Which one, the pike? As usual, I was fishing alone, and this guy put me through hell! I broke my rod, barely got him in the boat, and after all of that, didn't want to put him through the typical, "hold the fish up" picture because I needed to be able to release him into 76 degree water (lower oxygen, sometimes more difficult to recover).
But I've got these from the day my dad and I went musky fishing. The weather was off, the water temp dropped 13 degrees in 36 hours, and the fish were shut down. I had one follow, and that was a half-hearted attempt by a 34" pike. My dad landed one, tagged, no less. I'll get some pics together from my trip. Flies and such. Some of the fishermen might find them interesting.
Thanks G. The Keys are for sure on my to-do list, up there with remote Manitoba, and the Gulf. Someday....sooner rather than later I hope. There's an outside chance I'll be going to Jacksonville for my next unit, but I very much hope to avoid that in favor of going back to Kodiak.
The first one is from my musky trip, the following three are the bastard pike that broke my rod. You can see the splashed water on my face from it's thrashing around me trying to wrangle it into the boat.
Caught in 81 degree water, has teeth, can live out of the water for a day or two, eats other fish, mouth turns bright green during spawning, can get up to 20 lbs, lives east of the Mississippi (where I caught it in MN) and all the way into the south......
It kinda sorta in a way might resemble a mudfish, but I've never heard about any fish able to live out of the water for 1-2 days. The top fin looks like a mudfish though. Bony, hard to hook (hook won't penetrate their mouth), they tend to hand out in stagnant water where nothing else will live. I've only caught them on the St. John's river up in the shallow offshoots.
Bingo! Bowfin, Grinnel, Grindle, Mudfish, etc, etc, etc. This thing has so many nicknames.
They can indeed live out of water for a time. There's a misconception that they can walk on land with their pectoral fins like those catfish that can do that. Bowfin can't. But they can exist out of the water for a day or two as long as their skin and gills are kept moist, so basically in a mudhole. They've got this air bladder thing they can breathe off of. It's what allows them to thrive in such stagnent, warm, oxygen-poor water, but you won't find them up on the bank or anything like that. Backwater sloughs and ditches that run dry, but hold mud. Very primitive fish, but very cool at the same time.
And my hook had no problem hooking this fish! Razor sharp, with a hookset that would hold a mako.
Jeff, I watched the movie " The Guardian " yesterday. Are you really the flight mechanic that goes up on the rescue missions? I remember seeing a picture of yourself in a helicopter doing just that. Please share with us some of your experiences.
Yes ma'am that's what I do. I know alot of the guys in that movie, as they used alot of actual CG dudes. My experiences....well heck, I'm not sure. I've had a 150' hoist pulling a guy off a mountain at 5,000' elevation, both of which are very high, and outside our normal operations. I hoisted a 300 lb fisherman off a boat in 40' seas 100 miles North of the Alaskan Peninsula, like you see on Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel. That's what I did when I was stationed in Kodiak, was to patrol, oversee, and rescue those guys.
I've had a few good SAR cases over the almost ten years I've been in. But now, as I advance, I'm less and less the one that goes out and saves the day. I'm in more of a supervisory and instructional role now. I run my shift, and manage the maintenance on the planes. And as far as the flight aspect of my job, I take out the young studs out and teach them to hoist, as well as take out the other already qualled guys and check their standardization in flight.
And I actually enjoy my job now more than I did five years ago. Back then I wanted to save the world and get all the girls. Now I'm happy to supervise a main gearbox change (like we did all last week, and is a major job) and have it up and running at the end of the week. And happy to get a new guy qualified to go out and fly on the dark and stormy nights, and start the cycle all over again. The first pic is me hoisting, getting a swimmer qualled. In the second pic, you can see me over the shoulder of a guy watching his hoist.
Awsome. Just awsome. I can't even imagine 40 foot seas. I can only imagine the feeling you get when the person that is getting rescued is actually in the helicopter, and the rush of the moments before.
I bet the people you have rescued have been so grateful. What was the fisherman like when he got in the helicopter? Again, thank you for serving this country.