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Thursday, 29 September 2011 09:38

Before the Big Tourney

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Before the Big Tourney Photograph by Rob Choi

Who's Awesome?!? My wife! That's who! She agreed to hold the fort down with both kids while I made the annual trip down for the TKAA tourney. I got permission to leave Thursday night and soon felt a good binge coming on. It was like being back in college and it was the first day of spring break. I smiled as I thought... I'm going to get crazy hammered on some fishing then hang out with all the cool kids at the biggest kayak fishing party in VA. WooHoo!!!

I got to the HRBT around 9:15pm and as I took my first few paddle strokes, I realized I hadn't paddled in the salt in almost two weeks. Man, it felt good. I found a good mess of stripers along the light line, but the baby bluefish were just everywhere. It was one of those nights where if you casted just a little too far in front of the striper, the blues would just tear them up. It was really quite a sight to see water boiling all around the bridge... and it lasted all night. I managed around 20 stripers ranging from 16" to 26", some nice size croakers, a few small speckled trout and grey trout, and obviously more bluefish than I cared for.

kayak fishing striper

While fishing, I met Jack Daughtry and a few other guys from Maryland who had come down to pre fish the big tourney. It was nice to meet a few other kayak anglers that didn't make me feel like I'm the crazy one. I left and took a nap in the car around 5am, but later I found out that those guys stayed up past sunrise.

I woke up and went over to Kayak Kevin's place to figure out where we were going to pre fish that day. I really wanted to try the Eastern Shore for the red drum but the weather was iffy. While we checked the radar, I got a sneak peek at portions of his new DVD that's coming out soon. It. Is. Awesome. He's got a few more expletives he needs to bleep out, but I can't wait for it to be released. Anyway, with all the little storms popping up Kevin decided to stay in and work on the DVD some more. As for me, after watching some of the sheepshead clips, I couldn't resist. Instead of pre fishing for a species included in the tournament, I went after the notorious convict.

With Kevin watching the radar for me I got to the base of the CBBT, unloaded, had everything ready to launch... then thunder rumbled in the distance. I checked radar on my phone and the storm was a good distance away, but headed toward me. About 45 minutes later, Kevin calls and tells me it's getting close and I should get off the water. Luckily, I knew better and hadn't even launched yet. About 20 minutes later, lightning cracks, wind picks up and the sky drops buckets of water. Boy was I glad I waited. It was 3:00pm by the time I launched, which was actually just right for the slack tide. I quickly got into a scuffle with a 22.5" Sheepie that nearly broke me off on the piling.

kayak fishing sheephead

Not too long after, I fought into submission a 25.5" and a 24.5" convict to become my 4th and 5th release citation sheepies for the year.

fishing for sheephead from a kayak

It started raining again so I started heading in. The wind never got bad though, which was nice. Feeling good about my catches, I got off the water and headed over to the captains meeting for the big tourney coming the next day.

About the Author: Rob Choi is an avid kayak angler from the Chesapeake Bay area in Virginia and a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com. He has earned a reputation among the locals as the fish junkie with reckless abandon to logic, time, and societal norms in his pursuit for the "tug that is the drug".  He shares his love of the sport through his blog www.angling-addict.com.

Read 6347 times Last modified on Friday, 30 September 2011 06:01
Rob Choi

About the Author: Rob Choi is an avid kayak angler from Richmond, VA and although he lives close to the mighty James River, he frequents the Chesapeake Bay more often. His addiction to the salt has earned him a reputation among the locals as the fish junkie with reckless abandon to logic, time, and societal norms in his pursuit for the “tug that is the drug”. What he lacks in long term experience, he makes up in his passionate dedication to the sport now. He shares his love of the sport through his blog, www.angling-addict.com, as well as being a prostaff member at Ocean Kayak, Maui Jim Sunglasses, YakAngler.com, YakAttack, Werner Paddles, and crew member of HOOK 1 and Kayak Bass Fishing.

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# shallow pockets 2011-09-29 10:51
Well done! Those are some huge Sheephead!
# Hammerhead 2011-09-29 18:08
Nice fish you got there!

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