Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 96

Oahe Salmon Fever by Bryan Pietig Salmon fever set in after a trip to Fort Peck, Montana in early August, so I had to make a trip to Oahe. The first afternoon ended after a couple short hours due to lightning, wind, pouring rain and helping others load boats at the dock. The next day was a grind. We didn’t see a bite until 2:30 p.m., and then it let loose. After a release tripped, I wound down on the fish, and in an instant we could see the bottom of the spool. We cleared the deck as we tried to gain line back to Gateway to Lake Sakakawea & Missouri River Tailrace (701) 487-3343 Open 7 Days A Week! Pick City, North Dakota • Licenses • Ice • Off-Sale Beer & Wine • Full Service Bait & Tackle Shop • Pop • Snacks • Pizza • ATM Machine • Gas • Oil • Propane • ND Lottery Site Official ND Whopper Weigh Station Page 96, Dakota Country, October 2016 Bryan PIetig with a 30-lb. plus Chinook from Lake Oahe recently. the reel. As we closed the gap and had the boat sitting nearly on top of the fish, I could no longer feel a head shake, and there was no movement from the other end of the line. For a short period, I honestly thought the fish ran to the bottom and got snagged. We sat for a couple minutes, wondering what to do. Then the line popped free and the fight was on again. As the fish came to the surface behind the boat, I saw the wide, dark head and told the guys I thought it was just a big catfish. Then the fish turned and I said, nope... it’s definitely not a catfish. The big fish was worn out as he glided into the net, nearly folding in half as he went through the hoop. It was very big. With the fish not even close to fitting in the cooler, we wrapped it in a rain coat, closed the lid and hauled it to town. My old Rapala scale was bouncing between 30-32 lbs. Nevertheless we knew we had to get this fish on a scale. It ended a half pound shy of the (new) South Dakota state record. • www.dakotacountrymagazine.com