There's a small part of me that says mothershipping is "cheating". But the other part of me says "when am I ever going to see that bluewater, the beautiful colors of a dolphin, and feel the amazing power of an AJ if I don't go?" If I ever was to see and feel those things, it was definitely going to be in a yak. So I commited. I met Rob Alderman and crew down at Teach's Lair Wednesday morning at 5:30am. Actually, I got off work Tuesday, went to the HRBT, fished the schoolie stripers until 12:30am, got to Teach's Lair by 3:30am, slept for 2 hours and got on the big boat. I couldn't help it. The schoolie stripers were on fire last Thursday and Friday so I had to.
So the crew aboard the Big Tahuna consisted of Capt. Scott, 1st mate Kenny, Alderman, Alderman's Parents, Rich (OBX Taco), Chris Peebles (from near Blacksburg) and myself. Four yaks were loaded; gear, food, drinks and we were off.
We found a grass line and started trolling to see if we could find them. It took a little time, but we found them. We all brought in some dolphin from the big boat. The action wasn't very steady, so when we found them again, we deployed the yaks. I was the first one in and in no time I was hooked up. There are no pictures or video that can do the beauty justice. The color of the water is just gorgeous and the dolphin look like they're lit up from the inside. The bright blue of the pectoral fins when they're in the water is just amazing. The incredible aerial feats are insane as well. So I had my first yak hooked mahi right at my side and I decide to get my camera out to do some underwater footage.
With one hand, I grab my camera, turn it on, press record, and that's when the mahi makes one last run and it's gone. I regret not pulling that fish in, cuz all the others spit the hook as well. All I had to do was grab the leader and lay him in my yak. It was the same story with the other 3 yakers too. Everybody hooked up, but the dolphin always found a way to get off. Just one of those days I guess. Oh by the way, I tried standing since I wanted to get a better view to find the fish. Alderman with his Ride135 and tons of experience in the open ocean seemed to have no problem standing and casting. He even hooked two mahi while standing.
I gave it a shot and was up there for a few seconds, but then took a quick swim. I tried it again and quickly sat myself down as I was losing my balance. I can stand and cast in the flats no problem, even on a breezy day, but the ocean is apparently another story. Alderman also had something take his ballyhoo while paddling that made us all wonder. Whatever it was slammed the bait hard and was taking line when it came unbuttoned. Any given day out there...
After that we were off to a wreck with the hopes of finding some AmberJack. And boy did we find some. Once again I was the first one in. It was a trip to see 300+ feet on my yak's fishfinder. Kinda made me giggle a little thinking about how tiny I was. Anyway, we all hooked up immediately. These things are freakin' powerful! I could hardly getting any line in. Actually it was peeling off line at an exhilarating rate. I tightened the drag just a bit and pop*. I hit the back of my seat real quick. It was a similar story with two other guys too. Expletives came from every yak except one. Chris managed to pull in what looked like a 24" ~ 28" amberjack (I didn't get an accurate measurement). We re-rigged and did it again. We'd hook up and they'd pull us into the wreck. I must have lost about 6 or 7 fish. Some just pulled the hook, but most of the time I came up with a frayed leader. The captain decided to move us to another location so we packed up, quickly ate a sandwich and we redeployed at "the rock pile". Once again, we were on 'em. The mate got us some thicker leaders and I was able horse one in finally. It measured 35". But I could tell that the AJs at the other wreck had to be a bigger class of fish. I can safely say that was the hardest fighting fish I have ever fought. We just couldn't get them to turn their heads. Alderman pulled in a beautiful 40" and Chris hooked into something that spooled him. Rich had a nice size trigger and bee-line snapper. I saw a turtle try to eat my ballyhoo, some flyingfish, and had a great time! If you're ever interested, contact Rob Alderman with The Outer Banks Angler. His vast knowledge is impressive and his connections with the captains in the area will get you the best deal possible. He knows how to get it done and will help you make it happen. However he does expect you to work hard. Just because the mothership takes you out doesn't mean it's not a lot of work. The current is very strong and staying over the wrecks is tough. But it's worth it!!!
I don't necessarily agree or disagree with the lyrics of this song. I just like the pumped up feeling it gives. I hope you like it.