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A Fishing Story

The following is an account provided to the Division of Fish and Wildlife by Eckhardt Debbert. Mr. Debbert took his grandchildren fishing and wanted to share his experience, and his thoughts, with the rest of the angling communtiy. Here is his story:
I was fishing with my grandsons Jacob, age 7, and Joshua, age 5, on Mountain Lake in Liberty Twp., catching sunnies and bluegills. I had a rod with me and decided to live line a sunny. My attention was focused on taking fish off the hook and making sure the little guys had plenty of worm on their hooks.

All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I catch my rod moving towards the water. I quickly picked up my rod, opened the bail and waited for several seconds prior to lifting the rod with a gentle tug. Immediately, the fight was on and the drag on the Shimano 2000 sang a song that would have won American Idol. I figured it was a huge catfish - it swam too fast for a snapping turtle.

The little guys turned their attention to me in awe. "Opa has a big one," the little guy screamed. This fish fought like a submarine! I fought this fish very methodically...

About 15 or 20 minutes later there it was: a huge musky! I had no net but did manage to beach it on the shore. As I bent down to figure how to pick it up with its teeth snapping like a weed whacker the line broke at the knot. My instincts took over - I was not going to lose this fish after all this time...I threw my entire body into the shallow water behind the fish and managed to use both my arms to scoop the fish up onto land.

The little guy now screams out, "Opa is wrestling an alligator!"

Once the fish was on land I had one of those $1.00 stringers at the ready. I managed to attach the stringer to the fish's jaw and put it back in the water where I tied it to a dock; I did not want this fish to die.Eckhardt Debbert with his musky

I called my wife to bring the camera ASAP. Once the pix were taken I gently released the monster back into the water to fight another day. I had on 8-pound test with a #6 snelled hook between its teeth in the upper jaw. The fish was 42 inches.

The best part was having my two grandsons with me to experience the excitement. Now I'm sure they will be hooked on fishing for the rest of their lives.

After all was said and done the little 5 year old looks at me and says to me he will never ever go swimming in Mountain Lake knowing there are fish like that in the lake like the musky we caught at high noon on May 23, 2010. Bottom line, take the time to take a kid fishing - who knows, perhaps you can make a memory for all to cherish for a lifetime.

The division thanks Mr. Debbert for sharing this story with us, and for sharing the joy of fishing to his grandchildren.
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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: June 18, 2010