No big fish tale: Ice fisher pulls up key lost in Lake Winnipeg on fishing hook

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While ice fishing on Lake Winnipeg, Peguis First Nation fisherman Doug Thomas experienced what he calls a "miracle" — and it wasn't a fish he reeled in.

He and his cousin, Nelson Thomas, were sitting in his ice fishing hut, about two or three kilometres from the shore. The pair had six holes set up.

Nelson noticed one of his rods moving, and as he started pulling it in, he realized he had landed something big.

"[My cousin] was all excited, yelling that it was a big one, so I bent down to reach for the fish so it wouldn't get away," said Doug.

"As I bent down to reach for the fish, something slid out of my jacket pocket and fell into the hole right in front of me."

He didn't see what fell in because it all happened so fast, but he suspected he'd lost his glasses.

The pair snagged a 28-inch walleye — their largest catch of the day. But after the excitement of the catch wore off, Doug tried to figure out what he'd lost.

He checked his coat pockets and found his glasses, so he and his cousin puzzled over what could have fallen into the water.

"Then my cousin Nelson said, 'Maybe you should pull up your lines, maybe it's on your hook.'"

The pair started to pull up their lines, and that's when Doug realized what he'd dropped — the key to his car, which was hooked to end of one of his lines.

"When I pulled up the key both me and cousin Nelson …  were astonished," said Doug.

"We were both yelling, and laughing, because it's beyond belief. What are the chances of that happening?"

Doug says the key sank about five metres below the ice, where it hooked onto the line.

He posted his story on Facebook, with a photograph of the key at the end of the line, and people have been reacting to his extraordinary luck.

"People are telling me to buy lottery tickets ... I think I will," he said.

As someone who goes out fishing two or three times a week, Doug Thomas says he'll now make sure to check what's in his pockets before making any sudden moves inside his hut.