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carp13

Lesson Learned!

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Well I was pretty excited about fishing today because I heard from 2 reliable sources that the Albies were going nuts off of Watch Hill yesterday. So I launched before dawn from the Barn and headed for what I thought was Napatree. I was halfway across the bay before I realized that my heading was for the high section of Sandy point,about the middle of the island. (gotta get a GPS!) So I changed my course and finally got to the vicinity of the pilings in a roundabout way. The tide had changed over an hour ago so it took me quite awhile to get there in my little trolling motor-powered yak. When I did get there the situation was just what I feared. When they say seas of one foot or less,it is almost never that at Napatree. More like steady 3 to 4 footers with 6 to 8 foot rollers breaking on the rocks and pilings. So I dilly-dallied around a little,drifting southwest of the point,trying to stay out of the big waves,hoping it will lay down,watching the birds,waiting for them to tell me something,biding my time as I talk myself into a bigger set of balls. Finally I said screw it and went for it. I made my heading for the red can,gotta take that turn around the point wide to stay out of the breakers. So I'm making head-way,getting the hang of gunning the motor up to the crest of the waves and throttling down the backsides. Not too bad. Sure I'm taking quite a few big ones over the bow that completely fill the cockpit with water but it's draining quickly so I'm fine. I'm trudging along and I look up and what do I see? Birds. LOTS OF BIRDS! They're going in the water and covering an area the size of a football field a little over a quarter mile southeast of the can. That's it,that's what I've been waiting for! So I gun the motor,no more throttling back on the downslope! I'm getting there,making good headway,about to over-take the can when something goes wrong. The tide was really ripping now and all of a sudden I'm getting sucked into the eddy behind the can. REAL FAST. All I see is this really big piece of steel getting way too close for comfort. I try to power out of it but nothing is happening. In a panic I pick up my paddle and get the hell out of there. In all honesty I was scared there for a minute. When I started paddling I even had my doubts that I was going to be able to get out of that and had a vision of the situation ending really badly. It wasn't until I was well clear of the hazard that my mind turned to trying to figure out what went wrong. There is ALOT of wood in the water,tree-sized wood. In my haste to get to the action I whacked something and broke the shear-pin in the prop. I had another pin with me but I would have to hit the beach to change it out. Basically by that point I had had enough and resolved to prepare myself for the roughly 3 mile paddle in. When I got to the launch and got ready to put the yak on the car I discovered that there was at least 5 gallons of water in the hull too. Also not good. Gotta figure out a way to seal that front hatch better.So that's the morning I had. No Albies for me. If anyone knows of a closer place to Watch Hill to launch a yak other than the Barn I'd love to hear about it. Maybe in R.I.? This is only the second time I've actually targeted Albies. Haven't caught one yet but after today they have become my "White Whale"!

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That place can be treacherous...I was only near there a few times and thought better to venture out there...a fish is not worth putting yourself in such danger ;)

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I know the spot from my trips to Barn Island.  As you pull up near the pilings and see the waves cresting over the rocks it doesn't seem all that treacherous but whenever I get near rocks I'm wary.  They seemed to materialize suddenly directly below you as the undertow pulls you into the rollers.  As I paddled up I left myself what I thought was a nice cushion for a few casts and the next thing I see boulders under the surface requiring a hasty back-paddle.    



 



Damn shame you didn't get into the fish but living to see another day isn't to shabby an outcome wink.gif ..  As to alternative launching options.. I can't give you first hand info as I always launch from B.I. but as I look at google earth I see Watch Hill Cove for one.. even better off Larkin Rd. somehow..



BI.jpg   



 



You guys are lucky up there... what a beautiful area, I can't wait to get back.


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Yeah,it was one of those "uh-oh" moments for sure. I know that it really only takes one of those to not return from a trip and consider myself pretty lucky. I guess I'm still a little naive as to what the ocean is capable of. Never even saw that coming. I thought as long as I stay in the yak I'm good but that can pitching and heaving in the waves not 10 feet from me made a pretty big impression. I grew up in Chicago and lived there all of my life until 3 1/2 years ago. Never even fished the salt until I moved here. So I definitely still got a lot of learning to do. Just have to try to not do the learning the hard way...............And thanks for the launch suggestions. Next time I'm out there I'm gonna have to drive past the Barn and do some looking around.

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I mainly fish fresh so I tend to be a little more cautious venturing out in the salt...  especially when I get close to anything where the dynamics of wave motion come into play..  rocks, jetties etc etc.  around the B.I. launch its pretty much the same as lake fishing so thats a piece of cake..  around Napatree Pt. facing open water you start to feel the power     


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You need to fish that area by boat to get an appreciation for it...there is a lot of great structure AND a lot of very hazardous areas...not for the inexperienced at all ;)

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Looks like I might be fishing that area from a boat on Sunday so I will be able to get a better look/feel for the situation out there. What kinda sucks is just about everything I know,I've had to learn on my own by getting out there. I talk to guys (non-kayakers),ask them where I ought to be fishing and they rattle off spots like it ain't nothing for me to get out there. Then I look at a map and it looks doable but I get out there and it's another story. For instance,one guy I talk to seems to feel that fishing Bartlett's is feasible from a yak. The northern most tip maybe but the other end no way. There's just way too much open water to cover from the launch. For those of you that grew up fishing the ocean I'm jealous. The knowledge and experience you get from being taught at a young age by your fathers or uncles or whoever is invaluable. Wish I had it.

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