July 10,1999 was a special year for a Fish Ohio catch on Lake Hodgson. I decided to start trolling the lake instead of working live bait like I normally do. They call July and August the Dog Days of fishing because the lake temperature heats up and the fish are harder to catch. I went to trolling Hot-N-Tot lures around the lake. I have a bright silver Hot-N-Tot and a silver and black Hot-N-Tot that I pull behind the boat. I always try to get out at 6 AM when the sun isn't shining as brightly on the lake. I have 8# to 10# line on my poles so I'm not worried about anything overpowering me.
I had went to the North End of the Lake then headed along the West shore to the South end of the lake. As I was heading back toward the boat dock I was trolling along a sand bar. I have a fish Finder on the boat so I use it to keep me off the sand bar and trolling along at the correct depth. I hooked into something big. This is the same sand bar where I had caught the Fish Ohio Carp in 1994.
I started to fight the fish and realized I had three problems.
1: I was fighting a large fish and had to be careful.
2: I was alone and had to net this fish alone.
3: I was drifting toward the sand bar.
I certainly didn't want to get stuck on the sand bar and add to my problems at hand. I worked the fish toward the boat and it stayed down. It was either a big Walleye or a Channel Cat from the fight. I got my net ready and fought the fish to the boat. It was a 28.75" 11# Channel Cat. I was able to get the fish on the first try and was really surprised by the size. this was the biggest Channel Cat I had ever caught. I took it and had it weighed and measured. I then brought it back to the lake.