Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Bucketmouth Mission

As with most winter fishing in Virginia, I knew it was going to be hit or miss.  So I recruited a couple of my favorite kayak bass experts to aid in my newly acquired mission.  The growing inbox of bass print requests had been in the crosshairs for way too long and it was time to pull the trigger.

This post is brought to you by the YakAttack Boomstick camera mount.  If you like taking video with GoPro style cameras, you're gonna love it.  Full articulation, quick release, floating... it's brilliant.
Complete review with details coming soon.

I met up with fellow Werner Paddles and Kokatat team member, Drew Camp, his dad Chip, and the legendary Forrest Short.  As I was taking photos and video for the upcoming review of the Boomstick, Forrest and Drew quickly got into some fish early on.  A 17" bass and two good size pickerel were caught before I even left the ramp.  And of course, by the time I got out, they didn't want to bite anymore.  A few hours later, Chip broke the monotony with a 13" slab of a crappie on a jerk bait.

We all hoped the action would turn on as the water temps crept up but it stayed slow.  A while later my jig finally enticed a good sized bass.  

Just shy of 21" and a little over 5 1/2 lbs in 8' of water right next to a cypress tree.  I thought about keeping it for prints, but couldn't.  My respect for larger/older fish couldn't be shaken and it was released... fingers crossed... hoping I would run into one I didn't mind killing.

Not too long after that, Drew picked up a 16.5" bass on a square bill crank bait   

After a thorough inspection of the super healthy short round, it went on the stringer.  
Mission accomplished.

I was hoping for an upgrade to about an 18"-19" but that never happened.  Forrest took off to try another lake and scored a huge 25" pickerel and a healthy 18.5" bass.  I went on to score one more fish; an 11" crappie on a small husky jerk, which accompanied the bass for an ink session.  Drew went on to catch another nice pickerel.

All in all, a very satisfying and successful trip.

Hopefully the upcoming weather doesn't keep us off the water too long.

Those of you who have been waiting patiently for a bass print,
soon my friends...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Drew Camp - 2014

Here's a fun little video by Drew Camp. 

Looking forward to seeing what he does in 2015.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Blackfin Mothership Trip. Sorta.

Ever since my first one in July of 2010, I've been saying...
There are so many stars that have to line up 
for a mothership trip to happen.

We had the right number of people, the right type of people...
with the right amount of funds, and the right schedule...
the right captain with the right boat...
and of course the right weather forecast

Ric Burnley, Rob Alderman, Matt Anderson, Jeff Lockhart, Alex Britland and myself met in Hatteras just before dawn.  After loading our kayaks and gear on the Good Times, we made our way out to the Gulf Stream.  

All the stars had lined up.  
Or so we thought.

We knew it was going to be a little rough going out.  Two of our crew even did their best chameleon impressions going from ghost white to puke green.  And that was alright because the wind was scheduled to calm down after we got out there.

Except it didn't.

 Some of us had done tougher launches from the mothership before, but regardless, we all test dropped our jigs from the boat.  The current was much faster than expected and the scheduled break in wind was way behind schedule.  As the day went on, we kept thinking we would launch the kayaks soon...
as soon as we found a big wad of fish,
or if the wind and current would calm to where we could stay in the target zone.
All the while, we were still having a blast.

Photo credit: Rob Alderman

The count went nearly 60 blackfins (mostly football size with 4 or 5 bigger ones going 10-15lbs), 3 or 4 amberjack (small), and one false albacore (small).  We had a few run ins with sharks, but it wasn't too bad.  By the time we were headed back in, we all agreed that it was the right decision not to launch the kayaks.  We would have been extremely frustrated trying to stay in position and the catch count would have been dismal.  The thrill of catching them from a kayak was far over shadowed by simply wanting to have a good time.  

And a good time was definitely had.

Photo Credit: Ric Burnley
Photo Credit: Matt Anderson
Photo Credit: Ric Burnley

The last star may not have lined up, but we still got to dance with the little rockets like we were hoping to.  

Side note: by the time we got back in, it was slick calm.
Of course.

Big thanks to Ric and Rob for getting this trip together.

If you're thinking of booking a mothership trip down in NC, Rob Alderman is the freaking man.  He knows all the right people and can hook you up.  He's also one of the best inshore kayak fishing guides in the area during warmer months  (link).  Gear I used includes: Trevala medium heavy with Release SG, Trevala S medium heavy with Daiwa Saltist 20 LDH, Terez medium heavy with Sustain 5000, all 50lb braid to 60lb fluorocarbon leader and 175 lb Tactical Angler Power Clips for quick change ups to various 168-200 gram speed jigs.

I can't wait to try it again!