I arrived Friday afternoon. Charlie elected to catch a nap at home and I knew that JD was was with family and friends. With nothing to do, I had little choice but to fish a bit.
Here is proof that idle hands are the work of the devil. All hopped up on fruity peach!
The water temp was 46 degrees. This was interesting as we took multple readings over the course of of the time we were there and depending on where taken, it was anywhere from 46 up to has high as 49.5.
I didn't have my rod in long when I caught this rare beauty. I was told that this is a Tennessee Leather Carp.
He had a lot of friends! I did manage to catch a few carp before pulling rods. Bird and I were doing a lot of texting, which allowed me to stay in touch with all my fine carping friends at the Florida FFF. As always, Bird had me in stitches.
I was also yakking it up with Mike Turpin and Melissa. Say what you want about our current electronic age but I do feel that Facebook and texts bring us all closer together when we aren't able to physically spend time on the bank with one and other.
I decided to lay down in the back of the truck for a few hours. I had to use a carp mat for a pillow. There is nothing like waking up at 11:50 PM with a bunch of scales stuck to the side of your face. High livin !
People ringing in the New Year with both small and large caliber weapons told us that we were safe to start fishing. It also was the start of the rain storm.It wasn't insane, but it sure didn't sprinkle. The rain storm was wreaking havoc.
At 12:05 AM, Charlie, not wanting to be shown up by my Tennessee Leather Carp, dragged in one himself. It was a hog. Then just to show JD and I that he was not to be toyed with, caught three more catfish.
At 12:30AM, my alarm went off. As I approached, I saw JD standing near my pod with a look of shock in his eyes. Whatever was on the end of my rod was peeling line off like a Wahoo or Tuna. It clearly wasn't a carp. I had thought that I had a striper. As I tightened the drag, I felt the rod load. Wow ! Clearly I had a stinkin monster. This thing was pulling a like a tractor. It also had a very strange flutter to its swim. All of us kept squinting in to the darkness looking for any sign of what was on the end of my rod. This was about the time that JD said, I see a...........WING !
15 yards off of the bank was a Great Blue Heron. I was crushed. I had the poor guy wrapped up in 50 PP. To make matters worse, my hook link snagged on the bottom, thus pinning the bird away from shore. I was terrified to pull too hard as we could cause the death of the bird. I couldn't leave the bird like this and it was looking like I would have to go in after it and cut the line. Fortunately, after walking up and down the bank a bit, I was able to free the hooklink allowing us to get the bird to shore. The poor guy was a total mess. Line wrapped around both wings and his neck. He wasn't doing well at all and I really thought that we were going to lose him.
We had to get the line off quick but there was a huge problem. How do you get close to an animal that has a six inch beak that he uses with such accuracy that he can take out an eye in a second if he feels threatened ?
This is when we dove in to action. JD kept the Heron in one place while Charlie and I ran to the truck for gloves, a towell, and some shears. I set the towell over his head and got some of the line cut free. It was still wrapped in his wings. Charlie jumped in with the shears. JD made sure we had light in the exact spot we needed it.
After a few minutes, we took a pic with the poor beast and set him down. He was walking like he was drunk and didn't exactly run away. He kept stretching his right wing but did not move the left. To say I was crushed was an understatement. I thought I had broken his wing. After an eternity he stretched his left wing and gave it a flap. This brought all of our spirits up.
Here is my formal submission to the 2011 FFF. Please try and top this! Horseshoes, hand grenades, and Heron count ! lol
Clearly a most unique start to the FFF. I will also mention that we saw our friend up the bank from us the following morning. He was fishing and looked none the worse for wear. Poor guy is going to have nightmares for the rest of his life, but other than that, he was a-ok.
It continued to pour. The swim had shut down completely. At 3:15AM, I made the decision to pull my rods and get a few hours sleep. Although I would not a catch a carp before 6AM, I would be fresh for whatever the day brought. Maybe the rain would stop ?
I awoke throughout the early morning, always to the sound of pouring rain. It got a little ridiculous at times. It was nice to just roll over and justify my laziness due to the quagmire outside.
I finally got out of my truck at 8:30AM. It is very strange to me that I can never sleep past 5AM at home but have no problem sleeping when out on a session. It was still raining but did seem to lighten up a bit. I immediately got both my rods in the water, then set about getting the coffee pot going.
Both Charlie and JD had managed a carp before 6AM. Charlie had a 9 pounder, and JD a little guy. Well at least 2 of the three of us had some luck. As we chatted away, one of my alarms sounded. After a nice battle I managed a good looking 18-6.My first fish of the FFF came at 9:02 AM. I had finally knocked the skunk off !
30 minutes later later, JD's rod went off. Shortly thereafter, he was rewarded with a gorgeous 17-8 !
Sorry about the picture quality but the pouring rain and fog were not helping.
About the time we got JD's fish back in the water, Charlie's rod went off. In no time, Charlie banked a beautiful 14-8. We were clearing the hook when Charlie's second rod went off. I got the carp back to the water, then ran over to help him net the 2nd. And that's when I saw the fish of the day. A stunning fully scaled Mirror ! Only the second Mirror I have seen come out of Kingston.
Edited by Zoomie, 02 January 2011 - 06:02 PM.