Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Learned My Lesson

I got out in my kayak again.  Back at the same catch and release lake as last Saturday.

Tonight I got to explore more of the lake.  I paddled more than I did last time.  I'm sure my arms and shoulders will let me know about it tomorrow morning.  That's not the lesson I learned however.

I started off with a third-cast bluegill.  

It ate the same finesse presentation as all fish did last week; a Berkley 4" Power Worm, a #4 Gamakatsu Octopus-Circle hook, and a single split shot.

I paddled around a corner into a shallow, weedy area.  The weeds were too thick to fish through but there were dips and holes.  Polarized sunglasses helped me see the minnows, small bluegills, and bass that came up top to feed on them.  I saw all of these as they were scared by the presence of my kayak and scooted away to hide.

A few bass came once I cleared the edge of the weeds.  I had a bite that I pulled steadily on to set the circle hook when I felt a loss of tension.  I reeled in to see my line broke.  You can tell when your line breaks versus when your knot slips visually.  A clean break means the line snapped, a squiggly bit of line tells you to tie better knots.  I tied another circle hook on and re-rigged a Power Worm.  Flipping back toward the weed edge caused my line to go tight again.

I had my shirt off to try to get less pasty white not show off like Putin.  Still this bass was over two pounds and looked nice and long; worthy of a photo before being released.

The next area I fished had a small clump of weeds right in the middle of a deeper, clear area.  I cast to it and caught the bass above.  I cast back to the same spot and felt the tug of a fish then nothing.  Reeling in my line I found another clean break.  I cuss myself out for making a cheap, lazy mistake.

Fishing line manufacturers say you should replace your line every year or as you notice it getting roughed up.  My line on this reel was last years line.  No wonder it was brittle.  I'll tie on another hook and hope that I won't break off again.

Casting my rig over a clump of floating weeds caused me to feel a dead or spongy feeling when the Power Worm sank out of sight.  I know this can mean a fish has your bait so I pulled for a hook set and pulled up this nice crappie.

Another quick cast brought up a 2.75# largemouth for a photo.

One more cast to the same spot.  My line stiffens, I pull, the circle hook sets.


Oh!!!!!   This is a big one!!!


It's pulling drag straight down trying to get deep.  Ok, just keep tension on it, you don't want to lose this  *crap*

Line snapped cleanly, just like the other two times.  *sigh*

I didn't retie.  I paddled back to the spot I entered the lake, pulled out and packed my kayak into my RAV4.  

I learned my lesson. I stopped at the nearest store that had a fishing section to buy a spool of 6# Trilene XL monofilament fishing line.

My public service for today is to share two videos.  One that will help you learn how to tie an arbor knot used to join your fishing line to your spinning reel spool. The other is a video that shows you how to position the spool of line while winding to minimize line twist and other spinning reel related annoyances.

Please learn from my mistake.  Replace your mono each year.  It will keep you from learning the lesson I had to learn today.