Monday, October 31, 2016

Another Personal Best, By Alexi


Most all of my friends and family know that I'm addicted to fishing. All summer long I get asked how the fishing is.  Unable to be anything but brutally honest, I usually start by saying something like "fishing season doesn't start until November."  And then I may back pedal and make some small talk about the fishing I'd been doing, none of which usually matters to the person listening, (or to me really, because at this point in the conversation, though I may be talking, I'm really just thinking about the Fall.)

The consistent West Wind has made it a good couple of weeks to surf launch a kayak into the ocean.  I went out last week and got skunked.

Launched at first light last week

Birds were working, but no big fish were under them

   So I had to get back out (yesterday, Sunday Oct 30.)  The reports were getting better.  I couldn't get there until 2, and my plan was to fish until sunset.

It was a slow afternoon for me.  The surf wasn't as calm as I'd have liked, but I saw bunker splashing around so I hit it.  I had a snagged bunker right away.  I kayaked from the pipe all the way down to the pier and back, hitting pods of bunker the whole way, not seeing any fish caught or getting any hits.  I was about to head in when I saw the tell tale sign of fish blowing up bunker.  The rapid boiling water.  I snagged a bunker just past the boil, seconds later it was fish on.  It was heavy.  I started to doubt that it was a bass.  Maybe a shark, or a big blue.  It was taking some line.  After getting dragged around I gained some line on it.  Another bunker had become stuck to my line and was now impeding my ability to reel in the last bit of line so I could see the fish.  I shook the line to try to get the bunker off but it wasn't budging.  Quickly, I did what I didn't want to do, but I knew I had to, I allowed for a little slack by grabbing the bunker and ripping it off my line.  For that second of slack line I was mortally terrified that the fish had spit the hook, but it was still on.

47"  36.25lbs

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Another Trip Down DelMarVa, by Alexi

I took another trip down the Delmarva peninsula.   The plan was to go further South and hunt for big Reds and King Mackeral,  but hurricane Matthew hit, and so plans had to change.   I got a pretty late start, full of uncertainties about what fishing I would do where over the next three days, but I knew that I had taken three days off to fish over a month ago, and I wasn't going to back out.  Once I was in my truck driving I had a solid plan in mind.  

Here it is:

My route

I arrived at Janes Island State Park just as the sun was setting.  I was hoping to be back at the campsite by midnight, so that only left me a couple of hours, so I went straight out to the flats where we usually do well at night.  My first fish was a keeper bass on a topwater lure.

24" Striper on Rapala Skitterwalk

 I ventured out to Rock Hole and cruised around in the moonlight.  A few shorts were caught out there, and then it got late and I headed back in, with many shorts on the way back.  For the first time I just slept in the back of my truck.  It was very comfortable.

The next morning I woke early and hit the road with the intention of being able to launch at the CBBT for big reds at slack tide (around noon) if that was a viable option.   I stopped at Chris's Bait and Tackle and bought a few new packs of Bass Assassins.  (You can NEVER have too many!)  My local intel source (Kayak Kevin) led me to believe it wasn't worth it to fish the CBBT because of the recent water temperature drop due to Hurricane Matthew, so I did what I did last year, I went to the Lynnhaven boat ramp.  I fished this area for the next two days solid.

Lynnhaven boat ramp back bay

I was on to small spec's (speckled trout)  right away.  I also had a small Redfish pretty soon too!  That's really what I was after.

first Red of the trip

I had three reds the first day, all short of the necessary 18" to keep.  Well, one was 18", but as I was trying to take it's picture it flopped out of my boat, so we'll just say it was small.

oyster beds stick up at low tide

The first day of fishing went well, and I slept in my truck in the Walmart parking lot so as not to get hassled, but the noise was impossible, and in retrospect I should have just stayed at the boat ramp.


The next morning there was a heavy fog.  I covered more ground on this day, and caught a fish or two pretty much everywhere; on the flats, along the banks, in the holes, etc.  

A.M. Fog

I caught more Reds and a keeper Spec on my second day at Lynnhaven.

This one had nice spots

not giant, but a Keeper Spec (about 18")
I fished all over, and found that covering ground and trolling a weedless Bass Assassin to be the most effective strategy.   I spooked one small school of Reds on the flat I fished last year, but I wasn't able to get any of them to take my lure.

All in all it's a great trip to make in the fall, especially before the bigger Stripers are showing up in New Jersey.  There's definitely something that keeps drawing me back there, despite the fact that a lot of the fish are small.  Maybe it's that the action is constant, the folks I meet are super nice, the weather was great, and on light tackle it's still a blast!