Monday, July 6, 2015

Rare Bluewater Treat

3AM and I struggle to focus my eyes.  I sit on the throne.  Haze clears.  Forecast double check provides a smile.  I wipe.  I'm out the door.

It was supposed to rain later but the lack of wind made it a good day to introduce my new Ultra 4.7 to the CBBT.  Looking to knock sheepshead off the yearly citation list as well as play with some spadefish, I picked up fiddlers and clams at Ocean's East.  When I arrived at the beach, I was more than a little disappointed.  The wind was sustained at 15kts at least from open water with gusts much higher.  I'm pretty sure I would have verbally abused if not shin kicked the crap out of the weather man if he were there.  Luckily, my good friend WillyRags, who was supposed to be there too, gave me the heads up about Ric and Lee about to head out on the boat.  

The trek out was needless to say, brutal.  It felt like we got airborne about 20 times but a smile crept on my face knowing that I rarely get to see that type of water; especially right out of Virginia Beach.  The little 20' Jones Brothers center console actually handled the rough water well... all 30 miles out.  And it got better as we went further out.  

Based on prior year catches on Ric's boat, the main target for this trip was mahi.  We put out a spread of 5 ballyhoo (2 outriggers, two short lines, one flatliner right behind the boat) and one big crankbait 10-15' down.  Within 5 minutes of trolling we were on them.  Then not too long after we lost them.  We put decided to mess around on some wrecks and I jigged up a thick 20" flounder.  Lee was working the Lucanus jig when all of a sudden he hooks a mahi and next thing we know had them all around the boat.  Ric hooks up on cut bait and keeps it in the water to keep the school around.  Unfortunately, they wised up quick and we only picked off a couple.  We go back to trolling and it was on.  The count for the day was 11 mahi with the biggest going 15lbs and the flounder.  

The rare bluewater treat was the farthest thing I could have imagined doing that day, but I'm so glad it happened.  I learned a little more about driving a boat, properly rigging ballyhoo for trolling, understanding outriggers, not to mention bringing home a bunch of excellent meat.  Big thanks to Ric and Lee for accommodating me as well as Rags for sending me their way.  Thanks guys.

Photo credits: Ric Burnley


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