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Scott M

The One That Got Away on Sag

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Scott M

I've never had a "one that got away" story from a significant fish, but it all changed yesterday. I was out on Sag...I always come up the same time, mid-July, each year and fish. In 5 years, I think I've gotten 4 walleyes in the eater size, but never the stud fish everyone talks about on that lake.

2 hours passed, it was about 10 a.m.....we were by an Island, the name of it escapes me. I was using the old red beads with a red hook and a Leech. I felt it hit right away and dropped the line immediately, mentally my head went "plink" and I dropped the line, it was a walleye bite no doubt. I let it run for a good half minute, stripping some line out while we backtrolled. I reeled up the slack and set the hook and knew I stuck her.

She bolted for the deep water, but not immediately. Like all big fish I was first concerned I had a snag. But when it started to move I knew I had a piggie.

It started pulling line out and my fishing partner figured I was snagged. He kept us in reverse. It kept pulling out line for a couple minutes. Thinking my drag was a little too loose, I tightened it up a notch and tried to turn the head. Meanwhile we were still in reverse. "Pop."



Gone. The leader snapped.

I have no doubt, that while I didn't see the fish, it would have been a new personal best, a fish for which I could have finally earned a replica mount.

5 years on that lake and I finally got my bite. Everything went to plan, but then my head went to mush and I tightened the drag. You just can't horse those piggies on medium to light tackle.

I learned my lesson although I still wish my partner would have shifted out of reverse. When I captain the boat, if anyone has a fish large or small when live bait rigging we stop and let them play it out.

I'll be back to Sag again in the future, but it is heartbreaking to wait this long to get the bite I've been counting on and then ruin it when I was so close. That was my goal...a 20+" Smallie or a 30+" Walleye.

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Fishing Junky

I know the feeling. My Bro in law had a hawg on up at Sag while we were slip bobbering. He doesn't get out to fish much, but had a nice hookset on this one. I managed to clunk the fish over the head about three times with the landing net before he got off. I never felt like a bigger fool in my life and he was bummed out. I did however redeem myself the next day when I landed his 27 inch, which he really enjoyed. Not a hawg, but his personal best. Hang in there, you'll get your mount if you spend any time at all on Sag. Just takes time and patients. Junky............

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Boy Junky remind me to never tel you to "Get the net". wink.gif

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Man Your bringing back some bad Memories for me as well - Had My First chance at a true 30 incher and Dad clonkes the fish on the head 3 times with the net and she swims away. He felt pretty bad but Sh** happens

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Fishing Junky


Boy Junky remind me to never tel you to "Get the net".

Lol. Was havin' a real bad day that day.

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Reminds me of my best friend years ago when we fished Basswood. He was new to Walleyes and was used to the east coast fishing and heavy tackle. He hooks up with a hawg and horses it in quickly and the line snaps before we can see the fish, so he says " aw shucks, if I could have only seen the fish". About 2-3 hours later he hooks up again, and he proceeds to horse the fish up. This time the fish comes up, shows us his monster mouth, flares sideways, snaps the line and heads back to the depths. All three of us in the boat just sat down and did not say a word. He did get his wish though, he saw the fish!

On the encouraging side, I fished Basswood for 12-14 years without a fish over 5 lbs, and it took me a couple of years to figure out Sag, but the hawgs did come on Sag, with a 29 and two 28's coming within a year plus I netted a very nice 32" for a friend. Like the other person said, if you fish Sag, you will get a hawg. Good luck!

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Reminds me of a few years back on the North Channel of Northern Light Lake about a mile from the rail portage to Sag. Was dragging a crawler on a live bait rig in about 25' of water and hooked into something very big. After about 30 minutes of taking drag and making it back, the line came in minus the hook and the fish. Later that day our two boats landed a 31, a 30, two 29's and a 28 about 300 yards from the same spot of the missing hook and fish in a timeframe of less than two hours. None of those were half the fight of the one that never was.

After that I better understood why many of the guides on Sag portage over to Northern Light. The largest I've seen from our clan was a 33.5". My wife's first fish/walleye on her first outing on Northern Light four years ago was a 27.5". She found it hard to believe that it took me four years to make that mark.

There are some real hawgs up in those part of the woods. I've always dreamed of what never made to the boat that day.

Go North

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