Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Last Marathon

I was granted one last pass to fish my heart out since my wife's due date is getting near. First on the agenda was the lightline. I went out Friday night and launched with William Ragulsky and cruised the HRBT in search of the schoolie stripers. The powerboats were out in force so I should have known that it was going to be tough to find the target specie. The blue fish were every where and biting anything you threw out there. Poor Billy got a treble in the finger while landing one. He pushed it all the way through, cut the hook, slid it out and got back to the task at hand. Normally, we would find them stacked up thick when the current is running. But with all the big boats moving around, they were hard to find. We did find some here and there, but they were few and far between. I worked my lures slower thinking they might be deeper, but that didn't work either. Eventually, I found some along the rocks of the island and got my keepers. The Marshworks Killa Squilla did the trick for me.

I also got my first striper on fly. It's not the biggest, but I was still happy to pop that cherry on a kayak.

But then just as fast I found it, the action shut off and was not found again.

After a long night with not very many fish, we got off the water and by the time we packed up it was 2:30. We got over the Ocean's East parking lot by 3 and passed out there since that was our rendezvous point at zero six hundred anyway. I had invited several people to go Tautog fishing in the morning. Some had been asking me to take them for years, some I had been fishing with for a long time, some i've been fishing with for a short time, and some I had just met. Billy and I were greeted by Kyle Sawyer, Justin Mayer, Justin Balonis, Tripp Seed and Joe from MD. We cleared out the fiddler crab inventory and made our way to Chicks Beach.

Upon arriving at the first island of the CBBT after an hour long paddle, we immediately started hooking up. While still cursing at missed hits, snagged rigs, and rogue powerboats trying to get in on our spot, we were all smiling and having a great time. There was discussion about how tough they fight for a relatively small fish. They're bite is so fast too so it's easy to miss. But when you do hook up, it's amazing. If it's a decent size fish, it almost feels like you're snagged on a rock. But then the initial run makes you struggle to keep the fish from taking you back into the rocks.

It was a phenomenal morning of tog fishing as almost everyone got their limit.

Kyle had the hot rod of the day with a 21.5" (release citation is 23").

I ended the day with around 30 fish with the biggest going 19". Most were 16"-17" and lots of females were released.

Justin with a nice fish

Afterwards, I got a bite to eat and decided to try out the Elizabeth river. I had a reliable source give me some tips to find decent speckled trout so I had to try it out. I know there are lots of small ones by Rudee and Lynnhaven inlets, but I wanted something worth the effort.

I get to the spot, and I realized I timed the tides all wrong. It's dead low and there wasn't a single thing out there. I had to make a choice. Do I leave or wait it out? If it wasn't going to be my last outing for a while, I think I would have left, but being in the circumstance that I was in, I had to stick it out. So I watched a beautiful sunset while twitching my soft plastic on the bottom. My body finally started to tell me I was running out of steam. But I was persistant. Tim Morris of HRKayakfishing came out to meet me since he had be doing well there recently. He had told me about the spot and we were sure it was going to get good since the tide was rolling in. But long story short, we got a couple of little ones and I called it a night around 11:00. It was just not to be. As I was packing up, I realized I had my waders on for over 27 hours straight and I reeked something fierce.

The long drive back to Richmond, fueled by energy drinks gave me time to reflect on the good times that I have had, the great people I have met, and crazy things that I've done in the pursuit of "the tug that is the drug" for the past 3 years or so. I've been fishing my whole life, but ever since I bought a kayak and joined the organizations that I have, passion doesn't seem like a strong enough word.

I look forward to when I can take my kids out on the water and instill the same in them.


  1. We should be grateful that we have wives that let us do what we do. Think about how many guys complain about the "Old Lady" while they fish. I NEVER hear any complaints from you about your wife. I hope its the same for me. If you ever hear me complain about my wife paddle over and smack me.

  2. I am forever grateful to my wife. She always thank her before I go and after I get back. And yes, it seems like you got a good one too, so yeah, I will smack you if you complain about her on the water.

  3. Great work to all of ya!! Congrats Rob on the striper on the fly always fun to get a first on the fly. Really glad you are putting the Marsh Works to good use also.
    Kyle we need to work on that "James Dean" pose.

  4. Thanks guys. That squilla is quickly becoming my "go to" bait. I like it a lot. It's caught flounder, trout, blues, stripers and I might have to try it on the smallmouth later.


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