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Catch and Release

It happened on Panquitch Lake north east of Cedar City in Utah. I was about twelve at the time and my parents and I were fishing from a canoe on the lake. We had done pretty well and between the three of us, we had thirteen large lake trout on a stringer.

My mom, who is by far the best fisherman in the family is also the most squeamish and would not remove the hook from the mouth of any fish she caught. This task was normally handed down to me since I was closest to her in the canoe. My mom had just reeled in another fish and handed it to me for removal. I removed the hook and asked for the stringer, which had been either at my dad's end of the boat or between my mom and I depending on who had caught the last fish. When we could not find the stringer hanging from the side of the boat I remembered that I had been the last to catch a fish and apparently did not secure the end of the stringer well enough, and our catch had unknowingly swam away.

My dad was very upset; and my mom, trying to save her son a major lecture, decided to help out. She got the bait off of her hook and proceeded to let all of the line out to try and snag the stringer. She did not think it was going down far enough so she put the rod into the water and tried to keep the reel out of the water, but it dipped in now and again.

This did one thing she was trying to accomplish, and that was to take the heat off of me. My dad, watching her dangle one of "his" rods over the side of the boat, was now mad at her because he was sure she would let go and lose the entire set up.

I tried to make myself small as my mom and dad argued, then all of a sudden my mom yelled out that she had something on her line. She began reeling the line in and discovered that she had something heavy. My dad, always the skeptic, was sure that my mom was snagged on something, the line would break, and he would have to redo the entire set up, if she did not lose the entire rod and reel. Much to our surprise, my mom reeled up the stringer with all thirteen fish still on the line. We were flabbergasted and my mom still loves to tell the story around the campfire of how she caught thirteen fish with one "cast."

Submitted by Rick Brown

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