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joev

Fighting Big Fish From Yak

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My biggest fish to date has been a 8-9 pd bluefish out of the yak I am wondering what its going to be like with a 20-30 pound striper with heavy tackle any tips or insight would be appreciated also what is the biggest fish out of the yak you have caught and what were the conditions and type of tackle that were used. Thanks ahead of time . joev

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Joe

I've landed a striper in the 15-20# class on the Susquehanna Flats this past spring. Don't know the exact weight but the fish was well over 30 inches. It was a hell of a fight, getting towed around by a headstrong bass,finally getting her alongside, reaching down and almost rolling the boat trying to straight arm the fish outta the drink. Learned a valuable lesson, large fish need to be slid up onto your boat as gently as possible. Porter took a couple pictures, I gave the fish a kiss on the head and slid her back in to revive her, and let her go. Was the first striper I caught on my yak, and the first of the year.biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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I don't think that I've broken 15#s yet. Guys out west are landing fish approaching 200#s so I'm not concerned.

 

I had an opportunity up at MV this spring but the fish were quite large and I decided not to try and stayed on shore. There was a bar about 75 yards out and the surf was 5-6' breaking over it. If you put a cast over the bar it was almost a sure hookup with bass up to 48". The small ones were 15-20 pounders. I felt that I probably wouldn't be able to control the fish from the yak and that they'd head straight for the break, in which I wouldn't have had a chance.

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JoeV:

 

I use two outfits in my Loon138 (a sit-in). Haven't gotten out much this year due to the baby. Found a good rip in the bay just before a sunrise in mid-May. Waves were under a foot with no wind near the end of outgoing. Conditions were about as perfect as it gets.

 

Landed a fat 29" 10lb weakfish, next cast a 36" 18 lb bass biggrin.gif and for an hour after the sun rose--two dozen blues, many between 28-32".

 

Caught the weakfish and most of the blues on an 8ft St Croix Tidemaster/Daiwa Emblem 3500Sia spinner with 30lb whiplash and a 30lb fluoro leader. Kept the drag light especially as the fish came closer to the kayak. Be prepared for those last ditch bursts of energy next to the yak that could pull you off balance.

 

As far as handling those gator blues, I just wanted to keep 'em out of the kayak when unhooking them cwm31.gif Definitely a good idea to switch to barbless hooks or single hooks if they're around. Let them tow you to where you wanna be and then unhook themselves when you get there biggrin.gif I left them in the water, pinned their head to the side of the yak and used long needlenose pliers to get the hooks out.

 

This was quite a scene: one big bastage blue I was fighting threw the plug up in the air as he jumped--he landed and then launched himself back out of the water to catch the plug and hook himself again before the plug hit the water devil.gif

 

The bass was the only fish to dive to the bottom during the fight, all the others pretty much ran away from the pressure of the line and went down no more than 6ft in 15ft of water. Saw the bass rise from the depths and take the plug just under the surface only 3 feet from the yak cwm24.gif She pulled the rod tip down hard and immediately went straight back down to the bottom. Loose drags will keep you in the boat but don't do much for the heart wink.gif

 

Took ten minutes using a Lami IC76XH & Mag Elite w/65lb whiplash (my jetty reel) to get her back to the surface. She zigzagged downcurrent and rubbed a few rocks trying to get the lure outta her face. Got hung briefly, but the whiplash survived and I slid her onto the yak. I hooked the bass on a "practice cast" with the lure tied directly to the whiplash--no leader cwm24.gif

 

To sum up: for lures, go barbless or single-hook for an easy release. Make sure the drag is not "sticky" and keep it light in case you get a strike next to the yak. Match your gear to your quarry and local structure.

 

You might want to get a rod leash to eliminate the chance of losing the outfit overboard--it's one less thing to keep your mind occupied when handling fish. I also keep a knife close by in case the line has to be cut quickly.

 

JoeA

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