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


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...

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.


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.