Fished over at Spruce Run Reservoir on Friday, October 11, 2013 with Zach Batren in some cloudy, overcast, and rainy weather (Sounds like fishing weather to me!). We met up at Spruce Run around 1:30 p.m. and got our first lines into the water around 1:45 p.m at one of the coves on the Northern side of the reservoir, and had a six rod spread between the two of us. We were using live Herring fished on the bottom with a basic rig consisting of an egg sinker, barrel swivel, short leader, and a hook. After not even ten minutes, I was into a fish, which turned out to be a nice 4-lb Channel Catfish, probably around 22 or 23-inches. It didn’t give much of a fight since it swam towards me for pretty much the entirety of the fight, but still a good way to start any fishing trip! After that, we kept getting constant hits on almost all of our rods for a good hour or so until the action seemed to die down for a bit. Then out of nowhere one of my rods doubles over and I’m into a nice fish with a lot of fight in it. At first I thought it was a big Channel Catfish judging from the fight, until I saw it jump and was able to see it was a nice big 17-inch Smallmouth Bass.
After a hard fight; with several strong drag peeling runs, and not one, not two, but five jumps where it went completely airborne, we were able to net it. That Smallmouth was definitely a nice surprise for the day, especially seeing as it took a dead Herring that was meant for catfish.
After that the action slowed down for a little bit again, with the occasional hit here and there. Though just as we got used to the lull in the action, Zach B. was into another fish that took another dead Herring. We weren’t sure what exactly it was that he had hooked since it wasn’t fighting too much, but after we got it in closer we were able to identify it as a Northern Pike. While it wasn’t anything huge, it was still a nicely sized and beautifully colored 25+ inch Pike. We were definitely making out with a good mixed bag of fish up until this point with one Channel Catfish, one Smallmouth Bass, and now one Pike landed, though we released the Smallmouth as well as the Pike.
After that the action really slowed down for the next few hours, other than a few more hits we got but the hook didn’t set well so we lost the fish, as well as a snapping turtle I reeled in. Our next landed fish was a little while later after dark. Zach B. hooked into something just as the sun slipped under the horizon, and he was able to wrestle in another nice Channel Catfish; almost identical in size to the one i landed when we first started fishing. A few minutes after we finished up with netting and unhooking that fish and Zach got his line back out into the water, I was into another fish which ended up being another Channel Catfish, a little smaller than our other two. Maybe about a half an hour after that, I got a hit on one of my lines and my line snapped right after I set the hook, which was another disappointment on top of all the missed hits we had earlier in the day. After that I got my line back into the water, and about an hour after that Zach was into another fish. Now landing this fish started off normal, but ended up being one of the weirdest and most confusing ways to land a fish I’ve had all year. At first we weren’t sure what he had on the line, and at one point Zach thought he had lost the fish, but luckily it was only swimming towards him. Anyways, once we got it close enough we were able to see it was a nice big 31-inch Northern Pike with a good amount of girth to him.
But the weirdest part came after we landed it and realized that Zach’s hook wasn’t in the fish at all, but about 10-feet away tangled in another fishing line which had the hook attached to the fish, and we decided was definitely one of mine since it was the same exact line, swivel, leader, and hook I was using. So we assumed that the Pike had somehow taken one of my other lines without us noticing and gone right over to Zach’s line and his hook snagged my line. But I then reeled in my lines to see which one it was, and it wasn’t any of mine that I had out, which means that it was the line I had that broke off an hour earlier after setting the hook. This in turn meant that the same fish that my line had broken off on was in the same area for one whole hour, and Zach’s hook had somehow managed to snag my line trailing behind the fish while it was going by. Now what are the chances of that?! Definitely was one of the weirdest coincidences I’ve ever had happen while fishing to this day. I think it’s only fair to give Zach B. the credit for the catch, but I came in with the assist and we both get to add another crazy fish story to our collection!
A little while after that, we decided to call it a night at 8:30 p.m. after getting two Northern Pike up to 31-inches, one 17-inch Smallmouth Bass, three Channel Catfish to 4-lbs, and missing countless other fish that hit our lines. As usual, both the Pike and the Bass were all released. But as for the catfish, those were dinner! Definitely one of the weirder days I’ve had fishing in a while, but we definitely got some nice fish and despite the amount of missed hits we can’t really complain one bit about the outcome of our day.