Monday, December 12, 2016

King for a Day

With a last minute weather opening Lee and I exchanged a couple of texts and a road trip was in the plans. The king bite had been good so with pictures of silver missiles in our heads we made plans. The only issue is we didn't have a big enough cast net to come up with enough live bait, fortunately Good Times Sportfishing knew Al and Lee so were more than willing to help. Of course just before they called us over my livewell pump stopped working and the well was dry. I flipped the switch and nothing.. I opened my hatch to get to the pump but everything  looked like it was hooked up and nothing should be wrong. Lee suggested the fuse but it checked out as well. In a last ditch effort to ensure we had live bait I worked on my switch behind the panel and with pressure it came on. I couldn't get it to stay so I asked for some copper wire for the ballyhoo and I used it to ensure a firm connection inside the switch, then used electrical tape to make sure there were no shorts with a portion of the hot wire still exposed. The charter fleet had trouble finding the bait but these guys stayed longer to ensure we had bait, I cant say enough about the quality of guys they are (see their report on the link SMOKERS). They even told us to find them offshore if we ran out, real class guys. 

With bait in the Contender we ran out in 2 foot chop to a wreck we were hoping held some kings. It did and we began drifting and catching almost immediately. 

Lee with the big fish of the day right off the bat!

My first king of the trip.

Meghan's big king.

Mixed in were some giant little tunny!

Al with a king while Lee leaders in one of mine still on the line. 

Started jigging to see if I could trick one!

Meghan on the gaff shot.

Using Als rod and jig I nailed this king so naturally I was telling him how its done haha. 

One of Meghans little tunny.

It was awesome to get out and try something we had never tried  before. Overall we ended the day by 1:30 but had our limit by noon. I cant say enough about the crew of Good Times, with out them we couldn't have gottten it done. Keep up wit them on their facebook page.

A word of caution, follow someone out that knows the area well. The shortcut is a surf launch and the inlet is constantly changing and moving, its sketchy in good conditions.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wet and Wild with Wildy

When Evan with Wilderness System Kayaks reached out to ask if I was interested in heading down to the keys for a promotional shoot for their new Radar 115 and 135, there wasn't really anything else I could say other than 'Hell Yeah.'

Check out some of the footage!

Meghan also joined me on this trip and was able to sight cast, hook and land her first bonefish with the help of Bo Sellers of Shallowminded Charter Company! It wasn't just a check on her fishing bucketlist, but an experience of a lifetime. Oh, and she also got in the water to scare off a 5' blacktip shark that was coming for the second bonefish of the day. All in all, it was an awesome adventure for everyone involved.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Deep Drop

Once my busy life and winds matched up, I jumped at the chance to get offshore again. Our buddy Shane texted Lee that he wanted to go deep dropping. Since Meghan and I had never done it, and Lee had done it a few times, it was an obvious "let's do it." We met up at 4 a.m. for the long haul offshore, but man when I heard the engines turn over it brought a smile to my face.

We started wreck hopping on the way out, picking up Black Sea Bass at each honey hole. Meghan was a natural and put Lee and Shane to shame for a while. But we know better than to count them out and they soon started catching up.

A pair of Mola Mola aka Ocean Sunfish or a "Jay it's a Bebe Wheeal"

David Leslie hails us on the radio and stops by to give us some numbers where everyone smoked the bluelines and solid class of seabass.

Citation Tile for Lee

Citation Tile for Shane

We tried another spot for Blueline Tilefish but only hung a few seabass until Lee hangs into something real nice. I look up and he is up current stretched out. Shane handles the boat when they say its a shark and we assume its a blue dog, right until Lee sees its tail and says "that's a Mako, son." I still wasn't sold until it started doing some arial acrobatics jumping out of the water. Lee pulls him in, I gaff it quick and we throw it in the icebox before it can start going crazy on the boat.

With the time running out we pick up and run in by 3 p.m. with over 200lbs of meat in a stuffed fish box.

What A Day.

So Fly Fishing isnt that bad..

I haven't had an opportunity to get out like I like but I have picked up fly fishing for Bass and Crappie over the last few weeks. I'm a beginner for sure but just getting out on the water and fishing has forced me improve tremendously even over this short time. I'm really looking forward to learning and advancing as a fly fisherman.

And of course I couldn't post without showing off my Personal Best Catch at the Marine Corps Ball this year.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Redfishing and the TKAA Tourney

With the fall in full swing Meghan and I decided to head out for some Bull Reds. It's a really fun fishery we have here, we can jig them, bait fish for them or catch live bait and drift over structure for them. Our puppy Captain hadn't been on the boat yet so we decided to go hand out on anchor and try our luck. We ended up getting a pair of  smaller bulls after about 30 minutes and were then covered up in sharks so we packed it up and went in. 

Meghan's flounder on a chunk of Menhaden!

The next week we had the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association tournament. It is typically one of the biggest in the nation. The  morning of I met up with Rob Choi and several others as we prepared to go for Bull Reds. The bite  had been hot on the pilings and most were planning on fishing there but in the past I had a lot of luck out at the islands. I felt more at ease knowing I had my plan and as Mark Lozier says plan your fishing and fish your plan. So while others were already fishing I made the long paddle out to the island. I saw a buddy Matt and another cat from Maryland hook up and then come unbuttoned next to me but other than that it was very slow. I then got my chance while jigging and it all came together. After the getting her into the boat and a quick measurement with help from Jeff Lockhart I had Rob Choi snap some photos despite it being valuable tournament fishing time. He is always a trooper like that!     

PC: Rob Choi

47" Bull Red (PC: Rob Choi)

PC: Josh Dolan

It turns out it was the only bull caught and I placed 1st in the Redfish Division out of just under 200 anglers! Unfortunately this year was the first year where prizes other than trophies were not distributed so I took home a trophy and the satisfaction of knowing I helped a worthy cause and finally accomplished a long sought after goal.