The fishing hole wasn’t paying off and the guide was getting antsy.
“‘Let’s reel in and go to a different spot, this spot sucks,'” John Nordin of Lake Stevens, Wash., recalls him saying while fishing on the Kenai River in mid-July 2010.
So Nordin, who runs an investment company, began bringing in his K-16 with a sardine wrap.
But he didn’t get far.
Ten cranks in and something big grabbed the plug.
Something way, way, way bigger than any of the salmon Nordin had previously fought on the Snohomish, or the 33-pound king he once landed at Sekiu.
It took him 30 minutes and a half mile of water to wrestle the huge fish to the boat.
“That fish kicked my butt,” he told the Lake Stevens Journal. “My heart was pumping so hard, I didn’t want to loose it. I was drained at the end, I couldn’t believe it. I did everything my guide said to do.”
Once the king was in the boat, he had it weighed on a riverside scale. It pegged the monster at 76 pounds, he says.
It also was 53 1/2 inches long and 34 inches around.
“They say it was the biggest this year,” says Nordin.
He attributes the hookup to “a little extra wiggle” in the plug as he reeled it in.
A taxidermist took the skin for a mount.
It was Nordin’s first trip up north, a weeklong fishfest that also saw he and former classmates of his from Lake Stevens High School catch sockeye until their arms ached, lots of rainbows and several other large Kenai kings.
But none the size of Nordin’s.
“It sets the bar for the guys to beat next year,” he says.
Yeah, we’d say so!