Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Video Blog: Winter Trout Fishing on Penns Creek - December 28, 2010

This is my first video blog - a format I am going to be using more in the future. I hope you enjoy! Tight lines!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day Trout Fishing - Penns Creek, PA - December 25, 2010

I went to bed on the 24th dreaming not of santa and reindeer, but instead limestone ledges and giant brown trout. My family was set to get in late on Christmas Day, so again, I loaded up the car and headed for the stream. I started in an area about 1/2 mile downstream from the day before in a deep pool. My first weapon of choice was a Lucky Craft 75 SP jerkbait in an MS aurora brown color. On my fourth cast this 14 inch brown crushed the bait.

After getting a couple follows and landing about a 12" fish I switched to an in-line spinner as I fished through a faster section of creek. I went biteless and didn't see a fish for about 15 minutes, so I decided to switch to "old faithful" this time of the year. I tied on a 2 3/4" Rapala husky jerk in the silver with black back color. On my first cast I landed a chunky 14" brown trout and 2 casts later I hooked into this solid trout.

Shortly after I landed my best trout of the day - a hair under 17". Unfortunately, he slipped my grasp while trying to get my camera/phone out of my waders. I kept fishing and found 2 really consistent holding patterns for the trout and was landing solid 12"-15" fish regularly. The best part was that I could see most of the strikes, including one fish that I saw come out from under a rock, crush the bait, and head straight for the air.

I landed a bunch of beautiful brown trout and lost count somewhere past 15. I lost what looked to be a 17"+ rainbow, but thankfully a few casts later I landed this gorgeous brownie.

Finally, I decided to call it a day fishing the trophy trout section. I caught somewhere around 20 trout, had probably another 15 follows, and spotted another 15+ smaller trout. After that great day, I decided to head to a different stretch of stream in search of dinner. After about 5 minutes at one of my favorite winter holes I landed a chunky 14" rainbow, threw him on a stringer, and hit the road. Sauteed in butter and garlic, he made for a tasty Christmas dinner! Tight lines!

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Trout - Penns Creek, PA - December 24, 2010

I arrived at my childhood home in central PA to an empty nest. My parents were traveling; visiting my sister and her family in Wyoming - a trip I was unable to make due to other obligations. Knowing that they wouldn't get home until late Christmas day, it meant one thing - time to hit the local trout streams.

I stepped outside to find a cold breeze and 26 degree temperatures. Immediately, I turned around, went back inside, and got another fleece to wear. I hit the road and after getting squared away with a new license, I met up with my good friend Levi and his father Jim. We decided to hit a stretch of Penns Creek that we all grew up fishing - one that is extremely productive this time of year. It is a native stream, with trophy trout regulations and therefore a healthy population of big brown trout.

This time of year we like to throw big jerkbaits (3"-4") to lure the trout from their winter hiding spots. Color, retrieve speed, and size may vary from trip to trip depending on conditions, so it is important to let the trout dictate what they want. I decided to start with a 3 5/8" Yo Zuri Twitch n' Minnow in a gold color.

Armed with my ultra-light combo, I waded into the stream and within about 10 minutes I had my first bite. After a nice fight, I landed a 13"-14" brown trout, which would be about average for the day. The key seemed to be a retrieve with long pauses after each twitch/jerk of the bait. It was at this point I realized I forgot my camera and was relegated to camera pics for the day.

A few minutes later Levi landed another brownie - about the same size. His hit a Rapala Husky Jerk. We continued fishing and quickly realized the fish were being lazier than usual in the cold water. We were getting a lot of follows without strikes and fish were mainly holding in very particular areas. We fished for about 45 minutes more. I got to a new pool and on about the 3rd cast I saw a fish follow my bait from mid-stream and finally strike near the bank. After a short fight I landed a beautiful winter brook trout. Brookies are very rare in Penns Creek, so I was especially happy to have caught this 12"+ fish. Shortly after, Levi lost a nice brown trout near the bank. We then decided to drive to another stretch of stream that we thought would be productive given the conditions.

The new area looked perfect and sure enough, on my first cast, I landed a healthy 12"-13" brown trout. Over the next hour and half I landed 3 more brown trout around 13"-14" and 1 around 10". I also had 5-6 more fish follow to the bank without striking. I found out that Levi and Jim, who had walked down-stream, landed a few fish too. They had to get going, so we drove back to their place to grab my car. Originally I was going to head home, but after a moment of debate I decided to hit the stream for about an hour more. I went back to the same area and despite my best efforts only landed one more fish - another 12"-13" brown trout. I did lose a 15"-16" fish at the bank and had another 4-5 follows.

Overall, it was a great day landing 8 trout myself and seeing many more. Plus, fishing the beautiful, clear December water in Penns Creek is a treat in itself, especially when I can share it with friends. Believe it or not, I will be on the water tomorrow morning in hopes of catching Christmas dinner. Tight lines and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

MM & I Hit Jordan Lake in Pursuit of Crappie - December 17, 2010

The end of the semester kept me incredibly busy and, hence, off the water. Then the weather foiled my fishing plans over the past week. But finally, Friday was looking decent so Mary May convinced me to load up the gear and take her fishing. Although it was tough to get out of my warm cozy bed (even my dog Brewer didn't seem to want to get up), I was excited to hit the lake. We bundled up and headed south.

Mary May had never been crappie fishing before and I knew the minnow fishing experience would be fun for her (and I). So, after a quick stop at the Wilsonville General Store we pulled up to the Seaforth launch and were on the water shortly after - around 1:40 PM. To make things even more interesting, the depth finder was still rigged for my old kayak, so she got to learn to read the fish finder for the day. We paddled out toward the HWY 64 bridge. There were 3 boats in that vicinity already and we decided to stop about a hundred yards away in an area I thought would be pretty good based on location of the river channel, depth, and a hump on the lake floor. Additionally, the wind was blowing under the bridge and it allowed for a nice drift down the old river channel with some subtle paddle adjustments.

Mary May was ready to drop some minnows!

We got set up and dropped our minnows. No sooner did my minnow get set than I saw my rod tip bobbing and I set the hook into a nice crappie that measured 11.75". I thought I had the first fish of the day, but just as I landed my fish I turned around to see Mary May reeling one in as well. Her crappie, the first she ever caught, was 13.6" and a really chunky fish. Both fish went on the stringer and we dropped our baits again. Within minutes we caught two more nice fish - both right around 11". We tossed them back and repeated the process. The bite was steady for us both for quite some time.

A beautiful afternoon on Jordan Lake

Around 3:50 PM the wind really started to die down, which seems to never happen to me on Jordan. The bite slowed a little, so we moved up close to the bridge pilings and were catching fish very regularly, but most were just under 10". Finally, we started getting into some nicer fish and boated quite a few that were right at or over 11".

MM cutting through the calm water

Around 5:10 PM we headed back to the launch, packed up, and hit the road. It got cold awfully quick as the sun set. We caught somewhere between 30-35 crappie with probably 10-15 keepers. We kept 4 that I breaded and baked Saturday night....yum yum!

Our dinner....and yes, she caught the biggest

Fish were all caught on minnows in 12-30 feet of water, but the best bite was around 20-25 feet deep. Again, I was impressed with the Coosa - it had plenty of room and performed well in the open water. Merry Christmas and, as always, tight lines!

Additional Photos:

Good looking girl, good looking fish, good looking boats!

A beautiful December sunset over Jordan

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Jackson Kayak Weekend: Factory Tour and First Float in the New Coosa - December 2-4, 2010

It was mid-afternoon on December 4, 2010. The air temperature was cold and the wind chilling. There I was, standing and fishing from my new Jackson kayak as I floated down a river in central Tennessee. I was surrounded by some of the most talented and friendly anglers in the southeast. All I could do was look around, shake my head, and smile. Life couldn't have gotten much better. Here is how it happend....

My first float in the Coosa - central TN
Photo by: Hunter King

A few months ago, professional kayak fisherman Drew Gregory showed up at one of our Carolina Yakfish tournaments with a prototype of a boat he was designing for Jackson Kayak. I knew about Drew's reputation and we had talked briefly online, but I had not met him prior and was anxious to do so and to see his new boat. The boat had a very open design with very few features and a basic front deck. At that time, the name hadn't even been finalized, but he was fairly certain it would be named the Coosa - after a river in Alabama known for it's aggressive spotted bass. It's major selling point was that it was designed with river fishermen in mind, but is great for any setting...and to top it off - the boat was made to be stable enough to stand and fish from. The original prototype looked nothing like the finished version I got to see this past weekend, but I was able to take that prototype for a brief paddle and from then on I was hooked on getting a boat that I could stand up and fish from.

A few months later I teetered on buying a Native Ultimate 12 - actually from Drew. But, he convinced me otherwise and mentioned to me that if I was interested and was willing to put in some effort, there may be a place for me with Jackson. Needless to say, I was excited to hear this and have been trying extra hard to be a positive ambassador for the sport of kayak fishing in as many ways as possible ever since. My hard work paid off and thanks to Great Outdoor Provision Company (who are my sponsor for Jackson) and Jackson, I can now call myself a part of the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team.

A family friendly brand made entirely in the USA!
Photo by: Ben Roussel

This past week we met in Sparta, TN to tour the factory, get our boats, make some customizations, give feedback, meet the Jackson staff, and spend some time on the water together. I left Durham around 1 PM and headed west on I-40. I barely made a turn and ended up in Cookeville, TN around 7:30 PM local time. There I met up with Drew G, who would be my roommate for the weekend, grabbed some food, and soon met some of the other guys - Ben Roussel from Baton Rogue, LA and Tim & Adam Parker from Georgia. We spent the night watching the Eagles-Texans game as well as telling fish tales and watching a number of Drew's recent videos. The next morning we got up early and headed for breakfast at the hotel. There I met Joe Pulliam (founder of Dagger Kayaks and current 'Head Coach' at Jackson) as well as some other team members. From there we packed up and headed for Sparta, where the Jackson Kayak factory is located.

Gotta love their motto!
Photo by: Ben Roussel

A few more team members met us there. After a bit of chatting, it was obvious that this was a diverse and talented group. It included anglers ranging from age 15 to early-50's, coming from all across the southeast (and beyond), and specializing in just about every type of fishing you could imagine. The factory is located in an old Wrangler Jeans warehouse and really epitomizes a small, family friendly business. We were treated like close friends from the moment we stepped in the door. Inside were some offices and another door that opened into a huge warehouse stacked full of kayaks. Along the main aisle we saw about 15 Coosa's...and they had our names on them! Some colors - such as the camo, red and black mix, and blue were a hit. Others - like the white & red mix and white & orange mix - were up for debate. Looking around, I noticed that we were all smiling like idiots - a trend that carried on through the weekend. I was in love with my Coosa - a Duke Blue version that really looked sharp.

Excited to get our shiny new boats!
Photo by: Sean Brodie

Like kids at Christmas time...
Photo by: Sean Brodie

We spent the next hour or so going over some basics of the boat, making a few minor changes, and visiting with each other. Then we got a factory tour and saw how kayaks are made from scratch. It is odd to think that their boats, made from some of the toughest plastic polymers you can get, start as a colored, sand-like material. Then they get molded and pieced together by hand. Each boat is assembled by one worker rather than assembly line style. Mine was built by "Uncle Steve" - so if you happen to read this Uncle Steve, I want to say thank you!

Thanks Uncle Steve!

I have never toured another kayak factory, but I can see why Jackson has such an awesome reputation. They are extremely careful and detail driven throughout the entire process and have some great people and great minds at work there.

One of the Jackson employees putting together a Coosa

One of the many kayak molds Jackson uses

After getting some food we made a few more changes to our boats and began to load them onto/into our vehicles. For most, it was as easy as throwing a yak or two into the back of a pickup. For me, the Coosa fit great in my Thule J-cradles. For others like Ben R and Ben Adrien, they had to fit 3 boats on top of their vehicles (with Ben Adrien's being a smaller coupe). From there we headed south to the home of owner/founder Eric Jackson and his family.

Ben's truck getting loaded

Along the way we stopped at Rock Island State Park to check out the sweet waterfalls. Not so coincidentally, they were less than 2 miles from EJ's home. I had spent about 2 hours looking at YouTube videos of EJ and the rest of the Jackson whitewater team before heading to TN. All I can say is WOW you have gotta take a look (*not an official Jackson Promo Video)!

Rock Island State Park, TN

We pulled up and he met us outside. He, much like Drew G, is a high energy guy whose gears are always turning. He talked about how Jackson was founded, where he sees the company going, and what he expects of us. Jackson is the leader, by far, in whitewater boating and was looking to expand - so their partnership with Drew G was a great fit. Then we just sat, ate some tasty food he and his wife grilled for us, and talked about all sorts of things. The best part was that despite being an insanely talented whitewater kayaker, he grew up in Florida and loves to fish too! We all headed out fairly early (we were pretty exhausted). Some guys headed home and others, including myself, headed back to the hotel and found a place to float the next day - a stretch of a local river known for holding muskies.

7:22 AM local time, 41 degrees, wind chill of 35 degrees - perfect morning to fish!?

We got up the next day, met for breakfast around 6:30 AM, and headed for the river. We set up a shuttle and after some prep work we were on the water. Now comes the only down side to my entire trip. I launched the boat and was excited to feel that it handled much like my 10' sit in kayak. In fact, the only real difference was that I was sitting up much higher (the Coosa has multiple seat positions) and the Coosa is 1.5 feet longer. I paddled around a little and then went to grab a rod and make a cast. As I took my rod out of the rod stager and unstrapped it from a bungee I momentarily looked away. As I did, the rod slipped from my grasp and into the water. Numerous attempts at a rescue proved fruitless - as the water was higher than normal and not clear enough to see bottom. I was pretty bummed, but thankfully the rest of my trip was so great that I soon forgot about the entire situation.

The first two Coosa's lined up and ready to launch (UGA and Duke uniting)

Drew G, Bruiser, and I paddled down river to catch up with the rest of the group. I wanted to get some footage of everyone since Drew G had put his GoPro Hero HD video camera in my kayak for the day (he was filming a promo video with another camera). Although nothing too spectacular happened, I am interested to see some of the footage and am pretty sure one of those little gadgets will be riding with me by spring time (at the latest). We floated and fished - mainly seated except for Drew G and Adam (who was the lightest of the group by far). Eventually, I decided I wanted to try and stand to fish. I had never stood in a kayak before and was really anxious to try. We came to a slow section and I, nervously, gave it a shot. I stood up for about 5 seconds before the shaking in my legs caused me to return to my seat. It was a combo of my nerves and getting used to the stability of the boat, but at that moment I thought I would never be able to stand and fish from the Coosa.

Hunter King in his new boat

Ben Roussel in action

But after floating for a little while longer I decided to give it another shot. This time I stood for about a minute and was getting the hang of just standing. Then I picked up a rod and started casting away. Although a little wobbly at times, I was getting the hang of it pretty quickly. In fact, I think casting actually helped me adjust faster to standing in the boat. Now, I wasn't hopping around the boat like Drew G tends to do, but I was slowly getting there.

Slowly getting the hang of it
Photo by: Hunter King

Searching for that elusive bite!
Photo by: Hunter King

We stopped for a break and found that no-one had caught a fish. Ben R got a good bite, but the fish got off, I had a follow (just saw a flash at the boat), and that was about it. We were getting tired in the cold weather and we continued down river fishing rather casually.

All the boats lined up during a break as Drew G and Brusier paddle to catch up
Photo by: Ben Roussel

This stretch was a little slower, so I made it a point to stand and fish as much as I could. Over the final few miles of the float I rarely sat down. I easily fished and paddled from the standing position and quickly fell in love with that feature.

Above two photos by: Hunter King

After a few hours of floating we had reached the end of the float. No-one boated a fish, but we all had a lot of fun and came away very impressed. From there we loaded up and headed our separate directions. For me that meant heading north to I-40 and then cruising to Durham and the 3 inches of snow they received earlier in the day. After a long drive (that actually went by fast), I got home around 1:15 AM. I still couldn't stop smiling....

What a great day and weekend!
Photo by: Hunter King

I will post a more detailed review of the boat in a day or two. Until then, tight lines!

Some Additional Pictures:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching Cold Weather Brutes with my Dad - November 27, 2010

I spent the last few days in Pennsylvania visiting my family for Thanksgiving. I typically try to squeeze some fishing into every trip home, but hadn't originally planned on it this time around. However, my friend Travis convinced me to hit a local spot on Friday morning, but those plans fell through. Thankfully, my dad convinced me that he and I should hit a stretch of lower Penns Creek, a few miles above it's confluence with the Susquehanna River. Neither of us had fished this stretch in 4-5 years, but it is typically a good walleye spot with some smallies mixed in. We had also heard tales of muskie in this area from Travis, but had never actually seen one or had a confirmed encounter.

So, we hit the road shortly after 6 AM on Saturday morning and headed for the creek. When we left the house, the air temp was 31 degrees. When we made it to the creek it was 32-33 degrees. We hadn't spent much time looking at the weather, other than to make sure it wouldn't be raining and were hoping it would warm up quickly. Thankfully we had bundled up and we got set-up to catch some fish.

Now, standing in one area and casting over and over isn't either of our styles, but in this particular area (and targeting walleye) it typically works best. I started throwing a small plastic swimbait, then a grub, jerkbait, crankbait, tube, different color grub, and pretty much everything else I could find in my dad's tacklebox. I just could not buy a bite. The water was a little high, although clear, from recent rains and I was wondering if it would leave us skunked. This spot is typically best before 8 AM as well, but given the cold weather we both wondered if a warmer air temperature wouldn't heat up fishing too. Unfortunately, the weather stayed cold and it started to snow. Coupled with the windy conditions, we were getting cold quick.

On about my 7th trip to the tacklebox to tie on another bait I heard my dad say that he had a bite. I turn and see his rod doubled over. A nice winter walleye quickly showed itself and after a fight he landed the fish.

We didn't measure the fish, but estimated him to be around 22"-23". The fish hit a Rapala X-Rap Shad shallow diver in a gold color. Although we were both pretty sure that larger schools of fish weren't around yet, it was a good sign and I was relieved that we avoided the skunk!

At this point it was about 8:30 AM and although my body was warm overall, my hands were completely numb and nose was running at will. I REALLY wanted to catch a fish, but was beginning to think I would sacrifice my skunkless streak for some warmth. As a back story, I managed to go all of 2009 without getting skunked and was hoping I would do the same in 2010. Unfortunately, the streak ended on a chilly day in late February on Little River Reservoir, but I haven't been skunked since.

It was 9:15 AM and we agreed that we would fish another 15-20 minutes and call it a day - as were really feeling the effects of the weather. Eventually I tied on a Yo-Zuri Twitch'n Minnow in a gold with black back pattern and worked it through the area. After about 10 minutes I hadn't had a bite so I started walking and casting closer to the bridge where we parked. Typically this area is shallow and has not produced fish, but they just put in a new bridge and it looked deeper than before. I saw what looked to be a current break caused by a submerged boulder or rock bar and threw my jerkbait near it. I worked it toward the bank and just had one of those feelings, call it fisherman's intuition, come over me. About midway in I felt a solid strike and immediately line began pulling from the reel. As I set the hook the side of the fish came out of the water and I could see that it was a true Penns Creek leviathan - a muskie. I smiled and new the battle was on.

And the fight was on...and yes I was dressed like a jogger (except with 4 layers on)

My first thought was pure excitement, as I have never actually landed a muskie. I have had numerous muskies either break my line or throw the hook, as I am typically bass fishing when I hook one. I had grabbed one of my dad's set-ups on the way out the door - a 6'6" medium action rod and a size 20 reel (made for 6-8 lb test) spooled with braid. To top it off, neither of us were sure how long the braid had been on there, which made me nervous, especially in the cold weather. I was almost certain that the combination of the muskie's size, giant teeth, the small treble hooks on the bait, the light rod and reel, or the line would lead to the fish getting away. But I was determined to land him.

My forearm was burning! (Also notice the iced up guides)

The fish took line for a couple of minutes as I applied steady pressure. The rod was doubled over and my dad turned to me and mentioned that my fish sure was fighting hard compared to his. I realized that he hadn't yet seen the fish and so I replied that the fish on the end of my line was not a walleye or a smallmouth. He quickly put his rod down and came downstream to where I was. I told him that it was a muskie and he snapped a photo of the fight (which I am hoping to upload soon). In an attempt at a second shot, his camera battery died. I thought about giving him my camera and asking him to take video, but I was worried that I would lose the fish trying to unzip my pocket to reach the camera. I decided against it and continued fighting the fish. Every time I gained line on him he pulled it back out. Finally, he began to tire and we could see his massive white underbelly and sides. Occasionally he would thrash his head out of the water. It appeared as if the line was actually wrapped around his mouth with part of the line in-between teeth.

We debated about the best spot to land him for a minute or so. Option A) was a few feet downstream of where I was standing, but was on a muddy bank that would make things interesting for us all. Option B) was a few feet upstream on the piece of bedrock I was standing on. Although flat and not far above the water level, pulling the fish a few extra feet upstream was not what I wanted to do. Option C) was landing the fish at my feet, but the drop to the water was a bit much. We went with Option B) and my dad offered to land him. After another short run I pulled the fish to the bank. His shear mass made it hard to get him on land, as the deeper water had helped support his weight. I got him on the rock and my dad got a finger under his gill plate. Then the second fight began....

The fish slipped from his hand and in the process the line broke with the lure still in his mouth. I hadn't realized the line broke as my dad began to panic a little and grab for the fish. He tried to grip the fish behind the head (as we often do pike), but the muskie was thrashing and the combination of rogue treble hooks and teeth made it hard to grab or control him. The fish slipped through his grasp again and my dad even got a foot wet trying to corral the beast. I tried, in a last effort, to grab him as he swam away, but was barely able to touch his tail. I thought about jumping in after him, but instead I was forced to watch him slowly slip back to the depths of the creek.

Although we were both disappointed to have not gotten a photo (my dad seemed to take it harder than I did), I was happy to have at least been able to touch the tail of the monster and to have gotten him on land, albeit for a few brief moments. I can definitely see why some people spend their lives chasing these beautiful giants as there is just something special about them that words can not describe. We decided that was the "perfect" ending to the day and packed it in.

We estimated the muskie to be around 36" in length and it had an incredible girth, placing it in the 12-16 lb class. Thinking about it now still gives me chills. It is one of those special fish that I will never forget and I was really glad my dad was there with me. So all in all, we braved the elements and landed 2 fish - a beauty of a walleye and a now legendary least to us. Tight lines!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Late Fall River Fishing - November 20, 2010

During the middle of last week I decided it had been way too long since I had been fishing for fun. This semester has been full of work for me, so I was eager to get out. In fact, I hadn't done anything except tournament fishing and pre-fishing since moving to my new place. After some contemplating I talked with toba (Bob) and we decided to hit a local river.

Ready to launch on a pretty November day

I got to the river around 10:30 AM and quickly prepped my yak and gear. I realized I had forgotten my seat and my life jacket. A moment of panic overcame me, as I never leave without a life jacket and forgot I had actually hung it up in my closet (for a change). Thankfully Bob had an extra and off we went. We paddled about 2 miles up river and started fishing. I tied on a Deep Creek Lures floating worm in a green pumpkin color, a Deep Creek Lures Razor Beetle in a candy grass color, a shad colored spinnerbait, and a Strike King jig with a Deep Creek crawdad trailer. Bob and I both agreed that the bite would be slow, as water temps were pretty cold, but I was hoping the wind would push around some bait fish and cause a spinnerbait bite.
About 20 minutes into the float I got my first bite and landed a chunky little 14.5" fish. He hit a 6.5" Deep Creek floating worm fished on a texas rig.

My first bass of the day that hit a Deep Creek worm

Then, save a few bites, I went over an hour without landing a fish. I lost one fish that hit as soon as my worm hit the water and another that bit so lightly I barely felt him and was late setting the hook. Bob was having some luck on the other side of the river and landed a pretty 17.25" bass.

Bob with a pretty 17.25" largemouth

Finally, I landed my second fish - right around the 14" mark. It also came on the Deep Creek floating worm in a green pumpkin color. I was fishing it on a 1/4 oz. texas rig and the finesse style seemed to be working better than the razor beetle, jig, and larger worms.

Fish #2 - glad it wasn't my last!

Then the bite started to pick up. I am not sure if it was finding a pattern with the smaller worm or the fact that the sun was slowly warming up the river, but either way, the bass started getting active. After landing a few solid fish, I landed a pretty 17" largemouth.

A 17" fall bass from the river

Then I ended up landing 5 fish in a 40 yard stretch of bank - 4 of which were caught on the same Deep Creek worm and 1 on the Razor Beetle. The biggest went right around 4 lbs and was an extremely healthy fall fish.

A 4 lb largemouth toward the end of the day

After that I landed one more bass - a 12"-13" fish that would be my last of the day as both Bob and I had to head for the trucks. I was really happy to have gotten out on the river and even happier to have caught some solid fish in the cool water. All of the bass felt cold to the touch, but most of them still had nice colors and hadn't developed the typical red lips yet. And today, all of my fish were caught on Deep Creek Lure plastics.

This will most likely be my last trip in the "old", green kayak for quite some time. Although I will miss it, I can not wait to go pick-up my Jackson Coosa in 2 weeks! Happy Thanksgiving and tight lines!