My goal for the day was recon for York River Tog. Its WAY closer to home than the 1st island and I was pretty sure I knew where to find them. I paddled directly to a spot that looked like a winner and within 15 mins I got what i was looking for. I finally managed to use my new release reel for something it was designed for! I got a solid thump and set the hook with excitement. I cranked the fish in with ease so I was expecting a small tog or a big croaker but to my surprise it was a really nice tog! That reel is like a winch! (not wench as i first typed) I know its not a citation or anything but @ 19.5" its my biggest Tog yet! It seems to me that when i catch a fish immediately at the beginning of my trip the rest of the day is horribly slow...that's what happened. After the tog I only managed a couple of oyster toads. I was glad I stayed around to fish with Miles because he landed the biggest fish of his life that night a 37.5" striper!
After an hour's wait, the tide never did pick up in velocity. The winds died down leaving a mirror surface on the river. It wasn't looking good for catching Stripers. Then Justin tells me there is a 30" fish lurking in the shadow of the light line 20 feet from where I am. I tossed two different topwater crankbaits at the shadow. Twitch the bait. Wait for it. Nothing. Justin tossed a soft plastic towards it. The shadow rolled over on it, but didn't grab the bait. By now, the current had drifted me out of range. I waited five minutes before heading back. As I approached the area, I heard some surface activity behind me. This time I tossed a pearl Powerbait on a 1/4 oz. jig head to the shadow next to the lighted piling. The was an immediate response as the Striper dove to the bottom. I set the hook and the fight was on. This was no schoolie. My reel screamed and my MH rod bent in half. This Striper refused to be caught. It made a run for the open water. Then turned around and headed for the barnacle-crusted pilings. I tightened the drag trying to avoid the pilings. Justin helped by grabbing the stern of my kayak and towed me towards the open water. After a giddy fifteen minutes, I scooped the Striper into the boat. Justin took a couple of photos and the 37" Striper was released.
This was the only fish that night. We called it quits at midnight and headed home. A fish like that makes it all worthwhile.
A week earlier I fished with Ashley Bishop at the 1st island of the CBBT with no luck at all. Ash managed one 16" tog.