Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Being Thankful

I've gone through a lot in my personal life this year and had not been thankful for much up until recently. The fact is, that all changed when I was given an opportunity to meet a wonderful woman who loves fishing as much, if not more, than I do. When she learned I would be alone for Thanksgiving, Meghan decided to trek up to Virginia to make dinner for a buddy and I. But before we could have our turkey, I had to take her fishing. Meghan's personal best trout was around 23 inches, a very solid respectable trout. I told her we would beat it, so early Thanksgiving morning in brisk 30 degree temps, we trailered my Challenger 206 to the Elizabeth River and set out some live bait. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story!

We immediately caught several 20" class trout.

It began raining, but she still wanted to stay.

A 29" Monster she caught that eclipsed my personal best trout. Now she has me beat with a 53" Red and a 29" Speck, ridiculous.  

A few photos before release.

 Just before release we put her on the Lucid Fishing Grips to revive her.

I even got a 24.5" citation trout.

The puppy loved it!

The rain continued, but look at that smile!

Overall, it was a great day on the water before starting to cook for Thanksgiving dinner. It does make me disappointed to hear people discount other anglers accomplishments because a fish was caught on live bait, in a certain location and not the way another angler would have done it. The fact is, if an angler is enjoying themselves fishing the way they want, then why not be happy for them? It really comes across as jealousy when you put down other's accomplishments -- let them be happy and join in the celebration. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

New Plastic

The season is changing and the cold water is upon us, which means our targeted species are also changing. Water temps are now in the 50's, which means it's time for trout, striper and tautog. I haven't been able to get out due to the winds on my off days, but I did receive a new kayak, which is a great consolation prize!

I knew I was going to order either a Wilderness Systems Thresher 140 or 155. I decided with my weight at 185 and only 5'9" the Th140 would be better. Its diameter is only 28.75" and takes off as fast as my tarpon 140, which says a lot. The Th155 is 30" wide, so its take off is slightly slower but it maintains speed due to the longer length of 15.5'. The 155 is also more stable and fits larger anglers better than the 140.  More specs can be seen at www.wildernesssystems.com/kayaks/thresher.

I got a call from Rob Alderman who suggested we have demo day to help with some of the questions we were getting from the kayaking community. So it was set that on Saturday we would meet up and let anyone who wanted to paddle take our kayaks out. I wasn't going to let someone else have first crack at my kayak, so on Friday with the winds howling, I took the new plastic to trout fish. I braved the 20 knot winds, landing three trout -- 22", 23" and 24 1/4" citation speckled trout. Not bad for sliming the Thresher!

As you can see I upgraded this year to a dry suit -- finally! I went with Bomber Gear dry suit. They have a great reputation with the white water guys and it absolutely makes a big difference. It's really night and day fishing with the suit now. I don't have a lot of time in it, so I'll save a review until after more time with it on the water.

The following morning we had our Wilderness Systems demo day. Had a pretty good turnout despite the cold weather, and people were excited to try it out.

Afterwards, Lee and I headed out with only an hour of light to tog fish and test out the new wreck anchor he made. The anchor worked flawlessly, and we even caught some tog!

With the temps still dropping, let's hope we can stay on the inshore tog bite and hopefully the big striper show up for the remainder of the winter! It wouldn't really be fair to write a review after just one trip on the flats in a boat designed for the offshore environment. So be on the lookout for a full review after a little more time in the Thresher, the good with the bad. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


I have an old Tarpon 140 that I have used extensively on the pilings of the CBBT. Most of you know we grind up and down on the rough pilings often coloring the piling the color of your boat, like a giant crayon. This never bothered me much but with the wind howling and a day off I decided to stop by Appomattox River Company for an experiment.

I brought some course sandpaper and began sanding the scars off (be careful with your boat thickness may vary).

Once sanded down to clean smooth plastic, although scuffed I took a heat gun and blasted the scuffed plastic reveling some deeper cuts but the overall appearance appeared cleaner. I was able to remove minor scratches with ease.

I also added flush mount rod holders to my new Tarpon 140.

Lessons learned from this experiment would be to use course sandpaper, then fine sandpaper, then a heavy duty heat gun (mine was for hobbies). If I had the time and inclination you could remove scratches and scuffs to have your kayak looking good as new. While there Andrea Nunnally , Kayak Kevin, and I also replaced the rudder, nylon cords in the tank well and cockpit, new seat cushion and of course added some stickers. overall the kayak looks and is more functional with the fix up. She is ready for 5 more years of service!

While I was there I had to purchase the newest edition of Kayak Fishing The Chesapeake Bay 3 where I made an appearance! Get yours at www.KayakKevin.com


Friday, October 10, 2014

Change Up

We had been hitting the reds up pretty hard so I decided to head out on the kayak and get one for my sponsors. They had been asking for a photo with a paddle so I headed out, and within 90 seconds I was hooked up and landed a smallish bull. I got the photos I needed and released it back to the herd. It slowed a bit with Kevin (KayakKevin.com) landing one and a boat idling up and fishing right in the middle of 5 kayakers and then it was dead. I did catch a 19.5" flounder on a giant gulp while jigging for reds though! We paddled in happy with the quick session.

I then got out with Lee looking for AJs and kings, no one was home at the light tower and the reds covered us up on the troll. No kings, sharks, rays just bull reds but that's never a by catch!

Also, I was using a pair of cheap fish grips and recently upgraded to Lucid fish grips and its night and day. Im not sponsored by them and even lee said how much he liked them. I tried to hand him the old ones and he refused and specifically asked for the Lucid grips! Good investment apparently!

Ill prob spend more time in a kayak the next few weeks focusing on trout and tog, well see if the winds work with us!

Sunday, September 28, 2014


This week the weather really limited the time spent on the water. I was real worried with the recent cold front and torrential rain it would force the bull reds into the ocean so we did some scouting and  came up big again. Meghan to me she wanted to beat my biggest red last week at 51", I told her it wouldn't be easy but she could try but it may take years..

50" Red


New spot Fat Goldfish

Near slot wanna be bull red

47" Red

Fighting a Giant Red
Photo by: Rob Choi (Angling-Addict.com)

53" Red, yeah she beat my personal best on her second day trying!

Release of the giant


This week looks like a favorable forecast so I look forward to getting on a few more, hopefully one from the kayak if I can find em close enough!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Big Things!

In the beginning of the summer I promised big things were coming. To steal a quote from Gladiator's Maximus: Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

Well big things were coming and I poured it on this week again with Giant Bull Reds with several up to 51"s!


Lets hope they stick around after this cold front this week and we can get just a few more of these old guys in the boat!