There are things in life that just make people tick. Though many people have crazy different passions and motivators, many possess the same that I do - the outdoors! If I didn't have the outdoors, I would not be the person that I am today! Yes, we can enjoy the outdoors everyday of the year, but there is something special about this time of year. As Halloween approaches, so do cool temperatures and steady fish appetites! When the water temperature starts to drop steadily, the opposite happens with the fish’s feeding cycle. They will feed more often and consistently throughout the day. Every living thing knows that winter is coming, and fish are no exception.
After a few conversations during the week with Rob Choi, I decided to team up with him on one of his outings. Rob had planned to hit a trout hotspot early in the afternoon, followed by an evening to the HRBT. With my schedule, I was only able to fish early in the day. I launched early to fish the start of the incoming tide to maximize my time on the water. I have fished this location many times, and had a good idea on where and when I could pick up some trout. I decided to troll a MirrOlure and jig/plastic combo to cover some water. It took only about five minutes before I pegged my first trout on a MirrOlure. This 21" fish set the pace for the day:
There is no confidence builder better than catching a nice fish to start off your day. You can just feel the mojo, which I believe is one of the keys to catching fish! I decided that I would toss a Rapala “Skitter Walk®” in the same area I landed the trout. With the tide starting to roll in, I knew the baitfish would be doing the same. Just like I planned, a fish crushed my topwater - only this time it was not a fat trout, but an aggressive little redfish.
With the winds picking up much stronger than forecast, I decided to stick with trolling. The MirrOlure and jig/plastic combo is a great match, because you can have two different presentations going at once. I decided to venture to a windblown shoreline to cover the mouth of a cove where I know fish stage out in front. Just as predicted, the fish were there and hungry. Chalk up another fish on the MirrOlure. One thing I have to add though; if there is one thing that drives me nuts, it's a guy stealing your spot once you catch a fish. Look over my shoulder - this guy motored up and anchored as I landed this fish. I tried to be sneaky, but it didn't work.
I met up with Rob Choi not long after releasing the trout. With him were his cousin and a friend who were eager to get into some fish. In short order, we hooked up again. I dropped a nice fish trolling a MirrOlure, followed up by a strike on the other rod. This time, a Marsh Works jig tipped with a Bass Assassin plastic triggered the hit. Trolling proved to be the ticket!
Starboard rod with a bend
One thing many trout fisherman know is when the bite is on, IT'S ON! It seemed like we were getting hook ups one after another. Soon after I released my trout, Rob's rod doubled over!
Rob Choi with an 18" trout
The afternoon was filled with fish posing for the camera, swings and misses, and nice fish coming off at the boat. Not long after Rob showed up, I had to call it a day. It would have been nice to fish the rest of the incoming tide, but I had a family date. I ended the trip catching seven trout between 17" and 21", and two little redfish around 15". This was a typical fall day, with steady action.
There is nothing like a good day of early fall fishing! Autumn is here, and so are the fish. I am still in search of that citation speck! I will get it soon, I know it! I'm counting down the minutes until I get to chase after these feeding trout again. In the meantime, I can just stare off into the bay and think about my next day on the water chasing after Mr. Big.
See you on the water!
About the Author: Richie Bekolay is diehard kayak fisherman and outdoorsman that resides in Newport News, Virginia. Originally from southeastern Wisconsin, his fishing roots started very early in life as he spent most of his free time pursuing the popular freshwater species with his true passion being the mighty musky. Currently serving in the Air Force, Richie has expanded his skill set from the sweet water to the salt of the Chesapeake Bay. He’s an accomplished tournament angler with most recently a 1st place win for the “Slam” division in the 2012 Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association Kayak Fish For Charity Tournament (3rd largest kayak fishing event in the country) and an 8th place finish in the 2012 IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Atlantic Division Angler of the Year race. Don't be surprised if you're on the water or at a fishing event and run into him and his "Cheesehead" accent. You can follow his fish tales in his blog; Hook, Line, & Sinker at hooklinesinker1.blogspot.com. author.