Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tournament Fishing for Boston...

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be fishing the The Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association (TKAA) and the Pirates of Lynnhaven (POL) Kayak Fishing Tournament to Benefit the Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings. More information on OneFund Boston can be found here OneFund Boston.  
This morning was going to be a different kind of fishing day for me. Today was going to be a relaxed atmosphere and more of a social tournament than what you would normally expect. Plus, today I was going to have the best fishing partner I could ask for, the kind of partner who thinks you’re the best fisherman around. The kind of partner that doesn’t care what type of kayak or fishing gear we were using today.
My son, Wyatt, was that partner today. He actually woke up and ran into our room and said “DAD, you ready?” I got up and made us some breakfast, then loaded up the rest of the gear. I told him to get into his seat and he ran back to the garage and grabbed the net. The last trip we made I forgot the net and we lost a nice flounder at the boat. He made sure that didn’t happen today!
Today I was getting to fish Lynnhaven Inlet. This was an area that I have never fished before so I didn’t expect much. My goal for the day was to help Wyatt land some fish, and that we did…
Our first fish of the day was a nice 21” flounder, followed by 2 more keepers, 17 ½” and a 16 ½”.

A big THANK YOU to Jeff Lockhart for helping me out on the water today. I had forgot my Hawg Trough measuring board and Jeff was almost always within sight to allow me to measure our fish.

Wyatt got a chance to head to the bar with me, an oyster bar, J. We got a chance to stretch our legs and fish along side Wayne Mills, Tommy V and Ben Hoover (the other Philly guy). This was our chance to try for the slam and get a redfish or speckled trout. We didn’t catch anything on the bar so we headed out again.

We headed off oyster bar in search of our slam. Wyatt was having a blast casting his little ugly stick with gulp. While we were drifting and the sound of “I got one” rang out very loud. Wyatt’s little rod was buckled over and, at first; I thought he had nice red. It was a 15” STUD croaker! All while enjoying a ring pop, haha.

It was getting late and we were about to head to the ramp with our catch. I decided to head over to drift by some of the docks and see if any reds were around. My first cast was perfect right near the edge of a little eddie right up against the docks. I felt the strike right away and hoped this was a red. Sure enough I had my 17 ½” red on the board.

I loaded up the kayak and headed to Salty C’s for the weigh in. We met fellow Hobie team member, Chuck Wrenn and his son Jacob and grabbed a table for a bite to eat and wait for the results.

The results were in and Wyatt and I won 1st place with a 38 ½” Slam! Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone who participated.  

On the way home my little guy couldn’t wait to show mom HIS trophy.

We met a lot of great people and made many new friends. I truly enjoyed every minute of this tournament and want to thank Joe Maccini, Russell Hamm, Andy Backowski and anyone who helped make this tournament possible.

For me this wasn't about winning, this was about spending time with my son and to support a great cause!



Croaker Division:
1st:  Kyle Sullivan - 14 5/8" (yes 14 5/8")
2nd:  Jimmy Miller - 14.5"
3rd:  Bob Deml - 11 1/4

Largest Saltwater Species:
1st:  Tim Quintana - 21.5" Ray
2nd:  Thom Mattauch - 10 1/4" Roundhead

2 Fish Slam:
1st:  Joe Underwood - 38.5" Red/Flounder
2nd:  Kris Lozier - 37 1/4" Red/Flounder
3rd:  Andy Bakowski - 32.5" Red/Flounder
4th:  Louis Nguyen - 31 3/4" Red/Flounder

Honorable Mention:
Joe Underwood's 4 year old son, Wyatt, caught a 15" CROAKER!!!!  Way to go Wyatt - we have anglers who wont catch a 15" Croaker all season!!!  Great job Wyatt!!!!!!!!

We had a total of 36 Anglers competing today in the tournament.  Thanks to Salty C's for hosting the after and awards party and for their generous donation!!!  Thanks to Rob Lee, Mark and Kris Lozier, Russ Hamm, and Wayne Bradby for your generous donations for prizes and raffles.  And finally thanks to all the anglers and spouses/friends who came out to fish and then join us at Salty C's.  We raised a great deal of money for One Fund Boston.  Thanks again!!!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding Reds and Fishing with Friends....

My last couple of outings have taken me to the Eastern Shore and to Rudee inlet.
The first trip was to the Eastern Shore.
I got to the ramp early and was soon joined by quite a group of fisherman; Rob Choi, William Ragulsky, Alex Britland, Tommy DeWitt, Luther and Tyler Ciphers.
I was lucky enough to hook up with the first fish of the day; a 47”er.

Williams Ragulsky was the second to land a fish; a 45” drum.

William Ragulsky-red
Photo Credit William Ragulsky

Soon after that Tyler Ciphers was fan casting after seeing Billy hook up and landed his first ever red drum @ 42”. Luther’s said at the ramp that his main goal today was to see Tyler get on a fish. Way to get it done Tyler!

Rob Choi was the last to hook up on a nice red. Rob has had his ups and downs chasing bull reds this year and I was stoked to see him land this 48" red! Check out his report here --> Angling Addict .
Rob Choi's 48" Drum
The second trip I finally got a chance to fish with Marty Mood; AKA “The Champ” and my good friend Richie Bekolay. We fan into a few fish but never were able to get on a hook up. On the way back to the ramp we were greeted with 25+MPH winds and a school of drums that we spooked. I ended the day with my first ES Skunk!

Trip #3 was the TKAA monthly member event at Rudee Inlet. This was a special trip for me because I got a chance to bring my son Wyatt for his first ever flounder trip. He kept telling me he wanted to a catch a striper, haha. While we didn’t catch any stripers, but we were able to get on a couple of flounder, reds, spot and some croakers.

We got back to the ramp at around lunch time and loaded up the car to head home. And before we left the ramp he was already sleeping.

Trip #4 took me out the Eastern Shore. I was heading out for a solo trip so I had my YakAttack Panfish Portrait w/dogbone ready for some hero shots if I was lucky enough to get a hook up. The day started off with me trying to catch some bait. And I couldn’t find anything around the usual spots. I didn't waste much time. So I figured this was going to be a trolling or random casting kind of day. I ended up running into Kayak Kevin. He had run into a few random fish but no hooks up yet today. We decided to tag team and see if we could find the fish.
I ran over a school of bait on my fishfinder and decided this was a good time to try and catch some. I landed 4 kingfish/Roundheads pretty quickly and decided to troll with live bait. After only a few hundred yards my Release Reel was zinging and peeling drag. I grabbed the rod and starting to reel. After only 15 seconds or so the circle hook pulled out of this fish and I was left with only an empty hook in my hand. Quickly realizing that I had the other rod out with a swimbait, I started retrieving the line very quickly and got slammed!  I had a solid hook up and it was game on! I landed my 12th red of the season and my 8th Red Drum Citation of the year.

The winds started to pick up so we called it a day.
Red drum fishing is very addictive! When you know they're still around, it’s very hard to stay away!

Hooked Up