August 7, 2013

The One That Got Away, And The One That Didn't

I realize it's been a lot of cat fishing on the blog lately, but the Jordan is producing quality fish, and it's hard to step away when the catching is this good. Don't worry though, I'll get back to the trout tails soon enough with the cool fall weather approaching. We've been night fishing twice since my last post, so I'll cover both outings. The first trip was the regular crew I fish with, and the results were typical for what we've been doing lately. Several channel cats were landed in the 24-26 inch range, and fairly consistently. The only difference now is that it's starting to cool off at night so the hoodies have come out.
 
The second trip was last night. I took one of the neighbor kids (Jared) with me. I was really hoping he could get a big cat, since he told me he's mostly caught only little bullheads when he's gone in the past. early on he had a decent one get off, but on his second cat of the night, he went beast mode! He had a lighter setup, so he had a really good fight on his hands. the cat made several runs down river, and a few up river as well. Once he got it close, I got it in the net, and the high five's commenced. His catfish measured 29 inches, and 9 pounds! He told me that was the biggest fish he has ever caught! I snapped a few pictures, and then released the fish back into the muddy water to grow bigger. Great catch Jared! It was great watching the fight!
 
My night ended fighting what felt like a giant, only 20 seconds into the fight, the fish got the upper hand. That is because the top portion of my rod snapped! At first I thought that my two-piece rod had come apart. However, I soon realized I was going to have to fight this fish with only the bottom part of my rod. I got him close enough to get a glimpse, and it was a good sized kitty! That's the only time I saw him though, because on his next run he got off. The fish got the better of me and my equipment this time. I took the rod back to Cabela's today and exchanged it for a new one without any hassle, which is one of the reasons I'm a fan of their products. I assume it was a defect in the rod, because I've never had one break that high up before. We will see if the new one holds out any better.

several cats this size were caught on the first trip.

26 inch channel cat.

Jared with his 29 inch channel cat; his biggest fish ever landed!
 
My biggest landed of the night measured 24 inches long.

The cat won this battle. Good thing Cabelas has awesome customer service.



August 1, 2013

The Bait Paid Off

Licking my wounds from my failed casting lesson, Francisco and I hit the Jordan river for a few hours last night. We set up, and shortly we both had hits. While most of the night all I had were hits, Francisco was putting on a cat fishing clinic! He was consistently reeling in fish, and I got better with my netting skills. He landed several quality fish (20-25 inches), and even a bullhead catfish, which we haven't seen much of since we started using white bass.
 
As the night went on, I stopped even getting bites on my poles. By this time I had gone a little complacent with the lack of action. I was checking my other rod when my new cat fishing setup shot out of the pole holder,  and into the water. I managed to grab the end of the rod when most of it was in the water and set the hook. My pole double over as my reel started singing soprano with how fast line was ripping off it. I just held on for several seconds, until the fish turned. I fought him in only to have him run again. After several minutes, I finally got him within net shot, only to have him dart for a root system on the side on the bank. Luckily, I was able to pull him out, and Francisco got the net on it. We were both amazed at how thick this channel cat was. I pulled out the tape, and the cat measured 29.5 inches! This ended up being my only fish of the night, but with a new personal best, I'd take nights like this all the time!
 
About 20 minutes later, Francisco had a giant of his own on. he fought it all the way in, and just like my big one, his also darted to the roots. Unfortunately, Once he made it in, the catfish broke the line! As many can attest, It's a gut-wrenching feeling to lose a fish so close to the net. We called it a night on that note, to end another great fishing adventure.

One of the few bullheads caught lately.

A few unwanted guests came to see how we were doing.

My only fish of the night. Just a half inch shy of 30 inches! A new personal best!
 
Francisco's keepers. His biggest was 25 inches.