Fun time yesterday, also near disaster.

I went out yesterday for about 5-6 hours fishing on White River in Hamilton Co., Indiana. We’ve had no rain for weeks, and the level is very low. It’s strange, but this actually makes a couple of areas a little trickier than usual. The low level narrows the river in places and it at least feels like this increases the current a bit.

Anyway, I was going through this narrow spot near the end of the day, and my kayak likes to turn stern-downstream when floating. I was facing forward and tossed my tube up next to a tree on a drop-off bank where I know there’s a hole and WHAM, it got nailed immediately. My line started running out and I could tell I had a pretty good sized fish. As I started to reel him in, my kayak spun around like usual and in a couple of seconds, another BAM, I ran into a fallen log above the surface of the water. The current turned me side ways and was holding me up against the log. I was facing bow toward a vertical bank about 4’ above the water, and my stern was up against the roots of the log that came out about a foot and a half creating a wedge I was stuck in. All the while the fish is pulling hard on my line and the current is throwing me off balance. I was getting pretty nervous about going over upstream because that’s what the current was trying to do, and if I fell out on that side, the current would have pulled me down and into a strainer under the timber. Not good.

After about 15 minutes I was finally able to push myself upstream a few feet off the timber to get my stern free from the wedge and then paddle like crazy to get free of the whole mess, all the while a 10# smallie still on my line. By the time I finished reeling him in, he had no fight left in him.

All in all it was fun, but I’ll be more careful from now on when my yak spins backward in a current.

You might try a piece of heavy chain
on a rope to slow your drift down and keep your bow headed downstream. Oldtimers use the chain anchor on faster moving water for that purpose.

Found that idea on an old thread.
Someone asked about anchors, and one of the suggestions was just that, heavy chain.

That’s my next purchase . . . .

Did you keep it ?

– Last Updated: May-26-07 10:24 AM EST –

Because the world record for a small-mouth bass is 10 lbs, 14 oz.
The Indiana smallie record is 7 lbs, 4 oz. by Dana Yoder in 1992. You could have been famous !
Canadian record is 10 lbs 8 oz. Many unofficial records go up to 12 lbs. but they were not officially recorded.

I think I was exagerating a lot on that.
Sorry, it probably was half that. Seemed like 10lbs at the time. Put up a good fight (for the first 5 mins anyway) and nearly helped the current roll me once or twice.

I only catch and release. If I caught a 15 pounder, I’d still do the same. Take a photo, sure, but I’d rather catch him again the next time . . . or at least THINK I might.


That’s why I am so obsessed

– Last Updated: Jun-04-07 8:43 AM EST –

with smallie fishing. They put up the hardest fight pound for pound of anything I've ever caught. I am going after some today, my first river run of the season. Any minute now I will jump up and pack my gear,(still drinking my morning tea) I will be floating in my sit on top down the lower Flathead river solo in semi flood conditions. The water in this river gets to 85 degrees in late summer and its close to 58 degrees now. Very early warming this year. I'm mostly going to take photos but I may hook up to something most likely squaw-fish, oops I mean northern pike-minnow to be P.C !!!!! well gotta go now, my tea is in my belly and I'm burning daylight ! I am river bound now ! Will report when I get home.

Two smallies, neighbor ate them !

Type of kayak.
Hi, curious to learn what type of kayak you were in?

Recreational kayak, sit on top or conventional touring kayak?

Rec Sink
Perception America 11.

Sorry took so long for me to see your question.

Americas and smalllies
I’ve got one of the original America series - 13’4". I love it for fishing in bigger rivers. Sounds like a bit of a hairy situation. You sound about like as stupid of a fisherman as I am. Gee, I could die under that strainer, but I’m not cutting the line when I’ve got a smallie on.

5# smallie is a darn nice fish. Well done. And especially not dieing and all, even better.

  • Big D

As stupid as lucky . . . .
Often they go hand in hand.


Glad to hear you recovered from the pin situation.

Kudos on the 5 pounder. A 5# river smallie is a superb fish. I’m guessing 22" or better in length? My biggest so far this year has been 19". My BBR (bass-to-beer ratio) so far this year is 4.34 (191 smallies, 44 brews).

Just sold my old Sierra (precursor to the America 11) a couple of weks ago. Caught a lot of smallies out of it over the last 7 years. I’m joining the geriatric set and bought a SOT this spring for fishing local Buckeye streams. A Dagger Approach will probably still be used for my frequent trips to the New River in WV, although I’m planning to see how the MR 12 will behave in the class II-III in a couple of weeks.

…you ought to try some ww classes!

– Last Updated: Jun-15-07 9:52 PM EST –

Nice going....getting pinned is the worst case scenario, especially when people panic and tip upstream....not all those paddlers make it out alive. Instead of having a portion of the current simply flowing over rocks/strainers in higher water....that portion of the current joins up with the rest of the flow and is diverted into smaller channels/chutes, its speed in these areas getting accelerated. Often very tricky....have ta' keep an eye on the lookout for them...and strainers can often be threatening at any level. Now that you've escaped a pinning, you should find some ww classes and give it a try. You'll enjoy it....


Two problems . . . .
I’m absolutely no-way ever in my life going to put on a skirt in a kayak. No, it’s not my ego of wearing a “skirt”, it’s the fact that being held inside an upside down kayak in the water scares me to death. Not going to happen. I’d rather come out and swim. Not going to roll, ever, except for rolling out unintentionally.

Second, there is no real ww in Indiana. Not even close.

Appreciate the idea, just not for me . . . .