After a couple of tough work weeks and busy weekends with kids’ stuff resulting in dry lines, seeing Jeff’s post on Wipers last week was that proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Even with a very busy weekend ahead for me, Jeff was open to working around my busy schedule and sneaking a quick Sunday morning chase in to help me get my <much needed> fix.
Our bets were placed firmly on the cut-bait strategy that has been fairly successful for Jeff lately. Of course, this always has the *caveat that comes with chasing down the appropriate baitfish – and like earlier in the week for Jeff, this started with a series of frustrating throws, several netting channel cat, two bass, and dozens of 1-2” shad, before finding the right size – 5-6” – but only 10-15 minutes into our morning and we were ready. Not bad, considering I’ve spent hours chasing shad before. I was certainly intrigued; I’d casted for surfacing wipers, caught them on spoons, trolled for them, etc., but never cut bait. Never “Catfished” for them…
We rolled on out to our spot, where I can pretty much refer to Jeff’s blog post and call it an instant replay. We drifted cut-bait (shad) in around 15 FOW, spot-locking over nice groupings of marks on the graph and simply working those areas. There were hoards of 8-10” channel cats to wade through in between
Thor’s Hammer Wiper bites, but as we had hoped, they came.
Ashton had not previously experienced the tug-o’-the-Hybrid before, firmly landing him the designation of official Reeler-In-of-All-Bigguns for this particular adventure. Having never caught one – or anything of this size, actually, he had a rather successful day by most standards, landing a 22.5” (6.5lb), 23.5” (7.5lb), and 25.5” (nearing 10lb!), the last of which surpasses his dad for the family record for this species.
My son still thinks it’s crazy that we “don’t want to reel in any of these”… Not necessarily… it’s just that Jeff and I would both rather see a kid, or someone who has never experienced this before, get behind the reel of one of these rod slamming, line stripping behemoths. I keep telling him, one day he might be out here with his kids – and he’ll understand.
As far as wipers go, this is one way of getting after them that felt a bit more accessible. Any lindy-type rig, catfish rig, a circle hook and some shad sides – and some patience in the right spot – and you could have a blast with one of Kansas’ toughest fish.