Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jake's new Personal Bests

My little brother recently graduated from his Army AIT, and when he got home I took him fishing a few times. Last year I took him fishing before he went off to basic training and he caught a 33 pound common carp. Which happens to be the largest common carp we have caught to date. Since the beginning of October, Jake has been out four or five times and he has set two new personal bests. On his first trip I took him to the hot water discharge at the Dayton Power and Light Power Plant located near Aberdeen, Ohio. The objective of the trip was supposed to be bait gathering so we could fish for catfish the next day, in other words it was a Skipjack trip. We got the first cast in around 5:30pm and bites were slow. So I told Jake to tie on a spoon and try to catch Hybrid Stripers until I found a hot Skipjack bite. Jake caught a couple dozen dinker (small) Hybrid Stripers and a few 2 to 3 pound drum before I found the Skipjack. I then told him to switch back to the sabiki rig and start casting for Skipjack. The very first cast he hooked something that gave him quite the battle. A two minute battle then ensued. It turned out that he had hooked four fish on the rig, three Hybrid Stripers and a Skipjack. The largest of which was his new personal best, a 3lb 9oz hybrid striped bass.
3 pound 9 ounce hybrid striped bass
Its not a monster, we typically catch a dozen Hybrid Stripers over this size each year, but he was glad to have it regardless. At the end of the evening I had caught a few dozen Skipjack Herring for our next few fishing trips.

A couple trips later Jake and I took the boat and some Skipjack out to Ohio Brush Creek, and drove across the Ohio River to fish the Kentucky side of the river. We anchored and fished for an hour or two before the waves picked up and began bouncing the boat around too much to detect bites. So we decided to find a new spot to get out of waves and extreme wind. So we anchored on the back side of a tied off barge and sat around for a couple hours. Fearing a shut out, a trip without catching a single fish, we began talking about moving to another spot. I reeled in my rods and Jake pulled in his first rod, I told him that we still needed to decide where we wanted to fish, and then his other rod went down. After a minute and a half he had landed his new personal best channel catfish, at 10 pounds and 9 ounces.
10 pound 9 ounce channel catfish
Previously his personal best was estimated to be around 6 pounds, so he was very appreciative to have a quality channel cat. After the fish was released, he looked to me and asked, "What do we do now?, Do we still move?" I told him that it shouldn't even be a question, we were going to stay a little bit longer to see if we were catching the beginning of a hot bite, or if we had just anchored where this channel had been staying. We ended up catching a few small blues afterwards, and leaving around 8pm.

The real reason for this post is to highlight the joy that can come with helping others get on nice fish. Currently I am in the worst personal fishing slump I have been in for quite some time. In the last two months I have only landed a few mediocre fish, while Amanda has caught and lost decent blue cats and set a new personal best Longnose Gar. A month ago Dad landed a new personal best blue catfish at 20 pounds, and Rylan also landed a new personal best blue catfish recently. All the while I spend days fishing with Amanda, Rylan, Dad, and Jake individually and each Saturday with Rylan and Amanda. Although I joke with everyone about fishing hundreds of hours without catching decent fish, I still get exited to see them catch quality fish.

At the end of the trip Jake made a very good point about the trip, he stated that each trip should be measured by the quality or quantity of fish that we catch collectively, not individually. Every now and then I get greedy and lose site of that point.

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