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It's never the gear; it's all you.
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99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I once stripped down to my underwear and dove after an 8-inch wild brown trout that went belly up in a deep pool...in the Delaware River in upstate New York...in January. I successfully got the fish upright and swimming again after a couple of minutes, but, I ended up in the car for hours frozenly questioning life choices that led me to that point where I couldn't decide whether hypothermia was a better outcome than frostbite...I decided on frostbite...but then which toes did I care for the least?
 

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11,299 Posts
Not exactly crazy but it certainly wore me out...

Last week it was too rough to make it offshore for tuna so we switched to a salmon/rockfish combo trip. We didn't have all our normal gear since we are primarily a tuna boat these days so I didn't have the usual stout rod we use for descending yellow eye and canary rock fish back to depth. I ended up sending a good handful down to 170 feet using a 12' 4" noodle of a salmon rod. That was a royal PIA but worth it to avoid seeing a bunch of orange floaters
 

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Premium Member
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1,000 Posts
I've never done anything crazy. Though just last month, between the general opener, and the PS opener, I fished a new-to-me stream for cutts. Fishing was great, but just before quitting time, I put a streamer into the head of a deep elbow with a ledge. I thought I had it under tension, but when I started stripping, I realized I didn't. Moreover, I realized that my streamer was likely sitting in a fish's mouth already. It came tight and I fought the fish in to my hand. It was a 15" cutt. The biggest of the day. But my hook was in the gills and it was bleeding. I slipped the hook out, and though the fish swam away, I spent about a half hour wading up to my chest and prodding the fish with my boot to keep it swimming when I saw the white of it's belly. I doubt the fish made it. It was a bad way to end a great day. But it has got me really thinking about my use of streamers.

The fish in question was about 1-2" bigger than this fish here - also caught that day. Beautiful fish in that stream. The dog helped me botch this photo, though.

Dog Carnivore Fish Fisherman Dog breed
 

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Make my day
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4,820 Posts
Almost had my boat swamped while trying to revive a very large Beardslee on Lake Crescent.

I was fishing down to 80' to get were they were holding. Now anybody who has fished deep knows that a fish raised from those depths will have problems with their air bladder. Knowing this, I brought the fish up very slowly. Quick release and back down they go.

This technique worked fine on the previous two fish then, just as I hook into this one a big boat comes around the point and heads right for me. It was the park rangers.

I have a lot of respect for all L.E. They do a thankless job, low wages and under staffed. That being said, these guys had NO clue. They came up to my little 14' rowboat to within 50' on a plane. Turned and cut the throttle making a huge wake.

I had to try to turn the boat into it with one oar while playing the fish with the other. Lost track of how fast I was bringing the fish up. I was just about to get it to the boat as they started asking for my license. Got kind of snotty with them and said they would have to wait tell I released the fish.

Well it didn't go well. The fishes bladder was expanded and it wasn't going to revive on the surface. It needed to get deep fast. So I grabbed it by the handle and shoved it strait for the bottom.

At first I didn't think it was going to work. It didn't seam to be swimming down, just sinking. Then it started kicking a little. Then righted it self and started to swim off. Crescent is a very clear lake. You an see well over a hundred feet down. I watched as it made it to almost the bottom and thought it was good. Then it just rolled over and floated back toward the surface.

Shit! Well it happens. Anyone who thinks you don't kill fish doing C&R is delusional.

So now I have to deal with the park rangers. I give them my papers and wait. And wait. And wait.

After about 10 minutes they start chatting with me. Telling me I should have brought the fish up slower to allow the air bladder to adjust. I just bite my tongue.

Finally hands me back my little fishing license wallet and says have a good day. Starts up the twin inboards! Punches the throttle and leaves me in a huge wake.

Only to turn around and come back. Once again dropping and turning right next to me.

Seems they got a call on the the radio just as they were leaving. My license was not valid?

Turns out whoever they were talking to had taken down the spelling of my name wrong and there was no license for a Jeff Dandy.

At this point I'm getting a little miffed but I muster all of my inner calm and give them my license back. And wait. And wait. And wait.

"Okay, everything checks out. Here's your license. Sorry for the inconvenience". Another punch of the throttle and big wake.

Finally!

But no. The boat barely gets on a plane and they turn around and come back. Forgot to put my license back into my wallet.

Snap!

I lost it. I really, really lost it. After all of that they had to listen to me explain how approching a small craft like they did was wrong. Approching a small craft while the opperatior was busy with a fish was wrong. Leaving a small craft at full throttle was wrong.

Did I mention that I was the only other boat on the lake.
 

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Long Lost Member
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I posted a SRC story from a beach incident once. I'm surprised the gear guy dragging it up on the beach and I didn't have more of an altercateion, based on my actions.
 
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I fish
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268 Posts
Many years ago we fished a highly productive lake in a national park where they had stopped stocking Rainbow Trout. There was no natural reproduction since all inlet/outlets were underwater springs.
There were few fish remaining, and all of those were 6+ years old. We were highly motivated to C&R and would take all steps to revive fish.

My brother was deep water chironomiding and caught a beauty 15+lb doe. Not sure why she was affected more than other fish, but revival was slow. I had my hands in the 30 degree water for 20 minutes while reviving her, keeping the boat moving forward all the time. She eventually swam away nicely, and I'm going to keep believing she survived.:D
 

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How does this work? Is there like a weight and a clip you release?

Used to do a fair amount of rock fishing and always hated seeing the bladder croaks...
We use a descender device. It's got a pressure setting that will release at certain depths. It clamps onto the fish mouth and we use a bunch of lead to drop it back down. Hence why it sucked using a noodle rod. Reeling in a pound or more of lead at that depth sucks. It's not perfect but at least it gives the fish a chance. Letting them float sure doesn't.
 

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Was fishing a C&R lake in a toon. Hooked one pretty deep in the throat. Got the fly out and he was bleeding a bit. Tried to revive him some and it seemed to be working. Put him back and he swam away a little, then turned up on his side about 15' away. Crap, lemme go see if I can help.

Outta nowhere - BANG. Osprey. Problem solved.
 
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