It was defiantly a weekend of the perfect cast. Im not talking about a hap-hazard cast into oblivion and landing a fish, no im talking about seeing some evidence and making a well thought pitch in to fishiness. TexMonster and I gave a shot at the black drum around the slack tide on a very calm morning. While we were soaking clams on the bottom a school of menhaden came by. Tex made a very smart cast with a buck tail. he made two jerks on it and it got slammed. I had already fought two rays, so my first thought was a ray. Then I say Tex’slight rod make drastic rapid bends, and I thought “that sure looks like head shakes.”Then Tex yells “Big Red!” as it rolled to the surface. Tex fought the 43”er hard! On anchor, in the current, with a med action rod. Ric and I arrived at the shoals at 7pm for the last half hour of the outgoing tide. It wasn’t my first cast but a very deliberate placement of the bait that made my weekend. I made my way out to the front of the shoal to some larger churning breakers. I paddled in close and lobed a crab into the middle of the whitewater left it in free spool and backed paddled out to the slough. As soon as I stopped my clicker made a quick zip zip and the line slowly started to unspool. I thumbed the spool and felt the fish on the end. I engaged the reel and reeled the circle hook into place. I instantly started to advance toward the breakers. We were all un anchored since the current was slack. I quickly dropped my secondary anchor that is attached to the stern and fought the feisty 44” red into my boat. The red run is spotty, some picking one out a trip, some nothing. And some whacking three to five of them. With the bay suddenly warming to summer water temps, we will begin to chase the summer species. We will revisit my favirite fish in the fall, when the reds are off sandbridge, for the second season to GET ON’EM!kev
Slack tide sunset 44"er
3RD WEEK OF MAY Strike out on big drum
Lee and I hit the shoals and didn’t get a run. The next few days the wind picked up in the afternoon and we didn’t get out there.
We did run into a very fast moving school of 30” class reds. We all hooked up with Lee, Mike P and Damien all fighting reds at the same time. I should have been filming the chaos but was trying to make it a double-double.
We usually fish for black drum at buoy 16, which marks the north end of Latimer shoals, a mile and a half out of Kiptopeke. We heard the bite had been at buoy 13 which marks the southern end of Latimer. A three mile paddle out of wise point. We fished through the tide turn around with only a few small doggies. The current kicked in fast when it changed and we headed on in.
Later we heard the bite turned on briefly at B16. the bite has been very sporadic for reds and blacks. They are around its just a case of one swimming by your bait. its defiantly not over like some think, we still have time to GET ON’EM!kev
Mike P and Lee with 30" and 26" reds
Black drum fishing at B13
Lee, Mike P and Damien out to B13
2ND WEEK OF MAY Damien caught a big one.
Damien's 51" red
Damien and I headed to the shoals for the early morning low tide. It looked real fishy, the water was a clear green and the waves were churning. We had baits in the water for three hours with one dog shark when Damien awoke up to his reel screaming. I heard some yelps from behind me and yelled back, “You got one on?” he yelled back, “I think so!” I pulled my lines, dropped my anchor rope and started filming. When it came off the shoal and into the slough, Damien dropped his anchor rope and went for the ride. When he got a hold of it I was surprised how long the beast was. We measured it out to 51”. Without a doubt Damien’s biggest fish and well deserved. Lee showed up later, we were going to go after the black drum but the storms that began to brew kept us close to the launch fishing for small flounder. Lee out fished me as usual with five to one. A miscommunication and forgetting to turn on our radios caused us to miss Ric as he was heading to the shoals. He caught one right at sunset. It hasn’t gone full on crazy out there but at least a few are being caught. We just have to get the baits out there for a chance to GET ON’EM!kev
1ST WEEK OF MAY Reds on the shoals.
This time of year there are so many fish to target on the tip of the eastern shore its better to spend the entire weekend over there. Lee and I got a camp site at Kiptopeke state park. Kipto has a great clean campground and its right in the middle of all of our big fish kayaking grounds. The first night after setting up we dodged some thunderstorms and got on a few small flounder. I caught my first one of the year, Lee caught four The next morning we headed out of Kipto to buoy 16 for black drum. The buoy marks the north end of Latimer shoals. The only action we had was when Mike P had a probable ray run. Later at Chris’ Bait and Tackle (website) we heard that they were whacking them down at the southern end of Latimer at buoy 13. we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That afternoon Lee, Mike P and I paddled out to the shoals for the low tide. We set up as the current grew stronger and the waves grew larger. Lee set up on a shallow point that juts off of the shoal and had to deal with more than a few breakers. Mike set up in the slough to far to cast a bait into the breakers. Lee was the first to hook up with a drum, not a red one, but a 28" black one. I felt a tug on my clicker then a slow run from my bait in the whitewater. I tightened my drag and reeled my line tight. It was heavy but still could have been a dog shark. Then three hard head shakes bent my rod and I had a good feeling what was on the end of my line. Then it surfaced behind me, “Big Red! Big Red!!” that’s when everything went crazy. a 47” red. That gets me to 18 total citations, 7 away from master angler. That was it for our action but plenty more were landed this weekend, they are on. Next Saturday Wild River Outfitters is having a Demo day were you can paddle any kayak you want to try out. (website) Come out and check out the new Ocean Kayaks. The red ore on its time to GET ON’EM!kev
The weekly video will be up in a day or two, ive got a ton of footage to go through. ill have the gopro shots soon.
Lee's 28" black drum
5TH WEEK OF APRIL Little reds, giant eel and Lee goes swimming.
When Lee and I paddled up to the back side of the shoals at low tide the waves were barely a foot high. The shoal we fish is a giant, nearly mile long U shape, facing east. When the winds are from the south, we fish the left side of the U so the wind wont push us into the breakers. The day we went, the winds were northerly so we decided to fish the right side of the left arm. The bottom of the U is only 20 yards across, and with the low waves it would be no problem getting across the thin part of the U. We’ve done it before. We fish the incoming current with only doggy runs. The swells picked up with the current to 4 foot. The current was strong and it didn’t take us long to reach the bottom of the U, where we were trapped by the mean current and the even scarier 4 to 5 foot Xing breakers. Those who have seen the point at Buxton know what I’m talking about. Surfing the smooth swells is one thing but crossing the X waves is an entirely different game. We needed to stow all our gear inside our boat for this crossing. The current was to strong, every time we’d stop paddling we were heading into the breakers. We anchored up to secure our gear. Lee was on his knees when a breaker caught him off guard and in he went. This wave wasn’t even that bad, last year we watched lee go over 5 foot of fast whitewater while anchored and fighting a giant red. But this one caught him out of his seat. He righted his boat and got in with a look of great surprise on his face. I went in to recovery mode. I knew he was alright and I wanted to get the gear before it was swept into the breakers. Lee lost one rod out of three, the others some how stayed in his holders, and his glasses. We got our crap together and punched through the thinnest part of the shoal. It was a wild 2 minutes the X waves would pitch our sterns to the side as we launched over the steep waves. Wild! I went to the ships for some tog afterwards and caught a giant eel. The next day I found some backwater that was 72 degrees and caught some little reds. The reds should be on the weekend, I have full confidence that we will GET ON’EM!kev
4TH WEEK OF APRIL Few reds, tog and waves
Lee and I hit Rudee early in the week with a strong north wind. Lee saw a larger 30+” reds but we caught smaller 16”ers. I headed over the E-shore hoping for the wind to drop out to hit the shoals. The wind steadily picked up and i stayed at the ships tog’en and only caught a few along with the firefighting kayak crew. I watched the wind the next day and was able to get to the shoals with Zach, Lewis, Tex and Sam. As we were paddling out Don from the northern neck kayakers paddled on up. As we were paddling out Zach said “its clear enough we ought to be able to see them.” I stayed right along the edge of the shoal. I saw a strange color and sand billowing from it. I stood up and saw about 6 to 8 big reds and a black drum, rutting in the sand. I wasn’t rigged up with a crab but was ready with a gulp. I made a few cast, standing in the waves. I only had one fallow my gulp to the boat and peel away before eating it. After seeing them i went drum dumb. I couldn’t just sit there soaking baits. I spent the entire slack current in the middle of the shoals, standing and looking for them. In all the excitement I didn’t put on my jacket and in the breakers I got allot of water in my waders. Once the current picked up. We anchored off and caught dog sharks for the rest of the evening. We didn’t hook any reds but we saw them and that’s good enough, for now. At least we know they are here. They will soon be thick and we’ll GET ON’EM.kev
3RD WEEK OF APRIL Shante's first tog at the 1st island.
Pug face tog
2ND WEEK OF APRIL 1st island tog's
Lee with a fat mama tog
On the one day the wind wasn’t blowing this week we got out to the first island for some tautog fishing. We started out over the tube were the action was so-so, well at least for me, when we moved the tally was 5 to 2, in lee’s favor and he was sure to let me know.
One we were able to fish the piles, I started to catch up but was missing allot more than lee. When it really turned on we lost count, and when its like that, its allot of fun.
The females are full of row this time of year. They are ready to spawn during the closed season May 1st through June 24th. If you get on’em this month please release the females. They are easy to tell apart. The females are dark brown and camo looking. The males have bigger forehead, grayish color with a very white belly and the spot on its side.
My pool thermometer reading was 51 at the first. The tog bite should be good to 60 degrees. At 60 degrees our attention turns to the reds, and I cant wait for the scary thrill of the shoals. Our first chance to GET ON’EM! kev
1ST WEEK OF APRIL Togs at the ships
With the water temps creping up to 50 degrees its time to target the tautog, blackfish as they are known up north. Lee, Zach and I headed over to the ships on a easterly windy day, it was to windy to go to the primary tog destination at the first island.
The bite was slow, real slow. We fished for six hours, but we all caught fish, Lee and Zach with three each and I landed two. Usually we catch a smaller caliber of tog at the ships even though we caught a few they were 14” to 18”, nice medium size togs.
Ric and I went looking for the reds in my dads backyard but they appear to have moved on with the warmer water temps.
Ric also hunted the HRBT light line this week and saw nothing again. This is the latest they have been to show up in years. We will have to see how this plays out in the next week. we are still hoping the 30”ers show up so we can have some HRBT fun, GET ON’EM!kev