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2-N-TOW

Am I a wimp?

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Headed out early Saturday morning chasing cobia again. At the ramp at 5:45 am and cleared the inlet into the Bay right at 6:00. This time going to the York Spit area, a series of flats a few miles out from the mouth of the York River. Short run and I anchor up in 20 ft, letting the tide push the transom back up to 16 ft depth. Drop the chum over and set up two lines with eels. By the way, my go to live bait set-up are Avet SX 5.3 on Ugly Stick Tidewater rods.

 

Set the floats so the eels were a few feet off the bottom. 20 minutes later I see one float go down. I reel the other line in and toss the eel in a bucket so it is out of the way. This also allows the fish time to take the bait, as eels can be a pain in the butt since the fish has a long bait to grab onto and it takes a few seconds to get the hook into their mouth. \

 

Set the hook and this fish wants to stay on the bottom. It also doesn't seem to know it is hooked, making me initially thinking I have a cobia! Push the lever drag up a little more and try to work the fish a little more when it decides to make a run at the boat. I retrieve line as fast as possible when the it swings by the boat and the reel acts funny, making a grinding noise like the gears are binding/stripping and the handle spins backwards.

 

What the heck??? I grab the handle and it grinds the first revolution, then engages and I can get some line back. I then notice the chum line is angled away from the boat....the darn fish has wrapped the chum line! Tried cranking in again and the reel acts like it is grinding gears then engages. Get a little tension on the line, then it goes slack. Reel it in and looks like the line snapped just above the hook. So now I am not sure if it was a cobia or a decent sized shark.

 

So I set that rod/reel in the rod holder and rig up a live bait rig on a Penn Battle and toss it out there with the other Avet. One bait is set up about 30 ft off the transom and the other about 50 ft out. Nothing happens for the next 30 minutes, then I see a big brown object slowly swimming along the surface between my floats, and my baits are 15 ft below! A damn cobia, longer than any I have caught before and I would guess around 55-65 lbs! I have another spinner rigged up with a buck tail and got ready to grab it then stopped. This is why:

 

1. I am fishing solo today.

2. My arm strength is still nowhere near where it was 12 months ago due to the neck surgery.

3. I had no doubt I could catch and reel the fish to the boat...the problem was getting it in the boat!

4. I have seen what a cobia can do once in the boat and miss getting it in the fish box first try!

 

So items 1 thru 3 went through my mind in all of about 5 seconds and I figured I would be the one on the losing end of that battle. So I just stood on the gunwhale and watched that fish for almost a minute before it slipped beneath the waves again.

 

The rest of the morning was interrupted by sharks moving in on the flats and tearing up my baits. Finally, around 11 the wind died down to almost nothing and the 95 degree heat was just too much. Called it quits and headed home.

 

Did a quick test once home and was able to get the reel to duplicate the problem I encountered on the water. Did this with a 5 pound weight, which is what I set the strike drag to. Going to tear it down one night this week and see what is going on. Will post a follow up after that.

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YEP! :mad: Turn in your man card you sissy. :yahoo_rotfl: See that's the problem.......... you started thinking instead of doing. You have to leave the thinking to the wife, they know everything anyways. :blink: You should have tossed the bait, hooked it up, wore it down, got it along side the boat, stuck it with the gaff, took a picture, put it on ice and had a much better and more manly story. Now....... :fish:

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Damn...I should have know better if you got to this thread first! At least I was on the water fishing!!!

 

Funny thing was that I texted my son when I broke the first fish off. He said something to Nancy about that and they got into a conversation about what would I do if I did hook into a big one. She had heard some of the stories about people that swung a green cobia into the boat. Funniest one I recall happened down your way a number of years ago. Fish went ballistic and one of the younger crew members thought he could subdue it by jumping on it's back. The boy got a heck of a whipping and ended up bruised everywhere from the waist down!

 

I will attempt to redeem myself next weekend and hopefully earn back my man card :icecream:

 

On a side note, trying to figure out this reel is driving me nuts. I pulled it apart and both the pinion and drive gears were fine. Anti-reverse looked good, so I put it back together, attached it to the rod, and hung a 5 lb weight. Set the drag so the strike setting would barely hold the weight, then tweeked a little more so it did not slip. I then jerked the rod a little and the grinding noise along with the handle spinning backwards 1/2 turn before it engaged definitely show it is an anti-reverse issue. Took it back apart and held the brake disc and anti-reverse gear in place so it meshed with the anti-reverse dog; everything looked fine. Full tooth to dog contact.

 

Re-assembled it and tried the weight test again. 2 out of 3 times it works as designed, but then the third time it slips half a turn. The only thing I can think is happening is somehow the anti-reverse gear is not completely meshing with the dog when a strain is placed on the line, resulting in the ratcheting sound as the handle turns until it jumps back into gear. I can also cause it to do it some by slowly turning the handle with a strain on the line.

 

Took it apart one last time to check if there was any side play in the dog...none whatsoever! I have posted the issue over on Alan Tinni's web site as he has an Avet forum that is pretty good. Hope to get this fixed as it is a fun reel to fish.

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Sounds like the old man and the sea gone wrong.

 

I agree, sounds like something isn't engaging completely. Have you tried a light penetrating oil like LPS 1? They're might be a slight binding area causing the issue.

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If Alan and his minions can't help you with that reel, it can't be fixed. But they will do it. They've helped me many-a-time with my Penns, as have the folks at Scotts Bait & Tackle for parts. Nice reel, BTW.

 

I hear ya on the strength issues. A year may seem like long enough, but if you listen to your body, it can tell you more than your brain/ego sometimes. 2 years after back & neck surgery, I'm finally selling off all of my cave-diving stuff... several double 120's, 2 rebreathers, multiple reg setups, etc. Hurts like the dickens, but I realized if I can't even lug them out to the boat now, how am I gonna do them and me justice in the water.

 

Good call on waiting! There's always that next time.

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Sounds like the old man and the sea gone wrong.

 

I agree, sounds like something isn't engaging completely. Have you tried a light penetrating oil like LPS 1? They're might be a slight binding area causing the issue.

 

LOL........for a minute there I thought you were referring to his standing there looking at the cobia swim around and doing nothing. Then I got to the oil part and realized you were talking about the reel. Although LPS 1 between the ears might work too.

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And here I was hoping for some sympathy for at least being out there! And I got your penetrating oil... :icecream:

 

You may find this one a little surprising regarding the reel. Tried a few things suggested on the Avet forum at alantani.com and nothing seemed out of place. They recommended checking the pinion bearing and anti-reverse dog. Pulled the pinion bearing and it spun just fine, no rough spots at all. Figured since I had never removed the dog from the reel previously, it had to be installed correctly even though others were saying it was reversed. Only after I posted a picture and looked at another post on a similar reel it became apparent that it was in there reversed. Honestly, it has been like that since the day I bought it 10 years ago and somehow worked fine until this past weekend!

 

Switched the dog around, re-assembled the reel and did some stress testing with a 5 lb weight and could not get the anti-reverse to fail. So it is back to like new condition and back in the boat ready to be abused again real soon!

 

Dogdad -

We went to Roatan for spring break this year. I am sure you have heard about the diving there off the beach and on walls just a quarter mile out. I tried to be good while there and not over-do it (open water certified). Was able to snorkel with no problems. One of my boys likes diving, too, so I told him to check on a shore dive. I walked with him to one of the shops and started talking to the divemaster. Explained my condition (semi-technical term is C5 palsy due to nerve root compression) and how it resulted in a very weak right arm and some strength loss in the left art. Then I hit him up with the $64,000 question...would he let me do a refresher dive to see if I could still function properly underwater. He said sure, but temper my expectations. Good enough for me!

 

So we suit up on the beach and I decided to "cheat" a little. Drug the bc and tank to the water, inflated the bc and walked out into deeper water, then slipped it on. No way in hell was I going to be able to suit up on dry land! Dive master gave me a funny look, then off we went. Dropped down to 10 ft where he had me flood and clear my face mask...no problem. Next was recovering my regulater...no problem again! Still had the bouyancey control figured out, so after 5 minutes, we were done and exploring the reef! I honestly found out I had more movement of my arms due to the bouyancey under water than on dry land. The only issue I found was that I cannot tilt my head up enough like I used to before surgery to see straight ahead. I guess 2 eight inch rods and numerous screws in the neck would limit the movement. I just had to adjust and take things a little slower. I still can make my air last longer than my son, too! Did so well on that dive that we did a 2 dive boat trip the next day and I had a blast!

 

It was good to find out something I thought I would have to give up I am still able to do! So don't get rid of all your stuff - just recruit a buddy to go on the trip and assist in loading the boat so you can still have a little fun.

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Whenever I buy replacement reel-parts, I always tack on a few extra dogs and springs to the order. Amazing how fast and far they fly, even when you're watching where they land. Vacuum cleaner sometimes finds them months later, far from where I thought they were.

 

Good scuba story, Dan. I don't think I can ever completely get it outta my blood. My situation is similar. Still hanging on to the 'little' tanks and gear. May get courageous and see how it goes.

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