Hunter Kidney caught this big bruiser hookjaw from Paulina Lake on 5-10-13. The big male went 13 Lb. and RTM's will be doing their mounts.
Click to view image
John and I had an epic two weeks together in May that I will never forget! Not just from the catching success rate, which was phenomenal, but some cool crazy stuff that happened along the way. I will get into that more a little later in this report.
After the first week (Report of May 14), we came back to my place for some “R&R” and to reload for the next week. The “R&R” sounds out of place after a fishing trip but the way we go at it, up at 4 a.m. and fishing until dark, it is a lot like work! Don’t get me wrong....I “ain’t” complaining and it is “work” we both love!!
We had plans to hit another lake but got a timely call from a friend that had just left the lake. Luckily, he reported to me that it had been stocked with a ton of juvenile browns that he couldn’t keep off. That made it easy to write off the lake, at least for now. We decided to head up to Newberry Crater to check out Paulina and East lakes.
As we pulled into the parking lot at Paulina, I saw Karen, owner of the resort, walking toward the store. After exchanging greetings, she mentioned a group of guys had caught a couple of nice browns ( 12.5 and 13.1 LB.! ) that weekend. As luck would have it, as I was heading to their cabin to introduce myself and campaign for the mounts, (They had kept them both to mount) I found out they pulled out about 1/2 hour before. With those two big browns in mind, it was an easy call to set up camp and give the lake a shot. We stuck a lot of little browns that evening but nothing to raise any eyebrows. Next morning was more of the same.....I bet we caught and released at least 20 browns for the two outings. As a storm moved in and given the abundance of dink browns we caught, we decided to move on.
Good thing we did as we got into some bigger browns! A couple of days later, while setting in the camper having lunch, my phone rings. It is Josh Kidney, the guy that was up at Paulina and caught the two big browns. Actually, it was his son, Hunter, and friend, Chris Lundy, that had caught them. He wanted to get a quote on the mounts and we talked about their trip. What a trip they had! Kind of like winning the lottery twice you might say. He said that Hunter hit the big buck right before dark. If that wasn’t lucky enough, the next morning a little after 5 a.m., Chris slams his big hen. Two browns over 10 LB. in less than 12 hours....like I said, like winning the lottery twice!! The lure and area of the lake will remain our little secret. Josh has decided to give RTM’s the mounts and I will pick them up on my way back from California later this coming week.
Back to the remaining days of John’s and my trip. Though not as successful as the week earlier, we did really well again. Over the last 4 days of the trip, we caught 7 browns over 5 Lb. with 2 of them over 9 Lb.! John had a beautiful 9 Lb. hen and then a big 9 LB. hookjaw that got off the gripper right before we had a chance for photos......a real heartbreaker given the size of that head and jaws!! A really cool side note was the use of my modified “ Hound Dog” lure retriever. We didn’t keep track of how many lures we saved (probably at least a dozen the past week) but it was a 100% success rate. Since we are addicted to some expensive lures (some cost $30 ea.) we were really pleased with the outcome. We also pulled out two anchor ropes with it and to top things off, I brought up a tree that was longer than the boat that was about 10 in. around and would have had to have weighed 100 LB. dry weight!! Love that Hound Dog!
Another impressive sight was one morning when John was playing a nice 6 Lb. brown right behind the boat. The lake was flat and the Sun had gotten overhead (around 10:30 a.m.) and with polaroid sunglasses we both spotted a monster hen that had risen with John’s brown. She was hanging around but was very wary of the boat. I would estimate she would have gone 15 LB. easy! She finally descended as John brought his smaller hen to the boat.
As I was preparing my thoughts about this report, I was wondering just how many big browns my friends and I caught and released this spring from my boat. I went back over my reports going back to March to add up the numbers. I was shocked and astonished to see the tally. If my math is correct, we caught 48 browns over 5 LB., 15 browns over 8 LB., 5 browns over 9 LB. and 1 over 10 LB.!!!!!! That is far and above anything I had ever done in the past. To be fair, I did fish a lot more than normal with my wife gone for 6 weeks.....I would guess in excess of 25 days of fishing for mid-March through mid May. As I like to say, “ It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it!”
After I return from California next week, I plan on hitting Wickiup, Crescent, East and Paulina again so check back for more reports.