Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Delmarva--hot weather, warm water, and SLIME!!! :)

Through the years I've found that if you keep fishing long enough, and spend enough time in the field with your friends and family, every now and then you will experience some unforgettable moments that stay with you forever. This past weekend my nephew Bailey and I were fortunate enough to create some of those memories together...

Bailey and I had been trying to get out on the water for a while now. In fact, for a couple of years we had been attempting to plan a striper fishing trip together. Unfortunately things just hadn't worked out for us to go. Luckily this past weekend, in spite of my strange work hours and his demanding schedule as a high school athlete, we were finally able to piece together a couple of days to make a trip to the beach for some nighttime striper fishin' fun.

The weather was hot and humid (and if you live anywhere near the mid-Atlantic states you know what I'm talking about)... The water was very warm, and the bulk of the striper migration had passed by our area in Delmarva since back in mid-June. In all honesty, things weren't looking very good... I had a few tricks up my sleeve that I knew had produced nice summertime stripers for me in the past, but given the conditions I wasn't extremely hopeful.

Fortunately, it only took about an hour of fishing time for my doubts to be washed away on this trip... It was dark, the tide was slack, and I was tying an eel rig onto another rod when I heard the excitement in Bailey's voice as he said "Tobe, I got one on!" I turned around and saw his rod bent over with the drag screaming out. A couple moments passed as I scampered down the rocks to where Bailey was set up fighting his fish. By the time I made it down to him, the fish had finished peeling line off of his reel and was now busy thrashing around, throwing water on the surface of the inlet. By the size of the splashes and the deep sounding swirl of its tail we could tell it was a nice fish. A few minutes later, after a couple nice runs, a few nervous moments, and a lot of surface thrashing...Bailey's striper was up on the rocks. It was a beautiful, fat fish--measuring 34 inches long and weighing 15.5 pounds on my boga grip--not a bad way for a budding striper angler to start out. His first fish and it's a keeper... A nice one at that! We decided this fish would be a good one to keep for the dinner plate as it had swallowed the hook. And boy, were we right--Deeelicious! :)
Our trip continued on as we jumped around to a few different hotspots in Delmarva. Along the way we were fortunate to find stripers at every spot we fished. As always, we did experience a few heartbreaking losses... But they were more than made up for by a few more moments "in the ZONE." In fact, Bailey bested his first catch of the trip by putting a nice, long 37 incher up on the rocks at another spot. We snapped a few pics and watched as his second keeper swam back to the depths after some revival efforts.
All-in-all, it was a crazy awesome trip! Had we been "stripah" fishing in New England, it would have been a "wicked" awesome trip, lol... Bailey kicked my butt, caught all the big fish, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Until my next entry, thanks again for reading and I hope you guys and gals enjoy your time on the water as well.

Monday, July 11, 2011

From Stripes to Specks! And some Flatties too... :)

As a guy who has grown accustomed to spending most of the year freshwater fishing... This past spring and summer has been a real treat. If you've been following my blog lately, you've probably noticed that I've actually spent a decent amount of time saltwater fishing this year--something I haven't really done much of since moving back to PA from Maryland four years ago. That is why I am psyched to have yet another saltwater entry to share with you...

Just this past week, Marianne and I returned home from a wonderful week-long family vacation to the OBX where we stayed with my parents and my sister and brother-in-law and my two nephews. The house we stayed in was a beautiful three story rental home in the town of Rodanthe, that was just about a hundred yards from the beach. This place had some amazing views, and it was a special treat to be able to wake up every morning and look out over the Atlantic as you were sipping your breakfast coffee.While this trip was way more than just a fishing vacation, we did spend a good bit of time with a line in the water. In fact, we covered a nice long stretch of ground--hitting a plethora of spots from the sound in Nags Head; on south, to the beachfront in Buxton.

While I had fished the Outer Banks before and had become somewhat familiar with the area in years past, the majority of my time spent there had been in the colder months--targeting mainly stripers. On this trip we spent a lot of time poking around different spots looking for flounder, specks, and reds (and the whole host of other species that inhabit these warmer waters)... I have to say that it was very nice to spend a lot of time in shorts and flip flops on this trip--wet wading, tossing jig heads w/ gulp, and kayaking out some large baits with hopes of a shark or two from the beach. These are the memories that will come back to me when it is freezing cold this coming winter and all I can think about is warm water, sand, sun, and summer time.
As far as the fishing goes, it wasn't "great" by OBX standards, but there were plenty of fish around to keep things interesting. We caught quite a few different species (I have pictures of most of them) and we only missed a couple from our list of hopefuls--including sharks and reds unfortunately. Still, the big southern sting rays provided plenty of pullage for our heavy beach outfits...enough to keep our arms tired and our knots tied true. The flounder also proved themselves to be fairly cooperative on this trip, at least cooperative enough that my wonderful wife Marianne was able to catch her first couple of flatties--earning her new nickname: "The Flounder Pounder"... Make sure to call her that when you see her, she'll appreciate it... :)
All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful trip... The weather was good, the food even better, and it was great time spent well with our family--memories that will last a lifetime. It doesn't get much better than that! I hope you guys enjoy the pics... :)