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Destiny

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Destiny

Postby yak2you2 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:18 am

A collection of stories of blind luck.
Spend any time trolling and you'll come up with some strange tales, the kind that make the unusual, like catching them from a hook that's trailing on the overhead, seem mundane. here are some of mine.
One Coho season, the serenity of the beginnings of a beautiful morning were rattled awake with all the obnoxiousness a cowbell can muster, and the tell tale pumping of my starboard spring. "Ah, first fish of the day!," I thought as I set down my coffee and slipped into my gloves, and it looked like a big one too! As I cranked up the first couple spreads though, a sense of disappointment was slowly creeping in. The power of the tugging was just more than what a normal coho has to offer, which meant I had to have a king on, which I was going to have to release as they were currently off of the menu. The deeper I went, the more certain I became of it. As I got to the spread that held the action though, I found a strange sight waiting for me. There before me was a large Coho, fighting to swim directly away from the boat, caught by the tail, no wonder he was so pissed I thought. I quickly worked him in and dispatched him, but not before he gave me a few good splashes in the face. Once in the tub I set about unhooking my lucky snag, and made an amazing discovery. I hadn't hooked the fish at all, I'd half-hitched him! I can't imagine exactly what happened, but somehow, this fish had missed his strike on the spoon, and while turning away got the leader rapped around his tail stem, and cinched into a perfect half-hitch, with the spoon merely trailing along behind. I wouldn't have believed it even possible to have such a perfect knot around a fishes tail, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.
Another time I got one through the eye of the needle, while working a tight bite with quite a few other boats one day, I got a good strike. As I got to the snubber that was providing the action, I suddenly noticed that something seemed out of place. I was only fishing 2 fathom leaders on my flashers that year, I can see that far, and there wasn't any fish. My flasher was dead panning, there WAS something there, but I couldn't see it. My curiosity peaked, I gently pulled in my leader, and to my amazement there was another snubber hooked perfectly on my hootchie hook. " What luck", I thought, I must have somehow lost one my spreads and snagged it on this one. So, I gently grabbed the lucky caught snubber and started hauling it in. it didn't take long to realize that something was a miss, I didn't fish leaders that long! Sure enough, there was a nice Coho, trailing a style of flasher that I didn't even have on the boat, this fish had been lost by someone else, and very luckily caught by me! What a catch, the rig was worth more than the fish was!
One of my favorite crazy fish stories comes from an early spring king fishing session out of my skiff with sport rods. I was working the kings right on the beach where they we're schooling the herring and pushing them right up into the rocks. I mean you could look over the side and see the bottom, it couldn't have been more than 6 to 8 feet deep. In fact, you could only make just a quick pass in on the school, then you had to turn out quick before hitting a large rock that stuck out ahead of you. I'd already had a fairly productive morning, and was about to call it quits, but I just had to catch one more. As I played my way through, wouldn't you know it, I picked up a hog. Now, in order to fish that shallow, I had fairly light leader, and as I remember it I don't think I had more than 2 or 3 fathoms of line out. you could watch the whole show as the flasher trailed just below the surface. I had to give this big boy a little running room I thought, he was mad! I reached over and threw my outboard out of gear, and the fight was on. As the tide had receded, it left the tops of some of the bigger rocks, covered with barnacles sticking out of the water here and there. as the fish zipped around back and forth, I remember laughing and thinking,"there's no way your going to get this guy, he's going to cut himself off on the rocks!" There wasn't a lot I could do about it, he looked like he'd go thirty easy, and I didn't dare cinch down on him any harder. I Sort of had him penned between the skiff and the beach, but he could still run left or right. Back and forth he zipped seeming to get even madder, suddenly he turned and headed straight at the boat and under it. Rapidly peeling out line, he had my rod doubled over to the water and was heading to sea, I thought," hear it comes", expecting the line to snap at any moment, instead, it suddenly went slack. I couldn't figure out where he was at the moment so I furiously began taking in slack. then here he came again back under the boat, swimming just about as fast as he could and leaping clear out of the water half way between me and the beach. I'll never know what caused this great fish to make his next decision, disorientation maybe, I don't know, but for whatever reason he suddenly turned full speed and swam directly up as high as he could go out of the water, and on to the beach. He lay there for a second or two, flat on his belly, still swishing his tail back and forth in the air, before he finally rolled over on his side and began flopping. He might have been able to flop his way back to the water and safety, but fate was not on his side. He got wedged against a big rock, and lay there flopping and flopping. I stood there rod hanging limp in hand, line trailing slackly over to him, laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. As my wits came back to me, I fired up the motor, gave it a little goose, then simply climbed out onto the beach to collect my prize. Poor bugger, he was a good 30- 35 pounds, even if I had ever managed to get him the boat, he would have probably shucked me at the rail. Instead, I bent over and hit him over the head with a rock, not knowing whether to feel more fortunate for the fish or the experience of catching him.
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Re: Destiny

Postby yak2you2 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:50 pm

Speaking of salmon skiffs, I had that same open skiff out on one of our local rivers, ( see my skiff fishing pictures in the photos). I had been gillnetting Cohos furiously all day, and had my boat about as full as I dared get it. The middle bin was filled to the rails on the inside, which left me about a foot of freeboard on the outside. It was a flat calm beautiful day though, and things had pretty much wound down. I was sitting on the end of my net relaxing, watching the makings of a glorious sunset, and contemplating throwing the bouy over and heading on down the river. Times like these are about as close as man such as myself can get to absolute bliss.
Suddenly,out of nowhere a fat Coho leaped out of the water, and landed upright on his belly, right on top of my fish pile. Now fish had been pouring up the river all day, jumping and slithering around everywhere, but I hadn't heard or seen any movement for almost an hour, and it caught me off guard, so much so that I remember yelling out in surprise. I jumped up, grabbed my gaff and went to club this courageous newcomer, but he wasn't having any. He wiggled once, then wiggled again, and just as I got there, sploosh!! over the other side of the boat he went to freedom!
What could I say?? I laughed so hard at the sight of it, I near soiled myself. I'll never know if any of that was intentional, but I sure like to hope it was. It appeared from my perspective to be a perfectly synchronized effort on his part to let me know that I hadn't outsmarted all the fish that day.
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Re: Destiny

Postby kjwelder » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:18 pm

Yaks stories reminded me of a story I told my brother:

We'd grown up fishing together and this particular time he was crewing for me. It was a weird deal because his back was out and he couldn't lift anything, but he could cook, run gear, and steer. So I cleaned and iced fish while my huge crewmember took breaks to lay down and rest his back every 15 minutes. He felt guilty about not being able to pull his weight and we started telling stories to lighten the mood.

I told him about the time I had a perfect line going for cohos. I had a fish every hook, landed them with out stopping the gurdie, and when I got to the last leader there were two fish on it. There was a coho on the hootchie and between the flasher and the hootchie was another coho. The line was through the fishes mouth and out the gills. I figured they mush have been biting good, since this one swallowed the hootchie and another one picked it up as it came out its gills. Anyway, There were 11 fish for ten hooks. I told my brother I'd probably fish another 25 years and never see that again.

Well, about two minutes later I was running gear and Kris was inside cooking... guess what... I had a nice lingcod with a 5 pound coho on the same hook.

I called Kris to show him and he immediately responded, "Bet you'll never catch a mermaid..." We fished out the trip in good spirits despite running out of water right after i'd soaped up in the shower. But thats another story.

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Re: Destiny

Postby yak2you2 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:57 pm

Good story KJ. I was hoping some folks would add to this one, I'd kind of forgotten about it. A friend of mine told me once about catching and landing 2 small kings on one spoon. When they're hungry, anything showing is fair game I suppose. Thanks for sharing.
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