Monday, December 10, 2012

Driftin' with the Striper Fleet

Our network of reporters didn't have much to say about the concrete ships so it was decided that the best plan of action was to join the armada of bobber drifters out in deeper water.

Kevin, Lee, Jay and I paddled out to where the depth goes from 30' to 120' and got right in the mix with the massive legion of motorboaters.  Clickers were screaming and nets were swinging so we knew the fish were around.  

We all had short strikes here and there, but Jay was the first to land one... a 41"er.  Lee hooked up almost immediately after, but it came unbuttoned after about 45 seconds.  Kevin came tight next and had it at the boat, but "released" it yak side, fearing the wrath of what Lee might say or do to him.  Poor Lee's misfortune continued as my eel got taken next.  

Playing it gently

I had taken the opportunity to bring out my 8lb test knowing there wasn't going to be any structure out there.  A certain IGFA record caught my eye a while back and this was a great chance to take a shot at it.  The initial run peeled line at an intimidating rate.  Had I had my clicker on, it would have reflected my nerves at the time.  But once it stopped, I gathered my line and surprising it didn't take too long for me to grab the leader.

44" Striper on 8lb Ande IGFA rated line


It wasn't the record I was looking for, but I was still all smiles.

Later on toward the end of the day Jay went on to catch another one at 42" 

As it turns out all three fish were caught on free lined eels with no weight...  
so we did a study...

Big thank you to Kayak Kevin for sharing the knowledge.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Late Fall Marathon

It ain't easy makin' that cheese.  But when it's time to play, it's time to play.  Friday after work, I bolted down to the Elizabeth River...

24.25" speckled trout

Tagged and released
After about 8 hours on the water I got off around 3:30am having caught a measly 5 or 6 trout.  I passed out in front of Long Bay Point tackle shop for a couple then picked up some crabs.  

The sun peaked over the horizon to a gorgeous flat calm bay as I was just reaching my tog spot at the CBBT.  My first drop down...

After the tough fighting 20" tog, I scrounged up 6 others up to 17.5".  The birds and boats were out in force with a few finding what they were looking for.  Schoolie stripers even messed with my crab on the way up from the bottom...  but they were not my target for the day.  I had plans to hunt for big bertha moo moo stripers later that evening.  

I made it back to shore around 2:15 and raced over to Appomattox River Company in Hampton to catch the tail end of their rigging party/chili cook off.  After a little socializing, I trekked across to the Eastern Shore to resume my marathon.  

I launched right on time as the current was starting to slack.  Unfortunately, after 3 hours with my eel barely getting nervous, I was done.  Exhaustion settled in as my toes screamed for mercy from the cold.  

The reports of big stripers from the Eastern Shore are flooding in so it won't be long before I'm back out on the hunt.  Hope to see you out there.