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odd "catch" trolling - has that ever happened to you before?

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odd "catch" trolling - has that ever happened to you before?

Old 05-02-2016, 02:16 PM
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Default odd "catch" trolling - has that ever happened to you before?

So i was doing some leisurely trolling heading south after spending a day with the family in Annapolis this weekend.

I was trolling five lines - three tandems, an umbrella, and a stretch 30+ way back about 200'

My wife was driving, kids were watching a movie in the cabin, and I was watching the lines sipping a bev. All of a sudden, the rod with the stretch starts screaming. I grabbed it out of the rod holder and started to work it. I haven't caught a trophy striper before - biggest fish i've ever caught was probably 18-20 lbs. But I wasn't prepared for this.

First it would take off and run like crazy for about 10 seconds. Then the line would go slack, like it was hustling back for the boat. This repeated a couple of times and then I saw a huge splash - like a very big fish breaking. I was sure i had hooked a world record striper. But I've never seen a striper act like that.

Then the line goes really slack - i thought maybe it had snapped because it was kind of whipping around in the breeze off the tip of my rod.

I followed the line with my eyes trying to see if I could see where it had broken while i was reeling up the slack, and low and behold there was my stretch flashing in the sunlight about 20' up off the water attached to a bird trying to fly away with it.

That thing must have been swimming at least 20-25' deep and the bird went down and got it...

While my wife was grabbing my knife to cut the line the bird flew and landed beside the boat about 30' to my starboard side. I took my eyes off it just when i got the knife on the line then i felt the tug-tug-tug of my line caught on the prop. I quickly cut the line and shifted to neutral. Sure enough, the bird surfaced about 30' out on the other side of the boat, still hooked and now attached to the prop.

So we cut the bird loose and now have about 20' of braid wrapped around the prop.

I've hooked birds by accident casting but i've never heard of one diving down that deep to get a lure. Is that common around here?
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:27 PM
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Very uncommon although they will follow my lures both in the bay and offshore (come and take a look at a big spoon for instance run shallow). Never had one really take a swipe at a bait and never had one interested in a deep line. Interesting. Was is a gannet? They can dive quite deep to get after fish. Otherwise perhaps the stretch was fouled somehow and not running as deeply as it would have otherwise...
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:34 PM
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it looked like it was running fine. It certainly wasn't up on the surface. But it's possible i pulled through some muck. I put the lines out in about 35' of water maybe a mile south of the lighthouse. When i pulled in my other lines, a couple of my tandems were "mucky" but I thought they'd just settled on the bottom when we pulled the boat out of gear and were dealing with getting the bird off.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:38 PM
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Keep in mind that If you troll stretches too far back they can have a tendency to pop up to the surface too. They dont do well as a WWB. 100-150' is good.

I snagged a line over the weekend and hand lined in a 40" rockfish on someone else's lost bait ... The rockfish was tired and didnt give much of a fight.
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:54 PM
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I once caught a loon while flounder fishing...apparently my minnow looked very tasty. Trust me, I too thought I had a world record flounder
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:38 AM
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I caught a menhaden on a tandem rockfish rig while out trolling yesterday.

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Old 05-08-2016, 07:50 AM
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Caught a cormorant on a shrimp back in March in St. Pete area. Took two of us to get the hook out and get the bird on his way.
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