Big CBBT Reds 1ST WEEK OF OCT 2012


This was a fun week!! My first day on the water, I paddle out to the CBBT for the early morning current change. I catch a small croaker and drop it down.  I must have dropped into a 44 inch red drums mouth because he grabbed in not a second after putting the rod in the rod holder it bowed over and line started pulling off. This was a no-piling fight, he pulled me to open water. I didn’t have my cams set yet, so after seeing him and the hook in the corner of his mouth, I backed off the drag and set the cameras up for the landing.
 Jay paddled up and began targeting sheepshead and I drifted a live bait and casted around. Just like we have a spadefish surprise which is a sheepshead while targeting spades, there is also a sheepshead surprise and jay hooked into one. He hooked up and after a few runs and the way it was fighting we figured it wasn’t a sheepie. Last year Lee and I were surprised with a few black drum, usually in the high 20 inch range. This one that jay had was a fighter, at one point we thought he had a red, but it was a 37 inch black drum sheepie surprise!

 The current picked up and was about ready to troll in with a live spot and a crab I scooped out of the water and put down with the jighead. I felt a thump, I look at my rod and it bends over. I pull it out of the rod holder and spin my nose around to him, this 47 incher also was a no- piling fight.
 The reports from sandbridge have been phenomenal. The potential for us to have a double digit landing day was high. So even though i had caught them on the bridge, we were heading for the beach.
Lee had worked hard all week cast netting cob mullet for bait, we were set. The pier had landed a few at day break so our confidence was high. Lee and i paddle out, set anchors and drop baits to the bottom. The water looked good we even had a few false albacore schools blow up on bait around us. Lee finished a can of tuna, rinsed it off and a small hammerhead followed the slick and looked at lee. Then dropped down and grabbed my bait. The first shark is fun but one after another of small sharks starts to wear on you patience and your muscles.
We moved closer in and where still getting swarmed by sharks. One run, as i picked the rod up and tighten down, was strong. I told lee during the first sec "not a shark! Gota be a red" i kept tightening down the drag and it didn’t even slow this freight train down. Our eyes got big, as the line gave way i said, "That wasn’t a red" the line was bit. That was a big shark.
 A few hours later the sharks stopped harassing us and we got real bored. We decided to head on in. we were paddling in front of the pier and one of the guys cast to a school of menhaden and hooked a red, basically right underneath of us. Jay had almost landed, but we had to go back. We followed schools of menhaden but we just couldn’t find i red. That was fully frustrating to have reds all around but we just couldn’t get in front of any.
Boondoggle! Just what is a Boondoggle? It’s a  kayakfishingradio get together. Basically it’s an excuse for the fans and host of the shows to meet and fish together. This time it was here in VA Beach hosted by our local show's double L's Mark Lozier and Kris Lozier. These are a lot of fun, and these get together are needed. we are all so busy it’s good to take a weekend and hangout and fish with kayak fishing friends from all over, even as far as Texas.
I was extra excited when my friend and fellow ocean kayak pro Irish Jean McElroy said her and her dad where coming up. Jean and i meet a year and a half ago at the OK dealer conference. We fished together when i caught my first bass. I tried to convince her to get up here for the striper, but being a Floridian winter aint the season. So with it still being warm and the fall run running. This was a good time.
We paddle out, the current was slack and the bait where not biting. Jean was a few pilings up from me, i look up and she’s bowed up and heading under the bridge! I sprint to her as the fish has her rod on one side of the piling and the bow of the kayak on the other. I yell "put it in free spool, back out and paddle through!" she was trying to one arm back paddle against the current while the pressure of the rod pinned her kayak against the piling. I yelled “open the bail, put the rod down and paddle around” she got un stuck and was back in the fight, for a min before he ran into the next set of piling. He ran through took a left and broke off. I looked at her smiling and said “it happens really quick." she said “yea!"
During the next current change Lee and Jay paddle out. They target sheepies, Jean and I keep casting for reds. Jay drops a bait on a sheepie’s head and lands a 23 incher.
 I was casting under the bridge, between the sets of pilings. A red grabs it half way back to me, he runs out into the current but slightly to the left, heading for the outside piling. I bear down on him and catch up to him just as he passes the outside of the pile. I was right over top of him as he headed to the next set and I’m ready. Just as he comes to the base of the piling, i put the reel in free spool and let my bow slip behind the piling. Everything stops for a split second as i feel out where the fish went, did he go to the outside or inside. I get my line off the pile and put the tip up and i see my line straighten out i put the reel back in gear and i shoot out of the pilings like a rocket! This fish had me a sprinting speed and was heading for the ocean. He was pushing with two pumps and a glide and was heading for the ocean with power. For a second there i questioned what i had, i didn’t get head shakes, he never made any typical red drum cut backs, he was just pulling with strength and no sign of tiring. i said to jay who was following, "this has to be a ray!" i start short pumping slowly bringing the fish up and closer, just so i can see him as we are making a wake to the ocean. I see him and yell to jay, "big red!!"
What made this the toughest strongest fight was this fish is at the top of his game, a true stud animal. He didn’t have an injury on him, his color was perfect, and its body was muscular streamline and strong. He was a perfectly beautiful beast red drum specimen. That’s why he didn’t make any cut backs and pulled with unprecedented strength. He was the champ and i felt honored to fight him.
The next day Rob Choi was already out, and it was windy. A bunch of us paddled out, Jean, Rob "a bad back cast" DeVore, the crew from Maryland kayak fishing and everybody drifted around but no reds came through.
 It was a long muscle wearing week, but i loved it, more two a days at the bridge, a marathon of small shark fights in the ocean and hanging with friends at the boondoggle! I can’t wait to do it again and GET ON'EM!708_irish_jean_cbbt_red-1.jpg
Jean's CBBT red708_kev_47_red_cbbtt-1.jpg
mornin 44"er

releasing the 51"er

Kayaks Used

Trident Series

Got fish? With the help of our Modular Fishing Pod you soon will. Featured on the Trident 11 and 13 this central command center provides unmatched flexibility for rod mounts along with sports trays for odd-shaped lures, and it even has a built-in ruler to make sure that catch is legal. Read More