A catch to remember for a lifetime

BIG RAPIDS — John Soller and his son Dawson love their ice fishing.

But they won’t soon forget a recent experience on March 2, at Big Bass Lake near Irons in Lake County.

They caught a 6-pounder and 12 pounder: 26 inches and 34 inches long. Dawson caught both fish.

“That pike hit on this tip-up,” John said. “What makes the story unique is the lake is over 290 acres, the pike, when Dawson was pulling it in, he snapped the line and the fish got away. So I retied another spoon on the same tip-up and put it back in the hole.”

“15 minutes later, the same tip-up hits,” Dawson said.

SHOWING OFF: Dawson Soller, left, and his dad, John of Big Rapids, show the pike they caught in the Irons area. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

“I pulled it back in,” Soller said. “We both pulled him in. We had to use the (gaff hook) to pull it in.

“I think it’s the first time we ever used (the hook),” Dawson said.

When they pulled the big fish out of the hole, they found the spoon in his mouth.

“The other spoon that he broke off was in his mouth, still,” John Soller said. “I got our spoon back. That‘s kind of unreal, the old tale is that if they have a hook in their mouth, it’s sore and they won’t bite. It’s 290 acres of lake. I never thought we’d see that spoon again.”

The other pike they caught was two hours previous to the big one.

They plan on fishing at the lake all day Saturday with family members including his dad.

The fish have been biting.

“We’ve been fishing Clear Lake,” John Soller said. “There’s a lot of pike but they’re too small. We’ve thrown quite a few of them back. I do have a picture of a 10-pound pike from Clear Lake three weeks ago.”

Soller figures the ice should be good for another week or two.

“This has been a good season for us,” Soller said. “I’ve been fishing for quite a few years.”

Soller likes to fish in the Irons area during open water fishing season.

But the experience they had with the 34-inch pike “will probably never happen again,” he smiled. “I thought it was a pretty good story. Once he broke the line, I thought he was gone




Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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