Grip and Grin: Honey I Caught A Cow | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Using live eels on a southern Maine river, Mike Baker caught his new personal best. Using live eels on a southern Maine river, Mike Baker caught his new personal best. Photo: Mike Baker

Your new personal best could be just one more cast away, or one more kayak fishing marathon.

"I got a early start at 4:30 am on a southern Maine river which was a nice change from my all night missions I had been doing," said Mike Baker, of Kayak Fish New England and a Wilderness Systems pro staffer. "To make that shift I had to skip a tide and that's no easy task when your obsessed with progression and beating your old personal record. 

A trip with the family to Storyland in the white mountains of NH was the ticket to doing that, chasing a 3 and 4 year old around that place all day kicked my butt.  Anyway......I paddled up river with the tide and sat in a bend of the river where the fish often feed.  After a little while I picked up a nice 29 inch striper on a live eel and a few other runs.  It was pushing 9 am by this point and my wife had given me the "honey when will you be home " call and I decided to head back to the launch. 

I still had a short paddle ahead of me so I  continued to fish my way down when in sight of the ramp I had a quick pick up and drag ripped from my reel on bait mode, I attempt to set the hook but missed so I quickly set the lever drag back to bait and she hit it again with a faster run than before and I gave it a couple seconds and tried again with success. 

At first it did not feel that big then she decided to run up river pulling me sideways in my wilderness systems ATAK against the outgoing tide tearing drag off at will. After quite  a battle of tug o war I got her next to my yak and fastened the lip grippers to her ,removed the hook and left her in the water to revive before getting a measurement @ 46 inches. 

At this point I was wondering if it could be the same one I hooked a couple weeks ago in the same area from shore. After reviewing some photos I determined it was a different fish and amazed that I was lucky enough  to fight such beasts. If you want to land a fish of this size you have to run heavy line to horse them out of structure when needed and the little guys are more than willing to hit it as well so don't worry about going to big.  This fish was caught using power pro 30 lb braid with a 50 lb mono Berkley big game leader."

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