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Against most logic, with a 5k to run early the next morning, I loaded up my kayak early Saturday evening to fish Occoquan Reservoir. I got to Fountainhead Park around 6:30PM and while I was there picked up a Bull Run Marina key. Knowing the park was closing at 9PM, I paddled across the straight across the reservoir. I started with a weed bed on the far side before moving "upriver" to the big cove that's choked up with floating timber. I had two rods, one that I was throwing a heavy dark spinnerbait with, the other with a three way swivel and a piece of shad. I quickly learned that that having two lines out from a kayak isn't something I'm up to dealing with, so I concentrated on the shad for catfish.
I'd appreciate any advice on the interesting part of the story. While I was checking my watch, it was 8PM at this point, I found myself drifting too close to a log jam and pushed away. I was at 25 degree or so angle to a big log and the cockpit maybe four feet away when I realized I had a fish. I began reeling, but the fish is swimming to the tree. I tired holding the rod and paddling to get more perpendicular to log jam, but that's hard to do with what turned out to be an angry and scared 7-8lb. channel cat, I got the fish to surface a few times, on the line. After a lot of thrashing by the fish and myself trying to paddle into a better position to land the fish, I opened the bail and let the fish swim. I was having a hard enough time trying to control the boat by myself and the fish pulled my line over the bow of my boat and around a branch. Once I got to a position I didn't think I would flip the boat from, I started reeling, but the line had already broken.
I'm wondering if there's anything I could've done differently? Aside from magically turning my kayak into a jon boat. I fish out of a 15' long touring sea kayak with a milk crate, I don't think a proper sit-on top fishing kayak (on it's way to me from Malibu) or a peddle drive would've helped in this case. Maybe I should wedge into hard structure like trees and rocks? I was really thrown by not being able to walk around and fight, I've mostly beat up small bass, perch and sunfish from the yak. Any advice is appreciated.
Last edited by CrankbaitGuy (Jun-17-14 5:06AM)
hrmm....I usually try to keep the kayak clear so i can move the rod tip around the yak and work the fish. what kind of line were you using? When i start drifting into stuff while i'm landing a fish, i just let it be. hoping I just bounce off of it or I stick and i can either just push off with the paddle or just work the fish with whatever space i'm given. it can get hairy if you have fishing gear all over the place so I always try and make sure my gear isn't in a position where a rod tip can snap or gear can fall out.
15' is pretty big...i'm assuming this is a sit in? I can see how working a fish can be difficult with this.
Andrew - I was using coploymer line and yes my boat is a sit-in. Your point about having room to move the rod tip is good insight that I will need to think about. I couldn't do that in the position I was in. I was using a really short rod, 5'5" and as mentioned the boat is realkly long.