Fish tales: The one that got away

ALPENA – Any time a bunch of fishermen get together, you can expect to hear fish tales. The 2013 Brown Trout Festival is no exception, especially stories about the ones that got away.

Still competitors brought in plenty of big fish on Wednesday, such as a 16.2 pound lake trout hauled in by Bill Skiba aboard Anchors End. Still, one got away.

“We had one big one today,” said Marty Skiba, who headed the team. “My son, Noah, grabbed the rod and it wouldn’t even budge.”

But Marty didn’t sound too concerned. His brother, Bill, caught the largest lake trout of the day and the largest of the tournament so far.

Other ones that got away:

Pete Miller, 68, of Birmingham: “That was two days ago. The one that got away was the one caught by the other boat.”

Dawn Martin of Ossineke: The one that got away? “We’re good fishermen.”

Tyler Ashley, 11, Gaylord was fishing in Thunder Bay last week with his dad, Rick Ashley: “A fish got on and everybody screamed ‘fish!’ I reeled it in and it looked funny. The net was right by the fish and the fish got off and it swam away.” The fish had been hooked in the side.

Tom Ratz, 64, Alpena. “How would you know how big it was if it got away?”

Pam Hubert, 60, Lachine: “My rod went down and we knew it was a big one,” she said of a fish she caught during last year’s ladies tournament. “And he came out of the water with his mouth open, shook twice and he was gone. We believe it was a big salmon.”

Eli Gosselin, 10, Alpena: “We saw the line go off, so my grandpa went out there to set the hook. My grandpa went to get the net and the fish flung the hook right out and it hit the back of the boat. It was a foot long.” He held his hands out about 20 inches.

Julie Hasse, 48, of Ossineke will be competing in the Ladies Classic today. “You get excited when the fish comes to the top of the water and you start reeling really fast. But we actually got one that should have gotten away my third year in the tournament. The captain reversed the boat, but we were still able to net an 11 pound lake trout.”

  • Roger Barc, 55, of Alpena is known as the Fish Doctor and was weighing entries Wednesday. “Once we were trolling in Shelter Bay on Lake Superior with a plunker setup and a Johnson spoon. We hooked onto something and it was shaking. The rod almost doubled. Dad said the heck with the net and brought out the gaff. We were thinking a record lake trout or a sturgeon. The water was clear and we looked down 20 or 30 feet and saw this flash. Then all of a sudden, my dad looks over and says, ‘Oh no. You caught a log.” Barc was 14 at the time and the log was successfully landed and displayed in the yard.

Dave Werda, 34, Alpena: “The big ones you lose are the big ones you remember.”

Chuck Marcinkiewicz, 63, Monroe: I was fishing for walleye on the Menominee River in winter and I caught a 3-foot sturgeon. They were breeding at that time and of course you have to let them go. Then I caught a nine-foot sturgeon on an 8-pound line. It came out of the water and it was gorgeous, but it broke the line.”

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.