Catch and assist

Doug Pihlaja may have cost himself the chance to exaggerate this fish tale in the future, but it was worth it.

The Duluth fisherman caught a 20-pound northern on Whiteface Lake, north of Duluth, on Oct. 7. He wanted to preserve the moment with a photo before releasing the fish back into the water, but there were two problems: The fish wouldn’t fit in the net and Doug didn’t have a camera.

That’s when Mike and Anita Wiskow of Virginia came to the rescue.

The couple were on the shore in front of their cabin, sitting by a fire when Doug — a stranger at the time — pulled up on his boat and asked the pair if they had a camera.

“I caught the fish, and they hurried up and ran over to their camera,” said Doug, who might be the last living person without a camera phone. “They took pictures and watched me let it go.”

Mike and Anita asked for Doug’s name and address and told him they’d send the pictures in the mail. About a week later, the pictures of Doug’s big catch arrived at his home.

“It was a really nice thing they did,” Doug said.