After I launched I immediately started paddling upriver towards Toms Creek. On my way up I saw a monster smallmouth sitting on a weedline 100ft downstream from where the creek entered the river. I tried numerous times with a green pumpkin grub, but couldn't even get a look from him, so I kept moving up river.
My next encounter was one I have been hoping for, for many months, a musky. I switched rods and grabbed my rod rigged up with a Jake in "Walleye," but I was unable to make this big girl turn. I tossed about fifty times before I decided it wasn't my day and kept making my way upstream.
Once I approached the chain of islands approximately .75miles from the launch I encountered some difficulty. The current rips around the tips of the island and makes paddling upstream a hard task. I hugged the shoreline and used anything breaking the current to my advantage, and after what seemed like an eternity of paddling I reached my fishing grounds for the day.
One of my favorite holes to fish on the New River is about 2miles upstream from Whitethorne. There is a pretty quick drop in depth from 3-5ft to 8-12ft. It's a perfect spot for smallmouth who tuck themselves underneath the many ledges. However, once I anchored up the wind started gusting upstream and made it very hard to work my grub across the bottom. After my second snag I decided to "unanchor" and fight the current. I would cast out, fight the wind, and retrieve my grub. It was getting aggravating, and I was getting ready to head back to the Toms Creek area when it finally happened.
Any of my close friends could tell you that I have had a goal for close to a year now to catch a musky from the kayak. I have come close many times with follows and close encounters, but never had hooked into one of the "powerhouses" of the New River. Today, my goal would be achieved...
I tossed my grub towards the dropoff and fought to reposition myself to retrieve it; once in "good" position I started to reel in the slack from the wind, and felt weight on my line. However, it wasn't weight like a normal bass would have; instead, it felt like a snag. I reeled the line tight and felt thumps; it was then I knew I had a fish. For the first minute or two it didn't make any runs just eased along down the river. I thought I hooked into a hawg, but once I saw the unmistakable silhouette of a musky underwater my heart started thumping!
I was using a light action rod with 8lb Flurocarbon and NO steel leader! For close to ten minutes I fought the fish towards the shoreline. It made several runs, and even went aerial in the middle of the river and again in the shallows when I was trying to land it. After several botched landing attempts, I finally got my first kayak musky ever! I was ecstatic, and took a couple pictures before reviving the fish for another day.
After checking that off my list, I began paddling back against winds that were close to sustained 10mph; the current was less powerful than the wind was on the return paddle. I reached the ramp worn out, thirsty, and hungry, but I wouldn't have had it play out any other way!
|~37in New River Musky|
|Ugly Stick Rod for Short River Trips|
|Powerteam Lures Watermelon Grub on a 1/4oz Head|
|Wind Before Heading Downstream (To the Right)|
|Do they make bigger hawg troughs?!?!?|