This section is from the book "American Game Fishes", by W. A. Perry. Also available from Amazon: American Game Fishes: Their Habits, Habitat, and Peculiarities; How, When, and Where to Angle for Them.
One of the most famous spots for Lake Trout fishing that is at present known to anglers is Stannard's Rock in Lake Superior, forty-four and a half miles north-by-east from Marquette. It is a deadly reef, rising only in a few points, and to the height of a few inches, above the surface of the lake. Undistinguishable in calm weather, its presence would only be made known to the mariner in storms by the seething foam that marked its resistance to the angry waves. It was, fortunately, discovered and definitely located a number of years ago, by a vessel captain whose name it bears. The government has built upon its northern end a massive lighthouse, whose flashing white light, a hundred feet above the surface of the lake, gives warning to sailors eighteen miles away of the dangers that surround it. Thus it is robbed of its terrors, and becomes instead of a constant menace to navigators, a guide to the venturesome angler who seeks excitement and his fill of sport. Southwest from the light, distant perhaps a quarter of a mile, there is a submerged plateau, lying north and south, and covered by eighteen or twenty feet of water. This is where the Trout are to be found in seemingly countless numbers. The lighthouse-keepers must find the place for you, and you must scale the outside of the lighthouse-tower to find the keepers. Genial men they are when found, and trusty, leading a life of solitude that would be unbearable were it not for the constant duties that engross their time. If you go to see them, reader, take with you fresh meat and vegetables-not as a bribe-they do not need it-but to vary the monotony of the salt pork and canned goods diet to which they are necessarily so much restricted. I wish I could give the names of the men who greeted our party with so much courtesy, and showed us such kindly attention; but alas, the log of the Argo is deficient in this regard. It matters not whether they are still there, or have been transferred to other fields of usefulness, the lighthouse-keepers will gladly go and buoy the spot, and set you fishing.
Hither, in the middle summer of 1887, a party of four, of which I had the privilege of being one, hastened in the schooner yacht Argo, anxious to make trial of the sport. After enduring the customary trials of the yachtman's life, including the unavoidable "splicing of the main brace," which seemed for some unexplained reason to be in a very unstable condition, and to require unusual care, we reached at last one afternoon our destination. Everything was favorable. The sky promised a quiet night, a gentle breeze just ruffled the water, and served to render visible the grizzly terrors of the reef. We visited the lighthouse, of course. In fact that was the first thing we did, "going ashore" up the side of the lighthouse foundation, a good fifty feet above the water. It almost took our land-lubber's breath away, and if we had reckoned on the return, some of us would certainly have stayed at home on board our little vessel. With the utmost courtesy the keeper and his assistants showed us over the house, which was as bright as a new pin, and as clean as if an army of housekeepers had just put it in order. They promised on the morrow to come off early and "stake off our claim" for us, a thing which it would have been quite impossible for us to do. They also promised us a quiet night, and the prospect of a good day. But, "landy!" as I heard agood angler vociferate the other day, do you suppose we were content to wait until "to-morrow," when opportunity still waited on to-day? Nay, verily, as soon as politeness let us leave the tower, we set to work, and when darkness and hunger both warned us to quit the sport, we had already a fair store of sightly fish to grace our vessel's "counter." We had the quiet night that was promised us, and shortly after sun-up our friends came off, and planted can-buoys at each end of the fishing ground and let us set to work. Every boat we could command was impressed into the service, and every hand that was not engaged in pulling an oar, or tending the wheel, was yanking and pulling here and there with the constant excitement of the chase. Back and forth, "down the middle and back again," we "chassez-ed" and "allez-ed," the yacht meantime becoming infected with the spirit of the chase, and fishing across our tracks, the cook, even, having "rigged a cast" of a big hook adorned with a bit of red flannel, which proved quite sufficiently "taking." The others were disposed at first to laugh at my eight-ounce rod and light line, and to assert that they would have "more fun" than I; but after they had seen the process of "playing" a fish, and bringing him to gaff, they concluded that although I might not catch quite so many, I was having my full share of sport. The "midshipmite" was most successful in quantity, but as afterward in our hours of ease, he was heard slangily to asseverate that "there were no flies on" the Marquette girls, we concluded that his taking ways proved him a "spoon" of the first water. In the matter of quality I felt myself abundantly satisfied. The biggest fish of the trip fell to my rod-a rousing 18-pounder, which met me with the veritable "laker" tactics, sounding at once, and playing low as long as he had any fight in him. I should think that it took me about fifteen minutes to bring him to gaff, up to which he was led without trouble. My other noteworthy fish scaled eleven, thirteen and one-half, fifteen and sixteen pounds, and there were a number that ranged in weight from nine down to two and one-half pounds. Our total catch for the evening and the morning was 151 fish, weighing in all 550 pounds. We quit the sport at 1 1 o'clock so as to make sail and reach Marquette if possible before night-fall. I may remark in passing that the uncertainty of a yachtsman's life was shown in that unfulfilled expectation. The wind died away, the threatening clouds came up, and we sailed igno-miniously into the harbor the next morning in the midst of a dense and driving mist-forty-five miles in twenty hours! It might have been worse, but for that invaluable "main brace" and its exacting condition.