In my post of June 28, 2012, I spoke of fishing for (and cooking) “Walleyed Pike.” And of going to Minocqua, Wisconsin, to visit my friend Dan. We were just up in Minocqua again and as in the past Dan and I went fishing and had the best guide in the North Woods, Jim W. After a day on Trout Lake, we had nearly caught our limit. But that’s not the story. . . .
Dan and I each had one of those “aha” or “wow” moments while fishing (actually it was more like a “fasten your seatbelt” moment). It was early afternoon. Hot sun. Cool wind. Suddenly Dan’s line went taut and the pole bent in half. For a good five minutes, it was reel, slack, reel, slack. Dan had hooked a monster. Jim stood ready with the net. And then – as often happens – the line released. The monster fish had gone free. Obvious disappointment.
Then it was my turn. The boat was rocking gently. I was close to dozing. Thinking of dinner. When there was this sharp tug on the line. Eyes snapped open. I pulled and nothing happened. Seaweed I thought. And I relaxed. And then the telltale pull. Then a heavy tug. And a steady drain of line. A fish. A big fish. . . . And I yanked up the rod to set the hook and began reeling. For a few minutes. Reel, slack. Reel, slack. And then I saw it. This huge leviathan rolled upside down. White belly. A yardstick away. It looked to be about six feet long. No seven. Maybe. . . . Anyway, I stared at this giant rolling over and thought of the classic line of Roy Scheider as Chief Brody from the scene in Jaws where the big guy makes his first appearance. He says to Quint “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.“ I had seen Jaws. Right under the boat. And with that, Jaws reared up, ripped the lure off the line and descended into the deep. Aha. Wow!