• Paul Amberg


On a fall trolling trip with my Daughter Elysa and son Nick, we ended up getting a musky double. These are fairly rare as we clear lines out of the water to make sure no tangles or messes when catching a fish. It was a bit of a rough week (different story) but this was a really good way to make things a bit better.

Trolling on Lake of the Woods we are allowed one line per person. I had planned on making this trip a four day excursion, but an accident prevented that and was really lucky to get up there at all to fish. We ended up going for a two day weekend, and was fortunate for that! Elysa had caught a 42 inch fish earlier in the day, and a few pike but Saturday was looking to end up a bit slow. It was around 4:30 when going down a shoreline that Elysa's rod loaded up and I was yelling "fish on!" She gets the rod out of the rod holder, I am putting motor in neutral when my rod loads up. Thinking that this not fish now, it just don't happen, I ask Elysa if it is a snag thinking that if two lines hooked up it was probably something on the bottom that got us. She says she don't think so, and I take my rod out of the rod holder. Nick is reeling his line in to clear it out of the way,and I feel a fish on my line. I look at Elysa and say it is a fish and I think that maybe it rolled over and tangled the lines up together. We keep pressure up on both rods and when we look, both lines are heading in opposite directions. After I realize it is two different fish, I am starting to get excited, I tell Nick to get the net ready. Looking to where Elysa's line and fish are, I see that I am closest to boat with my fish, and will try and net mine first. Nick has net ready to go and I ask if he thinks he can net it. He tries to get net in the water but is really hard and heavy for him, so I have him hold my rod and I grab the net to try and net the fish.

Now here is where my accident injury comes into play. I had a left hand injury and was in a makeshift cast which immobilized my hand. I was able to use thumb and reel fish in but could not really hang on to net, just use arm as a brace or leverage. Nick was able to keep fish at the side of the boat, so I proceed to try and net the fish. While trying to scoop the fish, I miss and lure gets tangled on outside of the net with fish. As many of you know, this is a sure way for a fish to get off, so I am trying (with one hand) to flip net under the fish and get it into the bag. Somehow, luck prevailed and I had the fish in the bag! The lure tangled my bag enough that my bag was not as big as it normally should be. I opened the bail on that reel and started moving the net back to Elysa to try and net her fish. She has her fish up to the side of the boat, and I proceed to go and scoop her fish. As I try and put the net under the fish, the fish trashes, and is hooked on the outside of the net!!!!! Now I can't flip the net under it as I have my fish in the net, so I am trying to dip and slide the net under the fish. I try a couple times and the fish starts swimming away. I am initially really bummed as figured the only way that would happen is if it got off of the hook, but somehow it was still hooked and the hook got off the net! Relieved I tell Elysa to turn it around and bring it back to the boat. She gets it coming in to the boat, and I slide the net back down and under the fish, and then I get it tangled again!!! It was halfway into the net, but with the other hook in the net tangled the bag was up higher and hooked into the bag before body of fish was all the way in. As the fish is flopping on the side of the net I am trying to pull up and reach down and flip the fish into the bag with my one good hand, unbelievably I am able to get it into the bag!!

After all of that we all sit down and can't believe what just happened. After relaxing for a second, I get the fish unhooked, lures and lines untangled, and boat ready for picture. Nick is taking pictures as I get Elysa's fish measured and handed to her, and I take mine out and measure mine. Elysa's was 44" and mine ended up being 47".

What an unbelievable experience and was super cool to be able to have my kids with to share it with!

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