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LgMouthGambler

Jiggin My Canal

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So I decided around 1600 I was gonna go out on my canal and do something I dont really do, fish with a jig. I fish my canal alot with lizards and brush hogs, but not much with a jig. I grabbed my rig, a Bantam Curado CU-100B mounted on a 6'8 Compre MHF rod and 15# green YoZuri, and tied on an 1/4 black/blue Gambler jig. I wanted to try something subtle, not the usual Mega Daddy trailer I like to use out in the Glades, so I grabbed for a Gambler Flappy Daddy which is a little smaller. I wanted to match the colors a bit, but still have a bit of difference. So I opted for the Shadow Gold color, which is black and blue with some gold flakes in it. As I walked to the canal, I started planning my attack in my head. Was I gonna go straight to the narrow part where I know there is fish, or try for the more open area where there may be some fish that I dont know about this time of the year. I decided to go towards the more open area. I first started skimming the edges to cancel out any fish that were tucked to the bank. I threw the jig past a stick of a branch that was poking out of the water. As I brought the jig along I hit the branch. With a few subtle up and down motions of the rod, I had the jig bouncing up and down on the branch. All of a sudden the line was tight, and with a quick lift, I felt a tug back. I reeled in the slack really fast and then set the hook. With the fish down in the branch, I had to pull him out the best I can. That YoZuri was sounding like a nylon guitar string, but I was able to finally pull him out. A nice start to the afternoon with a 3lb fish. I checked the line, and to my surprise very little abrasion. I decided that Im not going to retie to see how well the line will hold up to another fish. I walked about another 50yds down the bank to where access to the water was between two big bushes. Each one of these bushes had downed branches that went out into the water about 20 ft. The canal is very wide but shallow in this area, about only 8 ft deep at the middle. I pitched the jig out towards the very tips of the downed branches and worked the jig along the bottom towards me on each side. No bites off the branches, so I threw the jig out about 30 yds and worked the bottom from the middle of the canal in towards me in the open area. When th ejig got to be within 15 yds of me, I got a bite, and set the hook. Another bass, this one only about a pound and a half. Wondering if there was another down there I casted back in the same spot. When the jig got to just about the same spot where the other bass bit, there was another one that took the bait. This one must have been the female, because she was about 4lbs. I laid her back in the water and proceeded to my next spot. I checked the line, it was still good, the trailer however was torn. As I set another Flappy Daddy on the jig while walking up to my next spot, I saw some movement in the water. At this part of the canal its about 30 yds wide, and then opens up to a big open lake like formation. Across the way is the point where the canal makes a 90 degree turn to open up, and thats where the commotion was. As I stand and look, there are swirls and bait fish jumping around. The cast is a good 40 yds, so I loosen the spool tension knob, and swing for the fences. The jig lands 5 yds past the point of commotion. As I lift the rod up, instantly there is a tug on the line. I reeled in as much slack line as I can to set the hook from about 40 yds away. Picture this if you will, I am running backwards at the same time as I am slinging that rod over my head to make sure I get a good hookset on the fish. I watch the line as it starts making crazy turns, and extreme runs. The first thought that went thru my head was "snakehead", and I was right. I got the fish 5 yds from me and it started going into wild thrashes and deathrolls. I pulled it up onto the bank and unhooked it. It flapped around, and walked itself back into the water, and swam off like a torpedo. Line and trailer check. Line a little scuffed, but OK, trailer trashed and replaced. Still there was commotion on that point, what could that be? My first thought was it was a female moving around on a bed on that corner. Again I sailed that jig as far as I could to get whatever was making those swirls in the water. While dragging the jig along the bottom, I noticed some open areas and rocks surrounding it, this has to be where the bed is. I made a half a dozen casts past this spot, and then it happened, snagged. I played around with the rod trying to free the jig, even tried the bow and string trick, and nothing. I walked up the bank a bit to see if I could coax it off, and again unsuccessful. As I walked back to the original spot I was standing at, I noticed a big splash where my line went into the water. All of a sudden, my jig was free. Did the fish attack my jig that was stuck? As I played with the rod, BAM! One of the hardest tugs, but then nothing. I slowly lifted the rod to see if maybe I had hit a branch under the water, then the line started moving out off the edge. Keeping the line taught, I reeled in the slack, and swung for the fences. This was no snakehead, this thing was a huge bass. It was going toward the open area and diving deep to get away. She was pulling some line off the reel, but not much, the drag was pretty tight. As I struggle to reel her in, she then starts swimming towards me. So fast it was hard to keep up, then it happened, she leaped into the air, all of about 7lbs of her. I have never seen a bass this big in this canal before. She was soo beautiful I almost got taken by the moment and forgot what I was doing. She landed in the water and I took up as much line as I could to get the tension back on. She dove back down in the more narrow part of the canal prior to the open part. Oh no, there are alot of sunken Christmas trees and branches down there. Just as I suspected, she wrapped my line around some kind of cover down there, and all I could do was hold tension and hope for the best. Pulling up as hard as I can, all that I saw come up was some kind of palm tree branch, and I couldnt see the fish. As I reeled the branch in, I thought the fish got off, but then the line and the branch went back under water. Great, now I have the fish and the branch to reel in. About another 10 seconds of fighting this fish, and then it happened, that dead feeling on the line where you know the fish unhooked itself. There I was, a 4 ft palm tree brach no fish.  Though defeted by her, I know that she is in there. It was a nice struggle to try and land her, also being able to see her acrobatic skills. Till another day hopefully we shall meet again. I untangled the branch and headed for home as the sun was going down. While walking back home I decided I was going to share the little bit of exitement I had this afternoon with all of you. I hope this gave you guys that are frozen over a little bit of entertainment for the time being. Thanks for reading. :Victory:

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Awesome story. Sorry, the fish got unhooked. Sounds like you tried everything to keep her on.

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Now that sounds fun.......also sounds like you need to adda small kayak to your arsenal of techniques ;)  I'm thinking a nice little Commander 120 or SUP would do very nicely and give you the ability to stalk the canal and get closer to those fish without fear of getting hung up.  I do it all the time in my kayak and can honestly tell you there is nothing like stalking fish in 8-24" of water and not have fear of running aground.

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Good story, and good job LMG. Sometimes the fish wins. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening. I have only one suggestion:paragraphs! :teacher:  I have to go take some Dramamine now... :reading:

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Great write up. Sounds like you gave her your best. You'll get her next time.

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Now that sounds fun.......also sounds like you need to adda small kayak to your arsenal of techniques ;)  I'm thinking a nice little Commander 120 or SUP would do very nicely and give you the ability to stalk the canal and get closer to those fish without fear of getting hung up.  I do it all the time in my kayak and can honestly tell you there is nothing like stalking fish in 8-24" of water and not have fear of running aground.

 

Gonna be getting a little john boat for the canals soon. Used to have a gheenoe, but sold it. Your right though, its soo much better.

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Good story, and good job LMG. Sometimes the fish wins. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening. I have only one suggestion:paragraphs! :teacher:  I have to go take some Dramamine now... :reading:

 

Haha, as you can tell Im not an writing major, I didnt even think about that. Note to self :Idea3:

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Haha, as you can tell Im not an writing major, I didnt even think about that. Note to self :Idea3:

Seriously though, I've been Lurking on this forum for almost a year now, and your writing has greatly improved from what I see!

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Seriously though, I've been Lurking on this forum for almost a year now, and your writing has greatly improved from what I see!

Thanks. I just get the urge sometimes to do it.

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If you had been using a st croix rod with a diawa reel you would have landed that beast. Time for an equipment change.

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Great story!

If you had been using a st croix rod with a diawa reel you would have landed that beast. Time for an equipment change.


Really?  That only got you some snags, a couple of lost jigs and missed oppurtunities,,,,lol

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Man thats awesome! Last time something like that happened to me, everyone in the park I was at stopped and looked to see what the torrets guy in the bushes was yelling about lol.

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If you had been using a st croix rod with a diawa reel you would have landed that beast. Time for an equipment change.

Great, how am I going to explain that to my wife? Lol

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Very nice read for some of us "less fortunate" stuck in this miserable white curse. I enjoyed it, and you did a good job, I felt like I was right there..... Only I would've had a Daiwa as well ;) Glad you had a good outing, and good luck on getting her next time! Tight lines -Bass Junkie

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LMG, thanks for taking me back to my fishing adventures down in Florida, over the years.

 

Also got my mind of our BLIZZARD!!

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Great story!!

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