A temporary leave from the office chair shackles was granted for a rare Tuesday and the boss lady kindly approved my plan for stripers and togs. Monday night dinner time with the kiddos was quickly followed by a hasty packing of appropriate gear and a forecast-double-check.
First stop was at a spot I used to fish all the time. I was all smiles even though the schoolie stripers weren't there in numbers like they used to be. Over a couple of hours, I plucked 6 off the light line and kept two at 23" and 22".
Phase one, complete.
The next morning, in search of tautog, I launched at the CBBT before the sun was over the horizon. Tex had the same idea and met me out on the water. With the full moon being a day away, the current was brutal. We started off with a bunch in the 15"-16" range but eventually we got what we were after.
Tex's two biggest went 20" each.
Chunks of blue crab got it done for us but I'm sure it'll be hard to find them soon.
My craving for that hard thumping signature tog fight got a momentary fix. I ended the day with about a dozen togs with the two biggest at 22" and 19".
Phase two, complete.
Keeping my promise, I made the drive back to Richmond in time to pick up the kids and get back on dinner time duties.
For those of you that were interested, I'll have striper prints ready in time for the holidays.
I took Jeff to a spot down on the James River below Hopewell and got into them quickly. Minnows on the bottom as well as under bobbers didn't last long. We lost count of the mid to upper 30" gar. The hard part was letting them run after they picked up the bait. If it was too earlier, we could feel them drop and the minnow would come back missing scales. When we timed it right, we were treated to fast streaks and tail walking mayhem. Anytime you have a 40 plus inch fish jump clear out of the water multiple times then thrash right next to your kayak with mouth wide open and full of please don't get in the kayak yet, adrenaline will flow.
Over the span of a few hours I tallied 5 citations up to a little over 44". Jeff got the timing right as well and landed a citation also right at 40".
After running out of minnows, I found a nice channel with a sharp drop off. We dropped chunks of gizzard shad on 8/0 circle carolina rigs and I quickly had a strong take down. The heavy catfish swung my kayak around in a hurry but somehow the circle hook came out. Not too long after, this 41"er gave me a chance for redemption.
I wish I had brought my scale because it had been eating very, very well.
The trophy blue catfish was a most welcome cherry on top of a an already awesome day.
Hit a creek off the James River well below Richmond. Main target was gar. Caught 7-8 up to 35". A few stripers to 20". Too many little catfish to lower 30". Lost one decent catfish in the mid 40" range at the boat. Most on minnows. Couple hits on silver buddies. Hoping to go back for that 40+" gar.