An Epic Day

Some years ago I set a goal for myself to catch a thirty pound Striped Bass from Lake Lanier. Year after  year I would come close but that elusive target somehow always slipped by. One early morning last October while out on the water still drinking my coffee, I got hit by a good fish and fought it to the boat when it broke the surface I said a little prayer as I knew this was it. I got it in the yak and since I did not have scales with me I paddled in and headed for the local tackle shop to get it weighed. When I weighed it I could not believe my eyes, the scales said 26 lbs. I immediately asked them to get another set of scales which also verified that I did not hit my goal.

October 26th 2012, 26# Striped Bass



This year on Lake Lanier the fishing has been difficult at best due to for the first time in four years the lake was at full pool and the unusual summer weather patterns have somewhat altered the normal routines of the Striped bass. As I progressed throughout the year, the fish never seemed to be where they should be, and it was becoming quite frustrating.

This Thanksgiving I had my family meal a day early as this was the only time that we could all get together. So on Thanksgiving day I was sitting around the house wishing I was fishing, so after lunch I decided to go out, I loaded up the Slayer and headed out. The area I decided to scout was in fact the same location that I almost achieved my goal last year. So I started working the area and not long after I got hit, and fought a respectable Striper to the yak. then two hours of nothing. I was moving allot looking for active fish and observed that the Gull's were working a bank about 1.5 miles away so I started in their direction to see if I could get a little of the action that they were having. When I arrived  the fish had already moved on but I could see the Gulls a little further up the lake so I just kept moving towards them hoping the fish would turn back my way as there was plenty of bait in the water.

I finally caught up with the gulls and got slammed again and fought a nice one to the yak. The sun was starting to get lower and I had a nice paddle ahead of me so I started heading back. once I got about a quarter of a mile from the launch I could not believe the action that was going on just in front of the boat ramp. The striped bass were busting all over the place and the gulls were having a field day cleaning up the scraps. so I cut across in an attempt to get ahead of the fish in case they started heading back out to deeper water. I got about 100 yards from where all the gluttony was taking place and got slammed hard again. Striper number three was landed. got him handled and did not even have a chance to take a breath when I got hit again. Fought number four to the boat.

I had one trout left and I remember thinking that it would in fact be a good day if I caught one more fish before going home. My prayers were answered in short order as my reel began screaming as line was being stripped at an unreal rate. I grabbed my rod and locked the spool and almost had my arm ripped away from my shoulder. This fish must have been running at about 40 mph as he just kept spooling my reel. I was very tempted to tighten the drag but kept telling myself "You have plenty of line left".  Whatever I had on the end of my line stripped about 100 yards of line before I even got him to slow down some. My yak had accelerated to about 1.5 mph just from this fish pulling me and was headed back out to the open water.

It was now a battle of getting a small amount of line back and him taking it back, all the while continuing to get pulled out to deeper water. Man what an epic sleigh ride! It took me about 5 minutes just to get him close to the yak but he wasn't done yet...He made a hard run down that I was not expecting and started to pull my gunnel down towards the water, I had to lean out over the opposite side of my yak to counter his move. If my line had broke, I would have flipped in short order.

This bruiser made several more hard runs before letting me see him, and when I finally saw him it took my breath away. Could this be the one? My Moby Striper?

No bait left, fish secured and aching shoulders I headed home knowing I had had a good day and had possibly achieved my goal. Upon arriving home I measured and weighed my trophy.
November 28th, 2013 39" 30#

I had finally got my 30 lb. fish.... Now for the Forty pound mark. Wish me luck.

Tight lines,
Walt














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