Fishing at night can sometimes be a bit eerie. Especially on a kayak in the darkness with your youngster at bay on his maiden voyage, in search of a monster catfish. We loaded up around ten o'clock in the evening and traveled the twenty five miles to our remote destination. It started out very dark until the moon rose just a few minutes later to light up our late night world. Bugs flew at us from every direction as we needed to use our headlamps to get our equipment and kayaks ready for the midnight run. There was no breeze at all and the air was still very warm from the previous days 101 degree heat.
After unloading and baiting our hooks we departed and paddled around 30 yards off shore and latched on to a protruding branch from the water. My 11 year old CJ paddled next to me and latched on to my kayak with his "fish grips" attached to a lanyard. We casted our heavy duty "cat" rods out into the abyss and waited. While we waited the moon rose and lit up the lake which shone like a sheet of glass. The water is very shallow at this spot but the catfish roam these waters late at night for scraps of food or small bait fish. We were using bluegill for bait which they love to devour.
We waited patiently talking about fishing and what to expect if we had a cat take our bait. After a wait of nearly 15 minutes CJ had a bite and tried to set his hook. He had a fish on! I reeled my line in to aid in his landing of this fish. In an instant, it was gone. Just feet from the kayak the fish had disappeared into the darkness. But all of a sudden my idle rod with bait dangling in the water just in front of the kayak starting bending vigorously! We don't know if it was the same cat but one had come up right below my kayak in two foot of water and clamped on! It didn't take much to reel it in since it was already there. We netted it and brought it to shore for measurement and photos. It was a pretty nice sized cat with a measurement of 25 inches.
We baited our lines again and headed out for round two. During the next hour or so we both had a lot of "hits" but nothing to show for our efforts. Then, just past 1 AM I asked CJ if he wanted to change to a new location. Just as I finished my sentence he shouted, "I've got one!" He held on tight and reeled it in perfectly. I netted the fish for him and paddled once again to the shoreline where we took a measurement of 26.5 inches which he would later enter into the "Kayakapalooza IV" monthly challenge. I asked if he wanted to stay longer and he said he was ready to head home. After loading up we made the trip home filled with excitement and joy of our catches for the evening. It didn't take long, maybe 2 or 3 minutes and CJ was out...asleep possibly dreaming of another adventurous night in the future catching monster cats with his Dad.