Monday, June 2, 2014

When it all comes together...

You know that fishing trip that you and your buddies always talk about. C'mon, you know the one! It's the one with all those big fish. The one where everybody was hooking up and landing monster fish. Well, this happens to be one of those stories!

The day started like any other by getting up at 3am. Getting the coffee going, making eggs and lots of delicious bacon. Finish up by packing a huge lunch and getting on the road.

I got to the ramp earlier than usual and started to unload my gear. Preparing your gear the night before really has it's advantages. I was in the water about 10 minutes upon arrival.

Even though things were going pretty smoothly this morning and I wanted to get right to fishing. I had to stop and take some pictures of this beautiful sunrise.

I decided today that Powerteam Lures Swinging Hammers were going to be the bait of choice. I was only on the water for about 1 1/2 hours when my rod buckled over! My first thought - "Man that was quick"! First up was a 47 12" RED Pic on a Swinging hammer....

I tried taking some solo pics and this is what I got. It's not easy to get a good picture, as some of the guys make it look, haha. A Yakattack Dogbone and Panfish Portrait helps.

Now for a little rewind.

This morning I was going to meet Richie Bekolay and Rob Choi on the water. They decided to hit a spot they thought would produce. Sure enough, right after I landed my fish. I got a call on the radio from Richie - "47 1/2" on the board"!
Photo Credit - Rob Choi
We were only a few miles apart at this point so we decided to join forces. I'm sure glad we did, because this went from a day of fishing to a day of catching!

Not very long after we got together, I spot a black cloud about 200 yards away. I immediately looked up to see if there were any clouds. Nope, not a cloud. As the 3 of us got closer to the school of fish. We realized it was stripers! These weren't just any stripers. These were citation class fish!

Richie lands the first fish - a 48" Virginia Citation - His personal best!
Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay
I threw out my PTL Swinging Hammer and BAM!
Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay
My personal best Virginia Release Citation Striper at 46"!

Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay

Rob Choi - Not wanting to be left out of this striper mahem. He was throwing the fly rod to these bad boys. After a few throw Rob lands his first striper of the day at 41". He quickly followed that up with another 40"er. Rob's full report here - Slingin' Big Flies

Over the next few hours, we chased that school around. These fish were now spooked and didn't want any of our offerings. We decided to get back after the big reds.

Only a few hundreds away from the stripers. Richie looks at his Hummingbird fishfinder and says "Fish right there man". As he was casting his other rod, my trolling rod starts peeling drag!

                                49" Citation Drum on a Powerteam Lures Swinging Hammer!
Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay
Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay
Right after taking a few pictures we got back on the fish. Richie is looking ahead and as he's saying "What is that!" I am standing in my kayak and says "Reds, lots of reds!" We decided to take a second or two and make sure we made perfect casts to these fish. They were heading right towards us and coming fast.
We both made perfect precision casts and hooked up at almost the same time! As we were being pulled around by big reds, I couldn't help but think "What a day!".

Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay
Photo Credit - Richie Bekolay
Schools of reds were going to our left and to our right. We were surrounded by them. I have never seen that many reds at one time. I landed another red right at 40" to end the day.

Richie and I got to land both Bull Reds and Striper Citations in the same day. Not very many kayakers that we know can say that. That makes this day just a little sweeter.

Totals for the day:

Rob: 41" striper, 40" striper

Joe: 49" red, 48" red, 47 1/2" red, 40" red, 46" striper

Richie: 48" red, 47 1/2" red, 47" red, 48" striper, 40" striper

It was truly a trip that will be talked about for years to come. A trip that you usually just dream about just happened. A trip that had good friends, lots of laughs, citation class striper AND bull reds.

Sometimes, it just all comes together...

Hooked Up 1