For an entire week, I was excited about my first fall tautog fishing trip. The plan was to get up early Sunday and head to the CBBT with Rob Choi to look for some tautog. The closer it got to Sunday, the windier the forecast got. I was still hopeful, but it was looking bleak. I woke at 6am to the sound of my phone ringing. It was Rob telling me that the wind was going to be horrible at the CBBT. I was bummed so I went back to sleep. When I woke again something hit me... I wonder if the York river is windy also? I checked the wind reports and it looked great! I called Rob to see what he thought... I think he was out of the door and on his way by the time I said "Later."
The paddle out was nice and easy with the wind at our backs. We got to the spot and immediately dropped down our fiddlers. Within 15 minutes, Rob hooks up on a nice tog. I looked at him and just saw a bent rod not moving. I sarcastically asked him, "Are you sure you're not snagged?" A few seconds later, he ripped it out of the structure and landed a nice 19.5" male tog.
After that, fishing was really slow. We lost a few fiddlers to fish, but the bites were few and far between. I was getting a little discouraged because we were fishing so hard with no results. I found a spot that looked promising and fished it really hard. Rob and I decided to move to another spot and as soon as Rob started to paddle away I got the "THUMP" I was looking for. I snatched back on the rod and it immediately doubled up. I got one or two cranks on it before it got really mad and tried to pull me out of the yak. My drag was probably a little too tight because I had to lean pretty hard in the other direction to keep my kayak from tipping. It's so amazing how hard those little suckers pull! As it came to the surface, I knew it was a big one. I yelled over to Rob, "This might be the one!" I was almost certain that it was the release citation I was looking for. I grabbed the leader and dragged it in with a leg scoop. I was so anxious to find out the length! I grabbed my ruler and set it on the tog...22"! One inch shy of a release citation! So close!
We tried and tried after that, but it was the last tog.
As the sun set and the lights on the pier came on, I got into a few schoolie striper on a skitterwalk. I was hoping for some specks, but I'll take any topwater hits I can get! After Rob and I got our two keeper striper we decided to call it a night (after one last stop at a good striper spot). After three or four "last casts," we headed toward the ramp talking about our next tog trip all the way back.