Monday, May 21, 2012

Monster red and late reports

It's been a while... 

Recently I have had quite a few setbacks. Due to my recent move I don't have internet...not having internet sucks. I now live so far in the sticks my options are satellite or air card. Hopefully I'll have a solution soon, but it's not looking so hot.

I have tons of excuses for not updating my blog, but the best excuse is, I've been fishing! 

That's right...and it has been GOOD. 

On April 28th, I was lucky enough to go fishing with Ric Burnley and Forrest Short. I started fishing a couple hours after them and by the time I met up with them, Forrest had just landed a six pound bass. I caught 4 bass and 3 pickerel  throughout the day with the biggest bass going about 17" and the biggest pickerel being 23". 

The real highlight of the day was Ric Burnley catching his one and only fish of the day, a 23" 7+ pound behemoth bass. The real kicker is that this was his FIRST TIME FISHING FOR BASS! Way to go, Ric! Good work.

Forrest, as usual, caught several bass up to 19" (other than the 6 pounder.) Not a bad day on the water!

A few days later, I went fishing for big reds and sight casting for striper (also big). I met up with Jay Brooks, Kayak Kevin, Mark Rioux, Ashley Bishop, and Miles Wong. It was a lot of paddling that day, but it payed off! 

Kevin was the first one to find the school of striper and he immediately hooked up. Jay was soon to follow, but I couldn't seem to get one to hit. After Kevin landed his 44" striper, Jay landed his and it was even bigger at 45"! Not too much later we found the school again and finally I got a massive hit on the spook, but I yanked it right out of its mouth. The lure bounced about 10 feet away and I immediately started twitching it again. Within a second or two I got another huge blowup and this time I hooked it! I could still see the main school tightly clumped together and all of the sudden, either my hooked fish or Kevin paddling up spooked the school and more than thirty striper at 30-45" come charging at me with their shoulders out of the water. It looked like a herd of cattle from where I was sitting... It kinda scared me- I'm not gunna lie. After a good fight on my medium tackle I landed the fat 37" striper and snapped a couple pics.

It got much harder after that because the striper spooked much easier. Kevin did manage to coax one more using a stop and go presentation with a swimbait, but I couldn't get them to bite. I did, however, manage 2 more striper, but they were both foul hooked. 

We looked for reds after we realized the striper didn't want anything to do with us, but the water was murky and we couldn't find any so we headed in.

Just a couple days later I got the chance to get out there and again I had even better luck. Kevin, Jay, and Jay's wife Allie got out there much earlier than I did. Kevin landed a 47" and a 41"while Jay messed around with a chug bug to get the same nice red blow up on his topwater lure 3 times.

As I met up with them, we found a nice school of striper, but I was the only one lucky enough to get  any hits. I had 2-3 follow-ups and 2 blow-ups. I was prepared with the Go-Pro HD 2 this time!

It was Jay's birthday, so he and his wife left early. Kevin stuck around for a little while longer, but after about an hour he also left. I was determined to catch a red, so I continued to cast my super spook around while dragging my swimbait on the bottom behind me.  I could not get a red to hit the spook, but not for lack of trying.

After paddling for miles and miles and casting the spook 'til my arm hurt, I got a strong hit on the swimbait that was I was dragging behind me. I grabbed the rod and the line went slack soon after I cranked the reel. I wasn't sure if it was a red or a cownose ray, but it was big whatever it was. I passed through the same area 4-5 times over the next hour or so, and got a strong hit. This time it was on for about 10 seconds and again...the stupid thing got off! I started to crank the swimbait in really fast to cast back out and within 3-4 full cranks I got another hit! It went right from one red's mouth to the next. I got a nice solid hook-set on this one and reeled it in within 5-7 minutes. It was a tough-fighting 42" red drum, my first red of the year!

Unfortunately, my camera died before I could adjust the mount in the right position...

I fished 'til dark, but that red was the last one I saw. Not my biggest red, but I'll take a 37" striper and a 42" red in the same day, any day.

On May 5th, Rob Choi, Matt Anderson, Tripp Seed, and I left Wise Point boat ramp in search of reds again. We paddled past the area where we typically see the striper, but for the first time, we didn't see any schools at all. After about 3 hours of trolling our baits for nothing, we came up on 2 boats. I decided to go around one, paddle between them, and go in front of the next one. As I got between the two boats, my rod doubled up! FISH ON! I grabbed my Release Reel matched with my Shimano Trevala and started cranking. It was NOT coming up. As I was fighting the fish, Rob started to film me, and Tripp immediately took a cast in my direction and hooked up, but lost it within 30 seconds or so. After a great fight I saw the fish for the first time...and so did the boaters. I knew it was big, but didn't know how big. The guys on the boat said, "WHOA! What are you gunna do with it now???" I looked at them and said "Just watch!"

I grabbed the bottom jaw and leg scooped it into the boat. 

I love catching fish that make me go "WOOOOOOO!" 

I soon realized that my 48" tape measure was too short so I paddled over to the boat to borrow a tape measure. I pulled the tape across it as best I could and decided 49" was pretty close, though I think it could have gone 50" had I been able to lay it out flat.

The rest of the day was uneventful, but I didn't fret too much because I already caught the biggest fish of my life!