Personal best Steelhead

Discussion in 'Fishing+Boating' started by MrTom, Jun 9, 2019.

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  1. Jun 9, 2019 #1

    MrTom

    MrTom

    MrTom

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    Ma and I had to run up to the cabin for a couple days so I threw in the long rod and a box of blade baits so I could cast the breakwater in Two Harbors. Weds was a bust with the wind driving waves into the breakwater and that 40 degree water sloshing on my feet and pants legs got old pretty quick so I went back to the cabin, grabbed Ma and we did a day of "her" stuff....quilt shops, antique shops, etc. Thursday morning I was up at 5 and drove to the breakwater to find Lake Superior absolutely flat. Nary a ripple. I headed out on the wall thinking the morning was perfect for Lake Trout or a wayward Coho. I stopped at my first usual stop and made a couple casts but wanting to be further out where the water is deeper so I headed out there. The first cast was a blank. My second cast was a dandy long one but after 15 seconds of allowing the lure to drop I noticed the line was leaving the spool way faster than it should be for a free-falling spoon, so I closed the bail and let the line tighten. That took all of a second. The fish had hit on the drop and was now headed for Wisconsin.

    This early in the year the fish will be found all thru the water column so I hadn't a clue what hit me but it felt smallish as I reeled in. That lasted until the fish saw the breakwater and turned for cheeseland again. At the end of the 100 yards run it jumped, clearing the water by like five feet. This pretty much confirmed it was not small nor was it a Lake Trout. For the next 10 minutes this fish came in and went out again on blistering runs four more times. I finally saw the flash of pink just as I got the net under the fish only to find I didn't have enough net. Finally I got the fish folded into the net and got it on the walkway. The hooks came out and I was trying to get the fish calmed down so I could get a half a measurement by marking the rod with slime after getting the tail lined up with the butt cap. A finger got too close to the mouth and after chowing down on said finger and going thru a tantrum again I now had nice red blood to mark the rod. Next came the picture which didn't go well. I took a solid tail slap to the stones which almost laid me out. After getting my breath back I managed a shot but found my arm was too short and the whole fish wouldn't fit the frame.

    Steelhead in Minnesota are protected so I needed to get this thing back in the water and after swishing it back and forth holding the tail it energized and took off like a bullet. Now I've caught countless Steelhead in Lake Superior but because of the northshore's extremely cold water I haven't taken any over four pounds. Some places on the lake they'll get larger but in the area I was fishing its very unusual to see a 6 pound Steelie. When I got back to the cabin I grabbed a tape measure and measured the length roughly and very conservatively it was 41 inches. Having handled countless Lake Trout up to 39 pounds I have a fair guesstimate of weight and figured that this Steelhead weighed between ten and twelve pounds. By far this was a person best for this species for me. I've seen way larger Steelhead in Lake Michigan and even pictures of some take near Isle Royale and a couple of Wisconsin rivers during the spawning runs, but I haven't seen a male Steelhead on this shore that large. Ever. Man, what an honor to do battle with a fish like that.

    This picture just doesn't do justice to the length of the fish because the shot was facing down and the last 1/4 of the critter isn't in the picture. I have big hands and the head on this animal eclipses my hand. The rosy colored cheeks from its spawning colors are still visible, the tail was in tatters and the fish was still dumping milt all over so I know its had been in a river spawning not long ago. Catching this fish was an absolute treasure for me.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jun 9, 2019 #2

    ShawnT

    ShawnT

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    Beautiful Fish! Congrads on the catch! I would love to get into catching some of those. My Brother and I can't wait for our Walleye Trip to Erie in Sept.
     
  3. Jun 9, 2019 #3

    edmehlig

    edmehlig

    edmehlig

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    Wow what a fish and great story! You hat sure made your day.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2019 #4

    dbowling

    dbowling

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    great story and nice fish..
     
  5. Jun 9, 2019 #5

    BuckDoeHunter

    BuckDoeHunter

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    Congrats! Very Nice:lewis:
     

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