Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Proud Older Brother

My brother Jeremy was never into fishing when we were kids. He grew bored very quickly and didn't have the patience. A few years ago he started talking about how he wanted a recreational kayak, but never had the money to spend. After I bought my Malibu last year, his desire to paddle re-emerged. When he decided to move to Charleston, SC with a couple buddies, he also decided he wanted to buy a fishing kayak and learn how to fish. Unfortunately, I didn't have alot of time to hit the water with him, as he moved 10 days after buying his Tarpon 140, but the guys he was moving in with would be able to teach him the basics.

Jerm finally made it out on the water yesterday and caught his first fish from the yak, his first redfish, and his first flounder!I was stoked for him when he text messaged me the pics and called him right away. Him and Chris decide to fish the Wando River for a couple hours before work after some helpful info from TKAA member Eric Miles. They were working popping corks with live shrimp underneath and slayed 'em! Jerm caught 6 reds up to about 18" and a healthy keeper flounder. I am super proud of him and can't wait to wet a line with him.

                                                                               Jerms First Red Drum Ever!!
                                                                                 Jerms First Flounder Ever!!
                                                                           Jerms Personal Best Redfish!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Speck-tacular Day!

Its no secret the speckled trout bite is hot right now. With that said, I was itching to bend a rod, so me and Alex headed down to meet William Ragulsky at Wallace's Saturday morning. We were late getting out of Richmond, so Billy was waiting for us at the ramp ready to go. It was after 7:30 by the time we hit the water, but we headed out optimistic. To make a long story short, we saw very little bait on the flats and even fewer fish. Billy managed 2 specks, but around 11:30 we decided to pack it up and head over to Lynnhaven. We took our time getting there, allowing the tide to turn. We headed out of crab creek and back through the marsh towards Bayville, and it didn't take long to find fish. Billy hooked up first.
 They were dinks so we kept moving in search a school of larger fish. As we came out of one of the creeks, Billy and I both heard a huge splash is a small cove in the marsh grass. Seconds later I see a large Redfish shoot from the grass and crash a school of bait, slashing the surface in the shape of a "z", then disappearing back into the grass. We both pressed in our Stick It pin's into the mud and to the fish, but it wouldn't take anything we threw at it.

Trout had began to bust the surface all around us, so Alex and I switched gears and started working the cork, while Billy headed on in search of more Reds. First cast, we both hooked up. They were small Specks @ 10-11" but we didn't mind- it was fun fishing.

Every other cast one of us was landing a trout and I lost count of how many double we had. 
The bite was slowing with the tide and Alex didn't have a light on him, so we had to leave as it got dark. We made a few more casts while waiting to meet back up with Billy, and found another school of spikes. They were a little larger than the others but no keepers.
 We trolled our way back to Crab Creek. About half way back Billy's pole bent over and we could tell this was a better fish.

After a short fight, Billy landed a healthy 19" Speck. He was kind enough to ask if I wanted the fish for dinner, and I graciously accepted. Both Alex and I ended the day with close to 20 fish. I never got a count from Billy but I'm sure he did better than us. Lure of the day was the Marsh Works Bayou Thumper. We hit the road and were home by 10. Great day on the water.... and a great dinner Sunday night. (broiled the trout with a little butter, salt, and pepper. DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Its been a while

Things have been real busy lately, and though I have done quite a bit of fishing since my last post, I just kept putting off writing about them. So here we go...

My brother finally decided he wanted a fishing kayak( and to learn how to fish) since he was moving to Charleston, SC at the end of September. He found a great deal on a Tarpon 140 rigged and ready to go. Since he was leaving a couple weeks after buying the boat, and had lots to do to get ready for the move, we didn't get a chance to hit the salt. The rainy weather broke for a few hours on Saturday(9-05-11) so me, Kamaron, and my brother Jeremy hit the James River looking for some whisker kitties. We decide to stay close to the bridge since there was still a good chance of scattered showers.
I showed him how to tie off a fishfinder rig, and we put out some extra large minnows to soak. He hooked up with something, but lost it seconds later. Not long after, I had a solid thump and set the hook. Turned out to be a 5 lb bucket mouth.
                                         A little while later, Kam picked up a  little smallmouth. It was her first smallie.

The sky started getting dark so we packed it in and called it a day. Its too bad Jerm didn't decide he wanted to kayak fish earlier so we could have spent some time on the water together. I love teaching someone how to fish, but I would have really enjoyed teaching him. He's living with a couple guy that fish and one of them owns a yak, so I'm sure he will have someone to show him the ropes. His plans are to consistently catch bigger fish than me( remember he is in Charleston) and rub it in my face. Nothing like competition between brother, especially twin brothers.

The Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association held their 7th annual Kayak Fish for Charity Tournament on Sept. 23rd. This is a great event benefiting the Heroes On The Water. The weather sucked the entire week prior to the tourny, as well as the day of, but it didn't keep anybody away. This year, with 220 registered anglers, it was the 2nd largest kayak fishing tournament on the east coast. Kamaron and I decided we would fish the Poquoson area even though we didn't have a lot of experience there. All in all, it was an extremely slow day for both of us. Kam hooked up to a big trout early in the morning (on the same Mirrolure that Forrest kept getting stuck in his hand), but 15' from the boat it broke off and took the suspending twitchbait with it. I landed 1 dink trout that went 12" later in the morning fishing a Bayou Thumper under a Marsh Works cork. That was all the action we had and headed to the "weigh in" empty handed. We had a great time and were glad to help out such a worthy cause. I understand our tournament raised $10,000 for Heroes!
                                                          As sad as it sounds, this was the only picture I took all day.

Two weeks later on October 8th was the NCKFA Oak Island Classic. Kam's family has a house down there in Holden Beach, so it was a no brainer to fish this one. Instead of defending his title at the Poquoson Seafood Festival Fishing Tournament, William Ragulsky was itching to get back to the Cape Fear area after winning the trout division in the TJM Charity tournament in August, so he decided to join us. We threw his kayak on the trailer and headed down a day early to pre-fish. The wind was blowing 15+ on Friday, so we didn't cover much water. We did locate some fish but were unable to hook up. It was announced at the captains meeting that the King Mackerel division would be cancelled due to the small craft advisories offshore, but the Hobie prize would be converted to a prize for the biggest fish if the day. After weighing our options, we decided to fish the Caswell Beach area. Initially, we considered crossing the Cape Fear over to Buzzards Bay, but with the wind forecasted 15 with gusts up to 25 mph, we knew that was out of the question.
Launch time was 7:00am. We left the ramp optimistic we could find some fish. I found a very shallow oyster bed(got stuck and had to walk my boat 30 feet) with the tide ripping over it and decide to drop a carolina rigged finger mullet as I came over the back side where it dropped off about 4 feet. It didn't take long beofre I got a bite, but I knew right away it wasn't what i was looking for.

Billy was the next to hook up, and boated a small red about 15" fishing a small point where the current ripped over an oyster bed. That was followed by another redfish about the same size. In between Billy catching his fish, Kamaron was yelling to us, but with the wind blowing the way it was, I could just barley hear her. Turns out the saw a fish busting bait on the surface, cast her cork and hooked into a healthy 24" red.
         Although she tried not to get her hopes up, all three of us thought this fish would be competitive. I anchored up near hear and tossed out the carolina rig to soak while I worked my popping cork/thumper combo. After just a few minutes I see the rod with the mullet bend over. FISH ON! This one has some shoulders and I'm excited. After making a run for deeper water, I get the fish up....
                                                                                Sting Ray!?  Damn it!
We moved on around to the next creek. the tide had turned and we could drift back towards the ramp. It was getting late and we didn't have much more fishing time. Billy was after trout now and picked up a speck while trolling a Thumper. It wasn't huge but it another fish in the boat. He immediately headed for deeper water and quickly picked up a small flounder to complete his Slam. I heard him yell and paddled that way to hear the good news. He had his slam and Kam had a competitive fish so we paddled hard for the ramp. Ties are decided by who "weighs in" first.
    The results were disappointing- Kam's redfish was 1/4" out of placing. She made a comment about how bitter sweet it was to get beat by so little. There were 4, maybe 5 other slams caught that day and Billy's didn't place. None of us thought there would be that many people that caught all three species. There were a couple of joke divisions, Slum Slam(trash fish), smallest fish, and a Sting Ray/Skate slam. Anybody who caught a sting ray had there name put in a bucket and 1 winner was drawn. All three of us had caught a stingray, but Billy chose not to write his down on his score card. There were only 3 names and we knew me and Kam were in there. Guess who won the string ray slam? Yup- yours truely.  Billy errupted with a very mocking "YES!!!!!" and the room filled with laughter. I was awarded a trash can to hold my trash fish, and a rubber stretchy sting ray. We ended up making out like bandits with the raffle and brought home a new Bending Branches Slice Angler paddle, along with a Astral PFD, and a slew of tackle including Mirrolure's and an entire set of various sized Hopkins spoons, and a bunch of soft plastics. 

We fished the next day near the house in Holden Beach where we caught a bunch of redfish and flounder earlier in the summer. It's not very active fishing, soaking bait and waiting for a bite, but it consistently put food on the table this summer(refer to previous post). Billy landed 2 reds that day. One went 22"ish and the other got away while he was trying for the hero shot. We had Cajun blackened redfish for dinner. The weekend was over and Sunday we left North Carolina.

A week or two later, I headed down to catch up with Billy, his buddy Tommy, and Tom VanderHeiden, to be a croaker choker for the morning. Tom had the big silver drum pinned down and we were gonna get on 'em! As soon as we drop lines we are getting bites. I was using a medium action St. Croix Triumph spinning outfit. I lost count of how many big croakers we caught, but they were all in the 14-17" range. Man they were fun! The bite died later in the morning and we searched for reds and trout the rest of the afternoon. I managed 1 trout about 17"(again on the Bayou Thumper), but the hook just barely got the skin on the lip and I lost him at the boat. That night me and Billy wanted to go to the CBBT and try for the big Bull Reds that Rob Choi and Kayak Kevin had been catching, but the weather didn't look great, so we stayed inshore and went looking for pups. We were unsuccessful- tides were all wrong for the area we wanted to fish.

The light line is heating up and the water is full of Specks right now... I'm itching to get back down to the beach and hit the water. I will try to be more timely with my posts in the future. See ya' on the water.