Page 1 of 2

OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:31 pm
by DLee
How can it be that this forum has not been entertained before now? 5 plus years without a single post? A neophyte like me should not be the first, but after waiting a year and a half... I'll cast the first line...

Historically the kayak has evolved from fishing and hunting, skin on frame at that. So, my first question asks, How do we protect our expensive investments when targeting one of these trophies that could do serious damage to our 'skins' when landing them?

I was a charter boat fishing captain for about six years in the Upper NY Harbor. Probably the finest fishery that I have fished. The two primary fish being Striped Bass and Bluefish.

Most of us are familiar with Striped Bass. A kind of cow of the sea; pretty fun to catch as they put up a decent fight - a large one can get to 36-44 inches around Manhattan. They can also be quite tasty in the smaller sizes. Although I haven't kept one in close to thirty years. Stripers don't have teeth, but they instead protect themselves with very sharp dorsal fins that will easily pierce human skin and I'm sure our modern boats.

Blue Fish on the other hand are living torpedos with razor sharp teeth and great eyes. Their teeth are sharp on all sides, front, back, and cutting edge. When you get a big Blue in the boat (fibergalss) it thrashes and kicks and tries to bite anything in it's path. As a neophyte captain from the west coast I stuck my thumb into the mouth of a 12" baby Blue (it's teeth aren't threatening looking). Luckily I was able to get my thumb out quickly, with only a solid bleeding ring of teeth marks all around it. This produced a wonderful round of laughter on the boat with one exception of course... Had this been a big Blue, I might have lost my thumb or at least had cuts down to the bone. A Blue fish scooped into a net will simply cut it's way through and drop to whatever is below it.

So, how do I land these fish in a cloth and rubber kayak?

Cheers, and welcome to fishing!

Dennis

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:28 pm
by gbellware
Dennis,

You brought me back to my blue fishin' days on the Jersey shore. Those blues are really dangerous! I now spend most of my fishing time in the ocean and gulf around south Florida, where we have the blue's closest cousin: king fish and their even meaner relative: barracuda. They are both tough with a mouth full of nasty teeth. I would not bring one on board for love nor money. And there really is no need to, as I wouldn't eat either one (some people do). I just use a pair of hemostats to get my jig back. One pair to grab the jaw and the other to extract the hook. And I generally crimp the barb so that I am fishing barbless anyway.

I don't know if either one could get hold of the skin of a folder. But that's not what concerns me. It's my hands and feet that I worry about!

Happy fishing,
g

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:51 pm
by DLee
Good point G.

I don't have any interest in taking a Blue home either, although I've been thinking more and more about taking the occasional striper - those nice ocean fresh, green-backed ones!

I guess I could pick up one of those Boga grips to hold the fish and then use the needle nose to release the jig - I fished with barbs for so long because of 'the clients' I forget sometimes that I can go barbless for myself. There is really no reason not too.

I was also thinking about getting one of those plastic storage containers - not too deep, but kinda long to fit in the front seat area of the AII - in case I want to bring a striper home. Guess I could always build a custom box as well. That could be kinda nice.

I see from your pictures that you fished on your journey down through the keys. Any good stories?

D

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:43 am
by Paul
Back in the day I did quite a bit of saltwater fishing out of my LH Mark I. I landed several barracuda, queenfish and rock bass from it. I also caught some small tuna. The largest fish landed was a 38" queenfish--but these are fairly thin fish. The barracuda were in the 2-3 foot range. All my fishing was with a 10 wt fly rod.

To land the fish I kept a 2 foot gaff, a long set of needle nose pliers and a boga grip on board.
I always tried to have the fish pretty tired by the time it got close to the kayak. I'd then gaff the fish through the gills and use the pliers to get the hook out. If I was going to keep the fish I'd transfer it to the boga grip and then give a few whacks on the head with the gaff handle, and then transfer it to a soft cooler which I had strapped on the rear deck. The system worked very well. I was always careful to avoid getting fish oil-goop on the canvas deck.

I also mounted a Scotty rod holder to a Long Haul mast board/deck board. This worked extremely well--I was able to have a line in the water and paddle without any obstruction. I caught most of my fish this way.

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:36 pm
by Alm
I have Scotty rod holder too, with 241 mount, which must be the same mount as Paul has. Only mine is "Baitcaster" model, a different type of elastic closure. K1 doesn't have rigid coaming to attach it to, so I screwed 241 mount to a piece of plywood strapped to the fore deck. Needs some tune-up, though. Rod type doesn't matter much when you're just trolling, and this is what I do. Barracuda (at least Mexican barracuda) is quite edible - locals suggested to fry it and add mayonnaise, but I didn't carry any. Flies don't seem to be popular on Sea of Cortez - it's mostly lures there.

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:38 pm
by gbellware
http://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/eat-barracuda1 The safety of eating barracuda is oft debated, but I prefer to err with caution on my side. I have no problem with raw oysters and sushi, but I pass on barracuda. Just my $.02

g

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:12 am
by tsunamichuck
Image

Image

Fido catches fish for me

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:42 am
by maryinoxford
tsunamichuck wrote:Image
Amazing shot, Chuck. Is this California?

I'd like to link this photo on a British kayak forum - is that okay?

Mary

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:34 am
by tsunamichuck

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:21 pm
by gbellware
Chuck,

That is an amazing photo, thanks for sharing it. Was this a one-off encounter, or had this seal gotten comfortable with you and your kayak over time? Remarkable.

Best,
g

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:55 pm
by maryinoxford

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:53 pm
by Alm
That info says:
If you decide to [eat barracuda], steer clear of the head and viscera and remember that smaller is better.

For some unknown reasons (probably Divine Intervention), being inexperienced, I cut the heads off, before throwing it to soup. Another lucky break was that it was usually small - under 2 ft.

In Baja I tried staying clear of sea lions. Huge aggressive beasts. They were always chasing me off their rocks, barking and swimming towards me if I happened to paddle close by. It was definitely a hostile behavior, didn't look like they wanted to play. Local seals (not sea lions) in British Columbia are small and mostly harmless, though a few times they attacked swimmers, grabbing the foot and trying to pull under water. The lady that survived is afraid to swim in the ocean anymore. There are debates whether BC seals are really playing or hunting when attacking people, nobody knows for sure.

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:37 am
by tsunamichuck
gbellware wrote:Chuck,

That is an amazing photo, thanks for sharing it. Was this a one-off encounter, or had this seal gotten comfortable with you and your kayak over time? Remarkable.

Best,
g
One time encounter with this sea lion. After this she went to Laguna Beach with a sea lion rescue group. Pinnapeds and Asian women seem to dig me

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:35 pm
by gbellware
Even if it was a "one-daypaddle stand", that is still an awesome encounter. And, if I am not mistaken, a walrus is also a pinnaped? Careful, careful.

g

Re: OK, it's time... time for some stories and fish chowder

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:02 pm
by tsunamichuck
gbellware wrote:Even if it was a "one-daypaddle stand", that is still an awesome encounter. And, if I am not mistaken, a walrus is also a pinnaped? Careful, careful.

g
You are not the walrus, are you? Don't paddle in walrus habitat.
This was my 4th or 5th encounter w seals and sea lions, but definately the closest