Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm a junkie

So it had been two weeks since I the last time I fished. I found myself daydreaming at work and irritable at home. At one point a coworker caught me smiling at the wall... fantasizing about hard hook sets and drag ripping runs. I even watched the sheepshead and spadefish parts of Kevin's dvd for the 4th or 5th time. I giggle like a little kid every time.

My wife was generous and allowed me to fish Friday night through Sunday afternoon so I knew I was going on a binge. I got off work at 5pm and got to HRBT and launched by 7:45pm. I caught lots of small grey trout...

a ridiculous number of dink flounder and several stripers...

At one point I found a school of stripers that were bigger than the 18"-23" I had been catching. I knew just by seeing the splashing, but when I got closer, the shapes in the water confirmed. I tossed my swimbait perpendicular to the current, just outside the light line and let it drift into the dark, and as I start to crank, WHAM!

You know when a heroin junkie shoots up... the whole "ahhhh....." type of satisfaction they get from it? Well for me, it was that type of tiny satisfaction when I felt that striper hook up and rip drag.

But, when it came off, it's just made the "need" even stronger. Well, I quickly tossed the lure back out and achieved the same result. Drag ripping from my spinning reel caught the attention of a near by powerboat and just as I see the boat out of the corner of my eye, the fish came off again. Next thing I know, the boat comes over to my spot and throws an anchor right into the school. I couldn't believe it. It was hard to hold my tongue, but did mumble some choice words under my breath. I tried for about half an hour but couldn't find another hook up. I tried until 3:30am, looking for that school that I really thought I'd find.

I took a nap in the car and got up at 6:30. I got to Ocean's East to pick up fiddlers and clams and ran into the (in)famous Kayak Kevin. We made our way out to the first island (CBBT) and found ...

I thought to myself... I paddle all the way out here to catch the smallest fish I've ever caught on rod and reel.

Then a couple minutes later, I broke that record.

These things might be pretty, but they sure are annoying. Especially when there's a gazillion of them.

Oh and by the way, broken bits of clam shells and lack of sleep equals...

I did hook a 12"ish spadefish that got off just as I was about to grab the leader. Kevin caught several. I'm sure he'll have his story on his website.

He also caught a citation sheepshead as he was spadefishing. It was a blast to watch him do battle with that light rod. Later on, he found some triggerfish and after taking some pictures for him, I dropped my fiddler to see if I could bring one up too. A couple of minutes go by and WHAM! My spring loaded arm on a hair-trigger goes off and as we watch my rod tip take a deep dive into the water we knew... "Oh, this ain't no trigger!" The adrenaline starts pumping and once again, I was high as a kite on that feeling. It ended up being a slightly beat up looking 25.5" release citation sheepshead. And to top it all off, Kevin caught most of the fight on video!

After a while, Kevin took off and I stuck around to see if I could find some spades at the next tide change. No love, and of course the paddle back was miserable.

After a bite to eat, my friends Thom and Dean convinced me to head back out to the HRBT. We got there just as the sun was setting. Lots of croaker, up to 12", dink flounder, and I had 3 stripers. Nothing big. But still fun. We got off the water around midnight and I crashed hard.

I woke up at 6:30 in the CrabCreek parking lot, to the sound of rain beating on my windshield. While waiting it out and listening to NOAA radio, I could hear the remaining fiddlers still scratching the side of my bucket. Long story short, I lost one small sheepie at the boat, caught several small flounder, a few oyster toads and foul hooked a 14.5" sheepshead with a bucktail. A guy I know caught two keeper flounder as well. I think the biggest was 24".

I was off the water by 11:45am and back to Richmond in time to take my daughter to the mall playground and do some grocery shopping.


For now.


  1. Hardcore mofo. I basically did the same thing this past weekend...only with work instead of fishing. Blah!

  2. I hope you get a chance to get out again soon. I know you. You need it as badly as I do.

  3. are crazy. I need to tag along on one of these trips. Sounds too good to pass up.

  4. I would really, really love to take you out there. You'd have so much fun since you already like to paddle. We're gonna make it happen.


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