Reply by: Santiago84 Posted: 7/14/2019 6:32:53 AM Points: 3747
When I was about 13 I was night fishing at Steamboat lake and I hooked into an absolute lunker. All I ever saw was the tail, but I believe it was a big old brown. It was peeling drag for a few minutes and then when I finally got him close to shore my trusty Dalmatian Spike ran into the water to investigate the thrashing. He started pawing at the fish, the line snapped and it was all over. I think about that dog and that fish often.
Reply by: Mr. Fly Fisherman Posted: 7/14/2019 8:34:38 AM Points: 154
When I was 10, I was fly fishing at 11 mile one night, and I hook the biggest fish I had ever seen at the time. It was a gigantic brown! The battle was long and exciting. I got it all the way into netting distance, but my net man hit the line and it was all over.
Reply by: bluecreek Posted: 7/14/2019 9:18:05 AM Points: 411
Nearly 5 years ago my father and I were icing Granby off dike 3, he hooked into a 30+" Laker, I successful landed his for him. Got back to my hole and dropped my tube down and hooked into another monster. Got his head to the hole, dad made a few attempts to pull him out but eventually the shank of the hook straightened out and off he went. Very large head, may have been my personal best laker, but will never know. My dreams tell me it was a 40"!
Reply by: ark angler Posted: 7/14/2019 10:29:10 AM Points: 380
A couple of years ago I was ice fishing on maybe 2” of early ice when I hooked a fish in 3 or 4 feet of water. Because the ice was so thin, I only brought my 6” hand auger. When I got the fish close to the hole, I could tell that it was huge. I’ve seen the fish that live below the Taylor dam and at the toilet bowl on the frying pan, I fished wheatland #3 in Wyoming but I had never seen a trout that size. I played him for a while and got him up to the hole and his head would not fit through the 6” hole. In retrospect, I should have put the rod in the holder with the bail open and used my spud bar to enlarge the hole but my mind was racing and for some reason, I was the only one on the lake. So I reached my hand down the hole and tried to horse him out. The line (4 lb test) snapped immediately and I had him pinned under the ice with my left hand. We stayed that way for a few minutes before I realized there was nothing I could do but let go and say goodbye. An hour later a guy came out and was fishing deeper and told me “I just saw a 30 + inch fish” I asked if it was a pike and he said, no a trout. I didn’t have to call bullshit and left with my arm wet up to my shoulder.
Runyon Lake in Pueblo has some whopper catfish. As I believe, Stem Beach Lk S of Pueblo has the record for channel cat. Anyway, I'm fishing Runyan at night using my fave, beef liver and I latch into a nice cat and get him in. Unfortunately, I forgot my stringer and used mono connected to a stick to anchor him. Next thing you know, I see this thing thrashing in the light of the lamp. I run over and a huge snapping turtle has a liplock on my cat. I proceed to bonk the turtle headwise until he releases his wannbe easy meal. Then I see the cat slowly slip away as the turtle broke thru the mono. All I'm left with is the story...
Not sure if it was the biggest fish but definately the best story. Fishing twin buttes in WY a few years ago. Middle of summer and fishing was extreamly slow. We were trolling and i let my first pole out and just set it in the back of the boat while i let my second rod out. About halfway through getting my second pole out, my first one literally flew out the back of the boat. I laid my second rod down to try and save my first rod. As soon as i realized i couldnt reach it and it was gone my second rod flew out the back also. Needless to say i lost about $250 of gear in 2 minutes. i still go back hoping to catch a fish with a pole on the other end.
This isnt the one that got away. Almost 30 yrs ago I was waiting for a friend to show up for an all nighter at the Mile--in Sucker Cove. It was about 6pm with murkey water as the wind was calming after blowing in hard all day. I was just sitting there-not even fishing--just chilling after the drive up. I watched what i thought was a water rat slowly swimming towards the shore. As it got to within 6 ft from shore-I noticed the spots. It was the biggest Brown i have ever seen. Its back was partially out of the water and it was as big as a full grown lab. If I had my net handy-I could have nabbed him. I had nothing rigged up yet. I just watched in amazement as it slowly swam off--never to be seen again. That thing had to be 40 lbs at the very least. Probably died of old age.
Reply by: panfishin Posted: 7/15/2019 8:25:43 AM Points: 7842
I was fishing Spinney out of my float tube off of Cheerio Beach, working along the the seedbed in about 12 FOW. I brought my spinnerbaits across the top of the weeds and dropped it down, a big pike (I assume) smoked it on the fall and started screaming drag. Then it stopped after burying itself in a weedbed. I could still feel some head shakes so I winched my way over so I was almost directly above it and tried to pull it out. After a couple minutes it came free and zipped off to another clump of weeds 25 yards away. Same deal, winched it free only to have it dig into one last weed clump, except this time when I started putting pressure on it to pull it out the line popped and it broke off.
I never even got so much as a glimpse of its tail before it happened so I’m guessing that it was one of the monster pike that live there. My 20lb braid and 10lb Fluor leader held up pretty well but I’m betting that the line just got too frayed from pulling the fish from the weeds with my drag pretty well locked down.
Reply by: Fishneveryweek Posted: 7/15/2019 10:27:43 AM Points: 30
About 30 + years ago, I hooked what had to be an enormous white sturgeon in San Pablo Bay in the SF Bay Area. I have caught them up to 70 lbs, that tail walked several times on the surface, but this one made that look like a minnow. Divers have walked off sturgeon on the bottom that were 16 feet long, and this was one like that. When I set the hook I slammed it hard, doubling up my heavy duty rod with 40lb line, but I could not even move the head one inch. After 3 powerful runs, it broke my line off like it was thread. I had no chance of seeing it and could not move it at all. No way could I have done anything with it with even 100 lb test. Must have been north of 1000 pounds and would have beaten the record for San Pablo Bay of 9 ft long and over 400 pounds - a fish that took something like 7 hours to land.
Reply by: SirGreg88 Posted: 7/15/2019 10:47:58 AM Points: 34
I love these. Keep em coming. I will share my stories pretty soon. My therapist said a week ot Thiazine-and then I can talk. Haha. I will say the Mile can skunk and kill many hopes but I am convinced to this day it still holds many state records-in spite of the pressure. I believe the state record brown was over 30 lbs. This thing would have shattered the record. I should have jumped in and tackled it!!! Not always the most fun place to fish but...………..You know...………..Fishing dreams are made of these!!!
Hooked and lost a lot of nice fish over the years, the one that killed the most was in a kayak tournament in Utah this past spring.
The lake was a classic western clear-water sand pit that's used for water storage for drinking water. The bass were up shallow and either staging in 5-10 FOW or actually up on beds under thick mats of cattails. Either way, you could see them and it was sight fishing all the way.
I had flipped and punched for a limit by about 2pm, but it had been a total grind under a hot desert sun and I knew my ~15" average length (75" total) wasn't going to cut the mustard. I also knew I was way out of the running for big bass. I needed a big kicker fish, which in Utah, like Colorado, is anything over 18". And I was running out of time with the tournament coming to an end at 3pm.
While paddling around I had spooked a nice fish or two. Some were legit bigs for anywhere but the deepest bayou. Problem was, everyone else had seen (and fished) those fish. Judging by the scars, I presumed most had been caught and released multiple times at this point. I decided to show them something different by drop-shotting a small craw on a short string on 6 lb. fluoro. The resulting look was similar to a neko rig, but sunk faster and so would hopefully elicit more of a reaction strike. The setup worked brilliantly on smaller, more aggressive fish, so I felt confident while paddling to a spot where I'd seen a few bigger fish hanging out. Sure enough I spotted a bass that was an easy 20 inches guarding her nest in some submerged weeds. I put that craw on her nest and she went nose down on it. She grabbed it by the claws and moved it off the nest. I knew she was interested enough in the presentation that I'd get the hook in her eventually.
So at this point the adrenaline is already flowing. I know I've got this bass, it's just a matter of getting her in the boat.
About five casts later she finally gets enough of the craw to get a hook in her. At this point I'm already shaking.
She came right to the surface, thrashed a few times, and appeared to give up as I reached for my net. I guided her to the net when she came back to life and--like a cat with a mashed tail--gave a hard run right under the kayak and...*pop*. Bad knot.
Never have I been so close to breaking a rod in half over my knee. I probably would've too, if it weren't for the overwhelming sense of depression I felt at the same time.
Ended the tournament in 3rd. That fish would've given me big bass and likely first or second (though it would've been awfully close).
Since then I've completely changed the knots, line, and gear I use when drop-shotting. No one fish before or since has brought about such a complete overhaul in how I do things.
I hooked into a 40” (or so) pike on a fly rod the day after I caught a 39” on spinning gear. Alone on the boat, got it to the boat 3 times third time it dove straight down and rolled in 15’ tall weeds and I never felt it again. Still haunts me for sure!
thought I had the last remaining Muskie in Quincy on one day.
we’ve caught 5+ pound largies and smallies and this wasn’t even close to the same ballgame as that. ran me straight down into the weeds and stayed there. I horsed on him for ten minutes with no luck, got impatient and broke it off.
Years ago my brother and brother in law and I were fishing from my boat in between the island by the marina and the dam at Cherry Creek. (Its been quite awhile ago so maybe that island is gone) anyhow my brother hooked into something large. He had reeled it in a ways and then his reel stopped working. I reached down and grabbed the line and started pulling it in slowly. Every once in awhile it would make 2 tugs straight down below the boat and then sit. As I continued to pull the line I saw his weight and his hook. Turned out he hooked another line that the fish was attached to. We fought that fish for 30 minutes or so. We would gain a little and then a couple of tugs and on and on. Finally it broke free and we never even saw a glimpse of it. I always wondered if it was a large catfish or a carp. If it was a walleye it probably would have broke the record at that time. I was unloading my boat the day the record walleye came in. At that time it was 15 pounds something and that fish was huge. This would have been around the early 80's. The guy was just dragging a worm on the bottom somewhere in the middle of the lake. Park rangers came flying down the ramp with their cameras.
Reply by: i2fly Posted: 7/17/2019 9:58:27 AM Points: 1845
Years ago, the Green river below Flaming Gorge. Was incredible fishing with most fish 18" to 22". Simple SJs and Scuds fished well with pheasant tails and RS-2s as droppers. 30+ fish days were common. Actually expected...
My wife's cousin came in to fish with me from Kansas. off to the Green we went. After the first day I was out of teaching mode. We were doing very well. However I wanted him to stay close to me at the bottom 3 miles so I could show him a couple of more spots I had found in prior years. Well that didn't happen... I found myself fishing alone in the large hole just above Mother in law rapid. In those days we went down in float tubes. So as I entered the top of the hole I saw some nice browns right at the shelf break. I kicked, in made a couple of casts and landed 2 browns. I changed my cast to drift just behind a large rock that was submerged in about 6' of water. As my indicator came in line with the rock it shot under. I set the hook and OMG ! This huge Rainbow shot across the pool and jumped clear of the water . 4 times it jumped... this salmon sized trout was the biggest I'd ever hooked. Guess what I didn't have a net. I was standing with my float tube around my ankles...with flippers on . Yep you got the recipe for failure... However I got this great fish to the edge. I reached out to tail him. His great weight made it hard to swing him in any closer and I missed. It shot back into the current. I put as much pressure on the 4x tippet as I dared to. I got this magnificent creature to the edge 2 more times. Finally I made up my mind to grab a gill and keep the fish. As this crossed my mind I noticed my scud was just hanging on by a thread of skin. The fish was puffing hard and I tried to slide a finger under a gill plate.The big fish managed just enough energy to thrash and turn out one more time. It pulled free and drifted in to the deep. My heart sunk with it.... That was 1986 and I still remember like it was yesterday.
A bunch of great stories here. I got spoiled a few years back getting the chance to fish the Kenai river in Alaska. We caught a lot of very nice Dolly’s and rainbows. I was drifting a bead and snagged up. I kept pressure on the rod for about a minute with nothing but dead weight so I stared popping then rod to try and free the snag. Well after a few pops this absolute monster rainbow comes up just long enough for me to see that it had taking my fly and shook one time and came off. Also first and only time at the toilet bowl I hook a monster rainbow that took me to my backing and ended up breaking me off, I would guess it was around 25 inches and 6-8 pound but for me it was a monster. Sad days
Theres something about that feeling in your stomach when you realize it was "that" close--and it just aint gonna happen. Things come out of my mouth uncontrollably -with no forethought. Words that arent in any language and arent even words but everybody knows what they mean. Every fisherman that is.
Reply by: Kev-o Posted: 7/21/2019 1:03:37 AM Points: 56142
In 2016 I was fishing for muskie on lake Chippewa near Hayward Wisconsin. Was casting most of the morning with zero luck which is the norm for muskie fishing when I suddenly had a strike on a 6” spinner. Hooked into a clear pattern muskie that was probably 4’ long. I could tell he was a clear pattern because I had him next to the boat twice because I don’t think that he even realized that he was even hooked. Got him next to the boat again and he exploded with a giant splash and spit my lure which wizzed right past my face. The lesson learned here is that when going after toothy fish is that you should change the hooks on your lures for a better chance of getting a hook into a hard toothy mouth. A mistake that I won’t make again.
My 2 big heartbreakers both happened at the Mile. About 25 years ago when I had more jam--my wife and kids went out of state for Christmas as I stuck around to maximize my sales bonus for the year. I decided to ice the Mile on Christmas eve and fish all night. Funny I couldnt get anyone to go with me. I got up there about 10pm near Sucker Cove. I walked out about 200 yards from shore and drilled just one hole. I had a small flashlight laying horizontally across the hole to illuminate my wire tip indicator. No bites for an hour and a half so I went to the car for the last of my coffee as I loosened my drag substantially. I just had a small plain jughead with a tiny smear of powerbait and smelly jelly. As I got back to the hole I quietly cleared the ice and tightened my drag--just 4 lb line. I slowly lifted my rod and the wire indicator stayed put as I felt weight on the line. I gave a yank and it felt like a truck was pulling away at 20 mph. You couldnt feel the throbbing of the tail as it simply pulled out steadily. I made ground 3 times as It would repeat the massive run. It kind of gave up after that as i carefully hauled it in. Biggest mistake was not putting the flashlight in my mouth to see where it was in the hole. Amazingly it came up dead center in the hole and felt like a dead weight too heavy for my 4 lb line. It came out of the water appx 4 inches and I could see this humongous rainbow completely filling the hole which was 8in. If I had the flashlight in my mouth I would have seen it coming up-no need to lift it out of the water--and grabbed it with my bare hand. That mistake caused it to snap as I plunged my hand down the hole. Too late!!! I had the immediate mule kick to the stomach feeling. Fished all night without another bite. I got home dead tired and was getting ready to hop into bed when a buddy called me and listened to my story. He talked me into meeting him at the bar where I went through the whole thing repeatedly. He said he knew I wasnt telling a tale because he could see it in my face. I have landed an 11# and a 15# from there. You can believe me or not but that fish was a state record. It had to be 22-24 lbs. Everything went perfectly right up until I lifted it 4 in out of the water. Just enough to see what I couldnt have. I think that old fish probably died of exhaustion. Shoulda put the flashlight in my mouth so I could see down!!! Coal in my stocking after seeing diamonds!!!!! UGH!!!!!
“Got away” may be a bit of a stretch since I never had a real chance of landing the fish, but I fought a Volkswagen sized Bull Shark for a while before it broke off a few years back while Snook fishing south of Everglades City. Biggest fish I’ve ever had on. Never felt that kind of power on the end of the line before. Amazing while it lasted.
Reply by: 3wayfisha Posted: 7/26/2019 10:43:17 AM Points: 197
Once when I was about 13 and staying in islamorada, my brother and I would always night fish for juvenile sharks that would come into the marina. Well one night, when I was a few hard lemonades deep (lol!) something whalloped my bait. My feet were dangling off the dock and the fish nearly pulled me in. Drag is screaming as the fish flys out of the marina towards the open ocean. I am running down the marina with my bass pole doubled over, I get to the end of the marina and am literally falling down onto the steep rock jetty as my line breaks and my brother catches me. We presume it was the 100+ lb tarpon that was a resident of the marina. Legend has it that you have to wade out 100+ yds into the bay to catch him.
Ill never forget that trip..catching 40-70 lb juvenile shark on bass poles until the early morning...silly times..
Esox- imagine trying to unhook that beast without becoming Capt. Hook.
3-way- when life gives you hard lemonade, catch lemon sharks!
Twice I have hooked and lost exceptionally large sharks. One was a mako that grabbed a skipjack tuna off SoCal. The other was a salmon shark that grabbed a pink salmon off Ketchikan. In both cases, the sheer power of the fish was amazing. The mako jumped several times before breaking off, sometimes clearing 15-20 feet.
Solo TM fishing in NM. Largest fish of my life only fit halfway in the net, when the hook caught the net, head shake, then slowly backed out of the net and away from the boat like a gator. Then just laid there at the surface looking at me for about 10 seconds before slowly moving on. I regretted not grabbing him with my hand instead of a 36" deep net........ This one made the 42" and 43" I did land look small. Still get a rush thinking about it.