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Duffman

What's more aggravating?

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Losing a beast after you have both seen it and fought it for a while?

 

Or fighting a mystery giant that you never lay eyes on to confirm what it is and how big before it gets off?

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Posted (edited)

Of course the one you never laid eyes on.  Had a few nice heavy pulling Walleyes and Lakers lost.  I think? :huh:   

To me seeing them is kind of like Catch and Release kind of. :wacko:

Edited by leech~~

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Not sure....  Of all the fish I've lost though, two stand out.

 

Had a muskie on a couple years ago, the wife muffed the net job and it teeter-tottered on the edge of the net for a second, then my line snapped.  It was smaller than Pike I've caught but it would have been my first muskie and I've been cursed ever since.

 

When I was about 13 I was bored with the incessant Lindy rigging associated with grandpa's walleye fever and was chucking a silver wiggle wart crank.  Something hit it like a Mack truck, my pole bent in half, the drag started smoking and I got spooled.  Never saw it.

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Part of me thinks the one you never see, because you always wonder what it was. But in reality, the ones that I've caught a glimpse of are the ones that make me throw a spazz.

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I'm in the camp that says they are pretty much the same level.... Especially if the line breaks rather than them just coming unhooked.   

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Posted (edited)

Any time your line breaks, (breaks, not bit off) it is solely operator error. That would make it the most aggravating. 

Edited by roony

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I would have to say for me it is more aggravating when I don't see what's on the other end of the line opposed to the one that you see and gets away.  I can remember many fish that got off at the boat but those don't bother me as much as what could have tugged that hard or been unable to move off the bottom.

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I have calmed myself by saying "it's better to have them on and lose them than to never have them on at all". That only helps a little bit though. 

The time that stands out most vividly was once I had about a ten inch creek chub on for bait and something hit it down about 25 feet. I waited a few minutes to set the hook and the fight was on. That fished towed my 14 foot crestliner all over that little lake. He started coming up and then there was nothing, just the lips of that creek chub on my hook. 

 

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I have a harder time with the ones I don’t see.  I have 4 memorable fights with monsters that stretch back to when I was a kid riding my bike to the river on the weekends to last year in Ely.

 

Each one still gets brought up from time to time by the people who were fishing with me.  They’re kinda like legends in our own minds. B)

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, roony said:

Any time your line breaks, (breaks, not bit off) it is solely operator error. That would make it the most aggravating. 

Not every time. When fishing for walleyes I never use a steel leader but do attract a fair number of northerns to bite. Once that happens, it is just luck that the line doesn't cross its teeth and get cut. We have also caught them this way and wondered how they didn't get loose. My brother caught one last week about 34" in which the jig was lodged in its throat. All we could see was the jig head. Unfortunately, where we were fishing, a 34" northern was illegal to keep so we had to cut the line and hope it will survive. How that mono leader didn't get bit off is a mystery to us. 

 

Never mind. I didn't comprehend your entire post. My bad and I agree with you. 

Edited by BobT

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For me it would be not seeing it before you line breaks just cause you dont know how big or what you even had.

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23 hours ago, roony said:

Any time your line breaks, (breaks, not bit off) it is solely operator error. That would make it the most aggravating. 

 

I’ll give ya that one too.

 

Of my 4 “legends” the first two were at the Coon Rapids Dam back when you could fish almost anywhere.  On the west side tight to the corner of the wall was a bit of an eddy.  One week apart to the hour (6 am) I hooked the beasts on a crawler.  The first time I got the fish coaxed down to the rocks for landing it.  Still hadn’t seen it after a true 30 minute fight.  I got to see a boil on the surface from its tail, something like 3 feet or more behind where the line entered the water - right before the hook popped out.  After 30 minutes it was over that quick.

 

The next week the fish just marched right out to what we called “the fence”.  It was an instant snag spot some 50+ yards out rumored to be a sunken fence but was probably a tree.  No matter, nothing ever came free from it, including that fish I had no control over.  We were carp fishers so hard fights were the norm.  These two or maybe same one were something else.  I think Catfish Hunter.

 

The operator errors were:

 

Fishing a bass tournament on Clearwater with drop shots WAY before drop shots were a thing.  We were crushing a school of hawgs.  One of those spots the size of your boat or less.  We loaded the boat with 4 lb average fish when I hooked this toad that wouldn’t come up enough to see even in that water.  My partner/competitor even knew right away it was something he needed to pay attention to and grabbed the net without me asking.  The fish was directly under the boat when the breeze caught it and pulled us away from the fish.  The fish didn’t move though and my drag was too tight.  POP!  My partner did the most heads up net man move I’ve ever seen to this date. As soon as the line broke he swung the net over to the other side of the boat and jammed into the water in the hopes the fish was high enough and slow enough for him to get it. Nope, sorry for your loss.

 

Thats the fish that taught me the most about managing my drag.

 

And the last (bear with me):

 

Ely last year I was doodling a 3 inch paddle tail around the edge of a weed bed on a 6.5 foot MH baitcasting rig with 20 lb Power Pro mated by swivel to 20 lb flouro leader to the jig.  A light bite and quick vertical  hookset turned into fish ripping out of the weeds for about 15 feet then turning around and rocketing back into the weeds at warp speed.  Not wanting the fish to bury itself, I thumbed the peeling drag but couldn’t stop it.  I thumbed harder till the line broke, not even slowing it down.

 

Hindsight says I shoulda taken my chances with the weeds but the 1.5 second battle didn’t give me enough time gauge what what I was tied into!

 

I liked reading the other actual stories posted so I thought I’d share some details of mine.  Good luck out there!

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I use to fish the dam back in 1980, You could catch most anything there but, yes, carp ruled. 

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Definitely feel better when I can see the fish. The mystery fish that still haunts me to this day actually happened to my wife, about 12 years ago. We were fishing from shore below the dam at leech lake. And she hooked into something big! At the time, she was as novice as they come, so I’m coaching her how to fight the fish for a few minutes. Because of the way the shoreline was, I decided I couldn’t hand grab the fish, or have her swing it to shore, so I made a mad dash to get the net out of my truck. Curse that place for putting the parking lot so far away from the water. When I got to my truck, I heard the scream that can only be made from a fisherman who just lost a big fish. Being a lifetime fisherman, I had just assumed she knew the basics of playing a fish. So I figured she would keep a tight line while I was getting the net. She did not. She just held the pole and basically let the fish swim wherever it wanted, until it threw the hook, or it just fell out. I’m convinced it was a big Muskie, but we’ll never know.

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Never being able to see the fish is always heartbreaking.. I dont mind break-offs next to the boat as long as i've had a good look at the fish, and it's not a PB!

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