Chuck Johnson sets JOA record with 45 inch Pike!!

The Big One
    Submitted by:  Ranking Member of the 40 Inch Plus Club

I hate Silver Spoons.  Friday morning, I had teamed up with my second to oldest brother to do some fishing. We were hunting the big ones.  My brother was kind enough to lead the day’s expedition (I had been leading others for the past 2 days).  He promised to put me on to some big ones.  It was a windy morning, but the sun was out, perfect for spotting fish as they flash through the water. We started in Pike Prairie, on Lake Erie Tew, where a lot of big ones hang out. The action there was a bit slow.  A few strikes, but nothing major landed.  It wasn't long before we decided to head for greener pastures, so we moseyed to the west, dodging rocks as we traveled.  As I recall, we stopped for a while across the lake from Frenzy Bay, but the wind wasn't conducive for producing large amounts of bait fish.  So, we headed on up towards Hunch Alley.  As I recall, we stopped short of there and began to work the shore, working our way back to Frenzy Bay.  It was here where we got into a few good size fish.  My brother managed to catch a few, despite spending most of his time keeping us in good position, fighting the wind and resulting current.  It was strange.  We would see an occasional flash in the water, some large, some small.  But all seem to come from nowhere.  They'd just appear, as if from the sky, then dart off into the deep.  It definitely kept our blood pumping.  After fighting the brutal wind at Frenzy Bay for long enough, we decided to bee-line it back to Pike Prairie and give it another shot.  We had heard lots of good stories from the others about Pike Prairie. My Guide did an excellent job of quickly navigating us back to the hot spot, through the vast and varying depths of Lake Erie Tew.  Time was getting short.  We had told the others we would be back by noon, and if we didn't return on time, they would probably send a posse looking for us.  The wind remained relentless, but this was a good thing, blowing the bait fish towards the shore.  We worked the reeds, from one side to the other, and then back again.  Like leopards stalking their unsuspecting prey. But we were growing tired. We had nearly given up hope. I think it was on our second pass that it happened.  A glimmer in the water caught my eye.  This was it, I thought, the big one!  With a giant swirl and a large splash, the fight was on!  "This is the big one!", I yelled to my brother, "maybe bigger than the one I caught last time!".  Man, the fight was really on!  I tugged as hard as I could. But with every tug, he seemed to tug back even harder. I knew if I could just play him right, just fight him long enough, he would give up and victory would be mine.  But the fight continued.  Right through the reeds we fought.  Control exchanged hands several times.  First he, then I, then he again. Through the battle, we seemed to drift towards shore, helped by the wind, as I grew more and more tired.  And finally, no more tugging.  It was all but over. A nervous calm came over me.  My muscles ached.  My heart pumped. At this point, all I needed to do was finish him off.  I was cautious.  I knew from the past that he could get his second wind and I would be right back in the heat of battle again. I knew that if I let him get the upper hand, I might go home with nothing but an empty story, a tale for lonely hearts. And then it happened, something terrible.  My excitement, and all my hard work, came to an abrupt and eye-opening climax as I was hoisted out of the water, my big catch dangling from my mouth, and my fate, the dirty bilge of a 14' aluminum boat.  I hate Silver Spoons.