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My brother getting his splash on

“Want to go river fishing with me tomorrow,” I asked my brother? “Are we taking the Coosas out,” he responded? “Of course we are,” I said while going over our plan for the next day. Needless to say, he was excited. He has been kayak fishing with me before, but this would be his first time paddling the Jackson Kayak Coosa. Planning to fish the Savannah River located on the Georgia-South Carolina border, I explained it would be hit or miss because we were a few weeks early before the fishing really heats up.

Since this was his first time in the Coosa he started seated in the low position. However, after about 5 minutes he quickly moved the seat to the high position and 1 minute later he was standing. Even though this was his first time standing in a kayak, he was handling it with ease and 10 minutes later he was fighting his first fish while standing, a large striped bass. However, he didn’t land it as the large striper broke his line right at the kayak. Heartbreaking, but it’ll bring him back for more. I always say that it’s the fish we don’t land that brings us back for more.

By the end of the day he said this was best time he has ever spent on the river. The Coosa enabled him to do things that he has never done in a kayak before, such as stand. Other than standing, he said his the seat was his most favorite part of the Coosa. Suffering from a bad back, the Coosa’s seat enabled him to be comfortable and allowed him to spend more time on the water.

The fishing conditions were tough with high and muddy water so we didn’t catch many fish. Actually, we lost more fish than we caught. At least most of those fish we lost were big. A large striper for my brother and a 5 pound largemouth bass that shook off just inches away for me.

Establishing a pattern was difficult. Normally a power fisherman, I first went through lures such as swimbaits, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits to no avail. Deciding it was time slow things down, I finally settled on a Luck “E” Strike football jig slowly dragged across the bottom of the river near current seams and deeper pools. When I say I slowly dragged the football jig across the bottom, I really mean it. On average I would work the jig for about 5 minutes before I would make another cast. I was mildly successful using this technique, catching a few fish here and there, but it was not steady.

A small largemouth caught in a deeper pool

Tap, tap, I felt, realizing a fish was picking up the jig. Quickly being put on alert, I saw my line start to swim away. Knowing a fish was on I reeled up the slack and set the hook. I instantly felt the weight of the fish and knew it was a nice one because it didn’t budge when I set the hook. I felt dead weight on the other end of the line and knew it was going to be a battle. She quickly came up and started to jump and shake her head. Oh no, I said to myself, but each time I reeled she came up. Knowing the battle wouldn’t last long with her coming up and shaking her head, I decided it was time to push the issue and try to ‘horse’ her in. Boy was I wrong. The faster I reeled the more she would violently shake her head until she came up for the last time, shaking free to return to the Savannah’s muddy water.

Meanwhile, my brother was having a blast in the Coosa, taking it over drop after drop, through splish after splash, or splash after splish, as he became more confident in the kayak while navigating the shoals. There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t see a smile on his face. Awesome! That’s what we were here for, fun! Even though the fish weren’t cooperating it didn’t mean we couldn’t have a good time.

An enjoyable experience, I’m sure we’ll be spending some more time together on the river soon! Remember, it’s all about the good times and the smiles!

A few more pictures of my brother enjoying the Coosa



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