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I had planned to fish Caples Lake and try for Lake Trout there, but the wind forecast looked bad so I went to Union Valley Reservoir instead. I launched my Jackson Coosa FD around 6:30am and started jigging at various drop offs and points close to the dam. For a couple hours I didn’t have any action, but then I found the sweet spot!
I made my way to an underwater point that I knew was there from when the water was low and as I was approaching the point I noticed a nice flat adjacent to deep water…that was the key. I didn’t mark anything at first but dropped my jig down only to have several marks appear on my fish finder less than a minute later.
The first two fish I managed to lose about halfway up to the kayak, this ended up being a common theme for the day unfortunately. But I kept at it and soon was rewarded with a solid hookup and landed my first fish of the day at 30”, shattering my PB of 18”! Of course, no one was nearby to snap a pic for me, which I was pretty bummed about. Next drop I hooked another nice upper 20” fish, only to knock the hook out when I tried to net it.
I moved back to the spot I originally started marking fish and had a couple more bites before landing a 28” mac. I ended up having three more LDR’s before the breeze died and the wind shifted. The bite seemed to die at the same time. So, I moved on from that spot and fished various points around the lake with only a couple bites and a long period of no action.
Late that afternoon I made the decision to head back to where I had all the action and made a few drops. The wind was up, but with the Coosa FD I was able to maintain my position while vertical jigging. Fish were still there but not nearly as aggressive. In fact, I found myself yelling at my fish finder several times as I watched large marks follow my jig but didn’t bite. Around 5pm or so the bite seemed to start up again as I had two more LDR’s in quick succession and several more bites. I was tired and getting frustrated, so I started heading back to launch.
I noticed that my fluoro leader had a couple nicks near the jig, but I decided that I was basically done and going home so I didn’t change it. Of course, that’s when it happens! I make a drop just before the launch, lift my jig off the bottom and it gets slammed! I feel massive head shakes but it comes up to the kayak pretty easily. When I saw it my heart stopped! It had some shoulders! And it was about that time I recalled my frayed leader! It circled my kayak several times and stayed just out of reach for several minutes while I tried to slowly bring it in. Then it did what I feared. It woke up and ran straight for the bottom! I backed off the drag a little and let it do what it wanted. I brought it back to the surface only to have it dive to the bottom again. Finally, I got it back to the kayak and was able to get it close enough to grab it. I said screw it with the net, since it was too small for the fish anyways. Lucky for me there was a shore fisherman close by, so I hauled butt over there, another nice feature of having the flex drive, and he was kind enough to take a few pics before she got released.
I’m beyond excited still this morning. I’ve been wanting to catch a big lake trout for a long time and have put a lot of hours into it. Finally, it all came together! I’m a firm believer in the Coosa FD now. It was instrumental in my success to catching these fish. The wind always seems to pick up in the afternoon in the Sierras, and with the pedal drive I could maintain my position while keeping my line vertical. This is very important in preventing snags and staying over the fish. I’m liking this kayak more and more!