It was an angry sea that day my friends…actually there was a 7 mph wind and the only waves on the water were from boat traffic, but I usually start most of my good fishing trip stories the same way. In every sense of the word, this was a memorable fishing trip for so many reasons and I am going to struggle to condense the entire day down to 3-4 paragraphs but here it goes.
My buddy Pat and I met Gary Price of Gary’s Fishing Guide Service near Truman Lake Resort at 6:30 AM and Gary started to work his magic. Gary has a host of tricks up his sleeve that he uses to locate and get fish to bite, but he is best known for the down-riggers he deploys. Watching him use his sonar and downriggers is like watching Michelangelo work on a piece of canvas. He is always checking his fishing depths, lake location, bait locations, and fish sizes. With that in mind, it would be easy to imagine a guy that is just calculating a plan behind the wheel of the boat but that would be an injustice to the type of guide and person Gary is. Gary is a genuine people person and gets more excited when his clients catch fish than he does when he catches one himself. Admittedly, I get pretty excited when I am catching fish and probably seem child-like when I am catching big fish. It’s what I love to do and I’m not scared to show how much I love the feeling of hooking into a big, angry fish. With that in mind, I honestly believe that Gary smiled every bit as much as I did that day and was always there to offer up a high five that I so sorely wanted after landing an especially feisty or large fish. If you are looking for an honest, positive, and passionate fishing guide then you need to hire Gary! I could go on telling you about all of Gary’s incredible qualities, but it would mean so much more if you just went fishing with him.
Alright, now let’s get down to the actual fishing. The morning was a little slow possibly due to the cool temps and large amount of boat traffic. Gary switched up lures and spots until we started to figure out what was working on this particular day. The first fish that Pat hooked was a MONSTER walleye that I don’t think anyone was expecting since we were fishing for wipers/hybrids. Pat got it all the way to the boat before it got off and I honestly believe that it was an easy seven pounds. While we were pumped about getting a fish hooked-up, there was a general feeling of disappointment that we didn’t get it in the boat. We all agreed that sometimes this is how fishing goes and we moved on pretty quickly. That feeling was almost replaced with a feeling of me wetting my pants when a four foot long spoonbill completely breached about fifteen feet away from the back of the boat. I was watching a seagull dive for shad and was pretty focused on the bird when the fish jumped right in my line of sight. It also didn’t take long before we had a second fish on the line and Pat landed a small hybrid. Again, the positive vibe was on the rise because now we were catching the species that we were looking for. After this, the fishing got really good, really fast.
With a lot of boat traffic leaving the lake for lunch, we found our groove. Gary started to mark bait balls, single wipers/hybrids, and groups of wipers/hybrids. The first fish that hit was a beautiful six pound, twenty-three inch hybrid. A second six pounder followed shortly thereafter for me and Pat caught a carbon copy just minutes later. We were on the fish and they were biting regularly. Gary had put the fishing puzzle together like a surgeon and we were catching some big, hard-fighting fish. There were smiles to spare and we were having such a great time that we barely noticed that we had missed lunch. After Pat caught his second six pound wiper/hybrid, Gary explained that we had probably found a group of fish that were in the same age range that might exhibit similar sizes and for the most part he was right. However, my favorite thing about fishing is that there is no way for you to know what is going to happen next and nothing could have compared me for the surprise that laid in store for me. A rod went off with the strike of a fish and I started to reel. This bite felt different than a wiper/hybrid. It didn’t run or give a violent head shake but instead felt like dead weight and for a moment I thought I was reeling in a log. When the unknown assailant got closer to the boat, it suddenly displayed some legitimate fight and started to thrash. After advice from Pat, I kept the fish from rising to the surface and Gary got the landing net deep into the water to try and keep the fish calm. After he netted the fish and got it on board, I realized that I had caught the biggest walleye of my life. It was six pound, twenty-six inch walleye and needless to say, I was ecstatic. I honestly believe that I probably won’t ever catch a bigger walleye in my life and I am seriously considering getting a replica mount made sometime in the near future. It was an amazing fish and I think Gary and I high-fived each other about three times.
Now in my mind, things couldn’t have gotten much better than that, but mother-nature was being especially generous on this particular day. Pat caught two more wipers/hybrids that went about six pounds each and I caught a seven pound, twenty-five inch wiper that put up an incredible fight and made the reel sing twice even though it was hooked on twenty pound line. All in all, Pat caught five wipers/hybrids and I landed 4 as well as an incredible walleye. We only kept the walleye to eat and had not problems letting the wipers/hybrids go in hopes that next summer they might be eight to nine pounds.
On this trip Pat caught more wipers/hybrids in a single day than he ever had in a single day, I caught more wipers/hybrids in a single day than I ever had, Pat hooked his first walleye, I landed my biggest walleye, and we drove home happily exhausted. Finally, I cannot thank Gary enough for taking us out and I cannot say enough good things about him. It is hard for me to imagine anyone having any regrets if you book him for a trip and I highly recommend him. If you like hooking fish that are easily in the six to seven pound range and you like hooking into a multiple fish that have serious attitude problems, then Gary’s Fishing Guide Service and Truman Lake is for you. Here’s his link on Facebook:
|Pat reeling in a hybrid/wiper.|
|A hybrid/wiper on the line.|
|My six pound walleye.|
|A six pound hybrid/wiper.|
|Gary and I with my seven pound hybrid/wiper.|