Fished LBL this Sunday (getting to be a pattern). Overall a good day. Put in at Austin HS around 6 am (have to get there early to get a parking spot by the boat ramp). Since the sun wouldn't be up for another hour decided to head down the lake, I've never fished the boardwalk. Fished the brush and branches in the water and bridge pilings. Caught 3 LMB (all under 3 lbs) and about a dozen blue gill and sunfish, all on a small ( 9/32 oz ) crankbait, including a Bluegill that measured 9 1/4"
. Would have been a great day...except.
Fishing the south bank behind some apartments something BIG hit my crank
. I was fishing with a light action rod and 8 lb test mono. I knew I couldn't just horse this fish in. The first time it jumped I realized how big it was. My PB large mouth is 7 lb, 14 oz. Caught it in 2005 in Kansas. This fish was bigger. I don't know if it was 10, I've never seen a 10lb bass in person, but it was big. Was just concentrating on keeping the line tight, his head up, and letting him take line when he ran so I didn't break him off. Of course, I'm also thinking...is this a Sharelunker? How do I keep him alive until a game warden shows up? Maybe I just release him and take enough pictures to have a mount made
Got him to within six feet of the kayak, he saw the boat, decided oh hell no, and ran again. Kept his head up, he's jumping, two Austin Bike Cops are on the jogging trail watching, all is right with the world. Get him close to the kayak again. I realize I can't boat flip him, I think he weighs more than my line can hold. Decide I'm going to net him. The net is behind my seat. As I reach behind the seat...he goes under the kayak. No problem as long as he doesn't.........wrap himself around the Yak Blade Transducer mount.
So of course...he does. I reach in, hoping to slip the line off the transducer arm...and snap.
I yelled something like.... oh fudge. One of the bike cops at the same time yelled something like... oh fudge. We looked at each other. He said, "Brother if you're not going to cry, I'm gonna cry for ya."
I learned a couple important lessons. I'm not going to change the way I fish. Except during the spring and fall I'm fishing for big bluegill,not bass, so I'm going to keep using light line and tackle. That didn't keep my from landing this fish. Two things did keep me from landing him.
1. I didn't have the net where I could get it without taking my eyes off the fish. From now on the net goes between the seat and the hull.
2. I gave him the perfect apparatus to break the line. Since I started kayak fishing I've never caught
hooked a fish that I couldn't keep away from my anchor line or my transducer arm. Until now. From now on if I catch something I know is big the transducer gets pivoted out of the water and if I'm anchored (which is almost never) I yank the quick release on my anchor line and let the boat drift.
I won't say this ruined a day of fishing...any day I can get out and fish is a gift, but I did catch the big blue gill half an hour after I lost this bass. It was probably among the five biggest I've ever caught. I wasn't excited enough to take pictures.