32lb Athabaska “laker”

Charlie’s 32lb laker, with Alan the gillie doing the honours

I was sharing a boat with a red-haired Irishman—granted that’s not in itself unusual—but what followed was unforgettable. We were trolling quickfish lures over a bay on Lake Athabaska, Canada, when the fish struck. For some reason, when I’ve been on a foreign fishing trip, the size of my catches has increased as the trip unfolded. But Charlie’s was a different story, as we were only two days in when the big laker hit his lure. Half an hour later and 32lbs of chrome muscle was in the boat. I couldn’t believe the size of its head—it was huge. It was the biggest laker anybody caught that trip, or subsequent trips, though there are much bigger ones. That fact alone is enough to cause the feet to get itchy.

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