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Reader’s Story: The Fish That Got Caught Twice

My name is Josh Knipe and I’ve got a story I’d like to share. A friend and his wife were visiting from Victoria, and he and I went out fishing. We had been fishing a few times before, and I swear he was the equivalent of bringing a box of bananas on the boat. Every time he came up, we had no luck. I was hoping that this day would be different.

The day started off great. The sun was shining, and the water was like glass. We weren’t out too long when we got off to a great start with two nice Chinook already in the box, which we’d caught while trolling over a huge bait ball. That’s when I started to get greedy with my turns to try and stay on the bait. Surprise, surprise—we ended up with a huge tangle.

Finally, we got the tangle out and I reset the gear. Then, bam! Another salmon. It wasn’t huge, but it was one of those spunky ones that had the will to live and put up a solid effort to get off the line. Sure enough, it succeeded. I quickly realized that not only was the fish gone, but also my gear. Flasher and spoon, presumably gone for good.  I figured that the tangle just before must have chafed my line, and that’s what gave as I pulled in what remained of my line. I was pretty bummed. That spoon was one of my new favorites and was responsible for a lot of my fish this year. A friend associated with Lighthouse Lures had given me that Big Eye Derby Winner spoon to try, and it was deadly. I knew it was pretty much sold out everywhere, and so I was going to miss it.  Ironically, I switched to the Lighthouse Lures Big Eye Avocado Dream, and we ended the day with our four Chinook, including a beauty 17-pounder. All in all, still a good day on the water, but as we left I couldn’t help but think, “There’s some poor Chinook pulling around a flasher right now, and it’s surely going to die.”

The next day I was back at work, talking to Andrew from Andrew’s West Coast Adventures about my day on the water, and I told him about my missing gear. The next morning I got a text from him, a screenshot of an email that Dan from Gone Fishin’ Courtenay had sent to Lighthouse Lures.

“Basically, the only way I can get my hands on these Big Eye spoons is to catch a fish with one in its mouth,” said the email. Dan had apparently been trying to stock his shelves, but the spoons were backordered, so he was razzing Peter from Lighthouse.  So Peter told Andrew, Andrew told me, and I think, “No way! I have to talk to Dan and hear this story.” I emailed Dan, described my spoon and flasher, and asked if they caught a fish with that gear.

He tells me they were out the next day and saw what appeared to be a salmon dragging a flasher on the surface. Dan grabbed a casting rod, cast between the fish and the flasher, and pulled in the salmon and gear. He released the fish, but obviously kept the gear.  I laughed when I read this and thought, “What are the chances?” I told Dan he could keep the gear but I’d like to come in and get a picture of him with it. He insisted on giving it back and said it would be at the store waiting for me. When I stopped in a week or so later, we exchanged a good laugh and a handshake. I left thinking, “What a great sportsman that guy is!” I’ll definitely keep shopping at Gone Fishin’, and I’m pumped to get one of my best spoons back.

Dan giving back the flasher to Josh.


-Josh Knipe


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