Sometimes it’s not the amount of fish you catch but the incredible challenges you go through that make angling such an enjoyable and rewarding sport.
While we all love to spend our days catching largemouth bass again and again, it’s the fish that are major challenges that bring the best stories. If you are looking for a true angling challenge, try your hand at these fish. Some are wary and require skill and patience to entice a bite, some are only seen in small areas, and others are so strong and powerful that actually bringing them over the rail is an exhausting but rewarding thrill.
For many different reasons, these are some of the toughest fish to catch.
If you head to the shallow flats of the Florida Keys during the summer, you will probably spot many bonefish, but if you splash the water, bang on the boat, or speak too loudly, the bonefish will disappear quickly. These fish require the patience of a bowhunter and the casting skills of an expert angler.
Big and toothy, the famous musky of the northern U.S. and Canada is a prize for many anglers, both because of their rarity and the challenge they present to anglers. Called “the fish of 10,000 casts,” the muskellunge are rarely caught with fresh prey in their stomachs, which means they wait until they have digested to feed again. They also share many lakes with northern pike, which breeds earlier in the season, meaning many young northerns feed on freshly-hatched muskies. Because of their reluctance and rarity, a trophy musky can be a true angling challenge.
Like the bonefish, the flats-feeding permit are skittish and easily startled. They feed off the bottom of the flats, often moving into areas that were left uncovered during low tide. They generally forage along the bottom, so you need to cast your lure or bait precisely in front of the fish, otherwise it will go unnoticed as the permit casually meanders past your hook.
Flathead catfish are very tough to catch, at least with a traditional rod and reel. This is because they do most of their feeding at night, creating unique challenges to any angler looking to haul in one of these behemoths. Many anglers use “diddy poles,” a small rod that is hammered into the bank and fitted with strong line and a live bait on the protruding end. While this robs you of the chance to hook and fight the fish, it does give you the chance to raise one of these big eaters into the boat. Even with diddy poles, many flathead expeditions are fruitless.
Perhaps the greatest game fish of all time, the blue marlin has everything you could ask for in a trophy: epic size, relative rarity, and a fight that will make your arms fall off. It takes know-how and patience to hook one, which isn’t helped by the hardness of their mouths, requiring a strong, firm, and well-timed hook set. Some fish are big, some are strong, and some have never-ending endurance. The blue marlin combines all three to become a species that many consider the peak of sport fishing.
Whether you are going after muddy-water flatheads or open-ocean marlins, you can get the right apparel for the job from Huk Gear. You’ll find performance fishing apparel that will keep you comfortable and dry, so stop by and see what we have waiting for you.
Kyle Alsop and Taylor Bivins of Kansas State University are the winners of the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, thanks to a series of consistent weights. They finished the tournament on Kentucky's Green River Lake with 36 pounds, 4 ounces.
The Kansas State team was the only one in the field of 89 teams to bring in more than 10 pounds every day.
You often hear the phrase there is nothing more important than a friend but like many other clichés of life especially at today’s pace, many of these old time sayings are said without really understanding their meaning. As I look back at the past five decades of my life spent in blue water and at my hunting career which has taken me all over the globe, I lift both hands in front of me and start counting off the friends which I could call at any time day or night for help; those who would put their life in jeopardy to save mine, or for that matter those who I can count on in the absolute worst of situations.
America (and much of the globe) seems to have an obsession with billfish, but few species are as popular as the Atlantic blue marlin. Not that there is anything wrong with black marlin, sailfish, swordfish, or striped marlin; it’s just that the blue marlin, which is the largest of the billfish group, has captured the hearts and passions of anglers for centuries.
If you want to join the ranks of anglers who’ve pulled up a blue marlin, you have your work cut out for you. But with the right techniques, you can add this world-class trophy to your list.