Ending 2016 with a bang


bass

New member
#1
I have not posted much lately but I have been having pretty good success throughout December on the sturgeon. The bite has been anywhere from insane to reasonable and has tapered a bit as the water has dipped close to 40 degrees.

I decided to end 2016 with a sturgeon fishing trip. I was excited to go out because I just bought a new Tekota 500LC to replace the Cardiff 400 on my Okuma 8.5' XHvy salmon rod (light sturgeon rod). I have liked the Cardiff well enough but I have had to repair it a few times and I have always felt that it was a little light for sturgeon fishing. The new Tekota is much heavier but feels much stronger and takes much less effort when reeling in heavy weights or fish. I was concerned about getting a line counter reel since I will mostly be making short casts for sturgeon, but the line counter is not affecting my casting distance in any meaningful way.

As to the last trip, I got to Swan Island a bit later than I normally would - not arriving until about 8:15. There were already a few trailers in the lot and a few more arrived while I was getting rigged up. My original plan was to fish near the mouth of the harbor, but since there were already a few boats working that area I decided to give the current a try. I prefer fishing away from most folks since when I do hook a good fish it will tow me around and I worry about tangling lines or anchor lines.

The bite was really slow for me all day long and because it was pretty cold out there I was kind of slow to pick up and move spots. Each time I pulled my anchor my hands would get wickedly cold. I should have put on rubber gloves to pull the anchor but I was just feeling kind of lazy most of the day. I probably moved spots about 10 times during the day with most spots producing nothing and the good spots producing a fish. I was enjoying my new reel, but not really giving it much of a test in fighting fish. By 3pm I had only caught 3 shakers and one keeper sized fish.

Part of the frustration was that I was marking fish in lots of spots but I believe that, based on the nature of the bites, that most of them were pikieminnow or something else. All day long I would get these sharp pecking bites, definitely not sturgeon. Still not sure what they were. Each time I would find a spot with a lot of fish on it the outcome was about the same. Maybe one sturgeon and a lot of pecking bites that amounted to nothing. Part of the reason for not moving spots more quickly was the fact that I kept getting these bites that I hoped would turn into a sturgeon. Eventually I decided that I was going to go back and fish the mouth of the harbor (where I had originally wanted to fish). When I got to the spot there was one other boat a few hundred feet from where I wanted to fish.

I was marking a lot of fish and I knew that they were sturgeon. I cast out and sat and waited as I felt fish after fish rub against my line. Definitely one of the tricky things about fishing the harbor (for those who do not do it) is differentiating between a fish rubbing against your line and a fish biting on the bait. I think the line rubs feel more like someone plucking a guitar string or just a steady pull with no bite. I think it is caused by the line catching on the scutes, either momentarily (twanging) or for a short bit. You need to filter those out and try to detect the thunk, thunk, thunk of a biting fish. I try to move my casts often in the harbor since there are a ton of fish, but usually the biters take a bit more time and luck to find.

On my second cast, I was intently concentrating on the twanging on my line when I felt a thunk, thunk, thunk. I waited and it felt like the fish picked up the bait so I reeled tight to set the circle hook. I was excited to feel the pull of a good fish, finally a reel test :)


I was so bummed when the rod snapped (out with a bang). The funny thing is that it really wasn't even all that loaded when it happened. It did pull sideways though because the fish took off towards the rear. I think it was the rod bending sideways with the guides on top (versus say a normal vertical bend with the rod bending down with the guides on top) that did the rod in.

Man, I could not believe that I finally got a new reel, finally found a good bite and I broke that rod. Fortunately I always bring a light sturgeon rod and my normal heavy sturgeon rod (Lamiglas BFC 7' and Saltist 40). In the next hour I caught two more fish before calling it a day.

Both of the final fish were good sized as well. So, I guess the moral of the story is that I should follow my instincts on where to fish rather than worrying about other folks. It was a long, cold day and I only managed 7 fish, but at least I got into some nice sized fish and I did get a good test on the new reel.

A followup to the story is that I decided on New Years day to go out and replace the broken rod. I really like the length and action of the rod that broke so I figured I would just get the same model. I figured no big deal, but after going to Fishermans, two Bi-marts, two Dick's and Sportsman's warehouse and coming up empty I was even more bummed.

I saw lots of 9' rods that were nice, but I feel like the 8.5 foot is borderline long already. I saw a nice 8' rod, but it was one piece and I really do not want one piece rods over 7' long. I would have preferred to buy locally but I really wanted that exact rod (or matching specs). Luckily I was able to find the rod on Amazon. Hopefully it will show up on Friday as promised. Happy new year everyone.
 
#3
Hi John! Sorry to hear your plight of the broke rod. I had the same experiance many moons ago. I understand not wanting a boat rod over 7ft. A medium/heavy bamboo rod does not brake it just shatters and stays in tac because of the six sided construction and the nature of the grain. My solution was to find a bamboo rod that joins just above the upper hand grip{metal butt joints). There are lots of vintage deep sea rods of this nature. Find one, cut to size and ad a new roller tip. The rods worked very well taking snags sideways because the nature of the fishery,deep sea rocks. Thanks for the up-dates. H.N.Y. Tony
 

bass

New member
#4
TimberTodd;n601003 said:
Sorry to hear the rod broke but nice job ending the year with fish! Hope that new rod shows up.
I have caught over 400 hundred sturgeon on that rod. I am amazed it lasted as long as it did. I hope the new rod shows up as well !!
 

bass

New member
#5
Casting Call;n601004 said:
Hi John! Sorry to hear your plight of the broke rod. I had the same experiance many moons ago. I understand not wanting a boat rod over 7ft. A medium/heavy bamboo rod does not brake it just shatters and stays in tac because of the six sided construction and the nature of the grain. My solution was to find a bamboo rod that joins just above the upper hand grip{metal butt joints). There are lots of vintage deep sea rods of this nature. Find one, cut to size and ad a new roller tip. The rods worked very well taking snags sideways because the nature of the fishery,deep sea rocks. Thanks for the up-dates. H.N.Y. Tony
Thanks Tony. My heavy rod is a Lamiglas BFC which is either fiberglass or a blend with graphite. That rod feels indestructible (fingers crossed). I like the long, lightweight, all graphite rod for my lightweight sturgeon rod. It is definitely more sensitive in the bland and due to its weight.

Also, breaking that rod is a fair price to pay for all the years of enjoyment it has provided.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
#6
Sorry to hear of the fatality, of another fish catching warrior! RIP find old rod!

BTW, I agree with your assessment:

"I think it was the rod bending sideways with the guides on top (versus say a normal vertical bend with the rod bending down with the guides on top) that did the rod in."
 

bass

New member
#7
troutdude;n601011 said:
Sorry to hear of the fatality, of another fish catching warrior! RIP find old rod!

BTW, I agree with your assessment:

"I think it was the rod bending sideways with the guides on top (versus say a normal vertical bend with the rod bending down with the guides on top) that did the rod in."
It was a bummer, but you have to roll with the punches. Thanks for supporting my guess on the failure. I think the thing is that the rod was bent down and when the fish headed towards the back of the kayak it put kind of twist on the loaded rod. It really wasn't flexed all that hard when it broke. If I had rotated the rod to keep the guides on the top of the bend it may not have broken. I will try to remember that in the future.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
#8
Yeah the bend in the spline, and subsquent tug, at that moment--was probably opposite, to the spline's design. You still had a great day, in spite of that mishap!
 

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