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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The wife has been working very hard lately... I wanted to get her out of the city and try (perhaps in vain) to "convince" her to like fishing. What better way than to get her onto the ice in one of the most amazing places in the world... Grand County.

I called up redleader and asked what kind of action we could expect if we hit up Lake Granby. He mentioned that the tournament would probably have made the lakers a bit wary. The weather was coming in, snowfall was going to be heavy, but we decided to brave it anyway. I REALLY wanted to sit with Steve, talk fishing, talk macks, talk USC, and learn all I could from him. We would have plenty of time talking mackinaw over the course of the trip.




Got to Granby Wednesday a little after noon and got on the ice a little after 2:00. As Steve had predicted, the bite was sloooooow. We were marking the fish near the bottom, but could not entice them to bite. We tried different presentations, different techniques... For more than an hour, they teased us. No fish iced.

This would not last.

First mac iced was a very healthy 14 incher, but too small to keep. The second fish was a very thick 15 incher, but too small to keep.

Third fish on the ice (5 minutes later) was a beautiful 18 incher which put up a very nice fight. We kept this one, as it was within our slot (16-18 inches).



The wife was having fun watching the sonar and thought it unfathomable that we were out on the middle of a lake in the middle of the mountains as the snow was coming down... Her learning curve began.

The fish moved in and she began that journey of learning the hookset! She would miss 3 before icing the nicest fish so far, and the first fish she's ever caught. A beautiful fat 22" mackinaw, screamin' drag! =)



The fish was measured and released within a minute or so... and it swam away strong and fast. Whitney was excited, but she was trying to hide it... =) She didn't want to admit she was having fun fishing.

We were hunting eaters, primarily, and they were game to play. We iced several more fish between 15-20 inches, most were released.





And then the surprises came in. We were hunting eaters... but where there are eaters, there are often big predators lurking in the depths... waiting.




Had a nice tug on the line, lightly jigging about 5 feet off the bottom. Got a real solid hookset and started bringing the fish up toward the surface. This one felt like a 20-22 incher until it got 10 feet below the hole... and then he woke up....

The drag screamed and he shot straight down to the bottom. Watching my reel, I could see that we were running out of line... after tightening the drag a bit, we started working him back up... He wasn't giving much, but we were taking what we could get. Two more runs like that, and FINALLY we got him up to the hole... Steve helped ice him while I kept pressure on the line.





33 badass inches of HEALTHY thick Mackinaw beauty. It was a surprise, because Steve specifically selected this location for eaters. It was quite a fight... and I'll never forget it.








And then the most unbelievable thing happened... Something that completely freaked me out, and caused all three of us to scream like little school girls. (Steve might deny screaming like a school girl, but we were ALL screaming like little school girls at a Justin Bieber concert)

I hooked a healthy 16 incher and worked him off the bottom toward the hole. He came up fairly easily... almost as though he was willingly swimming upwards, very little fight. As we would find out, he was swimming for his life.

As soon as he popped out of the hole, a massive head flew out of the hole after that small laker... A big wide mouth with gnarly teeth was bearing down on that little fella and he flew out of the water, landing on the ice right behind the 16er.

Steve grabbed the predator and pulled him away from the ice for measurement. He had not been on the line, so he was not tired at all... Completely wily and pissed off that we took his dinner and put him on a board to measure. He was measured and put back in the hold, needing ZERO revitalization. He was as angry and energetic as any fish I've ever seen.

This showed me something I had heard, but had a hard time wrapping my head around... Big lakers, well.... they eat smaller lakers... And they do so VIGOROUSLY. We caught another fish later in the trip who had teeth marks on his side and belly... he narrowly escaped with his life.






I don't want to turn this report into another laker debate... but.... Lakers eat other lakers... and we saw more than one example of that in this trip.

We got our limit of 16-18 inch mackinaw and had a blast fishing with Steve up in one of my favorite places in the world.










This was an incredible trip. I learned so much about the fisheries, fish, and predatory habits of lakers. Chatting with Steve about macks and the history of macks in many lakes across our great state taught me an unbelievable amount. I am looking forward to learning more and participating in CPW fishery meetings going forward. I saw some sh** over the last two days... and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to fish with and learn from Steve (redleader).




*** Note, my wife ended up icing 9 fish over the course of the trip. She tried not to smile, she tried not to show that she enjoyed it... but by the end of the trip, she was setting the hook like a pro, icing the fish like a pro, and couldn't hide her new-found enthusiasm and appreciation for the sport.


Tonight, I made mackinaw tacos and mackinaw fish sticks, double breaded and fried in oil. Didn't take pix... too busy eating. =)



*Oh, and zman... Steve sent something for you. We'll meet up this week and I'll hook you up. ;)
 

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Lol screw both of you instead CONGRATS WHITNEY!!!!
 

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AWESOME MAN! Glad your wife got into some, glad you popped you cherry and that story is one for the record books. Way to go all 3 of you! Super cool.
 

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Great report!!

Awesome you got the wife into her first fish... and through the ice none the less!! Back in the day my wife went fishing with me quite a bit(She would usually just read a book) but it is so nice to have the wife out fishing !! Now that the kids are a little bigger I've been trying to get her back out fishing with me!

Also awesome story about the laker coming through the hole!! That shits crazy!
 

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Looks like a great day! Lakers are fun for sure. I fell in love my very first trip out.

Crazy story of the predator popping out of the hole! I noticed you mentioned Steve measured that fish but I didn't see the length. What did that fish measure if you don't mind? I'm very curious.
 

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Right on Whitney and Owen...CONGRATS!!!
 

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Your wife is a better laker fisherman than I am for sure-
 

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Great story, dude.

Looks like you might need extra gear now!
Obviously that would be a cool deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It was a shade over 28, but MAN was it a terminator fish. The jaws on the 28 were more impressive than the big one I caught... we actually call that fish "Jaws". :)
 

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It was a shade over 28, but MAN was it a terminator fish. The jaws on the 28 were more impressive than the big one I caught... we actually call that fish "Jaws". :)
It was a nice healthy fish, I should of gotten a picture of it but I could hardly get a measurement, that fish was on Fire... If there was ever a time we needed the "go pro" going that was one of them... Was a fun couple of days for me and nice to get some new people out to experience Capt. Nemo's Arctic Adventure's.
 
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