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The fish you lost in 2022


ol'crickety

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I love the fish I lost in 2022 as much as the ones I caught. Here are a few of them. You'll have to settle for the stories, since I have no photos, of course:

 

I hooked one bass that did something I've never had another bass do. My primary rod is spooled with 17 lb. test and the drag is cranked tight, so it's very hard to take line. Well, I hooked a bass that ran in one direction, did a 180, and ran in the other direction before coming free. What a powerhouse!

 

Speaking of powerhouses, I hooked a bass about five feet from wild rice reeds, which are thick and fibrous. Being a smart lass, she ran into them. I kept my cool and backed my canoe into the reeds, which wasn't easy. I could feel the bass head shaking and my hands were shaking as I plumbed the reeds, trying to find her. She came unbuttoned seconds before I reached my lure. 

 

I hooked a bass far from my canoe and it went airborne. From that considerable distance, I could see her thickness and length. Halfway to my canoe, she went airborne again, landing heavily. At the canoe, she twisted like a yogi and finally popped free.

 

For the grand finale, I hooked three bass in a row that were over 19 inches and all three came free. 

 

With the winter coming, these stories of cool-headed fish who bested me will warm me!

 

 

Do you have a story or three of bass that eluded you too?

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I lost a good many spastic small Spots boat side as I was hoping they came off. But I hooked a really large bass in very shallow water one hot night past August on a Buzzbait. Had about a 1/3 of the moon so I saw the hit and set the hook, she flopped back and forth but I never moved her and she just came unbuttoned. 

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Fishing a new lake in search of some smallmouth bass back in July. Studying the contour map the night before, I picked my first target spot; an island point that runs parallel with a channel that separate the island from a large mid-lake shoal. Prime looking smallmouth spot according to the map.

 

So I get to the lake at sunrise and make a beeline for the island point I saw on the map. When I get there, I’m happy to see a very rocky shoreline, and lots of boulders and riprap under the water.
 

I make a cast with my Megabass PopMax, and immediately something swipes at it when it lands. Pop it a few more times, another non-contact swipe. “Too big for em” I though to myself. So I promptly switch to a Megabass Pop-X, basically a Jr sized PopMax. I made a long cast and placed that popper right next to a large boulder sticking out from the water, dead center of the point, about 3’ out from shore. “That’s gonna be a fish” I said out loud. Popped the PopX once and immediately it gets hammered just like I knew it would. Stuck the fish solidly (or so I thought), and immediately the line heads for the surface.  And when the surface broke, I see what was almost certainly my PB smallie, a giant football tail-walk 10’ across the surface. When I get her next to the boat, my buddy readies the net. She looked like she was gonna give in, only to make a final dart under the boat at sight of the net. She dives, and my line goes limp. A lonely, pathetic little PopX gently floats to the surface, with a treble hook straighten right out.

 

I didn’t say a word for probably 30

mins. Either did my buddy. We just kept on fishing in silence. We ended up having a decent day, but I missed out on a PB smallie, on a cast where I called my shot. I was a little salty after that. Man I wanted that fish in the boat. 

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Mr. 11591, you are great at storytelling. That was riveting. You were sooooooooooooooooo close!

 

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Honestly don't have much to contribute here in the way of bass...hooked 3 so far in the 5lb up class and landed all 3. Also yesterday I caught a 26in ish saugeye which is my biggest walleye type fish of the year. Got her to hand as well.

 

 

Btw I probably just screwed myself for the rest of the year.

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I didn’t loose a noteworthy bass this year (one or two little ones flipped off at the boat).  I did however lose the biggest pike I’ve seen in a long time this spring. Throwing a red craw OG6 in pre-spawn along a rocky weed edge, the pike came up and hammered it right at the boat.  I saw and felt the hooks stick right in the corner of the mouth.  When the fish turned I didn’t have enough give in my setup (locked down drag with braid but only a MF/MH rod) and the snap straightened. The fish was definitely over 40” and I think it would have pushed 48”.

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A 48" pike is huge, the fish of three lifetimes. I've never seen one and I've landed a dozen or so pike over 40 inches. No wonder your snap straightened with all that weight. 

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While up on Erie this last May I lost a good one. We were drifting along about 1 mph fishing jerk baits. I was using a deep diver that worked down around 18' deep. I was stroking the bait when suddenly it stopped dead in the water. I thought I was snagged initially but when the drag started slipping well after I was hung up we realized it was a big fish. She continued to pull drag then suddenly the line went limp. I was devastated because I knew that was a big fish. The hook just simply pulled out & that was that. Bugged me the rest of the day. ?

 

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All my fish were lost fish in 2022. Due to injuries I only got out 3 times and most of the fish I hooked on those 3 days I lost. 
It’s been a sad year?

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10 hours ago, casts_by_fly said:

I didn’t loose a noteworthy bass this year

I didn't either.  I did, however, lose the biggest tiger muskie I've ever seen in August.  I was burning black spinnerbait near the surface and just had made a long cast.  It was overcast and choppy on the water.  I saw that fish take the lure and knew it was big (but not THAT big).  I began to slowly reel it in.  It was staying down.  As it got closer, it surfaced.  That's when my Father and I got a good look at it.  Then it started shaking its enormous alligator-sized head and spit the hook.

 

The biggest pure strain muskie I have caught is 44 inches.  This looked bigger.  Normally the tigers don't grow as big as the pure strains - well this one has.  My best guess is 45-48 inches.

 

That scenario has played out in my head almost every day since it occurred.  What could I have done differently to catch that fish?  Maybe a harder hook set?  They have an iron jaw.  The good news is that I marked where I hooked it on my GPS and I fish that lake fairly regularly.  After that event unfolded, it was silent for a while and then my Father looked at me and said "I think you hooked the biggest fish in the lake."

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2 hours ago, Dwight Hottle said:

While up on Erie this last May I lost a good one. We were drifting along about 1 mph fishing jerk baits. I was using a deep diver that worked down around 18' deep. I was stroking the bait when suddenly it stopped dead in the water. I thought I was snagged initially but when the drag started slipping well after I was hung up we realized it was a big fish. She continued to pull drag then suddenly the line went limp. I was devastated because I knew that was a big fish. The hook just simply pulled out & that was that. Bugged me the rest of the day. ?

 

 

Its okay, it was only a sheepshead.  ?

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12 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

 

Its okay, it was only a sheepshead.  ?

 Coulda been but in four days of fishing we never saw any sheepies. Water was too cold for them yet.  

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I will share my story of the fish I lost in 2022, as soon as the nightmares stop, and I can tell the story without crying.  My wife say's I need to move on, but she doesn't believe letting the Bait Monkey move in the house is the best first step in the healing process.  

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Had a couple that really burned;

 

Last nightly tournament of the year I had a backup co-angler in.  I hooked a very good one that I'd guess was slightly over 3lb on a wacky.  It was doing a good job of pulling drag.  Got it up near the boat and my co-angler donked it on the head with the net and dislodged the hook.  Would probably have been big bass and put us in first for the tournament.

 

Earlier in the year I hooked a very solid bass on one of the new Sleeper Gills.  For the first few seconds it pulled drag, and I knew it was good.  It ended up throwing the hook a few feet from the boat.

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Every time I fish I'm pretty sure I lose at least 1 PB bass ?

 

This past weekend I was out and having great luck trolling a little flicker shad, pedaling along in my kayak at about 2mph.  Using my MF spinning setup with lighter line because the fish seemed a little finicky.  I felt a *thump* and the lure just stopped, drag pulling out at about the same rate as I was moving forward.  Figured I had stuck it straight into a tree, felt exactly like that.  Stopped pedaling and all of the sudden the drag started screaming, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  Whatever freight train that had my lure had decided to leave the station.  Felt one head shake, then another.. then nothing.  Really wish I had at least caught sight of that fish.  Still had the lure on at least.

 

There's some big pike and musky around there, I'm sure it was one of those.  My theory is the trebles on the flicker shad were too small to really stick in a big fish.  Went back to the area after an hour or two and threw a big glide bait around, but couldn't convince whatever it was to hit again.

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Fishing a kayak tournament this summer, I was throwing a large flutter spoon at a big, concrete water intake. I'd caught several large bass off it already, but needed to cull a 17.75" fish out of my bag. Made a perfect cast to the front, bait flutter a couple feet and a fish completely smashed it. Set the hook into a really heavy fish, pulled me down into the mess and popped my 20lb test so fast that I thought the fish had just come off at first. I ended up in 3rd and I'm still very convinced that fish was the one I needed to get the win since I was less than 2" from first. 

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Back in late April I was fishing a spook jr. in a pond.  It was raining off and on so I had my rain jacket on with the hood down at that time.  I made a cast and before I could start to retrieve it starts raining again.  I reach over to pull up my hood, and when I do that, I start moving the rod tip around which moves the spook around out in the lake. A nice bass came up and took it.  I get the bass about half way back to the bank, and it came unhooked.  It would easily have been my largest bass on top this year if I had landed it.

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I see you live in Maine so what I’m going to say is absolutely impossible, but it sounds like a big peacock bass.  They often take long runs and then reverse direction, and of course a few big jumps along the way.  Lol

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I've got a couple "that got away".    

 

The first was a Blue Catfish.  Mrs B and myself were fishing on Lake Wylie in April.  We had caught a few bass going up a creek channel.  There were people swimming ahead of us so I turned the trolling motor to cut across to the other side.  While we were crossing the channel my wife had her flatside CB trolling behind the boat.  Right in the middle of the channel she said "I'm hung on something".   I looked, the water was 25 feet deep so I knew she wasn't snagged since her lure would run 6 feet deep at best.   She done a real good job fighting the fish.   She got it close to the boat once, and it ran again.  The next time I thought it was ready.  It was a big blue cat, too big for my net.  I had my gloves on ready to pull it into the boat.   I grabbed it in the mouth with my right hand.  It wasn't ready.  It twisted/spun and I had to let go.  It got the line wrapped around my hand, and pulled the hooks loose.   I blame myself for that one.  I either should have let it tire some more, or grabbed it with both hands.  The next week, same lake, several miles away she caught a 37 inch long Blue cat that weighed 26 pounds, 15 ounces.   (on the same flatside crankbait)

 

 

The other one I lost a couple weeks later.   I was fishing with my Grandsons.   I hooked something big near a lay down on the main channel.   I hooked it on a spinnerbait 10 feet or so from the boat.   When I set the hook I saw a silver flash.  (it wasn't a flathead, it could have been a blue or channel cat)   It went under the boat, toward the center of the channel.  It never offered to jump or come up, but didn't twist and roll like a cat does.   It was strong and quick, but didn't "feel" as strong as the 50 pound flathead I'd caught a few weeks earlier.   I was keeping pressure on it, getting a little line, then losing a little line for 3 or 4 minutes, then my line just went slack.  It has gotten off.  There wasn't any slime on my line.  Catfish usually twist and roll, and they usually get slime on your line.   I believe the silver flash I saw rules out a big bowfin, or gar.  I suppose I could have snagged a carp somehow, but the chance of snagging a carp with a spinnerbait is slim, just like the chance of a carp hitting a spinnerbait.   I wonder if it was a fairly big spot.  Most of maybe all of the big Largemouths I've caught would surface, and either jump, or stick their head out and shake.  This did neither.   My best Largemouth of this year (7 pounds, 13 ounces) was out of the water nearly as much as it was in, after I hooked it.   My biggest spot, this year (and all time) was 4 pounds, 4 ounces.  It fought like a whale, but this fish was stronger.   If this fish was a spot it was either an exceptionally strong one, or it would have been a new state record.   It could have been a Stripped bass but they're not very common in Lake Wylie these days.   

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2 hours ago, Woody B said:

I've got a couple "that got away".    

 

The first was a Blue Catfish.  Mrs B and myself were fishing on Lake Wylie in April.  We had caught a few bass going up a creek channel.  There were people swimming ahead of us so I turned the trolling motor to cut across to the other side.  While we were crossing the channel my wife had her flatside CB trolling behind the boat.  Right in the middle of the channel she said "I'm hung on something".   I looked, the water was 25 feet deep so I knew she wasn't snagged since her lure would run 6 feet deep at best.   She done a real good job fighting the fish.   She got it close to the boat once, and it ran again.  The next time I thought it was ready.  It was a big blue cat, too big for my net.  I had my gloves on ready to pull it into the boat.   I grabbed it in the mouth with my right hand.  It wasn't ready.  It twisted/spun and I had to let go.  It got the line wrapped around my hand, and pulled the hooks loose.   I blame myself for that one.  I either should have let it tire some more, or grabbed it with both hands.  The next week, same lake, several miles away she caught a 37 inch long Blue cat that weighed 26 pounds, 15 ounces.   (on the same flatside crankbait)

 

 

The other one I lost a couple weeks later.   I was fishing with my Grandsons.   I hooked something big near a lay down on the main channel.   I hooked it on a spinnerbait 10 feet or so from the boat.   When I set the hook I saw a silver flash.  (it wasn't a flathead, it could have been a blue or channel cat)   It went under the boat, toward the center of the channel.  It never offered to jump or come up, but didn't twist and roll like a cat does.   It was strong and quick, but didn't "feel" as strong as the 50 pound flathead I'd caught a few weeks earlier.   I was keeping pressure on it, getting a little line, then losing a little line for 3 or 4 minutes, then my line just went slack.  It has gotten off.  There wasn't any slime on my line.  Catfish usually twist and roll, and they usually get slime on your line.   I believe the silver flash I saw rules out a big bowfin, or gar.  I suppose I could have snagged a carp somehow, but the chance of snagging a carp with a spinnerbait is slim, just like the chance of a carp hitting a spinnerbait.   I wonder if it was a fairly big spot.  Most of maybe all of the big Largemouths I've caught would surface, and either jump, or stick their head out and shake.  This did neither.   My best Largemouth of this year (7 pounds, 13 ounces) was out of the water nearly as much as it was in, after I hooked it.   My biggest spot, this year (and all time) was 4 pounds, 4 ounces.  It fought like a whale, but this fish was stronger.   If this fish was a spot it was either an exceptionally strong one, or it would have been a new state record.   It could have been a Stripped bass but they're not very common in Lake Wylie these days.   

Drum maybe?

 

I lost a possible PB largemouth this past weekend and another the weekend before. Both were at least 4lb probably 5 or more. Both on the same SK bluegill swim jig on the edge of a coontail line next to deeper water. Two completely different lakes. The one last weekend was bigger and jumped 2-3' out of the water. Lost both within 6'of the bank...

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I lost a handful of pretty sizeable prespawn bass this year, but only one still weighs on my mind. I was yo-yoing a lipless in the same pond I caught my two DDs in this year, and I felt that thump. That one that you know isn't a little guy taking a swing at it, but a big girl inhaling the gallon of water around your lure. Loaded the rod up and set into her and she started peeling drag. Tried to keep her down but she came up and jumped and I saw her for the first time, did that big slo-mo lazy backflip the giants tend to do and she was every bit as big as the other two big ones I got from that spot. Stayed pinned and I thought it was in the bag, but she made a second breech not long after and made a big headshake and I saw that lipless fly through the air.....

 

I ended up just sitting down in the grass for a minute to grieve. I've lost a lot of big ones, it's part of the game, but that one is among a few that definitely stung.

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7 hours ago, Jmontgomery87 said:

Drum maybe?

 

I don't think so.  I've never heard of a drum being caught in Lake Wylie or any where else around here.   How far inland will you find Drum?

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