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That Place


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We all have one. The place you have looked at a couple times while you are fishing and thought it might hold a nice fish. The place you never quite get around to fishing because there are spots closer and easier to fish calling your name.

This morning was the day I was going to fish that place. I hit the water at first light. It was quite foggy this morning. I was getting close to the place and I stopped and evaluated the area.


The hole looks best to me on the side with the big tree on it. I thought there might be some thing laying along the roots of the tree nearest the water on the left. There was a small rock bar on the right side that funneled the water left. It looked like there was a nice deep cut right along the tree. This photo is taken downstream. I looped downstream and came upstream so I could cover that fast deep run near the the tree.

The banks are weed covered and it is almost impossible to cast from the bank. I needed to get in the water to attack this hole properly. I had never fished this run before so I was over cautious coming up to it. I was wise to be that way too because as I suspected there was a deep fast run right along the bank near the big tree that would have easily went over my waders.

I positioned myself to cast tight to the bank on the big tree side. My cast was true and above the root system about 10 feet. I started my retrieve and all of a sudden I was hooked up on what I thought was a log or the roots. I gave the pole a couple shakes and it did not come out. I reached up to pull my line with my hand. I thought this was for sure a deposit of a lure. I had the line in my hand and gave it a gentle pull.

The snag suddenly came to life. I had a fish on and it came screaming down stream at me at Mach 8. I did my best to reel up the slack as quickly as possible. I had a fish on but had not felt its power yet to evaluate its size. This quickly changed. The fish just kept going downstream. My drag was screaming and it just kept going. I reached down and tightened my drag slightly. The fish did not stop. I was trying to turn it. I switched from side to side to try side pressure on it. It finally turned around and came upstream. It was not tired.

It took off upstream and ran off about 40 yards of line. I have never had on such a powerful fish. I had not seen it yet. It made me question if I had a trout on or maybe a big northern or a catfish. The waterway is the largest in Richland County and many big cats and pike have been caught through the years. I could not control this fish at all.

It finally did what I was hoping it wouldn't do. It took a power run directly at the the big tree and the unseen root system that had to be at the base of the tree. I couldn't control it.and it went right under the tree. I could feel it trashing under there but the line was clearly entangled in the roots. This fish was obviously huge and I wanted get it in the net or at the minimum get to see it.

I waded right up to the root system. The water was nearly over my chest waders. I reached up under the tree and felt for the line. I followed it to the snout of the fish. The fish was hooked in the upper jaw near the end. It had 2 hooks in the beak and was hooked securely. I still could not see the fish. I reached back and felt the fish. This thing was enormous. It was bigger than any trout I had ever caught in my life. I started getting nervous. I felt the entire length of the fish. This thing was wrapped in the roots badly. I was reaching with my right arm and was trying to guide the trout through the roots to get it unstuck. I almost had it out.... I had one more root mess to get it through. I needed to get its head through it and it was out. I was doing this all by feel. I had to turn its head slightly to get it out. All of sudden it went ballistic and I swear it turned and bit my hand on purpose. It hurt like crazy and I pulled my hand out.


My arm was out of the roots and that was all the fish needed. It blasted out of the roots system and took off upstream like a rocket. I was out of position and didn't get the rod up quickly enough and the line went limp. I reeled back in what I thought was a broken line and this is what I found on my line.


This trout that I didn't even get to see had straightened 2 hooks on a size 9 panther martin and had escaped. It took a bite out of my right index finger in the process. As I walked back to the vehicle I snapped a couple photos My last thought as I drove away was: "It would have been really nice to actually see the Monster Trout."

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