Monday, March 25, 2013

Fishing Can Be Dangerous

Since Yuki and I got blown off New Melones last Friday we decided to do another day of yaking. Our initial plan was to got out to Lake Pardee, but I've not seen any comments on the local forums. Not just recently, but almost since opening day February 15th. That turned me off on Pardee so I suggested the North Shore of Lake Camanche.

The plan was to launch and head out to the buoy area hoping to trawl in some deeper water. The more the lake fills (and it is still filling) the less land available to fish on and as the water rises, the shallow water at the shore goes out further making it even harder to get to deeper water.

I want to mention that I had an epiphany the other night as we were planning this trip. I know that it is essential to get the lure down deep in these lakes and since I don't use downriggers, I thought I'd use a slip sinker rig with a 1/4 oz. egg sinker and snap swivel on the end of three feet of 4# fluorocarbon leader. Then put on the lure. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. 

I was on the water first in the yellow kayak I used last week and since Yuki was doing some rigging, launched about 15 minutes later. In that 15 minutes, I had gotten most of the way to the island that is maybe a quarter to a half mile from launch. I pulled a Thomas Buoyant lure with a chartreuse Power Worm on one rod and the pink Kastmaster on the other.

I made it to the island and put on a gold Kastmaster on one and one of the lures from Howard up in Spokane. I got all the way across and into the bay where we usually fish, make a 180 and with a silver Kastmaster on one rod and a different colored lure from Howard, started back across.

Once I got back to the island, I put a white crappie jig and worked a grassy area and some trees in the water. I thought maybe I'd get a crappie to take notice. The trout sure weren't. On the way back toward launch, this time I put on a red/white crappie jig and a pink Power Worm on one rod and a firetiger Kastmaster on the other.

Again a 180 at the cove and this time with the pink Kastmaster on one and silver on the other I headed back across.    

We've parked behind this bush to fish

I've parked directly to the right of this buoy
Now, before I get to the next part of this post, I want to give you a closeup of the two kayaks we were using.
I used this one
Yuki used this one
Two things to note about the kayak Yuki was using. One, it's an ocean going kayak. Two, it's a mighty narrow kayak.

I was heading back across and was about half way when I saw Yuki flip his kayak. I was about 200 yards from him and as soon as I saw what happened, I immediately dug in the paddle and headed in his direction.

I told Yuki I wouldn't embarrass him with all the gory details so let me say that I got to him, got him to shallow water where he could stand and got him back into the kayak. From there I towed it back to launch so he could get some dry clothes and warm up. Water temperature was probably high 40's and I was worried about hypothermia.

I went back out to collect his stuff that was scattered from where he flipped to about 200 yards toward launch. The wind, you know. We only lost two things. A rod that didn't float and the paddle that I just couldn't find.

All in all, Yuki is fine although a little worse for wear. It did bring the day of fishing to a screeching halt, though. Oh, by the way, anyone want to buy a blue kayak? I know where you can get a good deal on one.



  1. I have a buddy that guided on the ocean in those same kayaks for years. Glad your buddy is OK.

  2. Thank God that all ended up Ok! That would be one of the main worries of any thoughts I had about kayaking. The Float Tube Cumberland may be a safer bet.

    1. Hi Mel. Problem I'm having with the float tube is that I can't get 50 feet from shore and my legs start to cramp. Doesn't happen in a kayak.

  3. I'm glad Yuki is okay. I think I'll pass on the kayak, I'm not sure I float anymore.

  4. Thank you again, Mark, for saving my life today.
    Had I were fishing alone there was no way that I could be here now.
    I was so stupid not knowing the difference of various types of kayaks. The blue was for surfing... certainly, not for fishing. I'm so glad that you were not on it, or my daughter, or other friends.

    I was changing from lure to bait. And when I turned my upper body to fetch something for bait fishing, on the very calm water without any wind, it flipped and I was in the water. I could not believe it. Luckily, I was wearing a life jacket, but zipper was not closed, was able to keep my heart above the water. But, boy, water was cold and heavy and I was totally exhausted when you finally pulled me on to the shore.

  5. An old timer who was fishing on the shore told me that, while I was recouperating lying on the ground trying to catch the most of sun's heat, God was not quite ready to taje me.
    He also told me that I should go to the casino as it seems like a very lucky day for me.
    After going home, changing my clothes, and ate a bowl of instant noodle, I went to the casino. I walked out of there with the cash enough to buy my lost three rods, reels and all the tackles...

  6. I'm glad your buddy is ok. Some yaks can be unstable. I haven't been dumped yet, but my fishing buddy has a few times and he finally changed to a wider yak.

    1. Hi Larry. the one I plan to get is just like the yellow one. It has a 31" beam and seems very stable.

  7. You got to keep your head along the centerline of the kayak, where the head goes the body follows. Same holds true in a canoe. I bet you won't make that mistake again. Gald you did not go hypo.

  8. Mark
    You are a brave guy to step up and take on the kayak, especially fishing from a narrow one. I think I will stick with my little Pelican pontoon boat. You need to try the crappie injection nibbles "from my post" here on this lake. I would be curious to know if they would produce.

  9. Hey Mark, I'm glad you led me to this post. It kinda shores up ( see what I did there? Shoreman. :) ) - anyway, it kinda confirms my thoughts about a NuCanoe for the wife and I. Stability is my #1 issue. Of course around here, when we're out on the water - our water isn't nearly that cold. Deep South ya know. I can't imagine how tough it would be to take a swim in that kind of lake. Makes me cold just reading it. :) Glad Yuki was ok!