The guys I fish with are very competitive (as I am myself), so we had to have a fishing tournament even though it usually ends in arguments. The entry money was low, but bragging rights huge! Knowing what was at stake, I figured we needed a secret weapon. I brought one a couple years ago and it worked brilliantly, knocking out one of our competitors for a full day. This year it also knocked out one of our competitors, but at the high cost of a pretty serious brawl and some ill will :-(. Next year the secret weapon might be some aroma therapy or mediation books :-).
When we arrived Wednesday evening, we went straight out on the lake. The first four casts yielded 4 hits and 2 fish. Great start to the trip! The lake was beautiful as was the weather.
Lake Placid in Hayward, Wisconsin
Turtles sunning themselvesSo the fishing tournament was our boat vs. my buddies brothers boat. It really wasn't fair because they had three fishermen in their boat and we only had two, but we took the challenge anyway :-). Day one we ended up winning. Day two we also won. Day three they requested we go double or nothing and we agreed. They are actually better fishermen than us so the likelihood of us winning three days in a row was slim. We fished hard all day and with an hour to go in the tourney, we were one fish behind. Our competition was getting tired of fishing and went in giving us an hour to pull out a victory. The next thirty minutes didn't even yield a hit so we went back to the method that worked the first night. Rubber worms, drug slowly across the bottom. The fish were sluggish so when they hit, you had to be patient. In years past, when the fish hit, you would count to two, set the hook and that we pretty much that. This year when they hit, you had to wait until the second hit, give the line a little slack, wait for the third hit, put slight pressure on the line then on the fourth hit, set the hook and reel like hell.
One of many large mouth bassWith 20 minutes to go, I caught the tying fish using that method. Then with 10 minutes to go, I caught the winning fish. I was removing the hook thinking of a funny blog pic to take kissing the fish or something, when the fish flapped hard enough that I lost my grip and ended up with one of the other hooks in my ring finger just below the fingernail. Pain and panic ensued as I had a flopping fish hanging from my finger. I managed to grab some pliers and hold the lure while my buddy dropped the anchor, then cut the fish away from me. Then I cut the lure away from my finger and inspected the damage. The nail was in tact but the hook was lodged in there pretty good. I tried to shove the barb through, but it hurt too bad so we went to the ER. They were backed up so they checked me in and suggested we go out to dinner and come back. We went out for pizza and beer with the hook still in my finger. It didn't hurt except for when I would brush it against things.
This fish was hooked in the middle hook, my finger on the top hook
Picture on the way to ERIn the ER, the doc gave me a lidocaine shot right in the tip of my finger. It hurt like hell for about three seconds then it was numb. He shoved the barb through, cut the hook and that as it. As a bonus, my tetanus shot is now up to date :-) All is well now and I have a good fishing story to boot.