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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got back home from the best fishing trip of my whole life. Last night, I drove down to Lake Gaston to fish with NightTrain for some trophy catfishing and I (WE) were NOT disappointed. I left home hoping to learn something and I had a great teacher. Bill (AKA NightTrain) showed me around the lake while it was still light outside, then we picked up a friend of his (Dave) and set out to put some jugs in the water...

I have to confess that I was more than a little skeptical about fishing with jugs. I had never used jugs and didn't think I was going to get real excited about handlining in a few catfish, but boy was I ever wrong. I brought two nice fat eels for bait, and after setting up and tending the jugs until almost three in the morning, we hadn't caught a single fish over eight pounds.... and not too many small cats at that. Our Captain, Bill decided it was time to try some fresh shad, so he took us to a couple of lighted boat docks and withing about ten casts of the throw net, we had enough bait to last us the rest of the night. I started cutting bait, and replacing all the eel with fresh cut shad, and as soon as we got to the next spot he wanted to set up on, we set out 20 freshly baited jugs. We had our first fish on before I got half the jugs in the water... we swung the boat back around and pulled in a nice 10 pound cat... things were looking up.... just about the time I got the last jug in the water, out light man Dave spotted a jug on the far end of the spread that was being pulled under. You have to remember Bill uses 2 1/2 gallon jugs on most of his rigs, so we figured this one was going to be a little bigger than 10 lb. ... Once again, I got the honors to pull in the fish. I lifted the jug and didn't feel anything. I figured the fish got off... started to haul in the hook so I could bait it again, when I caught a glimpse of the biggest catfish I've ever seen... I pulled on her and she pulled back... I thought I was going for a swim. I got her up to the boat after a short tug of war, and NightTrain netted her like nobody I've ever seen... we hauled her into the boat and I couldn't believe my eyes... EASILY 42-44" long... We got out the 50# scale and tried to weigh her. Bill got her about 3/4 off the boat deck when the scale BROKE in half! I got Bill to hold her long enough for me to take a couple of pictures (see below) and then he released her into the lake.... the fun had just begun... Between 4 am and about 6 am it was almost non-stop fishing action on the jugs... I boated a 25, (I fixed the scale) an 18, several in the 15-16 pound class... five or six ten pounders and more smaller fish than I can recall... all in all, we figure we caught about 25 Blues and Channels (majority of the fish were Blue Catfish) with a combined weight of over 200 pounds.... I STILL can't believe the fish.

My digital camera was not interested in cooperating, so I ended up taking all but about three pictures. It was so dark, and I am not used to taking pictures in the pitch black, that most of the pictures were terrible... none of the pics I took of the big girl did her justice, but I'm posting a picture of Bill holding the bog fish of the day, and a couple of me holding the 25# fish...

Before last night, my personal best was a measly 20 pounds... now it's nearly 50... the digital scale held the weight of 46.11 pounds in memory when we weighed the big girl, right before the chain that connectes the fish to the scale broke in two... I guess we'll never know exactly what she weighed, but this was a bigger fish than the 42 pound cat my buddy Jerry caught when we fished the James this spring....

All I can say is AWESOME.... incredible... best fishing trip of my life....
Thanks NightTrain and David for making the trip PERFECT...

One last note... I'm 6'1" and about 225 pounds, and Bill is about half a head taller than me... I think the fish doesn't look near as big as it was with him holding it 'cause he's a big Catman...

Thanks Bill...

Hawkeye
 

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Way too go Hawkeye !!! rub salt in a old mans wounds you invited me but was a little to far away, great catfish. Tell your buddies that trout and redfish trip is always open if any of you can make it down to Port Aransas area.
PS How is the deer hunting in your area ?
Lobo Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lobo Jim said:
Way too go Hawkeye !!! rub salt in a old mans wounds you invited me but was a little to far away, great catfish. Tell your buddies that trout and redfish trip is always open if any of you can make it down to Port Aransas area.
PS How is the deer hunting in your area ?
Lobo Jim
Hey Lobo Jim,
Thanks, the fishing was the best. Our deer hunting is quite good as far as numbers go. We don't produce huge deer in big numbers, but we have a lot of deer. The only trouble is gaining access to land, much like in a lot of other places, a lot of the private land is leased and the public land seems to be crawling with kooks and fools who are eager to kill any noise in the woods... Most, if not all, of my "hunting" (lately) has been limited to crop damage control.

I feel a little bit foolish as I sit here and write this because I can't seem to wipe the grin off my face after last night's fishing trip.... I can't say enough about what a great host NightTrain is, and what a perfect night it was...
One thing I did forget to say is that I'm hooked on jug fishing for life, thanks to NightTrain... I can hardly bend my index finger today... the fish got it in her mouth and rolled on me in the boat, but it's a good hurt.... it reminds me of an awesome night on the water that I'm not likely to forget any time soon. :an5:
 

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Good fish! Sounds like a great trip also. Wish it would stop thunderstorming long enough for me to get a good trip in.:(

I learned long ago NOT to grab the line too tight, or you will get a bath on a big fish.
I have had to chase jugs down for a long ways sometimes, and sometimes when I catch them, the fish is swimming just under the water pulling the jug like a torpedo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mudd_catt said:
Good fish! Sounds like a great trip also. Wish it would stop thunderstorming long enough for me to get a good trip in.:(

I learned long ago NOT to grab the line too tight, or you will get a bath on a big fish.
I have had to chase jugs down for a long ways sometimes, and sometimes when I catch them, the fish is swimming just under the water pulling the jug like a torpedo.
Sorry about the rainy weather out your way... yeah, it was great. NightTrain was the best host, and the fishing was better than anytime I've ever been out so far. I may never get another night of fishing like that one, but I'll always remember the grin on my fishin' friends faces when we all got a look at that big fat blue. I'm getting some jugs from my neighbor and I'm planning my new boat (when it rains money here) to be able to fish jugs once in a while... if there are members of the board that have never tried jug fishing, I'd recommend they try it at least once. I'm still a rod and reel man at heart, but those jugs were a blast and a half...
 

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Hey,Hawkeye...

Them pics DO NOT even come close to doing that fish justice!!:confused: Ya'll don't let Hawkeye fool you with his"I don't know nothin"routine...That boy can fish.People tell me that juggin' is a lazy man's sport...all I know is that it took 3 lazy guys to get it done Thursday night!!:wink:
Thank you for the kind words ,Tom...You're always welcome @ my place,dude.
BTW,I had my other fishing bud(Jeff),come by late Fri.night.My gas tank was on "E"and the marina was closed, so we motored to the bridge,caught a few shad and sat in the creek(between Dave's dock and the campground),basically talking and lookin' at the stars.I snagged a 30 lb.er(blue) on the R&R!Jeff is one of the guys who needs "educatin" about cpr.I put the fish back,to some minor protests,and the first words from him,after we"settled back down" were..."That was a pretty fish."(no marks,big,fat).I just grinned>:biggrin: :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
NightTrain,
I printed a picture of you holding that big fish for your wall. If you would be kind enough to send me your mailing address, I will get in the mail to you asap. Mail me @ [email protected] and I'll do my best to get it in the mail tomorrow. I should have held a gun to your head to get you to put some fuel in the boat Friday morning.... Tell Jeff we'll keep some eatin' size cats for him next time, and to CRP those big fish. What in the world would we have done with 200+ pounds of catfish if we had kept it? We didn't have anyway to even transport that kind of weight, let alone keep it from spoiling in the boat. We did the right thing by letting the fish go.

As far as me "knowing" anything... I'm a quick learner and you are a good teacher. Now that I've seen you catch bait, I might be able to catch some of my own and there's the possibility that I might actually catch a big fish up here in the James. I'd like to do a R&R trip at your place when I visit you again... I figure we probably won't catch 50# fish everytime (LOL, probably never again in my life) but it would be a good time fishing with you, and maybe David if he can go, again. I wouldn't mind drifting that last spot we fished with rods and reels locked and loaded. I think we could do all right even floating a few behind the boat on bobbers maybe 7-10 feet down with cut shad.... almost the same presentation as the jugs, you know?
I can't tell you what an excellent trip it was.... My wife was really happy I went, and it isn't often a man can say that LOL.... actually she's a real sweetheart when it comes to me taking a little time for myself. I've worked on the roof everyday since I got home and she still can't figure out how I can be up there sweating my tail off with a smile on my face... I just keep running that mental video of that big fish in the boat and the smile comes back again and again... My finger is about back to normal... man that thing was sore on Friday, but it was a good sore.
Oh well, I've got to get up at 5, so it's off to bed... you catmen behave while I'm gone.

Thanks again Bill...

Tom<><
 

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Praise the Lord & pass the ammunition...

I think that our successful trip can be accredited to a coupla things:
1.)The Lord blesses fools and children.
2.)Incredible timing
3.)Luck
Ya'll stay tuned out there for more incredible tales to come..."Midnight Madness","The Rumble on the River II",and more...:fishy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got your email... I'll ask Susan to mail the pics tomorrow for me. What you probably didn't know about me is that I was happy as a clam before we caught that monster fish... The bigger fish we caught were like icing on the birthday cake... it felt like my party, 'cause I got all the presents.... next time, I might just hold the light and let David fish :)
As far as choices 1, 2 or 3 above... I'm definitely a fool, I make a lot of my own luck, and I ahve to agree that the fish turned on while we were still on the water.... AND I thank God for looking after us while we were out there, and for blessing us with such a great catch.

Good night.
 

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I Just love gettin'the ol' string stretched!You and Dave can take turns or whatever...I get satisfaction from puttin' the boat on fish and watchin' ya'll go to work on "pigs".How many times,Thursday night,was the phrase"I love fishin"uttered?I still need to see the doctor about the"Perma-grin"I've contracted from this weekends activities.Again,bro,it was your party,so to speak,and I can't wait for another one! Dave and yourself are both "fishing knowledge sponges",something I appreciate,and respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The pictures went out in the mail yesterday, so you should have them by the end of the week... I hope you like 'em.

Tom
 

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Tom...

I recieve the pictures today in the mail.Daggone, podna,that Post Office in Waverly don't mess around,does it?!?Less than 24 hours!!:eek: :smile: They will now grace the "wall of fame" at "Da Shack"!!:ac550:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am very pleased they arrived so soon... generally the mail service is not bad here, but rarely is it as good as it was in this case :) I guess they knew somehow they were delivering precious cargo LOL... glad you like the pics.
 

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Yeah,"Precious",maybe dats what we ought to name your 50 lb.'er.She sure looked like a "Precious":slimer: :rotfl: :biggrin: :rolleyes: ...big boned girl!!;)
 
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