Since finding the lil reds where still around, I pretty much gave up on hunting striper and concentrated on the reds this week. girlfriend was off of work and fished with me on two of the three days I had to fish. She caught here first red on the first day and on the second day got to sight to them and even watch them attack the lure. That was fun. She yelled out of excitement on the first one and said she had to close her eyes on a few because her visual anticipation had her pulling the lure away from them at the last minute. It was fun to see her having some of the same thrill I get from these fish. Lee and his girl came out but had to be in early, and as usual the action got better later in the day. I got lots of cool over head shots of the reds swimming the two days with girlfriend. On the last day I was by myself and set up with the intention of getting this filmed. The sky was overcast but the fish were active. Ive got a ton of footage to make a youtube video with. These reds are a fitting end to a year where I set my main target for red drum, and I chased them all year long. Reviewing the year I have had, I caught 21 big reds, a personal best for me. And I did alot of camping this year. With all of the days, I slept in my tent a cumulative month this year on the Bay beach's. The only thing I didn't accomplish that I was going for was landing a summer big red, I gave em some shots, but I will try again next year. My goal is the same for this year, go for what makes me happy, huntin reds. In the meantime I will be behind the computer working on the next DVD. Tryin to finish it this winter so when spring comes I can focus on one thing.....tryin to GET ON,EM!
4TH WEEK OF DEC Just can’t help myself
The striper bite had been spotty at best this week off of Kiptopeke, but a few have been caught. But they have been off Plantation Light and out there in the open water, so the conditions have to pretty good for us to be able to get out to them. I had caught a bunch of lil reds in December before, Ric went a few weeks back and found a bunch, the water has been super clear, I have gotten really bored eeling for striper that are hardly biting, its especially boring by myself. Plus, I just love sightcasting, I will paddle anywhere for some sightcasting possibilities. I start off this week with an early afternoon high tide. The wind was dying out and the water was slow to calm down but the visibility was awesome. I move into a creek with the incoming current and run into a big school of lil reds. I look to identify which ones I spooked and looked for the ones that were just jumping because the other did, I cast in front of those. My jig spooked a few of those, but one followed and grabbed it. I float into the creek seeing and casting on small schools and getting a few to follow and a few to bite. I go back out to the mouth of the creek and run into that big school again, I get one out of them and they scatter. The light was getting low and I started paddling back. The water started to get a little cloudy and I stood up, but couldn’t see anything. I paddle a few strokes forward and I jump the big school, they scattered everywhere even running into my kayak. The next time out my girlfriend came along. This time the water was a little lower so we hunted the outside, the reds where schooling up waiting to come up with the tide. They are not as easy to bite this time of year, not like they are in the fall when they are aggressive and there are mullet jumping around. They are skittish, even spooking when the jig flew overhead. I had to really work to get them to bite, casting way away from them, bring it to em, and slow twitching. girlfriend got to see them but couldn’t get the jig in front of them in time, im just stoked she got to se them, which is most of the fun. We went in the back as the tide rose and it was real hunting in there, I hunted a small school of 5 reds for 15 min, spooking them, then resetting, hiding behind the marsh grass. Finally I got one to follow, he got to just about to close to my kayak before he jumped on it, not biting the jig, he just held it down with his head, I inched it out from under him and he attacked. The next day I paddled out late because of the wind and tide was late afternoon now. I get there and the water visibility is half what it was, I saw no fish out front, I headed into the creek and it was so low I could barely get in, I just knew the water was to low and I wasn’t going to see any reds, I keep going deeper in to the back and float over some deeper holes and around them where schools of reds. I stick to the side of the marsh buy standing on a piece of marsh grass on my deck, I made cast and swam the jig just below the surface over the hole and saw reds swipe at it. I let it drop and one runs to it and starts at it. I twitch the jig and the red noses up to I twitch again and he sees me and shoots to the deeper water. I keep fishing getting them to follow and half of them grab it and the others see me. the stripers are scattered but some are still in the bay, I might get a shot at em next week, but I might give in to my love for my favorite fishing technique and stand in my kayak and stare at the water for hours because that’s the way I love to GET ON’EM!!!!
2ND WEEK OF DEC Lee breaks his striper curse
The last time lee caught a big striper (40+ incher from a kayak) was three years ago. Not that Lee hasn’t been out there fishin; he has just been in a striper curse. For the last two years in a row he has caught a 32”er on the drift. Not that they weren’t there, I end up landing four big ones right next to him. Lee just somehow found a small one in the mix, two years in a row. This week we had a fun crew, me, Lee, Rob, Richie, Alex, Justin, and Ric Burnley. We fished for some hours, we were close to getting ready to think about coming in and lees line gave one solid click on the reel, he picked it up and set the hook. The fish was heavy but lee has his drag tight and one handed paddled away from the structure. By the way the fight looked the striper didn’t look real big but when lee grabbed the leader and we all saw the big old head come shaking out of the water, that was a good one! Lee’s striper curse breaker was a nice big 46”er!! And of course that had us sitting out there for another half hour, the current completely died and we paddled in. the temps seem to be holding in the optimal range, so hopefully we can get more chances to GET ON’EM!
The curse is lifted
last years red curse breaker
1ST WEEK OF DEC The search is on.
The annual migration of big striper is happening in the Chesapeake Bay waters off the eastern shore. I had 5 full days to fish to get my season started. The boats had been picking on them in the open water and we heard a kayaker might have picked one from the ships. Lee and I were ready to hit the drift on the first day but the winds were too much for the open water. We waited till the sunset and hit the ships. No action. The second day I was able to get on the drift. I paddled and trolled eels out past buoy 18 with the ending of the incoming current, then drifted back to the ships with the outgoing current. No action. Rob Choi and William Ragulsky and I did the drift again with no action. Rob was seeing them on his depthfinder but we got no action. We didn’t even see any boats with action on them. We hit the ships in the evening with no action but it was a nice chill evening with my friends. With rob completing the expert angler chase last week his pressure is off and my filming pressure is off from this fishery because I have the striper segment done for the upcoming DVD. It’s not that I’m not filming, setting cameras up and letting them roll is not ever stressful work, but I don’t have to film my on-cam narrations. I am filming supplement footage that I can just fit in the segment. The next two days I did the same runs, the drift during the day and the ships in the evening, still no action. Close to 30 hours with eels in the water and I didn’t get a shot. The stripers are here i think they were just a little north of kipto. Hopefully this upcoming unsettled weather doesn’t mess the migration up too much and after the blow we can GET ON'EM!!