rejection, full commitment and heartbreak

[Bulletin Board]

Posted by Mar Caballero on 2014-04-10 20:14:08

Such is the life of a topwater junkie. You tell yourself that you’re just happy to get a reaction but in some cases, it just eats you up that the fish didn’t fully commit or the hook pulled out.

I’ve been spending more time on the water in the constant pursuit of the next topwater eat. Over the last few days, I’ve snuck out for a few 1-3 hr sessions to get my fix.

On one cloudy day, I snuck out for an hour and got my topwater fix with a nice eat from an 11-lber and missed a couple of blowups.

Went back a couple of days later with the kids. I made the most of the early morning lowlight conditions knowing that they will eventually get bored with playing video games and would want to fling some flyrods. I was drifting with the incoming tide, made a cast right next to the tules and walked the dog with the jumbo PD. The kids were fully engrossed in their games when the silence was rudely interrupted by a massive explosion from a double-digit fish 10 ft from the boat. It startled them. ‘What was that dad?’ Uummm ….that was a big fish and now he’s taking off. Quickly on the reel and immediately pulled more line. I tried to hand off the flyrod to see if they want to fight it, but they didn’t want any part of it. Wise move. After a few heart-pounding minutes, the beast was boated. A nice 17-lb chunker. Their reaction was classic. This was the biggest fish that they have seen out of all our fishing trips. Got a couple more blow-ups and swirls but this turned out to be the only fish of the day. They got to fling the flyrod for a bit as well. Another nice outing with the boys.

Got home early from work one day and managed to get the green light from the boss, so off I went again to hit the evening bite. This turned out to be the night of repeated rejections. Got 4 fish to the surface, each of them making that signature big-fish swirl. One of the fish (big fish) came up 20 ft from the boat, head out just inches from the fly. I love these guys, but I hate it when they just tease you like that.

Wanting some redemption, went back at it again the next morning. They were still around and they were on the chew. First up was a feisty 15-lber that exploded on the pd and missed, came back around and crushed it. That’s the kind of eat I like. Instant adrenaline rush! Now I’m in a groove, chucking the jumbo PD to all likely holding spots. One such area was a shallow 3-ft flat. I made a cast 3 ft parallel from the tule edge and walked the dog. Halfway through my retrieve, a truly massive fish swirled on the fly, showing its huge head and body. Missed it. A couple more pops on the PD and he absolutely exploded on it, 15 ft from the boat. He had nowhere to go in such shallow water and started thrashing around. Nothing weakens and buckles your knees like a 25-30lb class striper tight to your line, 15 feet from the boat. Battled the fish for a minute…..and the hooked pulled out…..Heartbreak city! What is it going to take to boat one of these beasts? A couple of weeks ago, it was a fish in the same grade that wouldn’t commit. Now I got a full commit and the hook pulls out! That fish made the 15-lber look small. I’ll be thinking about that beast for awhile.
Drove the boat around for a bit to calm my nerves and made a few token casts at a couple of spots. Went back to the top of the drift and got another explosion that didn’t stick. Now my head’s back in the game. A few feet downstream, I got another big swirl that missed. Kept walking the dog until the leader was at the rod tip….then ka-boosh! Talk about a close encounter. That explosion sprayed some water in my face. What a fearless pi$$ed off 12-lber! That kinda made me feel a bit better. But I still want another shot at that toad……one of these days…..

See pics.

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