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SteveD

Another Nice St Croix Channel

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The St Croix channel cats are finally hungry. It was another nice night, still a bit cool in the wind off the water, partly cloudy, E wind 3 - 8 mph, sunset was at 8:42 pm. Moon is waning with 94% illumination. The St Croix is still falling and is at 679' (normal pool elevation is 675). Some of the islands are showing their sand beaches and I'm sure those areas will all have tents on them this weekend.

I set up on a favorite backwater at 7:00pm and baited up both rods with cut bullhead. About 7:30 after no action for a half hour I decided to use one rod to try for some other cut bait possibilities. I put a nightcrawler on my bait rod and immediately caught a small sheepshead. I threw the sheepie in the bait bucket and was fishing with the bait rod again when I heard the cut bait rod in the rod holder buckle over - it got slammed so hard that the rod holder pivoted all the way down. I lunged for the rod and grabbed it with the drag just singing. I knew it was a big fish right away but I had never seen a channel fight like this thing was. I thought I might have a nice flathead or a sturgeon.

When I got the fish up to the boat I couldn't believe the size of this channel. I've got a huge net and I missed him on the first try but I got him back close a second time and slid him into the net. My first thought was that I had caught Humpty Dumpty - the thing looked as fat as it was long. Kind of like a 34 inch football. He measured out at 34" X 22.5" - a personal best channel for me.

I got all excited and I don't know what I did to my camera but somehow I inadvertantly turned off the flash. It is a new camera and I'm not very good with it. I couldn't get the flash to work and the pictures sucked. There was still enough light to get some shots without the flash but they were not as good of photos as I wanted. I shot some pics the best I could under the conditions.

By now I've had the fish out of the water longer than I wanted and I was just focused on getting him back in the water. I got him back in the water and revived him to watch him swim away. Then I realized that I had not weighed him - I bought this new scale just for this type of situation but I was so focused on releasing the fish I didn't get a weight. All I can tell you is that he was heavy.

That was the only fish I got all night but it was a beaut. I quit at 10:00 pm when the wind picked up a little. Here is a pic of the fish:

5-22Best.jpg

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Nice Sumo Kitty Steve!

I gotta guess that one is pushing 20lbs.

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A fat, fat 34" is definitely in that 20lb range. That one might even be more judging by the photo.

And I agree about the photo too, very nice!!

Sweet fish!

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That's a pig. Looks like a great night to be out judging by the mirrored water.

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Nice channel Steve D and great report!

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Wow, that fish is HUGE! The way channels fight, I bet that was a challenge to land single-handedly! Nice job, great report (again, very detailed), and good pic. Any turtles?

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Thanks, Darren. It helps to see the fish better. I have to figure out how to do that myself. I appreciate your help with the photo.

Steve

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