Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catchin' for Kids, and Catching Up

This post seems to have a common theme (searching for redemption after a tough Saturday).  I hit some local water with the president of TKAA Mark Lozier and his girlfriend Kris.  It was a beautiful morning on the water and the company was second to none (thanks guys)!  On the way to our morning destination, Mark hooked up with a nice red (approx 26-27'').  Working the water and the incoming tide, Kris hooked up with a mid 20" red.  I am feeling the pressure now.  Next thing I know Kris has a nice red on again.  This one was 27 1/2".  All fish were over the VA slot size of 26".  It is nice to have these quality fish in the area!

On another note, Mark is a pro staffer for a number of different companies as well as a local guide.  Mark gave me some plastics and corks form a company called Marsh Works.  Their products are sweet.  The plastics have a nice shape (Bayou Thumper, and the Killa Squilla) and are durable.  One of my favorite presentations for reds are throwing spinnerbaits with paddle tails.  The problem I have with other baits is the plastics ride down to the bend of the hook.  The Marsh Works plastics did not have that problem.  Running over oyster bars, crab's clawing the baits, and the infamous croaker biting the tails off your plastics are not a problem.  I fished with one plastic all day.  The action is second to none.  I recommend taking a look at their site and support a American company (products made in the USA).

I headed out to Lynnhaven via Crab Creek looking for some reds.  The water in the system is getting better, but is still a bit murky.  I got to my "usual" spot looking to hook up.  I had a few short hits, but nothing i could do anything with.  It was a tough day of fishing, but was nice to get out none the less.  I left the water with the black and white striped kitty on my back.

After feeling down in the dumps about not scoring any points for the club the previous day, I hit the Old Dominion University (ODU) Reef.  The reef is man made, about a mile off shore in the Chesapeake Bay.  The weather was threatening all morning.  After realizing that I was in the clear, I paddled out.  I saw one Cobia, but was unable to make a cast.  The water was like glass, and the tide just started to ebb.  I was fishing a "Big-eyed Bucktail" flounder rig with a 5" finger mullet.  On my first pass over the reef, I nailed a 23" flounder.  It was a nice fish and a nice fight.  I was on my way to let a new TKAA member paddle my X-Factor, when I hooked up with a ribbon fish.  It was definitely a first for me.

I had the pleasure to fish in the 2010 Catchin for Kids Angler Club Challenge.  I was fishing with Cory Routh, and two other members from TKAA.  Fishing was slow for us, catching small sea bass, spot and blues.  Cory caught a nice little 15" flounder to make us feel a bit better.  It was a tough day, but in the end, TKAA took 5th place in the tournament (not bad for being the only club without powerboats).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Seein' Red

After a long week, I was aching for some Redfish action.  Saturday morning had different plans in mind.  The water quality has been poor in the lower bay the past few weeks, but what the hell.  I hit Rudee inlet, searching for Flounder.  Again, the water quality was poor but I managed to scrape together a few flatties up to 16".  I took a bit of a detour and went outside the inlet, hoping for some Blues and  maybe the chance to cast to another Cobia.  The waves were nice (for surfing), but after a mile or so paddle out, Not hits and no cobes, I decided to call it a day.  It was a nice paddle in with the sun setting behind the boats.

VB Oceanfront and Rudee Inlet
A Perfect Ending
On Sunday, I was targeting reds.  This year has been strange.  Rumors of a huge mullet kill in South Carolina, a cold winter that culled a bunch of the residents, and water quality issues have resulted in a off year in the near shore locales.  A few weeks prior, I hit some of my honey holes with some promising signs but no dice.  I was drifting to some of my holes and the mullet were going crazy.  I threw a Redfish Magic and had a hit.  It was a short, non-aggressive bite but I figured "what the hell" and drove the hook home.  Wouldn't you know it, a fish was on!  After some nice runs, a spirited fight and some hootin' and hollerin' the first red was in the boat.  She came in at a respectable 23".  Fishing continued throughout the day with noting else notable.  The water visibility was about 3", but it seems that if our temps cool down, and the wind lays back a bit, it will be a banner fall!

I caught you a delicious Red

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tautog and Triggerfish

Looking to the Second Island, CBBT

I woke up bright and early Saturday the 7th and went out to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. On the way out, the Sheepshead did not want to come out and play. Tough morning. I decided to head out to the first island of the CBBT, looking for some Spadefish, Tautog and Triggerfish. I get to the base of the island beating my head against a pylon looking for a Sheepshead. The tide was slack, giving me an opportunity to throw two rods in the water. While I was re rigging my other rod for Spades,I just missed a school that passed through. The tide started ripping, so I took shelter behind the first island. I was surprised by two healthy but short summer togs. These fish were a blast to catch and got a real bad attitude the closer they came to the surface. They are still swimming, hopefully available to make someones day later on down the line. The shallower I got, the more the triggers started to play. They were taking drag and even though I knew they were not Sheeps or Togs, I enjoyed them. On the way back in, I got some pictures of the first island and the ride back in.

Looking back to Chesapeake Beach
Philly or bust
Mmm... Triggers.

Citation Sheepshead

My Citation Sheep
Good Times!

August 1st.
I woke up this morning to no wind and a slight drizzle. Should be a great day. I get my fiddlers and am off. I get to the launch, and wouldn't you know it the NE blow was on. If I was thinking, I would have left. I though better of it and hit the water. I was paddling and paddling in what seamed like a washing machine and hit it. After a few hours of nothing, bam... FISH ON! After subduing the fish enough, and trying to boat her without a net, she finally got in. I hit the spot again, and within seconds, another fish on. Nice size (maybe a inch or so smaller than the first). I finished my fiddlers with one more fish that came unbuttoned and headed in. On my way in, I noticed that my stringer had 1 fish on, and a severely bent hook. Oh well. Got some pictures, and headed to get a weight. 24 1/2", and 11 lbs. 11 oz. First Sheepshead citation.