Josh Wilson shows off the nice bass he caught with a guide's small Snoopy fishing rod. Credit: Courtesy of Jim Wilson

It’s time to hop back into the boat (vicariously, at least), toss out a line, and enjoy a day of fishing. We asked BDN readers to share their fish tales, and several obliged. Among today’s offerings: The story of a magic lure, and a reason why one man no longer fishes with his brother.

If you’ve got a fish tale to share, you can send them to Keep ’em coming, and we’ll keep sharing ’em.

From Jim Wilson of Hermon: I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand. Back then, if I wasn’t fishing, I was digging worms so I could go fishing.

As time went on, life took over and I had less time and access for wading down brooks and scouting out fishing holes. As such, my son, Josh, didn’t have the same opportunity to make fishing memories that I did. So when we went to Moosehead for a summer vacation two summers ago, I was happy to take advantage of a local guide (Wilson’s Camps) to go on a great raft trip for all the smallmouth [bass] you could catch. It was a great day, starting with a little instruction since neither my son nor I had ever fished for bass.

Early in the day, I probably had a little more success than my son, but as the day wore on, he was having a lot of fun and catching a lot of fish. Toward the end of the day, as we neared the take-out spot in the stream, the guide gave my son a 36-inch Snoopy pole with a spinner bait. We all got a good laugh. We were still laughing it off when he hooked a fish. As he got it near the raft, we could see it was a small chub, but as it came right up to the raft, a bass came up and hit the struggling chub.

Excitement and hilarity ensued. That Snoopy pole had all it could handle. My son was excited and scared to lose it all at the same time. The guide was coaching his pupil for patience so he didn’t lose it or exceed the gear’s capacity. It took about 10 minutes, but he did finally land the fish and while not a state record, it was a record for my son and the most rewarding catch I ever witnessed.

For many of us in-state, it’s probably not second nature to use a guide for fishing trips, but it was a blast and a memory for a lifetime. My advice is to get out and support those folks. I’m sure they will help you make some memories, too.

From Donald Litz: Way back when I was around 10 years old, my dad had a jon boat we’d use for fishing growing up in Maryland. One time my brother, three years younger, went to cast and caught me! Right in my eyebrow. Dad got the pliers, no hospital involved. Needless to say, I don’t go fishing with my brother anymore!

From Bobbie Lehigh, Eastport: Lure shopping is something I’ve done much of, but one day about 10 years ago I was staring at a display in a store in upstate New York and I picked one out that seemed to be blinking at me. It was little, black and orange as I see it now, and it had a wild name suggesting a bent rod and line being zipped off one’s reel.

This lure seemed to be anxious to prove itself so my husband and I, in a little aluminum boat, took it out onto the Oswegatchie River and he got it into the water. I was just getting myself positioned for its promises when George’s rod took a big bend and line started leaving. I grabbed the net and listened for the signal.

“Now!” he said after a bit of a tussle, and I netted a pretty pickerel — maybe 4 pounds.

We were both astonished at how fast this lure had got itself a fish and said maybe our luck had changed, and we would have river dinners once in a while because of this magic lure.

“Your turn,” my husband said as I reached in the net to take the pickerel off the lure. When I was a second away from the maneuver, the pickerel leapt and then there were two of us caught on the line, one of us thrashing and the other trying to calm the fish down with blue language.

My husband tended to the pickerel first and then said he would try to set me free. But I went, “How’s about we get in the car and go to the ER?”

The doc got me free without damaging the lure, I had a tetanus upgrade and later, a couple of cold bourbons to put the bumbling in a better light.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...