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Wednesday, 01 February 2012 01:00

Back in the Saddle

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Back in the Saddle Photographs by Rob Choi

Friday night couldn't come soon enough – I was itching from anticipation. At 10:30 p.m., the first stop was HRBT, where I met up with Justin. I paddled out, keeping my eyes peeled for the welcome sight of a striper silhouette. I was paddling over a small one when a voice greeted me out of the darkness: "Dude, there's a big one right in front of you…"

I thought, “What a nice way to greet a fishing buddy!” as I caught a glimpse of the massive shape slowly sinking, then fading. We guestimated the striper to be in the upper 30" range, and it was the only big one we saw. Fish were scattered here and there, but none wanted to commit. They would follow the lure to the boat, then take off. I started twitching the lure once I got their attention, and then they would strike. Unfortunately, I had several poor hook sets and the fish would get off.


It wasn't too long before the current stopped. I only landed one 25" fish. Justin landed several, and we were off the water by 1 a.m. It wasn't the greatest night, but after an agonizing 31 days of kayak fishing deprivation it felt great to finally get back in the saddle.

Justin with a striper

The next morning, I found myself at the Elizabeth River by 7 a.m., looking for big speckled trout. I tried everything - topwater, soft plastics, various MirrOLure baits, slow to fast and everything in-between, from deep drop offs to shallow flats, the infamous “Party Cove” area and a few oyster bars, with little luck. I managed one 20" fish (Pictured above in the main image) and called it the first kayak fishing trip of the year.

Read 3429 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 21:02

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.

Website: www.angling-addict.com


# Bob 2012-02-03 05:04
Every year I tell myself I'm gonna make it up there and catch a few of those Ches Bay rockfish. Congrats on a descent outing! I remember being stationed up there in the, '80's when all that was being built. Turned into a nice fishery. 8)
# robchoi 2012-02-03 15:27
Thanks for kind words. If you're ever down in the area again, give us a shout. We'll put you on a Chesapeake Bay Rockfish, no problem.
# Coosa_Dave 2012-02-03 19:10
What do you guys catch the hybrids/striper s on? I fish for them here in Kentucky. Great article Rob. I really enjoy your writing and experience on the water.
# robchoi 2012-02-04 15:42
Thanks, Dave. My go-to is a 3" paddle tail in natural bunker pattern. Most swim baits will work for us in VA

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