Hoping the gods would be swayed by my recent birthday to grant me luck, I ventured out to the first island of the CBBT in search of the elusive togzilla. The paddle out was calm and I reached the ever promising, familiar, and favorite tog holding structures in record time. With clam and blue crab as bait, I felt sure I was going to find a good bite. And I did. But unfortunately, like a slap in the face from the gods, they were all the size of my hand. Frustration set in as hours went by without anything over 11". It was then that I remembered my last weeks blog entry. I needed to relax, smell the salt air that I love, enjoy the lack of wind, smile, and try another spot. Eventually, I hooked into a nice fat 17.5" female.
Even though my parents (who were watching my daughter) hoped I would bring back some delicious tautog, I released her. And as I watched her swim away I wished her the best in finding Mr. Big Tog to do her spring thing, get her groove on, you know... bump uglies and make lots of wee little togs. And in the back of my mind, I hoped the act would put me in good standing with the fishing gods for them to favor me, if not on this trip, hopefully on the next one.... or at least bring me some good fishing karma.
Soon after, the wind started picking up and it was time to head back. About three-quarters of the way back, it started getting pretty bad. NOAA said it would, and this time, they were right. I got back to shore with jello arms, wishing my yak and gear would pack themselves. I looked back at the water, nodded and resigned myself to the fact that I needed to put in more time for that trophy. One day, perhaps in the summer or fall, because for now, I believe it's time to shift gears and bust out the big stuff. Catches of a few bull reds at the Eastern Shore have been confirmed.
On another note, I've apparently put in enough time to gain the respect of my peers, along with some people I really look up to. I've made so many great friends and have met so many new people through the love of this sport. Thank you to all of those that have inspired me. When I started this blog I simply wanted to share my stories with some friends. But recently, based on various forms of feedback I've gotten, it seems as though I'm helping to inspire some of the new generation of kayak anglers. And now, I find myself being asked to share my stories and experiences on a bigger scale. YakAngler has asked me to be a prostaff member and contribute articles on their site, which I was happy to oblige. I'm also honored to have my logo/link on Kayak Kevin's links page of reliable fishing reports. In addition, recently, I was thrilled to get a phone call from another legend of the sport, a man with an almost unparalleled kayak fishing resume and crazy sense of humor, Chad Hoover. He wanted to know if I'd be interested in some of the amazing things he's got coming up. That man is always thinking and always busy. I'm not going to spoil it yet, but it looks like I've put in enough time to get invited to some pretty cool things....