Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pigs!

It has been a little while since I last posted, but it has definitely been eventful.  Work is work, and finals are almost over.  Unfortunately the weather has really cooled down, so more of my trips have not been from the kayak, but from shore.  Most of this post will be pictorials with the pictures at the end, following the order this was written.  As the water has cooled, I have been fortunate enough to catch a number of Specks in excess of 20" with my largest at 26".  In the same spots, I have found some healthy Redfish and even a Striper or two.  I have caught some fat 18" ish specks on the ultralite from the yak.  I can attest that a Kayak is the best drag system that one could have.  On to the bigguns!  I made my first trip fishing the eastern shore a few weeks back, fishing from my new Malibu Stealth 14.  This boat is sweet and loaded with features.  I cannot wait to destroy the flats with it this summer.  Back to the ES, I went eeling with my friends, Mike Coates and Tommy DeWitt.  Our first night out was frightfully boring for about 90% of the time.  The other 10% was filled with some extreme thrills.  The thrills came in the form of a 37" and a 41" Striped Bass.  It was an amazing night with healthy fish that are still swimming to give someone else a thrill of a lifetime.  With the possibility of this being my last post of 2010, I would like to say thank you to all who I have fished with this year.  In addition to reuniting with old buddies, I have made some new friends, learned new techniques and had extraordinary luck.  Thank you for everyones support!

Now on to some pics...  No fish were harmed in the making of this blog post!

Squilla Strikes Again!
23" er
26" Citation Size Speck
Rockfish
Fishing the Ships with Mike and Tommy
Bowed Up!
Shocked... I think so!
37"
41" Pig
The Ships
Inhaled!
Microlite Trout
Redfish
The ride...  Stealth 14
The End of 2010?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Microlite Trout!

Another week has come and gone, the weather has been off and on, but the fishing has been fun.  On November 10th, I attended another great TKAA meeting, learned about eeling for monster stripers and had a great Marine Corps birthday meal, consisting of copious amounts of hot wings.  Before I went to the meeting I loaded up the yak, not really expecting to be able to fish due to high winds.  After dinner, I found Rudee inlet nice and flat.  The trout fishing was fun, with a bunch of short fish with a few flounder tossed in.  I was fishing some structure, kind of lost in the surroundings and serenity when I felt a subtle hit.  I set the hook and thought it was just another small speck until it took some line form the spool.  At that time, I figured that it was a red or small rockfish until I saw it.  It was a gator speck.  At that point, while I was distracted by the thought of my newest citation he took me into the pylons and busted me off.  It was still a great night on the water and I will be back to meet him soon!

Saturday the 13th, I fished in a Crappie tournament/get together with a few guys and gals from TKAA.  While the fish were not bighting, I was able to ward of the sunk with a small Chain Pickerel first thing in the morning.  The drive was far but the scenery, friendship and food was great.
At the Ramp

With the Crappie not cooperating, I felt the need to rip some lips on the microlite.  I met Mark Lozier and our friend Chuck at Rudee.  The first hour was slow but it picked up and stayed up after that.  I was able to pick up some small specks on the rig below.
1/16 oz jighead with a 2" Crappie Assassin


Mark picked up a nice keeper speck before he left.  I had switched back over to a Marsh Works Squilla after a few fish on the microlite.  After catching to many to count I thought I would go back to the microlite and the long rod.  I cast my fly rod every now and again, but I am not as proficient as I used to be.  Luckily I was not fishing a freestone river, but a speckled trout infested inlet so my mistakes were masked.  I caught over 10 fish on a purple and white clouser I got from my friend Kyle Sawyer, while getting a rhythm established.  I still need practice though.  I swiched back to the microlite to finish the night.  I had a fish that was ripping 2lb test of the spool.  I got it within 10' but the hook was spit.  It could have been worse!

Until next time, tight lines and screamin' drags!






Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tidewater Heroes on the Water Event 11-6-10

Well I have been on the water with some good results in the past two weeks, but I want to leave that for another day.  Today, I had the pleasure to help my friend Cory Routh with a Heroes on the Water event.  If you are not familiar with HOW, please check the link and find out what it is all about.  I have been to another event, but was not able to go out on the water with them.  Today I was able to fish with them, and I can say that it was one of the most rewarding things I have done in quite some time.  The Marines injuries were about as diverse as the Corps itself.  It was amazing to see how the water really liberated these gentlemen and what it did for all of the volunteers.  One of the things that you learn when you volunteer for events like this is that they don't want our pitty or sympathy.  They just want to enjoy the quality of life that we enjoy day in and day out.  At least today we were able to give that to them.

We all had a great time, and even though the fish and weather were not really cooperative, I think everyone caught something.  I was fishing with a LCpl that was stationed in Okinawa and we enjoyed talking about our time on the rock.  I had him rigged with a popping cork and when things slowed down, I tried to get him back on the fish.  I told him that what was mine was his.  He kept with the cork because it was something that kept him actively engaged on the water.  He told me later that he was just happy that we got him on a fish and that he was able to get out, away from the hospital.  His attitude really made me think about what I have and just how lucky I am.

I want to ask everyone who reads this to do me a favor.  Irregardless of how you feel about the battles we fight, or the policies behind them, remember that these young men and women go into the military because they have a strong sense of duty and honor.  Long gone are the days that our youth have been forced into service.  With all of the sacrifices that all military men and women  make, ESPECIALLY the ones who leave something either physical or psychological on the battlefield, thank a veteran.

Thank you Cory for all you do for these guys.  Too bad there are not more people like you.

Semper Fi Devil Dogs, and Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trouble with Trebles

The past two weeks have seen me on the water at a variety of different locations with a vast array of results and general shenanigans.  On the 17th, I fished one of my favorite local spots, and picked up a number of small specks, with two at 18" and 14".  

After a call on the 19th, my only night off of class during the week, I met Rob Choi and Justin Mayer down at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  The goal was to be off the water by 10 pm, as work beckoned. I was able to get a few blow ups on topwater, but no hookup.  It was a tough night, and the fish I thought i had patterned did not get the memo that I was coming out.  The night ended with all of us picking up a few small specks, and leaving at 1:30 am. 

On the 22nd, I met up with Rob again for a weekend of fishing.  This is one of Rob's last planned fishing trips this year so I saw it as my duty to help send him off right.  We met at 7 pm to fish the light line of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.  On the water we were greeted by a nice topwater blitz.  Unfortunately they were small Taylor Blues.  I had a plastic bit off, and thus started an interesting turn of events.  I put on a Mirrorlure, and immediately picked up some blues.  Rob switched to the long rod, and picked up fish after fish on a small clouser.  Rob is getting on 'em and I bring a green fish boat side.  As I tried to unhook the eager little buddy, I had one of the trebles impaled in my finger past the barb.  I had a great time trying to pull the hook out, and in the end, I had to thread it through my finger and cut the hook.  Not the funnest thing to happen!  I was determined to continue, and it payed off.  Rob was able to hook up with a Striper on the fly, and after a few pictures it was my turn.  I was Flailing the long rod, and I got my chance.  Rob was gracious enough to offer to take video, and I accepted.  As I was playing the fish, Rob was prepping his camera.  Thats when the fish decided he didn't want to be a star, and stopped playing the game.  Rob ended up picking up a few more Rockfish, and I ended the night with a lot of small specks and blues.  

After loading the yaks, the plan was to meet a few others that morning for a trip to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  We made it to Oceans East at 3 ish, got a few hours of sleep for our meeting at 6 am.  After buying all the live crabs they had to offer, and meeting up with Rob, Justin, Tripp Seed, Kyle Sawyer and a few others we were off.  We made it to the first Island after a 45 minute paddle and the fish were on!  I caught too many togs to count, with two at 18" and 15" going home for the dinner table.  Kyle got the large fish of the day at 21 1/2"!



On the 24th, I met Mark Lozier, Kris Lally, Cory Routh, his buddy Alan and Chuck Wrenn at one of our local favorites.  It was a great relaxing morning, with a lot of smaller specks, with a few going over 14".  We saw a few pods of reds on the flats but they didn't hook up.  It is always great fishing with great friends!



Dad, if you ever come back out here, we will charter Ruthless Fishing of a great day on the water!  Cory and Mark, you know we will have to paddle MALIBU KAYAKS though!

Until next time, tight lines!







Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

Well, it has been an amazing few days!  On Thursday, I got invited to join the Team Malibu Pro Staff.  It had been a dream of mine for years to be a part of a pro staff.  I thought my day couldn't get any better, I was wrong.  I was fishing with Mark Lozier at the HRBT for early season Rockfish.  I will say that if you are looking for a guided trip in Hampton Roads, Mark and Cory are class acts!  Anyways, I picked up a 18" Rockfish and a small Grey Trout at the end of the incoming.  It was slow!  We did see Rob Choi, and a few other members of TKAA and Pirates of Lynnhaven.  Rob is a great guy and boy he can fish.  He had a huge following on the water, teaching some newbees the ropes of Striper fishing the light line..  Mark and I let them be About 1230, we decide to hit the road.  On our paddle in, I see some fish breaking the surface.  I make the perfect cast with a 4" Marsh Works Bayou Thumper.  Bam... Fish on!  Mark and I worked the school for about 45 minutes picking off fish after fish.  We leave the school, still feeding to head back in.  We meet up with Derek and Mike from TKAA.  Whaile Derek was finishing up, I am siting back, waiting.  I see a fish chillin' behind a pylon and make a cast with a Killa Squilla and hook up!

Killa...  Squilla
We make it back at around 2am.  I make it to sleep at 3-ish, to be at work at 7:30 am.  It was a great, long day!

Friday I felt like death wormed over at work, but I was looking forward to the Poquoson Seafood Festival Tournament captain's meeting.  Other plans (i.e. replacing the starter in my car) made it for an interesting night.  I got a reprieve for the meeting, got the starter replaced and I was off!

Saturday morning I head to VB for my tournament day fishing.  I was fishing with Mark again.  I try for Reds, while Mark is hammering the Specks!  I join him and catch a few, but nothing notable.  I leave Mark to fish in the Atlantic.  I see one Red caught, but it was way to busy for me to fish effectively.  I head back to my morning spot, and start to pick up the Reds.  The Killa Squilla did them in.  My large fish was 28" (above Slot).

I caught more fish, and weighed 2.  This was a catch-kill tournament so I kept my 3 fish, largest about 24".  Total weight of the 2 fish I weighed was 7.34 lbs.  Good enough to win the Kayak Division!



Sunday, I went fishing again with Mark and his girlfriend Kris.  Probably some of my favorite people to fish with.  The morning was slow for Kris and I, but Mark caught a Slam(Red, Trout, Flounder), with the big fish being a 22" speck!  Great job Mark.  In the afternoon, I met up with Seth (BowedUp804) with the goal of putting him on some Reds.  His girlfriend is the accomplished fisherman and has been messing with him on his inability to catch a Red.  While I was waiting for the water to get right, we were working some Oyster Beds for Reds/Trout.  Seth hooked one on a Squilla, but it came unbuttoned.  While he is working, I throw my castnet and hook up with some Bunker and Mullet.  I hook him up with a "Big Poppy" and we go after some Reds.  I catch a few, but Seth isn't hooking up.  I stop fishing, and work with him for a few.  Seth starts hooking up.  He caught over 20 reds, with his PB set right at 26".  I had one or two over slot.  I got bored with the mullet, and started catching fish on the Squilla!  I even caught a juvenile Black Drum.  This makes Redfish, Speckled Trout, Grey Trout, Flounder, Black Drum and Striper all caught on the Squilla this week! 

Seth's Multi Spot!
Love those colors!
It was great fishing with you Seth.  You and your girlfriend are welcome to fish with me anytime!

Monday I had planed to chase Bull Reds down off VA's False Cape.  This was going to be a nice relaxing day.  As I go to pick up bait, I talk with "Kayak" Kevin.  We have a nice talk, and he convinces me to go fish for Togs, Sheeps and Bull Reds.  What was going to be a nice relaxing day ended up being a busy day covering over 10 miles.
The Launch
I launch, and have a nice calm paddle to my spot.  I fish some of my favorite spots, but have no luck.  Once I make it to the spot, I hook up in no time!  Fish is on and snap!  I fight through the anguish, and a dozen oyster toads to my next fish.  I hook up again, and snap!  Now I am frustrated and borderline angry.  I didn't paddle to what seems like the end of the earth for this.  I fight through and am rewarded with tiny Black Sea Bass stealing all my fiddlers.  Somethings got to give. At this point, I move to the locations I caught my summer togs and Bam... Tog on!

I continue to fish and catch a number of togs up to 17".  I kept a 16" fish for my troubles and head back.  This is where I have my "Lesson Learned" moment.  If you paddle far, or an area you know to have strong tidal flows, make sure you know the tides.  Even if it is an unplanned trip, it takes less than five minutes to keep you pain free the next day.  I did not do what I should of.  It seemed like my trip back was at least 5x tougher than the trip in.  To make matters even worse, I left the launch at 6:55pm to make it to class at 7:00pm.  Even with that being said, it was a great weekend.  Thank you to everyone that helped make this weekend great!








Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

REDFISH!

Saturday 10-2

I met my buddy Mark at Rudee Inlet at 0700.  Shortly after, we hit the water in pursuit of reds and specks.  We were going to hit a spot outside the inlet, but the seas were so nasty that 40'+ charter boats would not leave.  Definitely not a place for us.  We hit a few other spots and had a few small trout grace our presence.  We did some exploring, talked about the Corps, and had a great time on the water.  Unfortunately after Mark left, the reds showed up in places that we were targeting.  I threw my cast net, and picked up 20-30 nice shrimp.  I knew it was on.  Fishing live shrimp under a cork is not something we get to do a lot of this far north.  It is a blast!

The bait...
Mmm... Shrimp.
The result...
Multi spot
I picked up some specks that were not picture worthy.  I fished one rod with the live squilla, and another with the Killa Squilla.  The Killa Squilla did just as well as the live shrimp.  The fish were thick!  I also caught a red that was a bit bigger on a spinnerbait.

Sunday 10-3
After sleeping through my weather window to fish for Stripers in the light line at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, I decided to go against the forecast and all logic and target trout and reds.  I was on the water at 0545 am and it was on.  I fished some lights and picked up a bunch of small specks.  Once the sun rose, the wind picked up and the rain began.  I moved into some protected waters and it was on.  I picked up a few small specks and a 16"+ striper.  I had fish attacking left and right.  The problem with the spot I was fishing was that I was getting broken off consistently by fish wrapping me up around barnacle encrusted pylons.  I lost my last Marsh Works popping cork in this matter, as well as some jigs.  It is kinda funny and frustrating to watch your cork taunt you, swimming all around.  I did end up getting it back at the end of the day.

I rigged up some killa squillas, and it was game on.  I picked up a 23" Striped Bass...

Then...
25" Redfish
Then, my personal best Redfish.  I hit the 30" mark once before in Lynnhaven.  This fish was at least 30".  If conditions were better, I could have got a better measurement.  It could have been 31" or 32"  Using a Redfish Calculator, I estimate it at approx. 11 lbs, if not a bit more.  This fish was one of the best fish I have ever fought.  It tried to wrap me around pylons, flip the yak and give me a heart attack.  When I got out in the open, it took a bunch of hard, deep runs.  I am normally a quiet person on the water but since nobody else was on the water I let out one of the loudest hoot's ever.  It was so loud that aquarium staff were looking out the windows.  Either that or they enjoyed the fight.   Today, and this fish will remain in my memories for quite some time.




Release...
                                     video

In all it was a great, horrible, rainy, windy morning, but always a good time.  I look forward to my next meeting with Mr. Red.


Monday, September 27, 2010

TKAA 6th Annual Tournament supporting HOW/PHW

Best view in the house!
Well, it has been a busy week.  Took Wednesday through Friday off work.  Unfortunately, Wednesday was spent taking two exams, doing homework and chores around the house.  It was on for Thursday-Saturday.  I fished Lynnhaven inlet.  I spent my time Thursday looking for the reds, which I was unable to find.  I managed some small Specks and a 15" Flounder.
Baby Speck!
Friday was a better day.  I caught a small speck right off the bat.  I spent quite a bit of time looking for reds, and I finally found them.  I had a knot fail and lost a fish.  Saw the dreaded pigtail on the end of my line.  After working the area, I had my cork go down and this time I had a 20" red.  I had another fish about the same size hit a Redfish Magic spinnerbait with a Salt Water Assassin plastic.  Not what I wanted, but I was awaiting a shipment from Marsh Works.  Thankfully it came just in time for the tournament.  I can say that the quality, action and price cant be beat.  Sorry Strike King, but as the great Kenny Powers would say, "Your F@#%ing out!".  I finished up the morning wit this small flounder.  It was my first slam of the year!  I did have the satisfaction of helping set up for the tournament, that is why my day ended so early.  I sold tickets at the Capitan's meeting and met quite a few members doing that.  Good times!
Baby Flounda!
The 2010 tournament started at 3 am.  I made it to Lynnhaven at 3:45 and got set up.  Last year, I made it there at the same time and the parking lot was almost full.  This year was not the case.  Fishin time was 6:05 am and the first car showed up after 5:00 am.  I went out for specks, but in retrospect, I should have fished the light line of the Lesner Bridge for trout and stripers.  I scratched a few 16" Flounder (I thought one was bigger but i measured it wrong), and a bunch of small trout.  Marsh Works were the go to baits for the day.  I could not find a red to save my life.  I dont think that a red was caught there all day.



The dinner at the weigh in was great.  I was lucky enough to win quite a few items in the raffle.  My thanks goes out to the following sponsors:

Surf Rider Restaurant - $50 Gift Certificate
Penn Captiva Spinning Reel
Diawa Procyron Rod - Oceans East II
Diawa Cobalt Spinning Reel - Oceans East II
Numerous Items in the Captain's bag.

I want to thank all of our sponsors, notably those I listed above.  Thanks goes out to Mark Lozier - TKAA President, Wayne Bradbry - Tournament Director, the club officers ant those that volunteered to make this event a success.  Cory Routh and Ruthless Fishing for all their work to get the vets out on the water.  PURE SWEETNESS!  Congrats to all of the winners.  I hope to join your ranks next year!


Thank you MTI for allowing me to do the right thing!

I am a member of TKAA (Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association).  For those of you that were unaware we had our annual tournament this past Saturday.  This is one of the largest (if not the largest) kayak charity tournaments on the east coast.  We support Heroes on the Water as well as Project Healing Waters with the proceeds that are collected from entries and raffles from donated items.   MTI graciously  donated a number of PFD's for our tournament, of which I won two.  As a safety conscious individual, I always wear protection!  With that being said, I was ecstatic with the PFD's and was looking to change things up.  One of the PFD's was donated to the upstart chapter of HOW.  I know that it will be put to great use by the wounded vets that the program supports.  The next PFD went to a vet who won the new ladies vest.  I gave him my other one and am sure that he will use it for years to come.  With that being said, thank you for giving me the opportunity to do the right thing through your donations.  I cant wait to replace mine with a new MTI PFD.  Even though I did not take any of your products home with me, they were definitely the most rewarding part of my day.  Keep up the great work.

Semper Fi,

William Ragulsky 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spot Tail Special

Well after getting my ass handed to me on Saturday (some hook-ups, but could not seal the deal), I finally got into some fish!  With the weather making a long day in Lynnhaven Inlet like I had intended, I ran down to Rudee inlet.  The morning started out slow, but after looking at my surroundings, I decided to throw a mullet 4' under a Marsh Works Big Poppy.  I had a number of fish on, but only brought 3 to the boat.  On my way out I threw on a "Killa Squilla" on and immediately hooked up to make it four fish on the day.  More to come, as I will be fishing quite a bit this week in preparation for the TKAA Tournament.


I did some shopping this weekend and picked up a Humminbird 365i Sonar/GPS/Chartplotter, and picked up materials for my dual anchor trolley.  I will post up more pics of each as well as my feelings on both under the Kayak Rigging section in the near future.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall is here

Well, studying and work commitments really kept me out of the water this weekend.  I was able to make it out to Lynnhaven for a few hours this afternoon.  I hooked up on a few Speckled Trout and a Croaker.  The Trout all hit spoons, while the Croaker hit a jig and spinner.  Not much to report on other than that.  It was a wet and windy day.  Good practice and learned a lot today, that I can hopefully apply for the TKAA Tournament on the 25th.

Small Speck


Croaka!

Monday, September 6, 2010

So Fresh and So Clean

9-4-10
With Hurricane Earl threatening "blah, blah..." and the itch for some panfish, I decided to head out to the Northwest River for some dinner.  The Crappie and Perch didn't want to play on the microlites, but the bream were out in force.  Caught over 50, bringing home 12 of the fryer.  Also caught some small blue cats, which are a blast on microlites.
Good Eats!

9-5-10
With the TKAA tournament coming up in short order, I hit the salt.  To my surprise, the water was nice and clean, not to mention a drop in water temperature as well.  I got out to the ODU reef during low tide, and with some fresh mullet, proceeded to drift for some "Fattie Flatties".  My drift was North to South, which made fishing fairly difficult.  My first fish was a VA Citation Toadfish (at least it would have been given the state included it in the saltwater tournament).  Shaking off the stink from the toad, my next fish was "tap, tap, fish on, or is it..."  That is the fight of the ribbon fish, which got a piece of me.  My final fish at the reef was a nice keeper flattie.  If you don't know, flounder are notorious for their antics once in the yak.  Lets just say that it was a mutual release.  I finished up with a blue in the surf to call it a day.


9-6-10
Got an invite to fish with Mark, Kris and her son Daniel.  We hit Rudee inlet in search for some "Fall" fish.  Some specks were caught, with Kris catching one for our group.  I hit a small red, which I was hoping was a speck.  I tried fishing some structure, and had a nice trout hit.  It decided to wrap me around some pylons, and release itself (I hate that).  Im pretty sure I let out a hoot, and a holler on that fish.  Still working the same structure, I hit a "schollie" striper to call it a morning.  All fish in our group were caught on Marsh Works plastics!
"Puppy" Drum
"Schoolie" Striper

I had a prior commitment to take a friend to the ODU reef.  After calling from Rudee and hearing "Oh, the water's like glass", I departed the Oceanfront for Norfolk.  To my pleasure, I walk over the berm to find 2-4' seas.  The period on these waves was not 10-15 seconds, but more like 2-5 seconds.  Needless to say it was rough.  We paddle out and decide that going the mile and a half to the reef is not the best idea.  The day ended early and on kinda sour terms.  But hey there is always next week!
Dramamine please