I have recently embarked on a quest of sorts. For those of you who don’t know me, I have always enjoyed fishing for big fish. There’s just something different about the way you fish when you target kicker fish. It has a different feel to it. The expectations are higher, as are the rewards.
I caught a 4-pounder on Sept. 1, 2012, and as I was replaying the fish catch in my head, I thought about how interesting it would be to try and catch 100 “big” fish in one year. That got me to contemplating what exactly is a “big fish” and how many would I have to catch on average to meet such a goal. Say a big fish weighs at least 4 pounds. If I fished every day, I would have to get one kicker bite weighing more than 4 pounds every three and a half days or so.
But not just get the bite. I would have to put each bite in the boat. With the realistic likelihood of losing at least 20 percent of the big bites that I would get and the pure reality that I would never be able to fish every single day the odds started to stack heavily against me.
On top of all that, how would I even prove that it had been done if I were to pull it off. As if the difficulty of catching a hundred kickers in a year’s time wasn’t enough, I would now have to prove it if I ever wanted anyone to believe it.
Pictures wouldn’t be enough. Anyone could catch a fish and hand it to me to take a picture. Plus, how different could a hundred 4-pound-plus fish really look. If people were scrolling through an album of big fish pics, surely some skeptics would suspect that I had merely changed shirts or hats and took a few different grip and grins with the same fish.
No, for it to be authentic people would have to see every cast, every bite, every hookset and every fish come into the boat. In order to do that there would only be one solution. I would have to video all of it. Hours, days, weeks, months of footage. A years worth. The concept had me a little excited to say the least.
So I mentioned it to my friends at Wired2Fish. Knowing they were a like-minded crew I wanted to know if it were something that they would like to see done as pure fans of fishing. Their excitement over the project, along with their contemplation over whether it could even be done, fueled the fire that I had already set inside my mind. Soon the concept became a reality and now it’s not can it be done, but will it be done.
I have now begun this long and arduous journey that will surely lead to some exhilarating triumphs and some heartbreaking mishaps. This quest with carry all the way through to September 1, 2013.
Backdating to the 5-pounder that sparked the idea, I have now caught three fish weighing more than 4-pounds in just the last six days. This does not include an 8-pound, 4-ounce beast that I caught on Sept. 5, the second-largest-public-water bass that I have ever caught, since it was caught at night without the camera rolling. Every fish has to weigh more than 4-pounds and the entire fish catch has to be recorded.
I only have a few other rules. Since this feat could likely be reached in a few weeks at Lake Guntersville throwing an umbrella rig, I vow that not one of the targeted hundred will be caught with an umbrella rig. There will be no live bait and no guides. Just 100 big fish catches, caught on film, in one year, on artificials you would throw on your own lakes and rivers. At least that’s the goal!
And at the end of this we’re going to have an interesting perspective on the nature of catching kickers on regular lures, and a lot of data to extrapolate for interesting topics not to mention a lot of how-to video footage along the way on making the most of your time on the water.
And if you choose to do so, you can keep up with me along the way. I will be posting regular blog, photo and video updates throughout my ‘Quest for a Hundred Kickers’ on my Facebook page and shayebaker.com as well as intermittent blog and video updates to Wired2Fish’s Facebook page and Wired2Fish.com.
Hopefully I will be able to pull it off. Wish me luck. It’s time to hit the water.