Saturday, May 10, 2014

You better come correct.

Having this past week off I was pretty excited to knock some stuff out around the house and actually get a chance to relax.   A couple days worth of photo shoots with Christian from Warbird Pin-Up Girls for their 2015 calendar.  The back half of the week was wide open for some fishing and I took full advantage of it.  I went to Rudee twice and managed the normal redfish and bluefish.  The second day there I saw schools of reds, blues and huge cobb mullet swimming around.  Nothing would bite.   It didn't matter what you threw at them.  They were lockjawed.  I was able to troll up some bluefish on the way back to the launch.  

Friday I had decided to hit the Eastern Shore looking for the big red drum.  I took my friend Kevin from teh fire dept with me.  We came up with a plan of attack for our day and headed out.  We were met with a tide that was always against us and a sturdy wind in our face on the paddle out.  We settled in on our routine for the day and made our run to find the reds.  Miles and miles of paddling turned up no reward.  We fought some hefty currents and solid winds all the way through the tide change.  The south to southwest wind that was forecasted for the day had just switched to east northeast.  The temp dropped around 15-20 degrees with the switch and the calm waters were now pretty choppy.  We decided to stick around and find some skinny water to fish.  The lowtide and sun had warmed alot of the nearshore areas up a bit. We found something that looked fishing and pull a few flounder up.

The only reason I saw this fish was because it jump out of the water in front of me as it was chasing bait.  Threw a grub at it and hooked up.  I decided to keep it and bring it home for dinner.  I released a few more throughout the day.  Every time I go out there I am reminded about the beauty of the area and how much life is really out there.  Thankful no sharks decided to pay me a visit this time around (Circled by Bull Shark).  There are so many variable to consider out there on the ESVA.  When you head out to that area you aren't just somewhere you can flag down help.  Unlike Rudee or even Lynnhaven where you can travel to shore and get help if needed,  You are far away from civilization.  The bugs can be absolutely horrendous at times.  

The weather can also be a tricky thing to predict.  These storms popped up today in a matter of 15min and were producing winds from 30-40 knots out on the water.   There isn't many spots you can get to and back in 15min out there.  As far as cover goes there really is none.  If you have ever seen Kayak Kevin's videos of him out there on the beaches of the ESVA trying the shelter himself in storms...its kinda like that.   That is by far my biggest fear out there on the water.  I see people posting on TKAA about how they are new to the sport and are eager to get into big drum or some sharks from their kayak.  It always makes me feel a bit uneasy because often times handling a mid sized fish on a calm day can be a task.  Take the time and ask yourself am I really ready to put myself into that position?  Did I file a float plan before I set out today?  First aid kit available?  Even self rescue skills which every kayaker should know how to do.  At some point you will fall in the water and will you be able to keep calm and get back into your kayak?.  All I ask is for people to be smart.  Learn the craft of kayaking before you get in over your head.  I in know way consider myself to be an old salt in this sport but have worked to become knowledgeable in what do to when it hits the fan.  No fish is worth your life.  There have been alot of kayak incidents in the news this year allready and I would hate for that to happen to anyone in our area.

Football redfish

Kevin with a redfish

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fishing Report 3/12/14 and a Personal Best!

With a short window in the weather, I decided to splash the new Tarpon 140.  I went to some favorite spots along the Elizabeth River.  With some intel from a few friends I made a plan and went to work.  I quickly set up with some gulp and landed countless puppy drum jigging on the bottom.  As the day went on the puppy drum bite turned off and the trout moved in.  I decided to switch to a mirror lure and began throwing that.  As time rolled by the wind began to blow harder and harder.  I knew I would only get another 30 min tops out on the water before I should head in.  I hit one more spot on the way in that I thought I saw some fish rolling on the top when I paddled out earlier.  4th cast and it felt as if I hooked a barge.  The fish took off and began to tow me around.  I ended up in a real muddy area once I got the fish close.  In the shallow mud I could see that this huge Speck was barely hooked in the top of its mouth.  It was sloshing around in the mud throwing it everywhere.  I was prepared to jump off my kayak and tackle this fish.   No matter what I needed to get this thing in the boat. Carefully grabbed the leader and kicked the huge speck into the cockpit of my kayak.  Just then the hook popped and the fish went into a intense break dancing session.  I quickly threw my legs on top of it doing whatever I could to keep it in the boat.  I grabbed my lip grippers and hooked into the huge mouth of this fish and finally got a chance to breath.  Measured it up and was surprised to see how big this fish really was.  28 inches on the hawg troph.  After I tagged and released that fish I wiped the mud off and decided to call it a day.  A great first trip in the new boat and some quality fish caught.  Looking forward to many more to come this year.

Addition to the fleet: Tarpon 140

This week I headed up to Appomattox River Company and picked up my new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140.  Of course there is only one color kayak for me.  I was pretty excited to add a second boat to the fleet this year.  Since I started kayak fishing, I have fished from a Ride 135.  The Ride 135 is a fantastic boat,  Unmatched stability and tons of room to fish from.  The tarpon is a much smaller and faster kayak. 

When you first look at the Tarpon 140 you notice that is has the sleek lines of a Wilderness boat.  It just looks fast.  It is noticeably thinner in width then the Ride series too.  I picked the boat and lifted it onto my Jeep.  Strapped it down and headed back to the southside.  3 days of warm weather ahead, I wanted to try and get on the water at least one of them.


Phase 3 seat is super comfortable and adjustable.  The Ride has a great seat that I fell in love with but this one blows it out of the water.

Like I said before...It looks fast.

I was surprized at the amount of storage space that this thing had.

Plenty of track space to mount any and everything you need.

All in all this boat performed very well for me on my first day.  Hopefully later this spring I can give a little more indepth review on it.  Its only been on the water once and in some windy conditions it did great.  It even got smiled up a little bit too.   Stay tuned for that fishing report here soon!!