Wednesday, April 30, 2014

That Certain Something

I just couldn't stay away.  It was going to be a fuster cluck and everyone in Rudee knew it.  With success stories inundating all the social media avenues and forums, the inlet was going to be googan central.  Yet still, I couldn't resist the promise of that certain something I've been craving.

Rods whipping to the left of me
Delightful spinning reel squeals to the right
Infectious grins all around 
 
Long bombing the quarter ounce 
procure smeared gudgeon imposter
on my seven two medium
fast action

With a slow bounce

Imitate.

Instigate.
  
 The predator's pounce sends an electric pulse
firing off the ten pound test braided neuron
When it reaches the high modulus extension of my nervous system
  
Ping.

Clean.
Unmistakable.

Short turn of the reel couples with an urgent swing
 Moment of truth 

Heavy weight
Provocative back arched and tip throbbing 
Head shakes on the other end

Map the brains of us all at that moment
Googan or not
It's a beautiful thing.

Add stubborn fights with peeling line
and that is why we love it.

Photo Credit:  William Ragulsky
Jeff Lockhart
Photo Credit:  William Ragulsky

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tagging Recapture Info

I've been tagging a couple of years now, won a few awards, and decided to check up on some recapture info.  It's really fascinating what we can learn so I thought I'd share.

First up is a double tag.  Doug Purcell put a tag in a 12" red drum in the Ware River, which is way up in the Mobjack bay area.  Then I caught it 15 days later at Lynnhaven, which is a considerable ways south.  It grew 1.25" in that short period of time.  Fun fact: I caught that same fish again later in the day.


I've had several spadefish recaptures over the last two years.  A few of them were caught by my fishing buddies (Jay Brooks, Matt Anderson and a few others probably) and they were usually in the same area I caught them earlier.  I've also recaptured my own tagged spadefish a few times. 

I've also caught my own tagged tautog as well.  They also are usually in the same area if not the exact same piling.


Black Sea Bass are also on the tagging list and I've had 3 recaptures.  Two of them were only a few days after I tagged them so not much info was gained.  The 3rd was caught by my friend Jay Brooks.  It was recaptured 118 days after I tagged it, in the same general area (CBBT 1st island) and it grew from 9.5" to 11.5".  

Jay also recaptured one of my tagged triggerfish as well.  Again it was in the same area (CBBT 1st island).  It grew from 12" to 12.25" in 19 days.  Cool fact: I wrote a note saying that my hook went through the eye and it as badly damaged.  Apparently it was still ok, found plently of food and kept growing without any problems.

Here's another red drum recapture.
It traveled a good ways north in 30 days and grew an inch and a half.


Flounder recapture.
I tagged it under Lesner.  6 days later it was caught in the same area with .5" more.  Then 21 days later, it was caught again in the same area.


Another flounder recapture.
This one was eatin' good!  Staying in the HRBT/Willoughby area, it grew 3" in 45 days!

On the other hand...
This flounder was tagged and caught within a mile's distance away after 61 days and it didn't grow at all.

One more flounder.
This one also didn't go too far and after 88 days it only grew half an inch.  
I did puncture it's eye though.


I've had several speckled trout recaptures, mostly caught and recaptured in the Elizabeth River, Hot Ditch area.  One however stood out.
This one was tagged in late September up in Poquoson and by mid December was caught in the Hot Ditch area.

Again, I just thought I'd share some fun stuff.  
Hope you got your learn on.

Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 YakAttack Tourney

The YakAttack tournament has grown considerably the last few years and could no longer be held at the little off-the-side-of-the-road camp spot.  Rumor has it that it might have become the largest freshwater kayak fishing tournament.  The venue changed to Twin Lakes State Park and Conference Center but the camaraderie was the same.  129 of us got together to have a good time, eat some awesome food, fish, and help out two great organizations; Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters.



The PowerTeam Lures Mafia showed up as well as many bass gurus from just down the street to as far away as Florida, Indiana, and Oklahoma.

The only thing is, with so many big names in one place
 the paparazzi started getting out of control.


Luther Cifers, president of YakAttack and creator of the tournament was not prepared to deal with the over abundance of cameras.


And neither was Joe Underwood, the tournament rules chairman.


Superstar Forrest Short, tried to go incognito by not cutting off his sleeves, but the relentless cameras still found him.  Being used to the lime light, he shrugged his shoulders at the situation.


Ok, so maybe I exaggerated a little about the paparazzi and I just wanted an excuse to use those picture.  
 
But seriously, we all had a great time.  
There were a lot of smiles and the food was again, amazing.

As far as fishing goes, it was tough for many of us.

Richie Bekolay has another YakAttack Tournament wrap up here.

 I only managed one 17" largemouth, but the select few who did connect on some quality fish went home with some nice trophies. 

 Congrats to all the winners and a huge thank you to all the sponsors and everyone who helped make this event possible.  As always, the biggest winners are Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters.  Over $10,000 from the tournament and raffle proceeds will help repay our debt to the men and women who have done so much for us.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Rituals

I started chasing shad about 2 and a half weeks ago.  They were already plentiful then with lots of big hickories and a few American shad up to 3lbs in the mix.



A few weeks later, the spots I found them at earlier were not producing as much so I scooted up to I-95.  



Good times on the fly.  

Remember, you can't possess American shad or herring.