Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Creekin' like Clockwork

 We had a couple days of good weather here in Virginia Beach, so we got ready and charged to the deep. You could say it was a success.

We had two on the boat that had never caught a billfish, as well as a newcomer to Team Smoke Show, Hannah Drake. With four years of Marlin experience under her belt, Hannah ran the pit while Meghan and I traded off running the boat. We fished with the fleet, but no takers early on. Luckily they headed in around 2:30 and the bite really turned on for us. 

We caught three, and lost two -- one of which we hooked was a free swimmer that came in with Meghan’s first white marlin. Unfortunately it really wanted a tinker mac, but we didn’t have a live one bridled yet. However, we did have a live squid, so I ran the circle hook through it and tossed it behind the boat. While I went to bridle the mac, I heard the clicker sing, ran back, dropped back and hooked Larry’s first marlin. The next fish we saw tracked our bait for a few minutes then ate, I happened to be on the rod for this one and kept it for my first marlin citation of the year. Had another eat on my rod again but came unbuttoned after a long drop back, but that’s Marlin fishing. 


On Sunday we charged again and brought Billy to try his luck at catching a Marlin. It was slow going until Meghan noticed a fin that wasn’t a shark while she was at the helm. She put the boat in perfect position and the left flat popped and it was off to the races before anyone could drop back. The fish turned and smoked the right long. This one never jumped and was taking line pretty quick, I put Billy on the bow and chased it down for the release. Hannah leadered the fish for a few photos and it was let go. Not bad -- two trips and three people in the Creek!  


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Started with a Fishing Trip

It all started with a fishing trip a little over three years ago, so it was only fitting that the next chapter of our journey kick off with an epic offshore adventure with just the two of us -- and a ring!

After a long day of trolling off the coast of Hatteras, and catching quite a few dolphin, we were just about to head home and try again the next day, when the flat line goes off. With the amount of drag coming off the line, we immediately got into our positions -- me on the rod, reeling in the fish and Meghan behind the wheel, maintaining speed while clearing lines and prepping for the big finish. After getting the fish boatside and gaffing it, we snapped a few quick pictures before it lost all color. It may have come late in the day, but we landed our first Wahoo and checked another species off the bucket list. Looking forward to more exciting things to come for #TeamSmokeShow!

On the way back to the inlet, we came across some floating debris and decided to check for mahi hanging around. Sure enough, they were there, and I had a chance to cast at them with the fly rod. They were competitive that afternoon, so I quickly hooked up and had a fun fight getting this one in the boat. 

And to make this a weekend Meghan would always remember, I had one last surprise in store -- horseback riding on the beach.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Sheepshead are one of my favorite fish to target. It takes some skill to identify that it is in fact a sheepshead bite, then more skill to be able to set the hook and then play them around the pilings.

Tommy Dewitt invited me out, and after some convincing, I said I would meet him for a half day. I got home from work and Meghan wanted to join us, so we headed out with some fiddlers to see if one of us could land a sheep. Meghan struck first with a trigger then again with a black drum! Already a successful day, Tommy got a 23" sheep. 

Things were going well. I saw Kevin (KayakKevin.com), and he and I started talking while I was fishing a piling. He said I was fishing Lee's piling. We joked for a bit when I got the grind of the bite and set the hook. After a great fight, I had my own 23" Sheep. We kept at it as the current began to crank, and I get another bite, but this one makes it to the bottom and gets around something. I can feel him but can't pull him. Knowing that I will break my line if I pull, I put it into into freespool. This allowed the sheep to think he was unhooked so he freed himself. I reengaged my reel and the fight quickly resumed as he got me around a piling. I maneuvered to the side of the piling and pulled him away as I loosened my drag in case I nicked my line from the piling. He came up and I legged him in. 

This one was my 24.25" Virginia State Citation. I was stoked. I ended up catching another 16" Sheep and called it a day with the tide cruising. Can't wait to get back out on the bridge and make some more memories.  


23" Sheep on Lee's Piling

 We always release these guys, studies show them to be over 10 and some over 20 years old.

 Meghan's Black Drum