Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Putting in the Time

For some time now, I've been trying to join the small group of kayakers who can say they've caught a citation tautog.  They have to be either 9lbs killed or 23" released.  Some people just happen to be at the right place at the right time, having only caught a few togs in his/her life, and amazingly find their prize.  Others have caught countless togs, coming up just short of the magic 23" mark before their fateful day of holding their well deserved trophy.  I've put more hours into this pursuit than I care to admit, and I would love to say this story is about the one, but it's not.  Apparently, the fishing gods think I need to put in more time.

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....


  1. Alice claims full responsibility of your blogs success because she suggested that I start one then in turn you started yours.

  2. Its funny like that, sometimes you can go out and nail a record catch without the countless hours put in..but other times.... I caught my first Bull Red in 2005 the very first time I fished the point the very first time i fished a convential. I got another one off a boat that yea too on ESVA but I havent been able to nab one since then

  3. Still the best thing about being out there is taking a second to soak it all in.

  4. Justin, tell your wife I am forever in her debt. Perhaps a visit by a certain two year old would make her happy?

    abackowski, yes, it is funny like that sometimes.

  5. Great reading Rob.
    I'm not one to read the long drawn out stuff, but I liked that post.

  6. Rob,
    I am one of those new yak anglers that you have inspired---thank you for that, thank you for this very informative blog, and thank you for giving me something to look forward to everyday in reading your posts and dreaming of rigging my new OK Trident 13 like yours....the list continues....
    As a newbie to the sport and to TKAA, I hope to learn from the likes of you and all others that contribute.
    Take care and good luck with your Tog quest.
    Carl Adams (TKAA-Iggyuana)

  7. Raz, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    Carl, I remember starting to get into kayak fishing about 4 years ago and being inspired by the pictures and stories of those who started before me. I was also desperate for information about how to make it happen for myself. I'm honored to be providing that same inspiration to others. Thank you and please let me know if you ever have any questions either through my blog or on the forums.

  8. Rob- I too am one of the "new generation" When I first started yak fishing and found your blog through TKAA, I was amazed at what you had/could accomplish from a little plastic boat. My girlfriend actually joked about me being gay for you. Now I consider you a fishing buddy and still get inspired everytime I read about one of your adventures. Billy was right when we were fishing the james- your real damn good at what you do. Keep 'em comin

  9. Great post as always...and congrats on the prostaff thing, definitely well deserved. Seems like everything is falling into place!

  10. Seth, I nearly spit out my coffee this morning when I read what your girlfriend thought. My wife actually said the same thing about me having a "man-crush" on Kevin. Anyway, thank you for the kind remarks and hopefully I'll be able to keep this good thing going.

    Mike, thanks man.


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