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Yak Attack, Port Burwell, Aug 07 afternoon/eve: The Leviathan Edition!

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King Joe:
With being shut down due to wind/waves on Thursday morn, took the hole-shot the wind gave on Friday (6-9mph on-shore) and headed out late afternoon.  On water and heading out about 445pm.  Only a few boats and while quite wavy, the wind would blow me home should I have a problem....besides, this trip was a bit more personal since Thursday morn.  Fish finder developed a short so running a bit blind, depth-wise..running on experience.  Ran to what 'felt' like about 40 and set up.  Harnesses on 2oz bananas.  Continued to troll deeper towards the handful of boats wwwaaayyyy out.

SO, about 15 min into the run...BOTH rods go off nearly the exact same time.  One, a pulling fish but set up nice.  The other....RUNNING as the reel zings.  Opt to fight the zinger.  Good, strong fight...a bit of line takes...but strong, STRONG fish.  Close, I can see the form and colour beneath the yak.  HUGE WALLEYE! Couple runs, its close to being netted.  I can see the last hook of the harness in the tip of its jaw.  This is perhaps the biggest walleye I've seen on Erie easily pushing past 12#.  Reach out with the net, pull a bit too hard (swells bouncing the boat more drastic as I am sideways to them) and 'pop'...of it comes.  While I would like to have held him, I would have released him anyway....so...almost ok with the loss.  Other rod...yep, he still there.  Land a small 5#-ish sheephead.  Small consolation.

Continue to run out.  Very slow.  Couple worm thieves...no hook ups.  Finally....a running fight again.  HUGE, maybe 15# sheephead comes to net.  This became the pattern...LONG periods of slow....then land a huge sheephead.  Did lose one in the fight that 'felt' walleye-ish.  With about 1 hour before sunset and me well positioned up-wind of the port (well west), I turn to fish in.

I feel I am about 37', rod goes off hard...running again.  Pull up and it hits back taking more line.  Bear into it and soon, it has turned the yak into the wind and I am fighting towards it.  Long fight...10 min....and I can see the shape and colour deep below.  No idea.  NOT a walleye or salmon/trout or sheep.  Keep pulling and fighting.  Finally...its seen clearly...HUGE CHANNEL CAT!  Seriously, what the holey "Beep"!?!  Figuring out how to position it to the net...when it obliges by darting straight into it but a good 1/3 still hangs out.  Drop rod and wrestle the fish into my lap....easily 20 pounds!  WICKED.  SO, for scale.  The area beside my center console in my yak for my leg...is just under 36' but 10" wide.  When the fish is lying there...it lapped over both ends of 36"...and head and body fill completely, the 10" width (I have pics).  What to do with a massive Channel Cat?  Take a few pics...unhook the harness from the weight as the hooks were buried deep.  No way this can go on the stringer...too heavy...too much drag.  SO, nearly flipping myself, I hoist it into the box behind my seat.

Then, think...what am I going to do with this?  Yeah, good eating but never handled this big of a cat before.  And...struggling...I bring back to my lap, work the hooks out....take a pic...and let him go. 

What a day.  Slow, yes...but for totals.  Lost at the net, perhaps the biggest walleye I've seen out of Erie.  Landed 6 sheep, 3 of which over 15#...and the epic ~20# channel cat to end the day.  A day of Leviathans for sure.

King Joe, Outa Here!

DeathrowFish1:
Wow What a day. I can only imagine the fight with a cat that big in a yak.


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