Share your story of the one that got away! We all have likely plenty of examples!
The one that got away
Fishing a beautiful north wood's Lake today! Clear water....Huge tree in the water. Casting the edges and then BAM. Big fish on. Near all the brush! Horse it in, but also leave a bit of give....drag...6 pound line. Then I see it....HUGE SMALLIE. Get it near the boat after a struggle, keeping it out of the brush. It's going nuts. Lip it. Gets away. Secure my line. Lip it again. Lift it a bit. Splashes off. Fish trashing. Nowhere to go but in the sticks. Lip it a third time....slips away. Then.... nothing....line breaks! And, then I realized that all I had to do was turn around and grab my net....just didn't realize how close it was! Was too focused on keeping the giant out of the brush.
It was hard to take the next cast! Nothing could compare. But, brush it off, keep fishing, and try not to let it bother you too much....there's a lot more to life than any fish. But, at the time, it hurts!!!
I have two that I can think of,
Flathead catfish one night on the fox river near Omro, there where a lot of boats fishing that night and a snag in front of me so I had limited room to fight a fish. Sure enough the lightest rod goes and I feel the power and tried to stop him but he got hung up and broke the line.
Walleye first ice, I had him up to the hole but just couldn't get ahold of him and the hook popped out. I still have nightmares about seeing it swim away under that 3 inches of clear ice.
Many years ago I was fishing Forest Lake in Waukesha County in chest waders. I was reeling in a decent sized bluegill when a big northern hit it no more than 6 or 7 feet from where I was standing. I watched as it was turning the gill in order to swallow it. I must have flinched as the pike quickly dropped the gill and darted away.
Back about 25-30 years ago a cousin of mine owned the Hideaway bar on Okauchee lake. We would visit my aunt, uncle and cousin there a couple times during the summer. Me being a young teenager I didn’t want to sit in the bar so I always brought a fishing pole and spent most of the day fishing around the docks. One particular time I was reeling in a bluegill and outta nowhere a huge northern darts in and grabs the gill on the end of my line. I felt a quick tug and it bit my line off and was gone. I can still remember my knees shaking from adrenaline, first time I saw something like that!
One common theme we all share-once you lose that big fish, it's really hard to keep fishing that day! The pain goes away, but not for a while!!!
My son wanted me to share this story, but it doesn't belong in the Halls of this thread. Anyways, carp fishing on Lac LaBelle in Oconomowoc about 20 years ago. Right below a dam that connects up to Fowler. Man, I can still smell that smell. A good smell of churning water. Anyways, we loved to shine for big carp and fish for them there. Had some corn on. Forgot to open the bail. Had a big Ugly Stick rod that was lying on the concrete block and then I saw it wiggle two or three times. Then, all of a sudden, it instantly rocketed in the air right into the water never to be seen again! I made a half hearted lunge, but there was no way I would have caught that thing. It bulleted into the water so fast, it was quite remarkable. Must have been a really nice fat La Belle carp!
To all who have posted..........WE FEEL YOUR PAIN !!!!
Okay, theirs been in a few. One stands out. Vacationing with a then a young family in the Hazelhurst area,renting a cabin on a lake void of walleye and musky.Decided to awake early and trailer boat to better waters. While on a class A lake a violent thunder storm kicks up. Quick dash back to the launch , in my haste must have hit the power door locks on the mini van. Van running, trailer in water, locked out! There is nothing around this launch(cell in vehicle) looking for a rock to break cheapest window when another fisherman shows up to launch. He cannot as i have it occupied. Using a planner board and another gadget able to get out of there. Decided to put boat in lake we had cabin rented on.First night found a deep weed edge, set up with slip bobbers and leaches.After catching a 23" and 17'' walleye hooked into a 14'' class bass. While half heartily reeling it in a sudden thump and a drag pulling force taking the bass to the bottom? My ugly stick and 8 pound line could not budge whatever latched onto that bass. I still wonder???
Tipup fishing a small lake in Manitowoc county with my dad and kids- we were getting a lot of flags, typical small northern and bass. We were catching enough that we started letting the kids just get them by themselves.
A flag goes up and my daughter is pulling pretty hard, she said it felt like a bunch of weeds so we just stand back as she lifted them out of the hole.
She gets to the leader and lifts the “weeds” straight up out of the hole, and it’s a big walleye (upper 20”s) and gets it just out of the hole- SNAP! Down it goes before we could get to it or say a word. We still joke about that one.
Back in the snagging days I was up on the golf course at Little River. I cast into a small sized pool and ripped into a big king. It leaped out of the water at least 3 or 4 feet high right in front of me. I could even see the hook in its back. I had a lot of experience in snagging and caught a lot of big ones but this one was WAY larger than any I had ever even seen. It looked like 48 inches. Splashed back down and gone. I will have that picture in my head till I die. I dont think I have ever seen another king that big, it was a freak. This was about 1977 or 78 when the kings grew to max size.
Bugle Trout's first post about losing the 30 lb. salmon got me thinking about my days fishing Lake Michigan tributaries for fall run salmon.
For about 8 years I would take one day each fall to fish salmon. One fish that I could have lost, should have lost, but eventually ended up catching was a king that measured a little over 43" and was in the low 30 lb range or so. During the battle, the fish stripped the teeth on the main brass drive gear of my Garcia 6500C. I could only gain line by jiggling my reel handle until I re-engaged good teeth, then crank 75% of a reel handle turn. The fish would pull out drag, I would barely make ground. This continued on for quite awhile, pulling me downstream through 7 pools and over 7 riffles. I eventually caught up to the fish, pulled it into shallow water, measured it, photographed it, and then released it. It was the most exhausting fish battle that I can remember. It truly was a fish that should have gotten away.