Sunday, September 16, 2012

Going Big in the Wide Open


The mindset was that if we were lucky, one of us might get a shot at a cobia.  The five of us knew going into it that finding mister brown of respectable size in a kayak is no easy feat.  Yet, we all trekked out to the beach to take our chances.  Our realistically curtailed expectations quickly found a serious deterrent as we stood there stupefied at the much higher than expected surf.  As luck would have it, that wouldn't be the only curve ball of the day.


The photos really don't do the waves justice.  We had sets maxing out over 6ft that would build very quickly and close to shore.  After stowing and tying everything down, everyone timed their launches well... 

except for me.








After studying the waves for over 10 minutes I thought there was going a be a lull in the set and took a chance.  I pulled the kayak out, sat down, and took one paddle stroke... just in time to see a massive wave build quickly and crash right on top of me... throwing me out of my seat.  Luckily, I wasn't hurt and had everything in the rod pod.

My second attempt was smooth with far less drama.  I quickly found the others on the greener side of the breakers and joined in getting equipment out and ready. 

While catching bait, we immediately realized that we were surrounded by gray suits.  The toothy bastards chomped on everything we threw out.  Although entertaining at first, they became quite the nuisance.

Both eels and baitfish intended for cobia didn't stand a chance.  The sharks demolished everything and put a slow burn in our muscles.  Dealing with hook removal and/or retying became a time consuming chore and as hours went by our hopes for the target specie sank deeper into doubt.  We went farther and farther out into the vast Atlantic and continued to get harassed by sharks.  To make things worse, clouds rolled over and took away our already limited ability to visualize our ambitious goal.

I eventually picked a spot to anchor up and everyone gathered around.  We got into a few more sharks and then ...

Alex Britland's first ever big red just short of 43"   (Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)

Losing line fast
47.5" Release Citation Red Drum




Justin Mayer caught three up to 45"
As I'm releasing a 38"er Seth Goodrich hooks up
It's a great feeling
Seth with his first ever big red @ 42.5"
Alex with a 46.5" citation   )Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)

                                               
The action was incredible and lasted for a good while.  We still had sharks mixed in, but when one of us hooked up with a drum, we knew it.  The signature head shakes and ensuing sleigh ride were more than enough to put the elusive cobia on the back burner.

Big jigheads and bucktails with various soft plastics got the job done as well as fresh cut bait on the bottom.

William Ragulsky with a 47" citation  (Photo credit: Seth Goodrich)
Rod diggin' with my tongue out
44"er with no spot on one side

Poop shoot



Seth, Alex, Justin & Billy

The finally tally was 11 big reds between the 5 of us ranging from 38" to 47.5".  Three personal bests were crushed.  Three citations were registered.  The number of sharks were ridiculous with the biggest going around 4ft.

On an ending note, I was the only one who ate a wave on the way out and I was the only one who turtled in the surf on the way in.  Good times none the less...

It was a day none of us will ever forget.

19 comments:

  1. It was truly an Epic day of fishing. Looking at that bend in my rod got me all fired up again!

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    1. Glad I called you, buddy. It really was an amazing day.

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  2. That's one of the best fishing reports I've seen in a long time. I had a smile on my face reading and seeing the photo's of BIG Reds. Congrats to all you guys!

    Joe

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    1. It's definitely one of my best fishing reports. Thanks, Joe.

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  3. Looked like an epic explosive action packed day for sure. Good going guys

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  4. Sick is right - love it! Love the photos, especially the one with the red's eye just above the water - menacing look. Congrats guys on a quality outing!!

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    1. Thanks, Chuck. Yeah, I was very happy with the way that pic came out.

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  5. SICK! That and the Catchin for Kids tournament were by far my two most favorite trips of the last few years. Fishing with the four of you is just amazing, and I am fortunate to call y'all my bros!

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    1. It really was amazing, Billy. The 5 of us will always share those memories with big smiles.

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  6. Outstanding Rob, you and the "boys" whooped up on some quality Reds...Congrats!
    Greg

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  7. What a fantastic day. Congrats on the citations, well, congrats on all of them! I know you guys had a blast. Yes, I'm a bit envious too! Great photos as always. I loved the play by play of you going into the drink. Sweet!

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    1. Thanks, Pam. I think most people wouldn't want to show pictures of themselves getting tossed from a kayak, but I enjoyed sharing those. I got my butt whooped! :)

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  8. Way to go! As always, the photos are outstanding.

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    1. Thank you! Your kind words are much appreciated.

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  9. I went back and read this again today. Big Drum are what got me into surf fishing and eventually kayak fishing. Love those big boom tails

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