I had carved the pumpkin, thanks to an idea from my son Clayton, as the Carolina Panther logo (in honor of my son Parke's favorite team), and had finished work by 4:00.
|The team I follow, the Eagles, is not worthy of a Jack O'Lantern this year.... Nor is my daughter's team, the Steelers.|
I didn't have to be home until 6:00, so I decided to go kayak fishing for a brief time. The Boy Scout's motto of "Be Prepared" is a phrase I believe in, so I keep my equipment in the car this time of year for just such spur of the moment jaunts.... Because I knew the tide would be good....
I grabbed my kayak and threw on my waterproof "Frogg Toggs" (a rainsuit I highly recommend!) and hit the water.
|FroggToggs are great because they are lightweight, 100% waterproof, and yet still let you breathe. I prefer to wear them in the colder months, so that I don't have to get wet and fishy while kayak fishing....|
SIDEBAR: A week or so ago, I was in a similar situation where I had maybe an hour to fish before I got home. I made the most of it, and hooked, but didn't catch a small striper, and then landed a beautiful 22" puppy drum that ended up being dinner. It was a nice fight, and for a moment, I thought it might be a nice striper, but I wasn't disappointed to see this on my lap, either....
|The second biggest pup I've caught this year, and the biggest I caught in this stretch of the river, it gave a nice fight, and would provide an even nicer dinner....|
|This 2 1/2 year old striper hopefully learned a lesson that will allow him to grow up to be a great big striper -- before I catch him again with a different lure...|
|This guy never stopped fighting and wiggling from the moment he viciously attacked my grub. He wouldn't hang still for a good photo, either. Hopefully when he's 20 pounds, he'll still be the same way....|
Bam! Fish on! It was a nice one, I knew that much. But what was it. A striper? No. It wasn't fighting like one. It came to the surface and showed a coppery sheen... A puppy drum? Maybe, but it wasn't running like one of them, either.
A big smile grew on my face when I saw a beautiful speckled trout jumping and running with my jig. I hoped it was hooked well enough to not become unbuttoned, but he wasn't ready to stop fighting any time soon. I tried to net him a couple of times, but he was not ready to give up. Finally I was able to get him.... I didn't even bother to put him on the stringer. I took a photo, put him on my lap, and paddled to shore to come home to deal with the trick or treaters.... He went into my cooler to be cleaned at home....
|This 20" speck is the perfect size for broiling. A little salt, a little pepper, a little butter and lemon... and that's all you need to have one of the finest seafood dinners around....|
|The speckled trout is the perfect fish for Halloween, with it's two "vampire" teeth that will cut you and draw blood, if you're not careful. Which is why I'm holding it through the gills in the previous photo....|
But regardless, next weekend we're having our 27th Boys' Weekend. It will be a little different this year, as we are going kayak fishing in the area, and not down to Hatteras for some surf fishing.
As I told my son Parke, I was barely older than him when Mike, Mark and I started this tradition that we now have as many as 12 guys participating in. And regardless of how good or bad the fishing is, you can count on plenty of good and funny stories that are bound to happen. So you can definitely count on another Angling Participles Post.... Consider that a threat, a warning... and a promise. I can hardly wait. :)
So until next time,
P.S. After I showed Parke my Panthers pumpkin, he and Sheldon both showed me their carving skills. I must confess, I believe they both beat me. What do you think?
|It is obvious my children's artistic skills exceed my own.... I'm impressed....|
ADDENDUM: well I went out with Jerry this morning. It was beautiful. The leaves are almost at their peak, there were just enough clouds to keep it from being too bright for the fish, and the outgoing tide was moving perfectly.... It should have been a great time for fishing.... Key word, "should". Three hours of fishing yielded another small striper, maybe 15-16 inches long, and a very ambitious small spot.
SUNDAY ADDENDUM: Jerry and I tried one more time today for more than 2 hours.... All I can say is the smell of SKUNK is strong in the air.... Not even the first nibble today. The wind was strong, but okay where we were -- and the water looked absolutely ideal for striper.... The right color, moving well, good swirls in certain areas, and Jerry had his Lowrance depth/fish finder that was showing fish everywhere....
I hope something changes in the next 5 days, or we're going to be having a heck of a fun Boys Weekend -- but it won't be because of us catching fish, as much as it might be that we are drinking bourbon and harassing each other.... Until next time,