What I learned on April Fool's Day
by Steve Sorensen
(Originally published in the Warren Times Observer, April 3, 2010.)
“Look down there. That’s why I call this ‘Little Alaska’,” Pete said as he pointed to the stream.
For pure fishing fun, I haven’t found anything
in Pennsylvania that beats steelhead.
I followed his finger and asked, “What am I looking for? A moose?” Then I saw the fish, so many of them I’d be able to walk across the stream on their backs if they’d hold still. “Wow!”
Pete Alex and I were fishing a Lake Erie tributary, Pete’s honey hole, for steelhead, and we had it almost to ourselves. It was only minutes before I caught one. The first, a hefty hook-jawed male, weighed seven pounds.
Then another, and another.
These fish don’t hit hard, but they fight like heavyweights. They suck in the bait, and once hooked some tail walk, others look for the deepest water they can find. Some run hard again and again. Others race downstream.
“Get out of my way,” I shouted to dozens of other fish as the one I had hooked tried to make his escape. I ran to keep up.
For pure fishing fun, I haven’t found anything in Pennsylvania that beats steelhead.
When conditions are right they’re not hard to catch. An ordinary spinning rod will do. Terminal tackle consisted of a small jig with a float spaced about four feet above the jig. We hooked a minnow through the lips. A tiny split shot about six inches above the jig was enough to sink the line while allowing the jig and the minnow enough freedom to perform for the fish.
On the retrieve, we gave the rod tip a little twitch every few seconds to keep the shiner moving. Fish were waiting to vacuum up the minnow morsels.
After a few hours the fish became lazy, just window-shopping our offerings, and the action slowed down. But we were played out too after playing out 25, maybe 30 nice fish. We finally called it quits.
It was a real privilege to fish with Pete in his secluded steelhead spot. But he also runs a charter on Lake Erie. I’ve fished with him there, too, and I guarantee he’ll be a hard working charter captain for you. Whether you’re looking for walleye, smallmouth, or steelhead, Pete is the guy to call. He’s a reliable, highly professional, very knowledgeable fishing guide who knows Lake Erie as well as anyone.
His charter is called Vision Quest Sport Fishing, and you can find him online at www.DreamSteelie.com. For the best fishing on Lake Erie, give him a call at 814-725-0694.
Pete also has a tournament fishing team called Vision Quest Team. Pete knows every trick, and that’s why they cash in as much as they do. If he’s not catching fish, they can’t be caught.
What did I learn on April Fool’s Day? I learned that I ought to do more fishing.