Big catch boys

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:47 PM

The bait — a big gaudy green-colored chunk of salt-infused soft plastic in the general shape of a crayfish — disappeared beneath the surface with barely more than a ripple, plunging toward the bottom thanks to the heavy tungsten weight pegged to the front.

Moments later, the water around the ripple came alive as something big and hungry devoured the offering.

Hunter Scharphorn knew what to do. He heaved back on his heavy casting rod with all he had, setting the hook as the fish on the other end pulled back with explosive force.

“There’s a big one,” Scharphorn said with a grin.

But as the fish emerged from the weeds, it wasn’t a lunker largemouth bass on the other end. Instead, it was long and slender, with an odd rounded tail and a rippling fin running the length of its back, an almost eerie smiling face and tiny sunken eyes.

“Oh, man, it’s a dogfish,” Scharphorn said, his voice dripping with disappointment.

The big dogfish (also called a bowfin) put up quite a fight, and certainly got the hearts of everyone on the Triton bass boat pumping, but it wasn’t what Hunter and fishing partner Keegan Findley were looking for.

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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