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Discussion Starter #1
Okay,
I'm going to swallow my pride and post this to hopefully keep someone from getting hurt. To start, I fear very little while kayak fishing, first mistake. I am overconfident when it comes to the ability of myself and the craft. While fishing the eastern shore today for big reds I was pushing it a little to much and it almost cost me everything. I was in a new kayak that is the most stable ever (Malibu X-factor) and it gave me a false sense of security. I got drug into rougher water than I planned on fishing by a monster red and Murpy's Law kicked in, I'll give the full account at our next meeitng but will say I got flipped in the kayak long ways, in other words the tank well went over my head and I got slammed into the water very forcefully, then my paddle wrapped around my waist and entangled me (now upside down in the water) and my life jacket was pushing me up against the kayak, I was lucky my paddle bungee was dry rotted and I was able to break it and free myself while I was being pounded by the waves. After righting the kayak, climbing back on board and untangling my rod the fish was still on so (now in calmer water) I fought it in and finally landed it. Not having a ruler to measure it and nowing it was by far the biggest red I had ever seen I layed it on my paddle and scratched out a mark for the tale in the reflective tape on my handle. I measured it when I got home and it was 61 1/4". That said, no fish is worth dying for and that was the biggest gut check I have ver had in my life. I lost a $300 tackle box, my dry bag with $200 glasses, a $500 digital camera, my wallet, truck key and a few other things and I am still thankful that that is all I lost. A lot of stuff runs through your head when you think "this is it". I sit here a little more thankful for all the non-fishing related stuff that I take for grnated (and sometimes neglect) while fishing. So, tonight I will not be planning my next fishing trip in my head I'll be wondering what I can do with the family some of those evenings I normally fish because trust me gentlemen, as I was under that kayak I didn't think about that 61" red, I thought about Austin, Casey and my beautiful wife Elisa and just hoped I would get to see them again. I am ranting and venting a little, just think about this next time you get tunnel vision and fishing is "the most important thing" in your life. You will see me in the kayak again real soon but it will be with a different demeanor and a new found respect for mother nature and Mr Murphy.
Chad
 

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Chad I am glad you were ok, Fishermans island (especially the surf) should only be attempted by experenced anglers. And even the pros should be careful. That place is too far away from immediate help. Thats why I want to mothership over there, not because I am lazy, but because it give us a quick way to render aid. There is a reason that few people fish that area, even with motorboats. Was there someone there to help you?

THis raises a question, how many of you guys know how to rescue yourself and how many of you can rescue others. I have been trained by an ACA instructor, but I hope I never have to use it. I am planning on getting him to do a rescue course for anglers for TKAA members. Stay tuned.
 

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Damn. Glad you're around to tell us yourself.

This is pretty much my wife's biggest fear as I contemplate going with a Yak. She wasn't overly thrilled as I read your account to her. I--like many of you, I imagine--am 'invincible' more often than I should be.

And I'll keep an eye open for any safety classes that may pop-up in the meantime...


P.S. Congrats on the drum!
 

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Where were Ric and crew when all this happened ?? Suprised they haven't chimned in by now. Anyone else catch fish or was that it for the trip. Really wished I'd gone, maybe next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ric is probably still fishing. Al, Ric and Greg had all wised up and opted to head for calmer water. But not me , no I had just had to break the 50" mark and I knew those reds would be in there. I have noone to blame but myself for not "calling it" sooner. Al and Greg were paddling in with there backs to me when I went over and I am sure they just thought since I didn't come in I was just "me being me". I will definitely stay close to somone if I ever attempt to go back there. Al caught a big red around 45-48 inches about fifteen minutes prior and I had landed three about that size in a very short period of time before hooking into the big one. They were killing the peelers.
Chad
 

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Chad, glad to hear you are ok.

Do this long enough and you WILL have a story or two to share. When disaster strikes it happens so fast you will be reacting, not thinking. Preparation is the difference between an accident and a tragedy. Glad you were only the former.

Sounds like you didn't panic, kept your head and got back on the boat in decent shape. Bummer about the gear, but that can be replaced. You are darn right that lives cannot. Everyone in a yak needs to flip it on purpose one day in calm water with no gear on board so you learn two things. One is how far you can actually push the boat before it flips. Two is what it feels like to go over.

Stay with a buddy. Much easier to get out of trouble if someone else is around to help you. Luckily there was no current to carry you out and away from the boat.
 

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Chad,
Thanks for the brutally honest report. Been there, done that while yak surfing (no gear, thank God no entanglement) and it happened faster than you can say it. First of all, I'm glad you're okay, congrats on the great fish and sorry you lost the gear. I hope everyone reads this story and learns from it. You da man!
George
 

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First things first. I'm glad that you are ok! I'm sorry it happened to you, and I'm glad you posted it. That is definately the time to reflect upon the story and take some time out for other things in life that are important. Like your family :) Mother nature should always have our respect as we trespass on her property every day. But I wouldn't think for a second I'd be in a kayak that flips tankwell to bow. Sideways is another story :) I guess thats also a good story to keep my knife attached to my vest instead of keeping it different places almost every time I go out. Again I'm glad you are safe and posted the information for others to learn from instead of one of us reading about it in the papers to someone less experienced. Good job keeping a cool head for the time you were underwater.
Be Safe and I hope to see ya out there in a few weeks.
 

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Glad to hear you are OK and congrats on the fish. Several important lessons to be learned from your experience. Know that you are quite an accomplished yak fisher, but does go to show that anything can happen to anybody...and I hope those new to the sport will really take that to heart. I'm sure we'll be discussing many of these issues at our next meeting, but until then, always buddy up.
 

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You must have been in shallow water and hit from behind by a BIG breaking wave? End over end must have been a big hit on the water. I've taken a few big spills while surfing or dinghy sailing but none since I had any kids. That part can scare the **** out of you because you think, "who will take care of them". Not to mention missing them and the others you love. When I saw you at Ocean's East yesterday morning I had just come from HRBT where I decided to not go out because it was a little rough.

Congratulations on the huge fish. Glad you are ok. You didn't need all that gear anyway. Some of you need to go in the drink once in a while to lighten up those yaks![smile]
 

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Chad, glad you are ok. We were practically surrounded by 6 foot shoals breaking around us. I watched in admiration as you fished right up against the breakers. However, once I saw that wave take flip Al and bury you, I got extremely nervous. The last thing I wanted was to fight a big fish, for I knew if I got turned sideways I was screwed. Al and I took a beating trying to clear the shoals. He got flipped twice and also lost alot of tackle. My rudder saved me. As long as I stayed straight and perpendicular to the wave, I was ok. However, one huge wave did carry me about 15 yards, I thought I wagoing to get completely flipped over. Once we cleared the shoals, the odyssey was still not over. Al and I could not find our way back. AFter 2 hours of searching,a gracious boater saw us struggling against the tide and offered to tow us to the mouth of the creek. I am glad I went on this trip, for it made me alot more confident in handling rough surf, but I would not do it again. I called you (Chad) last night to see if everything was o.k. talk to you soon.

greg
 

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Chad you had me worring all nite!I last talked to Ric and said that you had lost everything,including your truck keys.

Screw the pics,tackle bag and all that other stuff,I am glad that you made it through,with a fish of a life time and yer life.

I too thought about my family when I got dunked,and not all the tackle in the world would I risk my life.


But other than that,I had a most fantastic trip,and I am glad to hear Corey chime in about the hazardous those shoals posses....I am quite fearless,but that was the more risky things I've ever done.

We all caught and released our reds,and made it home to hug and love our families..that was a an eventful day.

Special thanxs to Ric,fer the invite,to Chad....who took that wave and stood tall while I got in tha drink(the fish was still on!!!)and fer thakin that pic!and To Greg...a new friend that I made,and to fish 2gether with again.
 

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Chad - Glad you're here to tell the tale. I know that I'll recall your story when I think of pushing the safety limits. I'm sure that your eating of humble pie will serve many. Thank you!

I've added a rescue (hook) knife to my safety items this year, as a result of recommendations on other threads. Your experience with the dry rotted paddle leash should prompt others to consider one. You were fortunate the leash was in this condition.

Fate, luck, or serendipity? Live long and prosper. [angel]
 

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Chad,
Thats an awful long story to tell to say "I caught a big fish, and I don't have a picture". HAHA. Glad to hear your OK. I got the that feeling last year when I was showing off on a 2003 Honda 954RR. I was doing about 130 when I hit the next gear, and the front end came up just enough to give me front end wobble on a little road outside Chuckatuck. I was picturing my life flash in front of me as I was veering off the road and inching toard a ditch. I could see myself lauching into the air as I could not get my hand off the throttle and handing toward a culvert pipe. I gained control, and....no one took a picture. But I did drop my camera and smashed it up pretty good.

Glad to hear your OK.
 

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Chad we are all glad you made in back. I like the idea of adding a rescue knife to my vest. I always carried one when I flew. The new Outdoorlife magazine has a great article on making your own survival vest. A must read for all of us who go out in yaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I need to add something else. I have two rescue knives with me on the yak at all times. One is lanyarded to the seat back and the other was in my lifejacket. I couldn't get to each. I am also a former aviator and helicopter rescue swimmer and my physiology training and comfort in the water are porbably the reason I am typing this, however the moral of the story is "don't put yourself in those situations, I thought my experience and preparation made me impervious to the danger. They DON'T. Take my advice, and Corey's and Ric's and just don't risk it. I'll be honest and it sounds silly but it was, ironically-as Juke pointed out, all about the picture. I have caught many big fish in my life and have the pictures to prove it, so the reason I even mentioned the size of the fish was to further illustrate that it's not worth it. I will bet that Ric enjoyed his 38" fish more than I did the 61".
Chad
 

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Chad.....I still want ta get up,with yak...and equipment.Will Tuesday be a good time....

I want test that Tarpon 104 vs the Prowler.......I lnow I'm gettin one of the two before I head out again with Ric.


You guys make this type of feeshin,truley addicting!!!!
 

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Chad, first thing first, I thank the good Lord for watching over you. and keeping you safe in a very scary place to be, upside down, topped over end to end and struggling against the surf, gear and the fish. You are a very good fisherman and I learn from you each time we fish together and am glad that there will be many more days to do that. Your point about looking towards the next day to fish is always a good one, but the better one is to look at time with your family. The next fishing day is always there, but if something happens to you then the family is forever gone.

We all should look at the situations at which we fish. I will repeat it again, NO FISH IS WORTH YOUR LIFE !! I the conditions go from good to worse, get out of the water, end of statement. Better you be able to fish another day, than never again. Loosing a big fish is better than loosing your life. Break it off and try again another day. Everyone someday in their kayak fishinglife will be faced with situations that you have to decide whether to fish or not, error on the side of safety and hit it again later.

Glad you are still with us Chad, put the paddle away, enjoy the family for a while and the fish will be there, I promise.[angel]
 
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