My friend Al and his friend Tony picked me up before the glow of the sun was visible in the eastern sky. Our destination was somewhere in Indiana to chase Steelhead. On the way, we made a quick stop at a bait shop so Al could pick up some bait in case the fish weren't interested in his homemade spinners.
Lots of places to snag
There is a lot of submerged brush where we were and Al has designed a spinner that goes through it quite easily without getting hung up. I was using a similar spinner as well as some artificial bait that has been sitting in my garage for the past few years.
As soon as Al parked the truck, I grabbed my rods and headed for a spot where I'd caught fish in the past. I hooked a monster right away on the artificial bait but it broke off. A short time later I had a smolt on a spinner. After snagging and losing my spinner, I switched to one that Al had given me.
Al hooks one in "my spot"
I worked the spot for over an hour before Al showed up. He threw his bait in the water and his bobber disappeared right away. He set the hook and his pole was bent way over. Fish on. Big fish on.
After a short battle, Al landed the fish and then proceeded to land three more from the same spot. He hooked and lost a 4th. Prior to getting to that spot, he had caught three and lost another.
Al pulls another fish from a spot I had just beaten up pretty good
I followed Al and watched him catch another, then another, then another.
I think he landed 9 or 10 fish before we were done.
I went ahead of him as we were headed back and caught up with Tony. As I was throwing the spinner, I had a good hit and the fish went air born. He came down, took off up stream and broke off. That would have been right up there with the biggest Steelhead I'd ever caught.
Me going out on a limb - literally
I even walked out onto a tree to try to keep my lure from getting hung up in the brush around the shoreline, and also drift the bait into what looked like all the right places. As I was out there, Tony landed a few smolts. I also saw Al hook another monster fish that jumped 5 or 6 times before if got away.
Indiana DNR truckWe decided early on we'd keep a couple fish and wound up bringing three back to the truck. We didn't bring a cooler (they wouldn't have fit anyway) so we left the fish on the ground while Al and Tony went to look at one more spot.
I stayed back to watch the fish and an Indiana DNR person showed up. She looked over the fish, weighed and measured them, and was kind enough to provide a plastic garbage bag so we could transport the fish home without sliming up the back of the truck.
Once home, Bear helped me wash the fish and place them in a cooler, and then show them to a couple of the neighborhood kids (and parents) who like to fish. I had to admit that I did not catch them but went 0 for 2, but they were still excited to see such nice fish. Bear was excited too and wagged his tail as he sniffed each fish before it went into the cooler. I could tell he was thinking "Why didn't he take me?"