I got to Jerry's a little after 7 a.m., and Mr. "I-Want-To-Leave-Early-Because-I-Have-Things-To-Do-Later" hadn't even finished loading his kayak and fishing gear on his truck. AND, he still had to go online and update/buy a new Virginia fishing license. So, it was 8 a.m. before we finally launched from a client's house who lives 15 minutes away from Jerry.
Compared to the "skinny" shallow water I'm used to fishing, this water was much wider and deeper -- okay for Jerry with his 12' Field & Stream Sit-On, but had there been waves, my 10' Sit-In kayak can get swamped more easily. Especially because this is a major commercial highway for marine traffic. Fortunately the winds were calm, and the boat traffic was light.
We paddled downstream toward the bridge, and saw the channel I wanted to fish. But first, as a boat sped by, I told Jerry if one of us was tipped that the other should gather whatever gear he could, while the tipper stayed with his kayak.
With heavier jig heads to reach the bottom, we fished the pilings and bulwarks along the shore and bridge -- hoping to catch a flounder or two. Nothing. The current was starting to move along a little stronger, so we drifted and paddled down further to an area I had heard that was good for speckled trout.
A hit. Fish on. I brought it in and was pleased to see a 13" speckled trout. I carefully tried to show Jerry, who was too far away to see, and then gently released the fish back into the water. I cast again, and almost immediately was rewarded with another strike. This time I brought in a beautiful, fat 16 incher. I put him on my stringer, and finally got Jerry's attention. I signaled for him to come over to me, and told him to use his lighter jig head with the soft shad tail like I was using. Meanwhile the boater pulled away, frustrated at no signs of fish.
No sooner did Jerry come over and do as I say, when I'm rewarded with another 16 incher. On my stringer he went, as I noticed yet another boat pull up near the point. This one had a guy and girl, both about 25 or so, with rods and "popping corks". Both were in bathing suits, and Jerry made the comment to me, "There's the perfect woman."
"What do you mean," I asked.
"She looks good in a bikini and loves to fish."
We both laughed. Then we watched her get her line hung up and snagged. Well, maybe she had a little more to learn before she was perfect. But she was still young. The guy caught a small trout, then helped her.
Meanwhile, Jerry was finally getting strikes, but unable to convert to a catch. As I caught two more "shorties" that I released, the couple finally pulled away.
Another father and son pulled up, and started fishing nearby. I cast, let my rod set for a moment, then felt a tug. I was rewarded with a short puppy drum with 6 spots. My first one of the season, and I gently released him, hoping to catch him again in a couple years when he would be good eating size.
I saw Jerry's rod go down, and watched him fight a nice fish. He netted a beautiful 18" speck, and finally had something on his stringer. I hooked a small croaker, and then just like that, the fishing died.
The clouds were starting to build around us, and the wind picked up a bit, so we decided to start working our way back. Between the wind in our face, and the strong current, we were definitely getting a work out.
I did tell Jerry I was a little nervous about towing a couple of fish from my kayak in "bigger water".
"Why", he asked.
"This is why," I answered.
|This classic picture is real, not photo shopped. It's why I don't have a "yum yum" yellow kayak... like Jerry.|
|This 12-14' Great White trailed a "first time kayaker" off the Massachusetts shore last weekend. The question is, was it also his last time?|
Big A$$ Shark Takes Girl's Fish
And we all know that bull sharks love to swim up rivers, and are a deadly man eater.... I certainly don't want a shark to think I'm ringing the dinner bell for any reason, by trolling or --even worse -- being mistaken for being the meal. Ha ha.
An hour or so later when we finally and safely made it back to the launch, we were spent. Jerry got out of his kayak on the boat slip, and he was soaking wet and fatigued.
"Did you get wet from the waves, or is that sweat?" I asked.
"Sweat", he responded. I laughed. But I wasn't too much dryer.
He got up and I told him to hold up his fish for a picture.
|A sweaty, exhausted, but happy Jerry, as he held up his 18" speck.|
|Jerry holding his fish closer to the camera to make it look bigger. It didn't help too much, but it was a nice fat fish anyway.|
Having had "carnitas" at Randy's the night before, I looked at all the leftover fixings they had had, and told them tomorrow night I would make fish tacos with whatever I caught, and we would use up the rest of their sides. I went online and found a Bobby Flay recipe that called for a "white flaky fish", and decided to go with that. I used his recipe as a guide, but must confess I didn't stick to it all the way. Having said that, the basics were his.
Having said that, today, as I write this, I must confess my shoulders and upper arms have never been more sore. I feel as if I spent two hours yesterday, doing nothing but bench press 100 pounds again and again and again. Still, I can't wait to go back and do it again. Especially because I've heard that there are citation sized speckled trout there, yet to be had....
Until next time,