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Adventures of a wildlife photographer "2012 Charter Adventure"

June 10, 2012

Photo by Rocky Holland – The giant Humpback Whale has one last look at me. Was he really winking?

Earlier this year I wrote about fishing charters and photography. In that article I recommended that taking a camera, either on a small Lake Erie charter, or a larger ocean charter, can be quite worthwhile. You never know what you may encounter and without a camera to record it, no one may believe you. After all, fishermen are known to tell tall tales!
The week before Memorial Day, twenty eight of my closest friends and I embarked on our annual trip to New England to fish for cod and haddock off the coast of New Hampshire. I had just spent two weeks repairing my ocean rod with some new line eyes and a WD-40 makeover. I was psyched for this trip thinking this would be the year of the big catch. Wait a minute! Don’t all fishermen think this every time they go out? Anyway, we were off, gear, food, rain suits, rods, and maybe a couple of legal beverages for medicinal purposes. Ocean, here we come.
Early Monday morning, with our gear in tow, we headed on an hour and forty minute trip out to sea in search of some cod or haddock, with also a possibility of something exotic snatching our bait. Yes, my camera was ready. How could we go wrong? It was a foggy, misty morning as we reached our fishing hole. Well, not quite a hole, but let’s call it a spot! In seconds everyone had their bait down the almost two hundred feet to the waiting fish. The sea was calm, with a thick fog enveloping our boat. My mind was thinking; perfect conditions for fishing and a whale might even appear out of the mist. I watched my line like a hawk watches a mouse in the field, never flinching. The hours slipped by as fish were being caught on both sides of me. My turn would surely come. It was near noon, and still not even a bite, but I did manage to get a shot of a passing whale.
After that whale break, I returned to fishing thinking maybe this wasn’t my year, when suddenly that big bite happened. I jerked my pole up to set the hook when I heard the shot. Was it a 22 going off? No, it was my newly repaired rod snapping in half! I watched as half my pole slid slowly into the sea, following the two hundred feet of line to the bottom. What happened here, I thought, did I just catch that whale? When I recovered my senses I realized I still had a fish on my line. Unbelievably, using only half my rod, I reeled in a nice sized haddock, along with my broken rod. Unreal as it sounds, this fish tied for the biggest fish of the day, earning me some extra cash for a new rod. Whoever said fishing was all luck must have known something. How could I get any luckier than this?

See full article by purchasing the June 11 edition of The Kane Republican.

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