First, some appropriate accompanying music, of course:
Auld Lang Syne
It started out in February, when I was invited last minute, to be part of a fishing charter for striped bass, out of Virginia Beach. A long day ended with me catching the biggest fish on the boat -- a beautiful citation cow, 42 pounds (44 when it was still fresh). A hell of a fight that gave me something to remember for a long time. And over 20 pounds of beautiful fillets provided delicious dinners for a while. My freezer was happy, because I love rockfish! The year had started off great!
|There was no way I was going to let the deckhand clean my fish! I wanted to show it off at home, first! Biggest fish I've ever caught. A nice way to start the angling year.|
The only new thing worthy of note that occurred, was in May when I drove to nearby Smithfield, and took advantage of their "new" kayak launch on the Pagan River. A day without catching any fish was still memorable, for the beauty and scenery of the area. I need to go back there again, this next spring, and more often.
|Easy to get in and out, the Pagan River kayak launch makes kayaking easy for everyone. Now I just have to learn the river, and where the fish are....|
|Parke and Ted with a stringer of fish from an afternoon of rowing around the lake shore. I took my kayak up there, and thoroughly enjoyed kayak fishing, too. I will always take my kayak from now on.... It's such a beautiful area.|
Summertime means hot and humid around here. And this summer was no exception. Unfortunately, it also meant no puppy drum this year. We've had a couple of harsh winters that probably killed off a lot of the juveniles that stay in the waters here where we fish, so hopefully they'll recover in time for 2012. Still, there were plenty of nice croaker to be caught, and we kept several stringers of 6 or so, to give to my father-in-law, if nothing else. And it is always beautiful to be on the water at dusk, especially with loved ones....
|Even a "bad day of fishing" is beautiful and memorable when the conditions are like this.|
|Summer flounder or winter, we caught them both around July 4th Weekend.|
|Summer before our Senior year in high school proved to be a great time to fish with Joel. Many fond memories of those times came back to me this August.|
|The iconic photo from our "mini" Boys Weekend up in Delaware. Mike with a "monster blue". Gotta love the tongue wag.|
|There aren't too many times I can say I limited out on Striper, while also catching a beautiful 19+" speckled trout. But for a couple of weeks I was catching either or both.|
|A personal best drum was the first fish I caught with my new surf rod I had just gotten. Not a bad way to break in a new rod, if I must say. I hope there are plenty more -- and bigger, too....|
In December, the opportunities to go fishing were fewer and farther between, and the fish seemed to be fewer, too. But I did catch a few more gizzard shad (yuck), while Mike hooked into a nice fat 24" rockfish late one morning.
|Mike's rockfish, caught on a yellow perch "storm" lure. Go figure.|
|Jerry out at the mouth of Bennett's Creek. If the equipment looks familiar, it should. The only thing he's using that's his, are the fishing rods. Everything else is borrowed. Time to get your own kayak, Jerry....|
|Coming back into Bennett's Creek. No fish on my stringer, but a fun ride, none-the-less. Glad to have finally done it.|
We have yet to have any snow, so far, so maybe that's a good sign for the recovering puppy drum in the area. And while the fall Striper season wasn't as good as I could have hoped, I still caught my share, so I can't complain.
So 2011 comes to a close; and 2012 promises new beginnings. I'm sure there will be more fishing posts; and perhaps now that the winter is upon us, I will have time to continue my grandfather's story that I began last winter. That's just one of my goals for the new year.
I wish you joy and prosperity in 2012. May you find happiness, love and peace every day, and may you have more than your share of opportunities to yell,
Thanks for reading. God Bless, and see you next time, next year.