Utah Fishing & Outdoors. Vol. 12, #3, Aug. 15, 1998

Dear Editor: Pike.jpg (31388 bytes)

It was our annual Lake Powell fishing trip. This time we had decided to drive over Blue Notch and camp at Castle Butte. Bad plan, dragging a boat! It's 13 miles of up and down, twisting and turning, with only room for one vehicle at a time in most places. Two hours to get 13 miles…

For the first 5 days it was just me, my son, Logan, age twelve, and my daughter Whitney age 10. My oldest son, Cory (15), stayed behind for a wrestling camp and would come down later with some friends. The fishing was great. We caught lots of strippers with jigging spoons and smallmouth bass on jigs with grubs. On Friday Ken Cobbs showed up with his son Cody (7). Most of that day was spent playing in the water and dragging kids behind the boat. 

Saturday the stripers had moved so we decided to troll around the points and islands to find them. We started to rig the kids up with different depth crankbaits. Logan spotted one that looked like the real thing to him and insisted on using it (Excalibur Suspending Fat Free Shad, Tennessee Shad). 

I piloted the boat while Ken kept the kids untangled. We would pick a stripper up here and there. They were small, 1-2 pounds. 

While passing a point, Logan hooked into a bigger fish. After a good fight he landed a 6 pound striper. That convinced him he had the best lure on. He was thrilled! His sister had caught the biggest fish the last time that we were there and so far he had the biggest this trip. 

We resumed trolling the Castle Butte Bay, then while rounding an island Logan hooked another big fish. I stopped the boat to watch the action. Logan was saying, "This one's even bigger dad."

When the fish came into sight Ken yelled, "My heck, it's a Northern!!" So there we were, no net, the fish too big to get my hands around, Ken snapping pictures and me looking for a way to get the fish into the boat. Finally I grabbed a towel, rapped it around my hand so I could lip him without getting my hand shredded from the teeth.

Well, Logan played him just right, keeping the line from sliding across the teeth and led him next to the boat. From there I grabbed him and hauled him into the boat. 

Decision time! Do you keep him or turn him loose? We explained to Logan it was 20 miles to Hite Marina and we would be here for another 5 days. By the time we got it home it would be rotten. "It's up to you! We have pictures! We have him measured and if you turn him loose I bet he's a new catch and release record."

There was no hesitation, "let's let him go dad, we'll catch him again next year." After he swam away and after many high five's Whitney whispered to me, "I wish that I would have caught that fish, but I'm glad Logan did."

Last but not leased, I have great kids. We had a great trip and we all left with memories that will last a lifetime!

Sincerely, Matt Hacking