Worst day in my kayak ever

bass
Well I decided to launch at a spot that is new to me, the Gilbert River boat launch. I was really excited to see what that area was like and I really wanted to catch a sturgeon out of small water. I got to the ramp about quarter after 7 and as I unloaded the kayak I realized that I had forgotten the battery for the depth finder. I was so mad at myself. I sat there trying to decide whether to (a) Go home (50 minute drive) and get the battery and fish somewhere closer to home, (b) Just drive to a place I was familiar with and fish there, (c) Just stay and fish.

Well I chose (c) which in hindsight was not the correct choice. As I was getting everything ready to launch I chatted with a really nice guy launching his power boat. I explained that I had forgotten my depth finder battery and I asked him if he could point me to any sturgeon holes in the Gilbert River. He said there is a deep hole at the big bend, but that it was a ways up the river. He also noted that downstream from the launch in the MC that there was a deep hole where it made a bend. He said that was closer than the big bend hole.

Here I made my first mistake. I thought about heading to fishing in the MC. The tide was outgoing and there was good current in the MC, but I really wanted to explore the Gilbert River and catching a sturgeon in that small water just seemed so compelling. I should have fished the MC right away and explored late but instead I started up the Glbert river in search of the big bend hole. I stopped here and there to toss a spinnerbait but did not get any bites. After a bit I just decided to head straight upriver since it was sturgeon that I was truly after. As I pedaled I noticed that there was a fair bit of current that I was working against, but I figured it would not be too far. By the time I got started it was almost 8am.

I would guess that the current was more than 1.5 mph, which doesn't sound bad, but it effectively adds distance when you are pedaling against it. I would have quit several times but boaters I passed by kept telling me it was a mile or so upstream. Well, I measured it out when I got home and it is ~4miles up to the big bend. With that current it was more like 6. It took me almost two hours, two sweaty hours, to finally get to the big bend hole. It was so disappointing when I got there. Apparently you can drive to that spot.

I had worked so hard to have this small water wilderness sturgeon experience and instead I happen upon a spot being fished by a half dozen people enjoying the day. I figured after all that work that I should at least give that spot a try. On my first cast I snagged up and had to break off. I fished that area for about 2 hours (moving around several times, fanning my casts, etc) without a bite. I did not see anyone catch anything while I was there. I was bummed.

Mistake 2. One of the boaters I had passed had mentioned that past the big bend hole there is another good spot where the Gilbert hits the lake. At that point I was so bummed I decided to just head back. If I had been smart I would got my phone out and I could have seen that I was less than 1/2 mile from that spot. So stupid not to at least try the other spot and in looking on the map last night there is no bank access there.

At least on the way back out I had the current helping me and it only took less than 1 hour instead of 2. As I got close the mouth I decided to just randomly stop and try a spot for sturgeon. I cast out and when I pull the line tight it is stuck - snagged again. Finally I decided I should go out and try the bend in the MC. I was mad because I knew the outgoing was supposed to end around 2 and it was already 1. I did not have much time to make something happen.

I got up to the spot and there were a few folks fishing the area. I chatted with them about the shape of the hole and got my bearings. I dropped anchor and started fishing - feeling stressed and desperate since I knew time was running out. The first spot I tried I would occasionally get a pecky bite from some kind of little fish (bullhead, sculpin, pikieminnow, etc) but no sturgeon bites.

After chatting with another boat I moved downstream a bit at their advice. I got the same kind of bites here. They caught a nice sturgeon while I was fishing near them but then they pulled up and left as the tide lessened. I made a cast towards the area the were fishing and I finally felt that old familiar thunk, thunk thunk of a sturgeon bite. I set the hook and knew it was a tiny one. I reel it straight up and it is about a foot and half, but I though at least I got a fish and maybe I am throwing into good water. However the current kept lessening and lessening and the wind started blowing me around quite a bit. It was getting close to 3pm by now.

Shortly after I caught that fish a boat came by and the folks asked my if I wanted some bait since they were done for the day. We chatted for a minute and they told me they were really doing well up where they were fishing. When I told him I did not have my finder with me he told me that they were anchored off a the second log jam. So I decided to go over that area. As I made my way over I was not sure which log jam he meant. Does that count as one or two? Does that log count as one? By the time I decided where to anchor the current had stopped completely. I did not get another bite even though I stubbornly stayed and fished that area for another hour.

Hot, tired, sweaty and knowing I was thwarted by my own bad decisions I made my way back to the ramp and loaded up to go home. To finish off the perfect day I got stuck behind a super slow driver getting the entire way out. Every time we got to a passing zone there would be traffic coming the other way. As soon as the passing zone ended there was no traffic at all.

I don't know what I did to deserve so much bad karma, but for whatever it was I sincerely apologize :)
 
eugene1
Cheer up buddy!

At least you were on the water. LOL.
 
Raincatcher
Hey, you got some major bad juju out of the way. Now, let the catching begin! :thumb:
 
jamisonace
We've all been there. At least you got too some new water.
 
bass
The day was so bad because I just was not enjoying myself. I was so busy kicking myself for each bad decision that I never relaxed. Without my depthfinder I did not learn anything about the Gilbert river (it is really more like a slough) - except that it is a long way to big bend :)

I even have the Navionics app on my phone. If I had just taken it out and looked at it I would have seen how far it was to big bend. I could have at least made a conscious decision on whether to go there knowing the distance. Just dumb, dumb dumb. Dang, I am going to be mad at myself for a while over this one.
 
TimberTodd
Yep, we have all had those type of days. A few years ago I went to Hagg to target smallmouth. As I was loading up the Nucanoe to launch I noticed I had left all of my bass gear in the shop. Stayed and pulled a fly for a while. Oh well it could have been worse.
 
Shaun Solomon
Sounds like fishing to me man? :lol: The price we pay for sweet spots is sweat equity. I know that these days the internet has changed that equation a little, but in the end you still have to bust your hump and burn fuel.

I could tell you about a walk I took a few years ago that involved being chased by a bear onto a peninsula, stalked by a mountain lion on the walk out, being eaten alive by mosquitos, scratched by cactus, walking miles with a float tube, and finally finding a ticket on my car.

But I won't. :neglected:
 
bass
TimberTodd said:
Yep, we have all had those type of days. A few years ago I went to Hagg to target smallmouth. As I was loading up the Nucanoe to launch I noticed I had left all of my bass gear in the shop. Stayed and pulled a fly for a while. Oh well it could have been worse.

Very similar situation. It is so frustrating when something like that happens. It is like ordering a steak a restaurant and having them serve you tofu :)
 
bass
Shaun Solomon said:
Sounds like fishing to me man? :lol: The price we pay for sweet spots is sweat equity. I know that these days the internet has changed that equation a little, but in the end you still have to bust your hump and burn fuel.

I could tell you about a walk I took a few years ago that involved being chased by a bear onto a peninsula, stalked by a mountain lion on the walk out, being eaten alive by mosquitos, scratched by cactus, walking miles with a float tube, and finally finding a ticket on my car.



But I won't. :neglected:


You win :)

I don't mind putting in the work to find good spots. I spend a fair bit of time walking that path. It is just painful when I shoot myself in the foot.
 
cdumitru78
Tough going man, but as others said, at least you were fishing! Next time, or better said, if you ever go back there, try fishing right on front of the dock where you launched. I think there is a hole there in the middle, sturgeon seem to congregate in that area. I fish from the bank there, and I have been there twice over the last 3 weeks or so, and got plenty of bites there, landed about 4 fish each time I was there, and got plenty of bites using herring with some Smelly Jelly on it. I never fish for more than 3 hours either, so while the bite is not as hot as you may experience, it is decent. I tried shrimp there as well, and got no bites at all. I gotta say your reports were one of the main reasons I started chasing sturgeon from the bank around that area, so thank you and better luck next time.
 
bass
Thanks cdumitru78! Next time I am out there I will check out the area in front of the dock. It makes sense that it would be good since it is just downstream of where the Gilbert river dumps in. You have to figure that some dinos are sitting there waiting to see what is washing out of there.

I use anchovies or herring with smelly jelly sturgeon feast. That stuff seems like it sticks on really well. Minnowmagnet taught me to prepare my bait in advance. Now I cut my bait in half the night before and put them in a ziplock back with some sturgeon feast. I end up using way less scent that way than when I would squirt it on bait by bait. Definitely a money saver.
 
cdumitru78
That makes sense on the bait preparation, I don't prepare it the way you do, but close enough. I just put my herrings in a ziplock bag with the Sturgeon Feast as I start fishing and let them marinate in there, seems to work. I also used the Pro-cure Bloody Tuna Bait Oil, that worked even better in terms of bitting activity. Do you use whole herring? I cut the head off before putting it on the hook, so I don't use the entire fish. I will try to get out there tomorrow in the afternoon, I will report back. Do you think sturgeon activity in that area will be tide dependent? It felt like as the water started flowing I was getting more bites.
 
bass
cdumitru78 said:
That makes sense on the bait preparation, I don't prepare it the way you do, but close enough. I just put my herrings in a ziplock bag with the Sturgeon Feast as I start fishing and let them marinate in there, seems to work. I also used the Pro-cure Bloody Tuna Bait Oil, that worked even better in terms of bitting activity. Do you use whole herring? I cut the head off before putting it on the hook, so I don't use the entire fish. I will try to get out there tomorrow in the afternoon, I will report back. Do you think sturgeon activity in that area will be tide dependent? It felt like as the water started flowing I was getting more bites.

I buy anchovies or herring that are a size of 10-14 per pack. I cut them about exactly in half and use both ends, fishing only 1/2 a fish at a time. Thus I end up with 20-28 baits in the bag. I can usually catch 2-4 fish per bait (I use a lot of stretchy thread) and I had one day when ran out of bait and several others when I am down to a couple of baits when I leave.

I used to fish whole fish but minnowmagnet convinced me that you can catch the same number of sturgeon and just as many keepers and oversized with half a bait. I definitely have corroborated his finding! The awesome thing about all that is now bait costs half as much :)
 
BaldTexan
Yessir. I hooked quite a few oversize Dino's on half a herring this past winter. They bite it readily and I think the smaller sized bait gets the business end of the hook in their pie hole quicker. I had a lot less stolen bait and a higher percentage of hook ups when i started cutting them in half.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Shaun Solomon
I think you burned up your bonus points on that epic day you had a while back!
 
cdumitru78
bass said:
I buy anchovies or herring that are a size of 10-14 per pack. I cut them about exactly in half and use both ends, fishing only 1/2 a fish at a time. Thus I end up with 20-28 baits in the bag. I can usually catch 2-4 fish per bait (I use a lot of stretchy thread) and I had one day when ran out of bait and several others when I am down to a couple of baits when I leave.

I used to fish whole fish but minnowmagnet convinced me that you can catch the same number of sturgeon and just as many keepers and oversized with half a bait. I definitely have corroborated his finding! The awesome thing about all that is now bait costs half as much :)

Went there in the afternoon and it was WINDY! I have never seen winds like that, we nearly quit a few times but decided to wait it out. Turns out it was a good call, once the wind eased off, I caught about 6 fish in the last 2 hours of the day, and got a 6 footer as well, that was fun! My buddy lost what looked like an oversized as well and got plenty of bites, so not a bad day. I think there is a hole there in front, when I was casting in the right spot I could see my line diving into it, may be worth your time to scope that out with a depth finder, it felt that once I was hitting that hole I was getting into fish right away.
 
bass
cdumitru78 said:
Went there in the afternoon and it was WINDY! I have never seen winds like that, we nearly quit a few times but decided to wait it out. Turns out it was a good call, once the wind eased off, I caught about 6 fish in the last 2 hours of the day, and got a 6 footer as well, that was fun! My buddy lost what looked like an oversized as well and got plenty of bites, so not a bad day. I think there is a hole there in front, when I was casting in the right spot I could see my line diving into it, may be worth your time to scope that out with a depth finder, it felt that once I was hitting that hole I was getting into fish right away.

Sounds like an awesome day, congrats on the big fish!!

If there is a hole there it must not be too big (which is good because then fewer folks would know about it) because nothing is evident on the nautical charts: http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/18525.shtml I will definitely be spending a lot of time staring at the depthfinder next trip out there.
 
Throbbit _Shane
The entire time I was reading your report I was waiting for you to get the part about you swamping your kayak or flipping it. Boy was I disappointed!!!

A bad day in a kayak sure beats a bad day beating the brush and bank!

Tight Lines Bass!
 
bass
Throbbit _Shane said:
The entire time I was reading your report I was waiting for you to get the part about you swamping your kayak or flipping it. Boy was I disappointed!!!

A bad day in a kayak sure beats a bad day beating the brush and bank!

Tight Lines Bass!


Sorry to disappoint you, I will try to screw up better next time :)
 
Top Bottom