Tales From Woodhull Lake: The Day I Almost Caught Big Louie
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Tales From Woodhull Lake: The Day I Almost Caught Big Louie

The moral of the story here is, while your spoon may look rough, it can still catch fish.

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Tales From Woodhull Lake: The Day I Almost Caught Big Louie
Amanda Simon

As I was growing up, my brothers, Jonathan and Peter always caught the biggest fish on the lake, or so they claimed. They were older, they spent more money on fishing lures, so it just made sense that they caught the best fish. Sometimes Jonathan, Peter, Dad and I would go out trolling for lake trout, usually around 5:00. There are two ends to the lake where you can catch these freshwater monsters. The shallow end almost promises a fish every time, assuming you stick to a particular pattern on the water. The deep end, however, is far more complex and confusing and fish are only pulled in about 25% of the time. With three young men in the boat, determined to catch Big Louie, the four of us headed to the deep end.

Before we decided to go out, it was a rainy, dreary day and we were cooped up inside. We found some old, brass spoons and decided to try our hands at painting them. A really great pattern for fish, in general is red and white. The spoons are designed mostly red with a white “S” that travels down the center of it. Jonathan and Peter painted their spoon really well, the paint was smooth and the edges were neat. My spoon, however, was rough; it had globs and imperfect edges. They told me it would never catch a fish and theirs would work so much better than mine.


Dad and I after my first lake trout.

When the weather finally cleared, around five, we grabbed the heavy tackle rods and headed out. We all outfitted our lines with the spoons we tied in the hopes of catching a nice laker. As we puttered down the lake, more clouds moved in and the heavens opened. We decided to tough it out and keep fishing.

We were just about to reel our lines in when I got a hit like none I’d ever had before. I set the hook and started reeling fast. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the line on the reel I was using was set up backwards. These old reels have a drag system that’s just a nut on the side that you tighten or loosen based on how much drag you want or need. The drag was automatically tightening on me and there was nothing I could do about it. I dropped the pole and started trying to pull it in by hand. The fish was much stronger than me, as it was in its natural element. I fought and fought for what seemed like hours, when it was really only a matter of minutes. The rain was coming down and it kept making the line slippery in my hand. After several minutes of battle, I lost the fish.

I pulled in the line and on the fresh paint of the spoon, I saw tooth marks that came up about 3 inches. I realized that the fish I lost on the spoon that wasn’t supposed to catch fish was huge. I was so upset.

The moral of the story here is, while your spoon may look rough, it can still catch fish. Instead of paying super close attention to what the spoon looks like, pay more attention to making sure your reel works well. Needless to say, I fixed the reel and have never fished with the spoon again. Those teeth marks will forever be a reminder that there are some pretty great lakers in Woodhull.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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