Every anglers nightmare is to have that trophy fish on your line and to lose it over pety equipment malfunctions. I recently last week had a similar event happen to me.
It was right around 8 am at Tarryall Reservoir where I have been actively hunting the Northerns that populate the reservoir. I have heard good stories of people pulling out giant trophy size pike. As of recent rumors that fueled our trip of a 40 lb 42 inch pike retrieved from the inlet by a fly fisherman early July. Knowing that this reservoir is home to a variety of fish to included Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat Trout, hybrid species as the Cutbow [rainbow x cutthroat] and a good population of the beautiful Northern Pike. Which, by the way, have to be along the speciality fish when it comes to meat for cooking.
After careful planning and weeks of study, lake layout and data collections. We decided to worked the west side of the reservoir nearest the inlet. There you will find good ambushing points in the grass and where the water drops off from 3-10 ft. Also a good fishing location for trout, anywhere you find lots of trout gathering you will find pike waiting patiently to strike. The morning was very unactive as the sun started to get higher and warm the waters. I moved location to the north cove just east of the north inlet opposite the dam. I walked out and worked pretty much every inch of the knee to waist deep shallows with my white spinner bait, seen lots of trout, pretty decent in size hiding under grass and weeded areas along the banks. I finally was able to find a good location nearest the inlet casting out towards the dam 60 yards off the west bank in thigh deep waters.
I casted out not knowing what to expect using the SavageGear 3D Duckling [yellow] for the 2nd day. I worked that along with my spinnerbait for hours, had a few followers with no success. the time is now 1030 and the sun is beating down on us with a steady temperature of 71 degrees. Near submission I decided to work a patch of weed near the inlet one last time. Out of NO WHERE i got my first top water strike on my new lure. The hit was undescribable. Having caught 3-5 pound trouts, this strike was strong and with instant bolt action. I started my battle over 15 seconds, heart pounding, I started my retrieve and heard a “SNAP”, to find my rod which was rated med action med weight, broke in three, also having a good amount of tension set on my reel. Leaves me only to believe that I had finally hooked that trophy northern I work 2-3 times a week to catch. I am truly a believer in having the proper tools to handle a fish you can only dream about, then to be unprepared and lose you trophy. I now use green, low visability, 30lbs weight, 12 pound test with a 18″ steel lead. I upgraded to a heavy/medium action fishing rod so something like the situation I have been through does not repeat itself. Better safe than sorry.