Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Make the most of it!!

On Monday I headed back to the lake at my parents house to try and get some crappie points for Kayak Wars since I tore them up the week before. Also, I was planning on taking my boat out the next day with my buddy Capt. Luke and his dad to chase the elusive Black Drum that make a short windowed appearance in the middle Chesapeake Bay during the month of May. But I'll get to that story.....

So I got to the lake and launched at about 2pm... planning to target crappie for most of the day then try for some largemouth on the evening bite. Since I had fished the day before in VA at Briery Creek Lake I still had some topwater tied on. After launching I decided why not throw the popper in the 1st cove, which is generally shaded most of the day to see what happens... fourth cast of the day.....BOOOM solid blow up underneath some hanging tree limbs that were bordered by underwater laydowns and brush on both sides. The fish immediately started zipping drag and the fight was on..
I was certainly afraid that I would get tangled up in the brush as the fish made a number of runs, and a jump as she got close to the yak. I knew it was a big fish so I played it cautiously until I could get the net cleanly...BAM fish in the boat!! Measured out to 21.5" and 6 lbs on the scale. A few pictures and she was off to be caught again.
10th Largemouth Citation on the Kayak
I continued to go on and catch a boat load of crappie the rest of the afternoon, but only 7 were over 12", with most being just shy of 12". I generally troll slowly for best success, but I will also cast when I find a good school on the fish finder.
This is my go to crappie lure, DOA 1/8oz jig head with a Doc Irv Custom Baits Grub Tail in smoke color.
Day two started out just fine... I got the boat and trailer loaded up behind the car and had everything prepped for some light tackle monster drum fishing.
The rig looks awesome with all my toys!!
Unfortunately, the motor gave us issues from the start. She didn't want to turn over... then we got her running... and let her run for a bit... then we thought we were set. Little did we know.... off we went out of the marina and 500 yds out she cuts off on us... couldn't start her up again... GOOD thing we brought the kayak paddle. WE started paddling back towards the marina hoping another boat would venture out and give us a hand.
Finally a kind boater.
We get back to the dock and while I'm loading the boat back on the trailer we get talking to another slip holder at the marina. Luke asked him if he wanted to fish, that we had all the gear and would pitch in for fuel.... and wee were off!! How lucky is that... we made friends with a good guy and his pup Murphy and we were heading back out on the mission.
We fished a re-built Grady White 26 Wahoo Inboard Front Shaft, there are only less than 10 of these still on the water.
Off we went to the fishing grounds just outside of the Choptank River and south a bit. Overboard Rods rigged and ready with cut soft crab, egg sinkers, 60# leader, and a 8/0 octopus hook.
The way you fish for drum is you slowly motor around looking for lots of marks on the bottom of the fish finder before you drop the bait. You ideally want to put it right in front of their faces so they have to bite it.
After a little searching we found a decent enough school to make a drop, Luke misses then almost immediately hooks up on the second bite. Now the fiasco ensued... like always we make it interesting when we fish. Luke's Dad had snagged the bottom and was right in the way of where the fish was swimming. After trying to pass the lines up and over and under and around we decided to cut the other line and focus on this fish. Who knows it might be the only one we get. Luke is fighting the fish on a 7' MH Overboard Soul Pole Series rod with micro guides, essentially it is my LTJ rod for stripers. But we didn't want to only catch big fish, we wanted to do it sportingly.
After about a 10 minute or more fight, working the fish until it was dead tired we got it to the boat and I completed the net job. We usually don't care who reels in the fish as we fish a lot of tournaments and a fish in the boat is a team effort, so we were all stoked and posed for the a picture with the fish. Everyone was impressed with the durability of the Overboard Rods while fighting a 50# fish.
Me with the team's prize.
Our new Buddy Aaron with the 1st black drum on his boat!!
Capt. Luke at the end of the day with his beauty!
Unfortunately we weren't able to catch anymore, but we were robbed a few times of bait. But it was an awesome day that we really made the most of a lost cause!!
Our only other catch of the day and probably my most impressive catch to date... try and do that with that big of a hook.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

5th Annual Yak Attack Tournament - My Mini Slam


The end to the last day of my 1st semester of Nursing School could not come soon enough this past Friday. I needed to make the trip to Farmville, VA for my first appearance at the Yak Attack event. The trip was originally advertised as 3.5 hours by my GPS turned into an almost 5.5 hour journey. I'm not the biggest fan of driving in the first place, but when there is traffic I absolutely despise it.

Anyways I made it to the CAMP right at 7pm to check in, get my captain's bag and to buy some raffle tickets. The Captain's Bag had some great stuff from some generous sponsors; polar bottle, powerteam lure assortment, 4 inch sample of the new YakAttack Polymer geartrac, and some stickers and other goodies.

I made my way around saying hi to some of the familiar faces and meeting some others. I was kind of there on my own as most of crew was either at the J-BAY event or back home. Fortunately, some of Tidewater crew (Richie Bekolay, Rob Choi, Joe Underwood and a bunch of others) that I knew took me in and let me hang with them for the two nights. Unfortunately, they didn't invite me fishing with them tournament day as they had a stellar day... But it was well deserved they had scouted the area for two days prior and really did their homework and I didn't want to step on anyone's toes and I definitely wasn't gonna ask to fish their holes, one of the unwritten rules of kayak fishing.

At night around the tent I did mostly listening, guys were telling stories of fish and tactics and all sorts of good stuff, so I was just trying to learn as much as I could from these guys, who are some of the best fishermen in the whole region.

Saturday rolled around bright and early... I was and Sandy River Reservoir and ready to launch by about 5:45 am with safe launch allowed at 6am. For the next 4 hours it flat out sucked... I had never fished this lake before so I was pretty much trying just about everything.

Eventually I caught up with Bryan (HearadonCatch), one of the only other Maryland guys that I knew. I was surprised to see him as he said he was fishing another locale, but he was late to rise so Sandy River is was. So we went to work.. sharing as much info as we both had which wasn't much cause we weren't catching much.

Anyways we fished trying to locate the SLAM (Bass, Bluegill, Crappie), which was the top prize for the tournament. Eventually after not much luck a tied on a 1/16 oz spinner bait and went to work, knowing that this type of lure had the potential to catch all three species... and it sure did... not only the 3 for the slam but a whole new set of 3 species.

This was the 1st Red Ear Sunfish I have ever caught.

Rock Bass was another new species for me!!

Both Bryan and I ended up catching our SLAMs and we were pretty happy considering the tough fishing for us on the new body of water. I ended up finishing 10th out of 75 in the SLAM Division with my Mini Slam of 27 inches and Bryan was just a spot or two behind me!!! So all in all we set out to catch 3 species and we accomplished it, next year we'll worry about getting some bigger ones.

The overall SLAM Champion ending up being Richie Bekolay, who is really on a roll... he also won the TKAA SLAM this past fall!! He is a solid all around fisherman.

Today I woke up and headed over Biery Creek Lake to check it out and fish. It was a really neat place I finished the day with 3-4 in the boat, hooked and lost 2 on the jump that were easily 18-20 inches, and missed another 6 or so blow ups on the frog.

Briery Creek Lake is trees and stumps for days...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Two weeks of fishing in pictures

Been super busy finishing up my semester of college and trying to fish a lot to relieve the stress. Not much time to type but here is what I've been up to.

First Days fish, not quite big enough

Dad with his biggest fish!!

Our Crew last weekend at the MSSA Striper Tournament, Placed in the top 4 in all Calcuttas in the Pro Division.

Our Crew last weekend at the MSSA Striper Tournament

My Girlfriend Elaina's Biggest Fish!!!

DE Striper

1st fish on my new Kanan Lures Swimbait!!!

Fried Cajun Rockfish Bites

Sautéed Rockfish with Onion topped with cheese and green beans