopefully) attached pic, below, was caught in May, 1996, just after the ice had come off of Russell Lake.  It measured 23 1/2 inches and I estimated it to be 7+ pounds or so.  It might not be as big as the one in Wally13's pic but it was a trophy, nonetheless.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, it's often the "back story" that is most interesting about these pics.  So, here it is.

All day long I had been out-fishing my paddling partner... my brother.  He was not really a fisherman back then, so my accomplishment was not particularly surprising.  Essentially, we were catching LOTs of bass around structure on southern Russell Lake.  However, I was catching 2 to his every 1... a fact which he was none too happy about.  It wasn't until late in the afternoon that he finally figured out just how I had been doing it.  Using smaller baits, I always made certain that I pitched my lure to any new spot we fished a few seconds before his much larger lure hit the water.  Gary absolutely insisted upon tossing the same large tiger-colored Rapala.  He used it in all conditions, all day, EVERY day for the entirety of our 10 day trip.  Consequently, he was doing quite well with pike & some walleye but not so much with smallmouth.  Interestingly enough, he was somehow able to keep the lure from being bitten or broken off the entire trip.

Anyway, after supper, he's eager to show me that he can out-fish me using that same big Rapala.  He was even willing to put up an extra shot of whatever libation we carried "on the line" to entice me to get off of my butt and go back out.  So, I'm thinking "go for it, you dim-wit!  Nothing's gonna change."  So, out we go and, once again, we aim to fish structure around the main body of the lake. 

We hadn't even made it to the shoreline from our island when a serious north wind came screaming across the lake.  No rain but big gusts were soon churning up large white caps between us and our island.  Seeking any port in the storm, so to speak, we found a protected inlet where a small stream entered Russell from the south (we were in the bay due SW of the portage into Chatterton).  I had wanted to beat it back to camp to stay ahead of any major weather but Gary wanted NONE of that.  He kept saying, "I'm taking you down, a__hole!  We'll fish back in this quiet spot here and wait it out!"

I wasn't happy with his stubbornness and started to argue some more.  Meanwhile, he tosses his big old Tiger-colored Rapala straight up into the mouth the swollen stream.  Spring runoff was heavy that year so the current pushing it back at us was considerable.  Anyway, just as I am picking up my pole to toss my white curly tail on a jig head, my brother yells, "Flash, I need help!  I got me a danged big one!"  His lure had barely even touched the water when the fish exploded on it.  So, I see his pole doubled over and I'm thinking he has a serious Northern on the line, again.  Well, he plays it and plays it and plays it some more.  Next thing I know, his big-ass fish is flipping and tail-dancing and proving its not a big Northern at all.  Rather, it's a huge bronze-back with the girth of a football!

So Gary is all excited and not really thinking straight.  He eventually steers his line back to me where I can do something about his catch, now that it seems to have played out (it hadn't played out; it insisted on doing a couple more tours around the canoe first).  Finally, I get my hands on it and hoist it into the canoe.  The biggest smallmouth I had ever come across was now in MY hands.  My brother can hardly contain his elation.  I shout so as to be heard over the wind, "Quick, get a picture so I can set it back in the water!"  You see, the camera was up front with him and my brother doesn't really think about the consequences of my request.  Rather, he promptly obliges me by snapping a couple shots and we're done.  Satisfied, I immediately released HIS fish.

Before long, the white caps settled down and we paddled back to camp while the going was good.  My brother had, indeed, out-fished me, earning a couple extra shots from our communal jug that evening.  It was way past dusk and we were seated beside our small campfire watching stars and relaxing when Gary suddenly erupts with what I can only characterize as a "sad revelation." 

He jumps up and starts shouting at me, his yells echoing across the lake (not that anybody was within 10 miles of us at that time of year to hear him).  He accusingly says, "Flash, you sonofab_ch!  Do you realize that the ONLY existing picture of MY monster trophy bass is one of YOU holding it?!!"

I - somewhat uncharacteristically, if I must say - remained silent.

Gary stares at me a long time, then simply mutters, "Of course you realize it, you dog...."

My reply was fairly succinct, "Well, um, the thought HAD crossed my mind."


Jimbo   Cool
Posted by: db
Posted on: Nov 16th, 2022 at 8:28pm
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The offer stands to to day.

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Posted by: db
Posted on: Nov 15th, 2022 at 7:03pm
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I'm 6' tall. My feet are about a foot long and my chin to bellybutton distance is around 20"

Math is cool and all but...
"The real gem is in the story and the experience with whom you shared the moment."
Posted by: Solus
Posted on: Nov 15th, 2022 at 5:08pm
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This is the biggest smallmouth that I have seen caught. Pulled from the outflow from Sarah to Tuck in very high-water. A bad photo of a bad photo. Fish was so powerful that you could feel it jerk the 18.5' loaded canoe (stringer tied to stern) as we crossed Tuck.
Photo doesn't really do it justice. Fish is only extended to camera enough to keep it off the angler (she could not have held it with arm extended).

Sad to say we ate her (last night of trip and nearly out of food). Found four webbed feet (duckling? merganser?) in gut. Caught in August.
Posted by: Jimbo
Posted on: Nov 15th, 2022 at 1:41pm
Wally13 wrote on Nov 14th, 2022 at 8:01pm:
Awesome FISH Jimbo.  Landing it without a net too. Very impressive.


Didn't have to use the beating stick, neither!  Any bigger and I would have grabbed one, though.  Mine is an old Louisville Slugger studded with @17 sharpened nails, each protruding the current legal max of 4 inches.  It's an essential tool for dealing with the truly big ones.

Notice my arm strength back in those days.  Could almost leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Would have, too, if I swung and missed at one of the real big bas___rds!

By the way, that 10 lb smallie of yours would make great bait if staked out in a shallow bay, just before the spawn.  They tell me there might still be a few PH's cruising the deeper lakes of Quetico.  As you know, however, landing a trophy these days generally entails venturing a few hundred miles further northwest.  Nevertheless, I'll send you the schematics for a proper rig and maybe we can have some fun dredging something up next summer!

If you'd like to reference previous QJ discussion from the archives re: proper techniques, etc., you might wish to check out this link: (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links);


Jimbo   Cool
Posted by: arnesr
Posted on: Nov 15th, 2022 at 2:35am
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Wally13, thanks for posting the pic and story. No doubt it was a monster fish. The real gem is in the story and the experience with whom you shared the moment.  It's amazing how photography/technology has improved, you were just kind of rolling the dice back in those days hoping you had some photographic evidence by the time the film was developed.

I keep thinking the fishing has gotten better in Quetico from what I remember in the 80's.  I am sure my technique has improved quite a bit since then, but surely there is less fishing pressure than years ago.  I too am looking forward to going back.
Posted by: Wally13
Posted on: Nov 14th, 2022 at 8:01pm
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Awesome FISH Jimbo.  Landing it without a net too. Very impressive.
Posted by: solotripper
Posted on: Nov 14th, 2022 at 7:24pm
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Maybe ST can use his "pixels methodology" and size it up for me?

I tried but to get the BS pixie scale you have to PAY for the software.  Wink Grin