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With the cooler nights and ever shortening days, the hybrid/striped bass bite strengthens. Still learning the ways of this highly sought after species, I tap the resources at hand.
While quizzing HOUSE on the subject, we began discussing the tactics, conditions and what not. Eventually the discussion morphed into planning a trip to some waters that we were both familiar with.
We then really honed in on presentations and the like.
Soon we nailed down a day and plans firmed up.
Now brothers and sisters , let me shed a bit of light on "plans" with one mr. HOUSE. One can never be sure that one will not be stood up by this friend of ours...so to say its an interesting gamble would be pretty accurate.
I few days into the planning, I get word that our twosome has become a foursome. It seems the LMR Clown Posse is planning a west side invasion ( lock up your wives and daughters folks)!
The plan was to go as follows, due to size constraints, Rob and I would hit the spot we were planning on and Matulemj and BA83 would hit the spot Rob had zeroed in on via google earth.

Rob and I planned on meeting up at 5:45am and with the walk time included, we should be on the water and casting by just after 6:00. I'm not a fan of long walks to fishing holes but sometimes it's a must. All in all, a mile walk isn't so bad.
The gamble paid off as HOUSE arrived on time!
We got geared up and boogied down the trail.
It's still very dark as we get to my newly discovered spot. Robs scrubs are covered with tag alongside and cockle burrs. Our spirits are high and hopes higher.
Orion is our only company this morning. The mighty archer watches over us as we take to casting and plying our skills.
House takes to swimming his swim bait along the surface of the water in an almost figure 8 presentation. The water boils time and again with near misses to this presentation. He changes up and begins dragging the bait along the bottom, I am slinging a rattle trap. House announces that he had an " on and gone" but immediately his pole doubles over and his presentation has fooled a nice early hybrid. He plays the fish and allows it to wear itself down before he begins his assault on this still unknown sized hybrid. Soon enough though, the tired striped fish is being hoisted up and measured. If memory serves me, it totaled out to be a thick 26" er? HOUSE may need to confirm this....
ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1378562079.318216.jpg
As my mother hadn't raised a fool, I quickly changed baits to try and trick a bass if my own.. Unfortunately , my luck or skill set didn't produce a fish and I soon changed back to a lipless crank.
Light was beginning to filter up from the east. Orion was starting to fade and the shad began arriving.
Like someone had hit the light-speed drive, the water became alive and a rolling boil occurred along its surface!
I cast up into a small chute and felt the pull of a fish. Instantly my thoughts were that this was a smaller fish as it was barely pulling but soon, this fish grew some shoulders and with the current now as an ally, was peeling drag and taking control of this matter between us. Happily, I held on.
The fighter lasted maybe 2 minutes, tiring out and "surfing the current" I began to reel her home.
House was assisting the hook extraction and in no time we were measuring this beauty to be a sound 27" hybrid making her my new PB Hybrid!
ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1378562115.530836.jpg
The fish took next to no nursing back and was charging away from us almost instantly.
The morning has been satisfying enough for us both to pack up and head out but that ain't how it went down. No sir....
HOUSE soon announces that he has a fish the size of a Lincoln Continental hooked and had no choice but to walk down stream or else be dragged. I wish him luck and continue casting. With House now some 60 yards downstream, I can barely make out what he's saying but it sounds like the words "state record"! I keep casting to the boiling water, the likes I have never seen.....
I look back towards my fishing partner and he's STILL fighting this monster....
Then it happens. I can hear the sorrowful sound of an opportunity lost. Heartbreak. Disgust. Foul language and the like. I can see a defeated, battle bloodied, and confused HOUSE walking back up stream, head down and shaking.
"Dude, that fish just broke off 14 lb fire line"!
I really feel for the man, he was in an honorable struggle up to the moment the fish ended it.
House can expound on the details but he quickly shook it off and ran to his tackle bag, retied another swim bait and ran back.
Meanwhile, I chunked my bait up the same chute and had another pull. This fish fought harder, sooner than the other and seemed to have a better fight plan as it took nearly twice as long to tire, fight some more, peel lots of line and was even more difficult to get back up against the grain of the current. At one point, around the 3 minute point, I began complaining about how much fight this fish had in her, a stupid complaint I soon noticed, I was worried about the window of opportunity closing while this fight was going on. Yes, I'm aware how spoiled this notion sounds!
Once I had her under my power and got her measured, it was revealed that this bass was a full 2 inches shorter than the first! It just goes to show you, it's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog!
Here she is:
ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1378562168.691913.jpg
House hooked up with another that looked to be in the 18" range and he had a near 4 ft gar on then off but soon after that , the water went calm again. The window had been closed. This is when Matulemj and BA83 showed up.....
" you guys have any luck"? They asked
House and I lied and said, " just a couple of 21's, nothing special. Knowing full well our lie would be revealed once the report went up.
They both were not impressed with Houses spot at all...
So now with our lie in the open, let the abuse begin.......
Sorry guys!


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Yeah, I called that. That's why I wanted to start at the spot you guys were at. There is some seriously bad fishing karma headed to your's and HOUSE's direction. I hope you get bite by a snake....Oh, wait.
 

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Annyong!
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Those are some awesome fish. Seems like you are getting a new PB each time out. Congrats once again.
 

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Yeah, I called that. That's why I wanted to start at the spot you guys were at. There is some seriously bad fishing karma headed to your's and HOUSE's direction. I hope you get bite by a snake....Oh, wait.
The karma has already gone bad on me. Out this morning for more action...not a sniff.



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Impressive report sirs. I may need to leave the comfort of the little creek I've been in all summer and venture to the big rivers... Nah, too scary, nevermind.
 

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Now brothers and sisters , let me shed a bit of light on "plans" with one mr. HOUSE. One can never be sure that one will not be stood up by this friend of ours...so to say its an interesting gamble would be pretty accurate.
Happened to me and Garret a week or two ago, just sayin...

BTW gorgeous fish fellas.
 

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HouseTackle
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C.O.!!! You swore you'd take this secret to the grave with me, I mean, we touched swimbaits and all when we made the truce!!! I feel so foolish. Now I'm going to have two more fly-fishermen pissed off at me, oh great, lol. In all seriousness, though, there wasn't any room for a 4-some there and we'd had this trip planned out long before so don't hate on us too much. I really thought the 2nd and 3rd spots would've been better. Did you and BA actually fish or were you guys tying flies together along side the soothing sounds of the riffle?

I have to confess, CO, but as much as I hate to admit it, you have your numbers wrong. My fish was the tiny 25-incher and your first was actually the 26 :) I can't believe your next one was bigger, that was one of the top-5 longest hybrids I've ever seen with my own eyes. Beautiful fish. That was also one of the craziest feeding frenzies I've ever seen as well. Straight off of NatGeo. Thanks for showing me the ropes out there, you are a blast to fish with. My only concern is that the last time we fished together, your 18inch smallmouth measured 48 inches and weighed 12 pounds by the end of the fishing season. I can't wait until next year, when these two fish grow into a "double-header-twin-10pounders" on the same lipless crankbait while you had your eyes closed. :p

As to the one that got away...oh man...we've all been there...this was my biggest/saddest moment in my fishing career. I landed a 10pounder last week and quite a few stripes over the winter in the 9-12 pound slot but they were guppies compared to this one. Even the fish I caught out in the Ohio River current were not nearly as strong or as angry as this fish. At first I didn't even think I had him hooked because he was swimming downstream right at me. It was almost like he had played this game many times before in his years of destroying the hearts of fishermen and headed straight out to the main river channel. When he passed by me I pulled back hard and it was like someone had opened up the door to a rodeo and let the bull loose. He surfaced 3 times in that battle, flashing some big stripes but in the darkness I couldn't tell if it was a true striper or a hybrid. 20 yards, 50 yards, 75 yards out...this guy aint slowing down...seriously, 100yards? This fish just would not turn around. I stopped him at least 10 times, but each time he would just thrash his head or come up to the surface to flip me the fin before heading yet farther down stream. I had just spooled up about 200 yards of 14pound Fireline and after getting halfway through the spool I started to worry that he just wouldn't stop so I made a rookie mistake and started ever so slightly thumbing my reel to add more drag. I had walked as far downstream as I could, and there just wasn't any more room to give, and with the fish out in the current, I made that terrible mistake of grabbing the reel that cost me the fish of a lifetime. He made a violent thrash, and I think the lure was so far in his mouth that my line was frayed by his teeth and *POP* - he's gone. :( I should have just let him spool me or let him catch my reel on fire. Either of those stories would have been far better pills to swallow than to know that I was the reason this one got away. Oh well...I'll never know how big it was, but at least I know it's out there...

Don't hate the hybrids, hate the game.
 

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C.O.!!! You swore you'd take this secret to the grave with me, I mean, we touched swimbaits and all when we made the truce!!! I feel so foolish. Now I'm going to have two more fly-fishermen pissed off at me, oh great, lol. In all seriousness, though, there wasn't any room for a 4-some there and we'd had this trip planned out long before so don't hate on us too much. I really thought the 2nd and 3rd spots would've been better. Did you and BA actually fish or were you guys tying flies together along side the soothing sounds of the riffle?

I have to confess, CO, but as much as I hate to admit it, you have your numbers wrong. My fish was the tiny 25-incher and your first was actually the 26 :) I can't believe your next one was bigger, that was one of the top-5 longest hybrids I've ever seen with my own eyes. Beautiful fish. That was also one of the craziest feeding frenzies I've ever seen as well. Straight off of NatGeo. Thanks for showing me the ropes out there, you are a blast to fish with. My only concern is that the last time we fished together, your 18inch smallmouth measured 48 inches and weighed 12 pounds by the end of the fishing season. I can't wait until next year, when these two fish grow into a "double-header-twin-10pounders" on the same lipless crankbait while you had your eyes closed. :p

As to the one that got away...oh man...we've all been there...this was my biggest/saddest moment in my fishing career. I landed a 10pounder last week and quite a few stripes over the winter in the 9-12 pound slot but they were guppies compared to this one. Even the fish I caught out in the Ohio River current were not nearly as strong or as angry as this fish. At first I didn't even think I had him hooked because he was swimming downstream right at me. It was almost like he had played this game many times before in his years of destroying the hearts of fishermen and headed straight out to the main river channel. When he passed by me I pulled back hard and it was like someone had opened up the door to a rodeo and let the bull loose. He surfaced 3 times in that battle, flashing some big stripes but in the darkness I couldn't tell if it was a true striper or a hybrid. 20 yards, 50 yards, 75 yards out...this guy aint slowing down...seriously, 100yards? This fish just would not turn around. I stopped him at least 10 times, but each time he would just thrash his head or come up to the surface to flip me the fin before heading yet farther down stream. I had just spooled up about 200 yards of 14pound Fireline and after getting halfway through the spool I started to worry that he just wouldn't stop so I made a rookie mistake and started ever so slightly thumbing my reel to add more drag. I had walked as far downstream as I could, and there just wasn't any more room to give, and with the fish out in the current, I made that terrible mistake of grabbing the reel that cost me the fish of a lifetime. He made a violent thrash, and I think the lure was so far in his mouth that my line was frayed by his teeth and *POP* - he's gone. :( I should have just let him spool me or let him catch my reel on fire. Either of those stories would have been far better pills to swallow than to know that I was the reason this one got away. Oh well...I'll never know how big it was, but at least I know it's out there...

Don't hate the hybrids, hate the game.

Dang, broke you off on 14lb FL? I'd like to meet that fish!!!
 

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HouseTackle
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C.O. I just realized that we were fishing on a freaking NEW MOON. As much as I don't want to believe it, I sure think that has to have had something to do with the feeding frenzy. Am I just seeing what I want to see here?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
C.O. I just realized that we were fishing on a freaking NEW MOON. As much as I don't want to believe it, I sure think that has to have had something to do with the feeding frenzy. Am I just seeing what I want to see here?
You can see what you want to see but I'm here to testify, that water was boiling like Paula Dean was cooking with it!
I haven't seen it like that since and I'm looking for an reasonable explanation for it.
No matter now, I'm hitting the new moon phase every month I fish for the rest of my life!
 

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House, if that fish was anywhere near 30 lbs I think you were hooked into a LONG fight, much finessing and baby talkin was in order, especially with it smart enough to keep out in current. Not sure what the water is like you're fishin but when a fish takes line out like that and you can't do anything to stop it the only thing I could think of that might help is to be in your yak and let it pull you along? This way you are fighting with it and not against it? Not sure if that's a possibility but it sounds good in my head?!? :) those beasts will school you I'm sure you've not yet stopped thinkin about it.


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"Yeah, you guys go upstream and we will stay downstream and we will see which spot is on fire."

You guys forgot to say that you weren't going to inform BassAddict83 and myself if it was on or not. Never mind that I drove 50 minutes at 5:00am or that poor old BassAddict83 lives in Kentucky.

I see how it is. I know that it was all HOUSE's idea. HOUSED again.
 

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HouseTackle
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... Not sure what the water is like you're fishin but when a fish takes line out like that and you can't do anything to stop it the only thing I could think of that might help is to be in your yak and let it pull you along? This way you are fighting with it and not against it? Not sure if that's a possibility but it sounds good in my head?!? :) those beasts will school you I'm sure you've not yet stopped thinkin about it.
Dude, if I had my kayak with me I would have jumped in and let this thing pull me all the way down to the freaking Gulf of Mexico! I was on foot and had walked down as far as I could to the end of the beach before I ran out of sand. It crossed my mind to pull a Jeramy Wade from River Monsters and go for a swim, but I was in new waters and I wasn't sure if there was a bad undertow or piranhas or whatever out there. If this was a true striper, I suppose it could have been anywhere in the 10-ridiculous pound range, but we'll never know. I can say for a fact that it had stripes and fought way harder than the two 10 pounders I caught last week. Just another fish story now. I have upgraded my gear to include 20pound fluoro leaders and a minimum of 200yards of line. Rematch soon.

Matulemj:
 

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I hate to tell you guys , but it will only get better now. Great to have a big fish on and you wonder "where'd it go?; and it's coming straight at you. Gotta crank your arm off just to catch up!! Great job guys:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I hate to tell you guys , but it will only get better now. Great to have a big fish on and you wonder "where'd it go?; and it's coming straight at you. Gotta crank your arm off just to catch up!! Great job guys:)
this is terrible news
 
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