One of our crew members, Adam Maxwell, loves to go fishing. If he isn’t working then you can guess he is out in a boat or in a canoe trying to catch fish. On his days off he and his girlfriend Billi love to go camping which always includes fishing.
Last week they paddled and camped in Ottertrack Lake. They caught tons of fish including sunfish and largemouth bass which are quite rare on our end of the BWCA. Adam doesn’t get bored with catching fish and is always excited when he gets a bite. He rarely keeps the fish and just really enjoys the sport of it.
Since he and Billi had such great luck in Ottertrack the week prior they decided to return for their days off last week too. Again they experienced great fishing and were having a wonderful time until Adam caught a big Northern. He reeled the Northern in and it was attached to one of the three treble hooks on his monster lure. The Northern thrashed a bit and in the process caught Adam in his hand near his pinkie finger. The Northern continued to wrestle about with the lure connecting the fish and Adam. Finally it was able to get loose of the hook so Adam could return him to the water. Unfortunately the Northern hooked Adam better than Adam hooked the Northern and the lure wasn’t going to shake loose.
After examining the hook Adam and Billi decided they weren’t going to be able to remove the hook on their own. They didn’t know if the hook was embedded close enough to cause nerve damage or not so they started the journey back home leaving their camp intact. They paddled to the 80 rod monument portage, paddled Swamp Lake into 3rd Bay and back to Cache Bay. At the Ranger Station they were able to contact us via the radio so we could pick them up with the tow boat. All the while the lure stayed securely stuck in Adam’s hand.
Once back at Voyageur they put a little bit of ice on his wound and then made the drive to town. At the Emergency Room they adminstered a little anesthesia, slipped something in the wound to cover up the barb and then carefully removed the barb. Almost 6 hours later Adam was released from his own lure.
Adam is fine and so is his lure, both ready to go fishing again. I think the fish were trying to teach Adam what it felt like to be caught and released. Adam shrugs it off and admits it wasn’t the first time he had been snagged and if I were a betting woman then I would say it won’t be his last.