Fishing Recap – July 2017

I've gone on a few fishing and/or kayaking trips this month. They've been piling up and they're similar enough that it would tedious be to read trip reports for all of them. So I'll just make a little summary post with a lot of photos!

Some of the highlights:

  • The 30+ lb blue or flathead is still eluding me. But I remain optimistic that I'll get one eventually.
  • I've been having good luck with decent sized channel cats. This last weekend I caught three in the 5-7 pound range, which is excellent for the lake I was fishing in my experience. I also caught a small, but very pretty yellow bullhead.
  • I took my younger kid on a pure kayaking trip on the Cape Fear. I enjoyed it, but it was a bit hot and we wore out pretty quickly. But one-on-one time with your kids is always a net positive.
  • I caught my first bowfin. Being from the Southwest, we never had them where I grew up. It was a pretty big one. I'd guess 8 to 10 pounds. I have to guess because it came off the hook right at the edge of the kayak! I lost him because I just didn't get him in the boat quickly enough. I was fumbling around trying to get my camera out of my pack keeping the fish on the line in the water beside the boat. And he just thrashed himself right off the hook. My bad. I should have had everything ready to go. So I didn't even get a picture of him, which is a drag! It was kind of eye-opening catching a bowfin because they're such feisty fighters. Multiple aerials and thrashing like crazy the whole time. I was soaking wet just from all the splash he generated! One of my fishing buddies considers bowfin trash fish, but I really enjoyed catching it and I hope I get more. They have serious attitude. Reading about how people target them, I'm lucky to have caught the one I did. The hook I had was appropriate for large cats, but way too big for bowfin.
  • On a different trip this month I also lost a good-sized channel cat. In that case it was at the bank instead of next to the boat and it wasn't my fault for not landing him quickly enough. I was on top of it and ready to land him immediately. I was targeting channels using 12 lb Cajun Red line as leader and it just broke off at the hook. On that same trip, I had another leader line break in the same way, but in that instance I had lip grips on the fish and didn't lose that one. Normally the cats in this lake aren't that big and it's not really heavy cover, so 12 lb line is usually just fine. (I don't like using heavy leader unless I really need it, just in case I get hung and need to break off.) But I've concluded that Cajun Red line is just prone to breakage at a knot and I won't be using it anymore. As long as you learn something from it, even losses are wins.