The family tradition of first fish of the year went to me this year. It was a late start to to the fishing season this year. We made the decision to move to Northwest Kansas at the end of 2015 and I stayed on with my employer to train my replacement through the third week in January.
We had some strange weather this winter. The ice never got thick enough to go out on but it kept enough ice on the lakes to keep people from fishing.
Finally a few weeks ago I started fishing. The first two trips were flops, but I started hearing that there were some fish being caught at a lake near my parents.
On one of the nicest days we had in February I drove over to check out the lake. I called my mother on the way. She decided to meet me on the dam and fish with me.
It wasn't long before the hearsay became reality. I had caught my first fish of 2016. It was 14 1/2 inch saugeye. My 3 year old daughter was fishing right beside me. I continued to catch 2 more saugeye before Mom showed up.
We spent the day basking in the sun, casting, and catching. My daughter got to reel in several fish.
Then it came. I made a long cast, waited for the jig to hit the bottom and as soon as I lifted the rod, BAM! This was a harder hit than the short fish we had been pulling in. The fish came straight to the surface like a bass. I held my rod tip low, just like I would if a bass was trying to jump. Instinct I guess. We saw the fish a good ways out swirl at the surface. It was a good size saugeye. Keeper for sure. My heart was racing as I kept the fight going.
Mom thought I lost the fish when it swirled. Fortunately, I had not lost it. I scanned the rocks I was standing on for the best place to land a big fish. Something flat with shallow water. I have lost a lot of walleye at the end of a fight when I have went to grab them in the rocks. You are in and awkward position.
I found my spot and brought the fish in. I bent down and grabbed my line to get the fishes head up. My line snapped. Like a cat I lept for the fish. One foot went into the cold water and my hand grabbed right between the dorsal fin and the gill. I gripped and pulled the Saugeye out of the water.
He went a good 5 inches beyond my 18 inch measuring board. Fish was on the menu.
We caught a crappie, bass and tons of other short saugeye throughout the rest of the afternoon.
It is great to have fishing season back in gear for 2016.
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