Monday, April 25, 2011

Good times at the HRBT!

 Last Thursday I got the chance to get out on the water after work. I got to the HRBT around 9:30pm. It was not exactly what I call the best conditions but it was much better than the last 4-5 times I tried it. I paddled out and immediately noticed the water was nasty and muddy. The clarity was only about 12". It was a little rough and the small waves were very choppy. I thought to myself..."This is going to be another horrible night. I might as well turn around and go home." I'm glad i didn't. It was slow for the first 45 mins or so but i started noticing fish pop up here and there. As the tide came in a little stronger and I made it out a little further toward the island the fishing got better and better. Most of the fish were in the 22-23" range but occasionally I would see a big shadow in the light line. I finally hooked one of the bigger ones just long enough for it to pull me right into the pilings and break me off. After 7-8 smaller striper I finally caught a nice one on a weightless zoom super fluke. After a good battle I landed the hefty 32" striper in my lap. I took a quick measurement, snapped a picture, and released it so I could search for another. Within 15 mins I caught 2 more one small one and one that went 33"! My two biggest striper at the HRBT were both caught within 15 mins on my all-time favorite lure. It was a good night!  :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Finally a tog!

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 reading the report Miles posted I decided to use it because it sounded so good! So here it is!

As I came out of Wormly Creek on to the York, it was a gorgeous night. Slack tide was beginning to ebb out to sea. The sun was just about to disappear below the horizon. I joined, Justin Mayer, who had caught a toothy 19.5" Tog a couple of hours earlier. We waited until the flow picked up before hitting the light line.
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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

YakAttack VISIPole II Review

 This is a gear review for Outdoor blogger network and anyone else that is curious!

Ever since I started kayak fishing, I always had a makeshift light. Although they worked fair most of the time, it seemed like there was always something going wrong with them. At first I got a light that looked like a small lantern. It worked fine for a while, aside from the blinding light reflection off of my paddle. After 2-3 months, it wasn't even good enough for a paperweight. That "waterproof" light rusted in no time.

^^ Pretty Much Worthless lights^^

My second light was some kind of "sea light" (like the light below without the suction cup). I attached it to a CPVC pipe, but after twisting the light on and off for a few months, it slowly messed up the connection. After the connection started to get sketchy, I noticed it would work on and off while i was on the water. I put up with it for a year or more until it just died altogether...another light worthless again.

^^ Not quite worthless but won't last very long^^

I did a lot of research on lights and most of what i found was do-it-yourself kind of things. For the average fisherman that might be OK but you typically get what you pay for. I finally decided to purchase a YakAttack VISIPole II. It's nice and lightweight with a sturdy black fiberglass shaft. I got the base model with No flag or attachments because all I do is slide it into a notch in my 3 rod holder and I don't want the extra drag the flag might create. I noticed that even though it is a very bright 360° light, it doesn't blind me like some I have seen. So far I am very pleased with it and everyone I know says it cant be beat. I'm glad I invested the $40 in it! I would definitely recommend this to anyone that doesn't want to go through the same hassle I have in the past 4 years of kayak fishing.  There are also a few different variations of the same product that make it very versatile. Check them out at