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Halo Over My Head (Read 189 times)
Rat Man
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Halo Over My Head
Jun 21st, 2020 at 1:35pm
 
† †† In that I've posted almost twelve thousand times here it's inevitable that I'm going to repeat every so often.† If anyone already knows this story I apologize.†
† †† It was a cold, windy, miserable March day.† My friend Karl and I were fishing in his 14' aluminum John Boat back in The Pines.† We† fish for what ever we can catch but our main quarry back there is Northern Chain Pickerel.† They grow bigger back there than anywhere else.†
† † I was using a big Felmlee's eel, a type of plastic lure. It was rigged Texas style with a 4/0 worm hook and a 1/4 oz. worm weight.† I was using six pound test line. I don't remember the brand.† Because it was the end of Winter and the water was very cold I was fishing EXTREMELY slow.† I would pull it a few inches then let it sit on the bottom for a minute or two, then pull it again.†
† † I got a hit... our only hit of the day, which can happen when lure fishing in the Winter.† I set the hook. It felt big but no where near as big as it actually was when I got it up next to the boat.† I have fished The Pines for many decades and have caught some mighty Pickerel.† This guy would have easily swallowed my biggest trophy.† It was The Mother of All Pickerel!†
† † Because the water was so cold the fish was lethargic.† That's the only way I caught it.† Had it realized what was going on it would have made mince meat out of my six pound line.† Before he had a chance to start fighting Karl scooped him out of the water with our net.†
† † I am very good at estimating fish weights.† Most fisherman will catch a two pound fish and think it's a five pounder.† My estimates tend to be conservative.† The world record Northern Chain Pickerel is nine pounds, six ounces.† This was obviously bigger.† Unfortunately this was before the days of cell phone cameras.† Other than throwing the fish in our cooler and having it stuffed there was no way to record the event.† The fish was magnificent.† I felt unworthy.† Even though I caught it legally it really wasn't a fight.† We scooped him up before the fight ever really started.† So my choice was to have my name in the record books or let this one of a kind fish loose.† I let him go.† That might seem crazy to some but to this day I haven't regretted my decision for one second.† As far as I know Moby Pick is still there, terrorizing other creatures, and breaking poles, lines, and fishermens' hearts to this day.†
† †
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Morphy
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Re: Halo Over My Head
Reply #1 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 9:34pm
 
Iíve been here a little while and never heard that story. You are a better man than I, because that thing would be mounted on my wall. Every dog has itís day and every fish too. Sounds like he lived to see another.

To me the really interesting fishing experiences are the ones that get away. I have a a fairly heavy action rod that I use for some of the bigger fish around here. I was fishing one day with my rod in the pole holder of the dock just waiting for a hit.

A big hefty catfish wont bend this rod double but this day as I watched something in that brackish water instantly pulled my rod double almost to snapping and then the line broke. I use 50 lb line because Iím not about that sporting life. I fish to EAT. Well not this day. Whatever monster did that to my rod left my mouth wide open. I just wish I knew what it was that did it.

My guess is a very large alligator gar. They get huge down here. Like, ďIím swimming in the water and I see this, Iím gonna lose my bowels hugeĒ. But, I will never know which makes the mystery all the more interesting.

(Just in case that wasnít clear enough.)


...
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ďEvery record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.Ē
 
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Rat Man
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Re: Halo Over My Head
Reply #2 - Jun 22nd, 2020 at 2:48pm
 
† † It was a beautiful late Spring day.† I was fishing with Bob Messer, the brother of Karl mentioned in my first story.† We were fishing in Batsto Lake, a gorgeous cedar water lake far back in The Pines.† This was many years ago when we still sometimes used live bait.Ö possibly forty years ago.†
† † By then we had learned to fish in the weeds, not near them, to catch the big ones.† I was fishing with a few lures and Bob had just baited up a minnow and bobber.† He cast backwards over his shoulder as far back in the weeds as he could.† "All right, genius, what are you going to do if you† hook a really big one back in that muck?"† Suddenly Bob started reeling like mad.† I was watching him thinking that he was just pulling on weeds.† I'm like "You know better than to make your drag scream like that over some hooked lily pads."† Then I realized it wasn't weeds.† He'd hooked something quite huge.† We were both using only six pound test line so I figured his chance of getting whatever it was out of the weeds was just about zero.† Bob stayed with it and played it well.† He got the fish just barely outside of the pads then his line broke.† I cast some kind of lure at the fish. He took it and broke my line too.† I had another rod rigged with a Bomber Model A Crank Bait, Green Fire Tiger in color, about 1/4 oz.† I casted to where the fish last was.
† †† He must have been hungry because once again he hit.† Though I was using light line, this time he was in clear water and I had a chance.† I fought him up to the side of the boat.† It was a Pike, the only one I've ever seen in Batsto Lake.†Usually we catch Pickerel and Bass there.† He was as big as my leg.†† Bob had the net ready and tried to scoop him up.† His head barely fit in our net.† You can't imagine how stupid and helpless we felt.† Here was the fish of a lifetime that we both could share credit for and we couldn't land him.† He looked at us with distain, flipped us the fin, broke my flimsy line, and was gone.†
† †† This actually ties into my first story because from that day on I always took a ridiculously large net with me.† It was because of this incident that I was able to land the† Moby Pick from my first story ten years later.†
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« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2020 at 4:15pm by Rat Man »  
 
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Rat Man
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Re: Halo Over My Head
Reply #3 - Jun 23rd, 2020 at 10:50am
 
Morphy wrote on Jun 21st, 2020 at 9:34pm:
Iíve been here a little while and never heard that story. You are a better man than I, because that thing would be mounted on my wall. Every dog has itís day and every fish too. Sounds like he lived to see another.

To me the really interesting fishing experiences are the ones that get away. I have a a fairly heavy action rod that I use for some of the bigger fish around here. I was fishing one day with my rod in the pole holder of the dock just waiting for a hit.

A big hefty catfish wont bend this rod double but this day as I watched something in that brackish water instantly pulled my rod double almost to snapping and then the line broke. I use 50 lb line because Iím not about that sporting life. I fish to EAT. Well not this day. Whatever monster did that to my rod left my mouth wide open. I just wish I knew what it was that did it.

My guess is a very large alligator gar. They get huge down here. Like, ďIím swimming in the water and I see this, Iím gonna lose my bowels hugeĒ. But, I will never know which makes the mystery all the more interesting.

(Just in case that wasnít clear enough.)


...


Nothing near that big lives in New Jersey's freshwater.†
When I fish in saltwater I use heavier line because I'm fishing to eat too.† Almost all the freshwater in New Jersey is contaminated with supposedly naturally occurring mercury so keeping freshwater fish here is not a prudent thing to do.† Usually the only place I keep panfish is back in the Pines.† So my freshwater fishing is for sport.  I use line as light as two pound test.  I've landed some very respectable fish on such line.
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Rat Man
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Re: Halo Over My Head
Reply #4 - Jul 5th, 2020 at 1:00pm
 
   BTW, for those who don't know, an Alligator Gar is a  cousin of the Pike, Northern Chain Pickerel, Muskellunge, and Barracuda.
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