I live in the Midwest and would like to get some opinions on if a fish I caught was a hybrid or striper. Both hybrids and stripers reside in this tailwater. I released the fish, so, in the long run it doesn't really matter. But, if it was a hybrid it was possibly a new world record. No joke. Here's a fish story......
A couple of buddies and I were fishing our local honeyhole. Got in the water about 7:00 pm and fished with them until around 11:00 pm. It was a weeknight, so, we couldn't stay out too late. The fish weren't biting and my two buddies had to leave around 11:00. They had to drive about an hour to get home. I live within 30 minutes, so, I decided to stay another hour. We had thrown flies and stick baits during our four hours of fishing with no love reciprocated from the fish. Flies and stickbaits = no love, maybe they're down deeper.
I tied on a big 'ol Sassy Shad and told myself, "Self, those fish are in here." An hour passed by....no love. I'll give it 30 more minutes.
I positioned the boat in the fast current with a jumbled up mess of a seam to my right, but, a fairly well defined seam behind where warm water is mixing with cool water. Weird water about 40 feet deep. Threw out the Sassy Shad and let it work through the jumbled up mess of a seam down to the transition water. A couple of sharp snaps of the rod and let the bait flutter back down all the while telling myself, "I'm injured, eat me". I talk to myself alot.
Tap, what the??? Threw the rod tip forward setting the hook. Darn, a freaking log way down deep. No, wait the lines going slack, fish on! A fairly short struggle ensued...6-7 minutes. He/she (the fish) was very cordial and came in rather easily. Just a bunch of bulldogging and a couple of short bursts. I was geared with medium / heavy tackle, so, it wasn't an epic battle.
First thing I thought when lipping the fishing and bringing her on board was what a football. The Sassy Shad was in the top of the lip and this beautiful fish was not injured in the least. Is that a hybrid? Surely not. Too big. I'll take a picture for visual proof to my buddies that I'm not full of stuffing. There's no scale / depth proportion to a fish on the bottom of a boat, hopefully, somebody is on the bank and will be kind enough to take a picture for me. My motors' running and I was only 50' out from the bank. Yep, two dudes. "Hey, guys could you take a picture". "Yeah, bring it on" I think was the response. I lowered the fish in the water with a firm grip on the lip and went to the bank. "Holy Crap!" "What you catch that on?" "That's a hog" were the responses received from my two new best friends. Click. One picture. Thanks guys.
I lowered the fish back in the water and shoved off to revive the fish out in the fast current / cold water. No problems. The fish was still full of spunk and gave me a shot of cold water up the nose in response to interupting her dinner time.
The fish had a minimal broken patch near it's pectoral fin. And, it kind of had a tongue patch, but not really. I've caught hybrids up to 8 lbs. and this fish had the dimensions of a hybrid. But, I just don't know. It could have just been a squat / short striper. Digital scale fluctuated between 28 lb. 15 oz and 29 lb. 3 oz.
Whatcha guys think?
Edit* Click for larger picture