Fished the River this am. Nothing. 30 knot gusts. Went back on the dropping tide. 100 casts, 2 hook-ups.Blowing 30 knots again. Absolutely brutal but I just had to fish.
First fish was a 26″ incher, fat, and put up a great fight on my 8WT. Second fish – KEEPER!!! I could not believe it! This fish was a dead weight when I set the no. 1 hook. Then I stripped again and it ripped the line out of my hand and immediately took up all the line on the ground and went right to the reel. My drag was tight and it was screaming! I could not believe I had a big fish on from shore of the river!
Five minutes into the fight and I have not seen the fish! I would gain line and he would run back out and down river and my drag was just screaming out line… I was talking to this one, telling him I could not believe he was up this far in the river and giving me such a hard time. I kept telling him I could not believe what a great fish he was!
I finally decided if I did not try to get this fish to shore, there was no way I was going to land it without losing it. The hook felt solid and I was confident I could put some serious pressure on the fish. I began to pump and reel. I could feel the fish coming up to the surface. I kept it tight and never slacked the line, as I climbed down the wall to the rocks and the water’s edge. I got right to the edge and began to reel hard. The fish made another huge run, not even tired, ripping the reel out of my hand and wrapped my knuckles good, as it screamed line out again. I palmed the reel to put some more pressure on the fish and felt the hook pull free and my lline went limp…………….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
If you have fished with me, you know I am OK with losing a big fish by the boat or by the shore, IF I get a good look at the fish. You also know that I almost never lose a fish – especially keepers. But it is the ones that I never see that haunt me. Those are the ones I lie in bed at night. years later, thinking about…
I am glad my leader and knot held and the fish did not break off. He was head banging big time the whole five minutes in between his runs. The small no.1 hook finally wore loose and I reeled in my fly. I wish I had my 9WT or 10WT today, and a 2/0 or bigger hook set in his jaw, and maybe I could of landed this striped bass.
What a five minute fight on the banks of The River. I am absolutely sick that I lost this fish.
Capt. Dave, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com