Friday, April 20, 2012

Winter 2012

Here it is April and I am just now getting around to my first post for 2012.  Well I can say it is not from the lack of catching fish.  I have been quite busy the last few months and have tried to fit in fishing whenever I have the time and weather allows.  I was elected by my fellow brethren in the Pirates of Lynnhaven Kayak Fishing Club back in December as the new Tournament Director.  I am honored that I have the opportunity to help and to be more involved with such a great kayak fishing club.  Taking on this new role has been a learning experience.  Be on the lookout for POL tournaments and events.  There are a lot of dedicated anglers working to make 2012 a phenomenal year for the Pirates of Lynnhaven.  I will be posting more information on the Angler of the Year tournament Series within the next few weeks.

Speck Trout Fishing was consistently good the first half of January. I made it out a couple times per week after work for some late night sessions and each night I averaged 5 trout in the 20-23 inch range.  Unfortunately in February the night time bite slowed down.   Once the weather stabilizes and the winds calm down I will be on the prowl under the moonlight again.

23" ER Trout
She liked my Catch 5.  When I hooked this gal, I
already had four shake off near the kayak
20.5" Speck
23" Striper
I will also be competing in the Atlantic Division IFAKayak Fishing Tour this year.  This is my rookie year with the tour.  First stop was in Savannah, GA, March 24 & 25.  The event was well organized and planned but unfortunately, for the competitors, the weather made for some harsh fishing conditions both during pre-fishing and tournament day.  Even though I was dodging thunderstorms and fighting oppressive winds all weekend I still managed to have a great time by meeting and making new friends who share the passion of fishing as I do. I am looking forward to the second event coming up on June 2 & 3, in Charleston, S.C.

Sunrise over Saint Catherines Sound on Tournament Day
The very next weekend after the Savannah event, my girlfriend Nicole and I fished the MS Shad Shootout in Richmond, VA.  The MS Shad Shootout was a fishing tournament to raise money for the MS Challenge Walk.  We fished the James River in Richmond, VA and launched the canoe from Anncarrows Landing.  The location was by far not the prettiest scenery on the James River but it was still fun none the less.  This was my first time fishing in Richmond and first time specifically targeting Shad.   My Shad prowess was not so great; we started out throwing gold shad spoons while working our way to the I-95 Bridge.  When noon approached we still had not boated any fish.  We decided to drift our way back down river and with a few changes to my rig we were a drift.  My rig for the drift consisted of a row of 10 gold hooks tipped with a tiny piece of night crawler.  It wasn’t long and I had a fish on. All it took was a small Blue Catfish to break the skunk.  At that time I thought catching a shad for cut bait was not going to happen. So on the rod I had planned to use cut shad with I placed a 4” new penny Gulp shrimp on the 8/0 circle hook.  Within minutes of dropping the Gulp to the bottom I was hooked up again to another small catfish and no sooner than releasing the blue cat my rod with the gold hook was bent over with the first shad of the day. BAIT!! I dropped anchor and proceeded to cut the shad up and to use as cut bait.  This is when the day became exciting.  Cast after cast I was pulling in catfish and Nicole was joining in on the thrill too.  We wore that spot out and after not getting any bites for awhile, it was time to call it a day.  I ended the day with my biggest Blue cat going 28”and a pair of shad; Nicole caught several kitties, a PB 24” Blue Cat, 20” Striper and a Shad. 

This little guy broke the skunk
Nicole's first shad
24" Blue Cat
That's a face only a mother can love
A fat 28" Blue Cat
20" Striper
All that paddling against current and reeling in fish after fish worked up an appetite.  We were in luck as the weigh-in for the MS Shad Shootout was at Finn McCool’s in RVA.  After a cold refreshing beer and hot food, I would recommend checking out Finn McCool’s if you are in the area.  Their calamari appetizer is a good place to start on the menu too.  I soon realized my blue cat, although a decent size, was not going to be sufficient for placing in the tournament with my one recorded medium sized Shad.  I had no regrets though because it was a great day on the water.  Congratulations to the winners of the MS Shad Shootout and a big thanks to Thom Mattauch for organizing a great event.

The Winnners!!!!!
William (3rd Place), Brian (1st Place) and Tom V (2nd Place)
Maybe next year you wont catch all your fish the day before?
Until next time, go and get Infishicated! 

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