Saturday, 28 July 2012

Fishing with Derrick

If you’ve had the pleasure of fishing with Derrick, you’ll know that he likes to catch the big ones. Or at least lots and lots of smaller ones. It gives him great pleasure to watch people pulling in fish after fish or landing a lunker.

It’s even happened that he gives his rod away when he thinks he’s got a good one on the hook. He says he’s caught his share of big ones. He loves watching people’s faces as they play the fish, and especially when they get their first glimpse. It’s a fact that Derrick's usually more excited than the person wheeling in the fish!

That was exactly the case on Monday this week when he took me fishing. I’m his new sister-in-law, and Desi wanted to fish old school with his dad, so Derrick and I went out together with all the technology we could lay our hands on. Fish finder? Check! Downriggers? Check! Very nice rods and wicked reels? Check!

Laker #1: 12 lbs. No big deal. Hah!
Big Fish Lake is where we like to send people who love landing lake trout. We know that the biggest fish ever pulled out of that lake weighed around 30 lbs, so we have high hopes. Derrick doesn't even have the second downrigger set up when we have our first hit, but we miss that one. No worries.

When the downrigger on the left side starts jerking wildly, we know we have a good one on. Derrick jumps, gets the line off the 'riggger and hands me the rod. I can’t believe my luck, but I should have expected it, knowing that he’s such a great guy. Single ladies, take note! Derrick gets the other line out of the water and coaches a very inexperienced angler who’s only fished for lake trout once before. We get the fish in the boat, and Derrick is more excited than anyone over the nice 12 pounder. A few photos and it’s back in the water, hopefully growing bigger for the next lucky angler.

A half hour passes while we chat and watch the lines, then boom! A big fish takes the bait and has Derrick pretty much jumping up and down while he hands me the rod again and yells, "There’s one on the other side too!" We miss that one since it takes too long to deal with fish number 1, but no matter.
Laker #2: 16 lbs.

Reviving laker #2. Yes, he's still swimming!
This one’s definitely bigger and takes some time to get on the boat. Derrick is efficient with a net and with coaching me: "Reel in to the leader and bring the fish gently to the net. There you go. You’re doing a great job, Elize. That’s a big fish!" We get this one in the boat for a few photos, and then it takes quite a while to revive. It has me worried. Guess it’s tired after that fight. In the end, Derrick’s dad, who’s come over to see what we've caught, revives it and it swims off straight back down to 60 feet. Phew! It would really suck to be responsible for the death of such a beautiful fish.

We rig up again, miss another hit or 2, and then fish number 3 hits like a tonne of bricks. Must be the flashy rig Derrick chose (a red spoon and a flasher). It’s on the same side again. Derrick grabs the rod and for the third time hands it to me. I’m definitely a lucky girl! This one must be big. It takes so much line right away. I can’t keep my tip up. Derrick is zinging with excitement and getting the other line up and coaching me and says at least 20 times, "That’s a huge fish, Elize. That’s such a huge $#!%*@# fish!" My rod tip is in the water. Fish 3 keeps running away!
Look at Derrick's face. Holy S%*t! BIG fish!
Got him! High five!
What a beauty.
Don't drop it!
Laker #3: 28 lbs. It doesn't get much better than this.
Finally, we get our first glimpse before it runs off some more. It’s a monster! Derrick is jumping up and down as much as you can on a boat without capsizing it. We miss netting it on our first try, but it’s ours on round 2. "Wow! What a fish! What a beautiful fish!" That’s all Derrick can say as he hauls it into the boat. It struggles a bit so Derrick ends up hugging the fish so it doesn’t fall and get hurt in the process. We really want to put this baby back in the water so someone else can experience what we just experienced. A few photos and it’s time for fish 3 to swim again. After all that fighting, it spends 10 seconds in Derrick’s hands before taking off back to the deeps of Big Fish Lake. Wow.
All right, big boy. Time to go back.
We didn’t have a scale or a measuring tape on us—just fishing for fun—but Derrick estimates the fish between 25 and 28 lbs. That’s awesome for lake trout. And the biggest fish I’ve ever caught. And the biggest fish anyone's caught at Lloyd so far this year. Thanks, bro!