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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: How I almost died yak fishing PSA  (Read 2781 times)

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  • Salmon
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  • Location: Sac area
  • Date Registered: Jan 2017
  • Posts: 244
Hi all,

I know a few of you, many of you I don't know (yet), but I wanted to post this to warn everybody here about what happened to me over the last 5 weeks.

About september 15, I went to the port in sacramento to fish for largemouth. I got there early (about 6) and fished for awhile catching a bunch of dinks. I was getting kind of bored and growing frustrated with the amount of vegetation in the water (what is that underwater weed that grows there, anyway?) so I decided to call it a day at about 8. I began the 20 minute drive back to my house north of Sacramento. While driviing on I-5 north of the airport, I noticed the Ridgecut slough. Lots of poeple fish from the bank there (for what I'm not sure, probably catfish) and I thought it would be ideal largemouth area for someone with a kayak. I decided to launch just off river road. I caught probably 20-30 smallmouth on senkos and apinnerbait; it was fantastic fishing. The only problem was the mosquitos---tons of them---and as I was fishing at the port I didn't bring any repellent with me. Other than that, it was great times.

Fast forward a week. I got a friend of mine to go back out to Ridgecut slough. The night before we went, I found it very difficult to sleep (which is rare for me). I didn't really think much of it. The following day we went out, not many bass but I did catch a large catfish off a baby brush hog. I took my catfish home, filleted it, and gave the meat to a neighbor since I was kinda starting to feel tired and didn't want to cook. That night, I had cold sweats and a lot of difficulty sleeping.

The following day, I felt very weird....stoned, almost. I chalked it up to a poor nights sleep and worked anyway. But I definately didn't feel right. Again that night I had cold sweats and difficulty sleeping. The following day I knew that I had (what I thought) was the flu. I had zero energy and I puked up my lunch (which was really difficult to eat, and I have a HUGE appettite normally). I went home and told my boss I wouldn't be in the next day. I expected to get netflix and chill for a few days while the flu passed. What followed would be one of the worst experiences of my life.

I woke up the following morning morning very lethargic, with an EXCRUCIATING headache. My whole body hurt and I had zero energy. Like, as in, if there would have been a fire in my house I don't think I could have gotten out. I still chalked it up to the flu...we're all tough guys, right? I lay there, in and out of consciousness, holding a wet rag on my forehead to ease the pain of the headache. I laid there for 2 days like that before calling a family member to take me to the hospital. At that point I couldn't move my head due to the excruciating pain in my head and neck. I was seen in the ER and they gave me morphine and a lot of IV water. They said if it got any worse to come back.

Two days later, the syptoms had intensified believe it or not. I went back to the hospital, they did a ton of tests and told me I was in perfect health and that I only had the flu. I couldn't believe it....I knew something was really wrong. My head still wouldn't move at all and my blood pressure at the hospital was really really low. I made an appointment to see my regular doctor for thhe following week. I toughed out the symptoms I had and didn't hear back from the hospital. The next day, I woke up to 10 missed calls on my cell. It was the County Department of Public health, saying they had to talk to me immediately. When I called them back, they gave me my diagnosis: West Nile Fever. I was shocked. At that point, I was feeling much better. My phone began to blow up with calls from the hospital and County, lots of different people wanted to know where I'd been and when I started having symptoms, and whether I was basically alive or dead. I assured them I was alive and would go back to the doctors office. He (my Dr) was pretty non-chalant about the whole thing and told me I had dodged a bullet. Thankfully, I had no neurological impairment and my prognosis is good. Not so much for another guy who got it at the same time as me in mid september---my doctor said he was in a coma in the hospital and would likely die. I ended up missing about 2 weeks of work, and it took me 3 more until I felt back to normal. It really, really sucked.

The point of this rambling story is to convey to people--especially people who fish and hunt---that you are prime targets for West Nile. I mean, isn't the whole point of kayak fishing to get to unexplored backwaters where others can't get? That's where the mosquitoes that spread the virus live and where they can safely hide from government spraying. I hope that everyone here reads this and takes the necessary precautions. It's way more common than you think, and I don't think anyone here wants what I had. I know a lot of people shy away from chemical deterrents---DONT! Having west nile is WAYYYY more dangerous than those chemicals. I hope I'm the only one here this happens to, but I bet I won't be. On my way home from work today I saw a kayaker in the exact same area (I believe) I caught the virus in. I wanted to pull over and scream to the guy about what happened to me, but....I didn't. Most people don't even know what west nile *is*. But you do now, so take precautions!!!!!!!!!!
3rd--- 2017 Albion Open


  • Salmon
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  • Date Registered: Feb 2017
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Wow. Glad you’re ok. Thanks for sharing your story with us


  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: Dec 2007
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Damn.  Glad you are ok.

100% Deet ftw.


  • Salmon
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  • Date Registered: Dec 2008
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Ho Lee Shit.....the grim reaper jumped on your back and you shook him off. Stoked you made it


  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: Feb 2014
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Ho Lee Shit.....the grim reaper jumped on your back and you shook him off. Stoked you made it
CanÂ’t say it any better than that.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 06:04:24 PM by DG »
NorCAL HOW Volunteer

2018 NCKA - DOTY Committee Member

2017 DOTY 2 biggest fish awards
2016 DOTY 2nd place / 4 biggest fish awards
2016 Triton X - 2nd place
2016 Triton Open - Biggest Lingcod
2014 DOTY - 1 biggest fish award


  • Sea Lion
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Thanks for the warning!
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

Dale L

  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: Dec 2005
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West Nile would have been the last thing on my mind until your post,

Thanks for putting it up.


  • Sardine
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  • Location: PACIFICA
  • Date Registered: Sep 2017
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Time to buy some new deet spray


  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: May 2014
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Damnnnnnnn.....fuqqqqqqqqqq... that sounded fuq’n scary bro. I hate hospitals , hate being sick too.  Thanks for the heads up. Glad you made it through some fuc’d Up sheet..
2014 Hobie Revo 13
2011 Hobie Outback - bye bye
1997 Tracker 17 Deep V<--- Money Pit

When you look outside the window, and all you see is fishing. True Story.


  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: Sep 2009
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Glad to hear u r ok, and thx for the PSA!

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk

Down to 1 Hobie Revo...


  • Sea Lion
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Yikes. That is a scary story. Thank you for sharing, and best wishes for your continued recovery.


  • View Profile MooMoo Outdoors
  • Location: Sacramento
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Wow. Really glad you are okay and thanks for sharing your story.

Simply Fishing 2017 1st place

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  • Del Valle Storm Trooper
  • Sea Lion
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  Glad you survived the ordeal!  At first, hearing your symptoms, I'm thinking pneumonia, as the symptoms you listed (Minus the extreme headache)  were almost identical to what I had back in April, Run down, food just didn't taste right, no energy, cold sweats.  After not shaking the feelings for 2 days, a visit to urgent care was called for, the PA came back said good news he knew what I had.  pneumonia in my left lung.  I was a little shocked.
  As messed up as I was for those few days, it sound like my pneumonia was a lot more tolerable than what got you!

Member/survivor STORM TROOPER Brigade


  • SonomaCoastSafetySquad
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Jeezus dude! Glad you are ok. I am a fricken mosquito magnet myself. Thanks for the warnings!
“When I'm in a slump, I comfort myself by saying if I believe in dinosaurs, then somewhere, they must be believing in me. And if they believe in me, then I can believe in me. Then I bust out. ”             -Mookie Wilson

1st place Red Barn Classic 2010


  • Salmon
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  • Date Registered: Jan 2017
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Thanks everybody for the warm wishes. I'm good now, even having a few (ok,5) IPAs tonight and looking forward to crab season :D

But I really hope somebody out there is helped by hearing what happened to me. West Nile is no joke, your "natural immunity" is useless, and not only can it kill you, it can leave you paralyzed or partially paralyzed. Don't F with it!
3rd--- 2017 Albion Open