Monday, May 27, 2013

5/25/2013, River Fishing

Saturday we had planned on catfishing with Russ again, but sometimes plans don't work out. We had a predetermined meeting time of noon on Saturday. However, Friday night we failed to get bait, and Saturday wasn't much better. Saturday we woke up at 7am and hit a creek near the house to try and get a few creek chubs. After 3 hours we only had 6 chubs in the bucket. With limited bait, Amanda and I decided to throw them back and just go bass fishing instead. I called Russ and broke the bad news to him. He was set on catfishing, and offered us his bait. I told him that we'd go catfishing but I would have to go buy bait from a local bait store.

We quickly loaded the car up and grabbed some bait. We met up with Russ and hit the river. The water was teaming with fish at our launch point so we took a few casts with our bass rods. After floating for a few minutes Amanda landed a 27 inch gar.
After we let the gar go, Russ landed a small drum, then a buffalo, and another buffalo. He definitely seemed to be on a roll.
All the while I had yet to land anything other than one small skipjack....which later would come in handy. At about 6pm I had given up on fishing for bait and decided to start anchoring and fishing for catfish. I took a few pics of each spot as I anchored just to kill time and to remind myself of the water temp and water depth for my fishing log. Here's one of the better pics.
At about 8pm we found a good catfish bite. Russ was the first to miss a fish, and the first to land a catfish both on live bluegill. It was a short and stocky 18 pound 33" flathead.
I paddled down to take a pic and get a weight. Before I paddled back, I cut my skipjack in half and gave Amanda the tail half because I had plans for the head piece. Amanda quickly cut it up and tossed it out. It took less than five minutes before Amanda had landed her catfish of the evening. So once again I pulled anchor and paddled down to her to take some pics and weigh her catfish. It was a channel cat that went 8.5 pounds.
I then paddled back to my spot and started fishing once again. After watching them catch fish for the next hour and a half I decided to pull anchor and find a new spot. I quickly dropped anchor only to find that I had chosen to anchor in water that was too swift, the grapnel anchor began to slip until it caught a snag. At this point I had literally drifted to where I wanted to fish. I then tried to pull anchor....... I didn't get that anchor back. So down to one anchor I tried to find another spot....one with a log or something to tie off to. I quickly found a new spot and got my rods out, only to snag both on the first cast. At this point I was very frustrated. However in the distance I could hear Amanda and Russ' bait clickers going off and the sound of channel cats thrashing the surface of the water, so I regrouped and retied my rods. I pulled anchor and drifted into a fallen log to relax for a second. The kayak stayed fairly still and the water was pretty slack so it became my next fishing spot. I quickly put a piece of skipjack on my first rod and cast it out, I then began retying my second rod. Then the clicker began to sound....it would start and then stop, start and then stop. I quickly released the clicker and waited for the line to get tight. I then set the hook on my first catfish of the night, and the first catfish battle in my kayak. After a short battle I had landed my first catfish, a flathead that went 8.5 pounds.
After I got my first cat, I put out a small live carp and re-casted the piece of skipjack that I had caught my flathead on. After an hour I decided to meet up with Amanda and Russ to see what they wanted to do. We all pulled anchor and drifted down stream in search of our next spot. At this point it was well after dark. We drifted for about five minutes before I heard the rumble of water in the distance. Shortly after I look up to see Russ facing backwards making a straight line to the bank. We had come up on a rapid, and before we could react we were heading down the rapid at a very fast pace. We all made it down without dumping, but we were all ready for a break. We paddled to a rock island and discussed what else we could expect downstream. Russ quickly reminded us that there were several more obstacles awaiting us. After our heart rates settled down we pushed off the island and began floating back down river. We found another good stretch of calm deep water and tossed a few baits out. At this point I knew we were almost done fishing so I took my remaining chunk of skipjack, the head, and tossed it out just upstream of a nasty looking snag. Less than thirty minutes later the clicker began to slowly roll. Knowing that the bait was fairly large, I let the fish take the bait a little longer than normal. After a few seconds I disengaged the clicker mechanism, engaged the reel, and then waited for the fish to pull all the slack out of the line. I made a firm hook set and the fish began to take line. I felt three distinct head shakes and three drag slipps. And then it happened, the line went slack. The hook had failed to find flesh. After losing this fish I tossed out my largest carp, one at 7-8". I waited for a half hour and then decided to see what Russ and Amanda wanted to do. At this point Amanda was starting to doze off and Russ informed me of another obstacle just downstream of where we were fishing, one that we would have to drag our kayaks around. After this adventure we were all wet well over our knees and the air temps were dropping into the high forties, so it was the end of our trip.

All in all it was a decent trip, and I am definitely glad Russ was persistent that we go catfishing rather than bass fishing. We ended up catching 1 gar, 1 skipjack, 2 buffalo, 4 flathead, and over a dozen channel cats.

1 comment:

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