Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fish of a Lifetime!

Well today I took a group of 10 kayak and canoe fisherman out to sturgeon alley.  All but one of the group is part of the Greater Saint John Kayak Anglers, and many of them have never actually caught a sturgeon before.  So our goal on the day was clear; to help a few guys catch their first sturgeon.

I am very proud to say that every one of our anglers caught at least one sturgeon on the day, save for one who started very late, and was really only there to take pictures!    5 fishermen caught their very first sturgeon today, and between the group of us, 29 sturgeon were landed in total!   That is a fantastic day, beyond what any of us could have hoped for!    A write up on the Greater Saint John Kayak Angler's website as well as another video can be found here.

To add to the excitement, my friend John Cail hooked into something VERY heavy, and then proceeded to fight it vigoursly for 35 minutes!    John said it dragged him towards my kayak several feet before stubbornly sticking it out on the groud, but still John fought and fought and fought.    Eventually John put on the gloves and as he couldn't make any headway with the rod, started to hand line in his catch.     Well, John will never live this one down, his BIG sturgeon turned out to be a burlap bag of rocks!!!!

It wasn't all laughs at John's expense though, there was a big fish caught on the day.   My first fish, ended up being something I'll never forget, for several reasons!    I hooked into something that turned my kayak around 180 degrees, something I've only had done by a Striped Bass previously.   It didn't feel like a striper, but rather something bigger than I had ever encountered before.

Anticipation building, Charlie, one of our group members floated right into me trolling his line.    Not only did he snag my line with this massive catch, he caught my anchor line as well and basically tied all the lines together.    After asking Charlie as nicely as I could to give me space I could no longer use my rod, but then had to hand line in this fish..... a 54 inch short nose sturgeon!!!!

Unable to belive my eyes at the size, I had to then figure out how to get this giant fish into my kayak.    Manipulating him around so that I could grab his tail I hauled him into my lap, did not tip over in the process, and then proceeded to try my best at getting some good pictures, and an accurate measurement.   Without folding the tail down he was easily 53 inches.   If I had taken him to dry land to get a proper measurement, he may have broken 55 inches, but I am content with calling him 54, which I know was definately not an exaggeration.

I may never catch a fish like this again..... what an awesome day, not only for me but for the entire group of us!    I can't wait till our next group outing when we will be going for some trophy trout!