Why is it than when you hook into a big fish, there's usually a crowd of people start to gather about or some nosy fishermen from way beyond decides to come over. It could be just two boats on the entire lake and they will still come over.
But that time when I hooked into a snapping turtle on my Top Raider lure. Supposedly I was fishing for Musky's. Anyway felt like I was dragging a submerged timber through the water for who knows how long. Probably at least 20 minutes but who's timing it. Lucky for the long jaw pliers. Even more lucky was that only the turtle was upper lip hooked. So the release was scarry but easy with just one flick of the wrist.
I've hooked into a large soft shell turtle before and pulled it ashore. Gosh the whole treble inside it's mouth. Maybe spent at least 20 minutes fighting that thing pulling on the lure and line trying to pull it's head out of it's shell so I can pry open it's mouth to twist some leverage into the treble to get it out. Then again who's timing it?
I don't want to ever catch another monster lake sturgeon while ice fishing anymore. I don't care how much initial adrenaline rush you get, but say after like an hour, you will be super tired and drenched in sweat. Lucky I was still kind of younger back then. Now only the worst thing is, finding out the gill plate on the fish was about the size of your ice hole. I probably needed like double diameter of that to even pull the fish up through the ice. And yeah, around 20 inches of ice thickness, well that's not easy drilling a hole of that size unless one has already prepared a spear hole of that size in advance. Now just another story of how the big one got away. Just lucky the fish never decided to run the 100 yards of line out on the reel. When the sturgeon finally got it's tail wrapped around my line just under the ice hole, that was the cutting factor at one big tail flip and gone...but now when I see the big one coming on the flasher, I ain't trying to catch them anymore when I'm trying to catch crappies.