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Monday, 25 March 2013 22:15

Ghost Fisherman Captures 4 Species, Numerous Specimens, 0 Decent Photos

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Exploring Virginia rivers in the spring is a rite of the season, full of opportunity. Itching to break out of the winter doldrums, I hit the water on a warm day to see what was stirring as the water temps inched upwards.

As I prepared to launch, the skies opened and a cold wind kicked up I pulled on my raingear, cinching up my hood against the elements. A few minutes of paddling, and I reached my first spot. The skies cleared, and the drag soon sang with the pull of a mystery fish. It came unbuttoned, but my confidence was up. A nice seatrout put me on the board. I unhooked him, slipped the grip into his mouth, and reached for my tagging gun. The fish was sitting in the water and with one flop, it freed itself before I could measure and tag it. At least the day had yielded something other than relaxation in the sun.


A few pelicans kept me company as I paddled around, and I found the remains of their lunch, taunting me in the shallows.


I paddled to a section of shoreline and quickly landed a small red. I measured, tagged, and released him. Interested to see what else was on the feed, I went searching for marks in deeper water. When my rod doubled over, I pulled back on a silvery, acrobatic flash––a shad, my first of the year.


Another species, another terrible picture.


At least I got something to come out.

I continued working my way around to a few more likely locations, picking up a few small seatrout and reds before pulling in a nearly 20” speck - the doppelgänger of my first fish of the day. A quick measurement and tag, and the speck was on its way.


On my way back to the launch, I pulled out a small striper; the perfect cap to the trip. The striper rounded out the readily available species for this time of year, perhaps with the exception of white perch. As I had in the morning, I paddled against the wind and tide––“uphill both ways,” as I like to say––and loaded up the truck to head home for an ice cold drink.


This would’ve been OK if I’d cropped out the droplet, but in the interest of the story . . .

Somehow, I’d managed to take a horrible photo of each species, making for a hilarious synopsis of the day’s catch. Fortunately, I don’t head out to take pictures; spring is in swing, and my spirit is in the total experience on the water.



I hit the water again the following day, and managed to take a non-washed-out picture.


Read 7433 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 06:04
Ben Hoover

Ben is an avid kayak angler who plies the waters of Hampton Roads, Virginia with fly and light tackle. A transplanted Yankee, he developed a true taste for the salt after moving south of the Mason-Dixon. He is a proud HOW volunteer and remains loyal to http://www.flyfishersparadise.com/, his employer throughout college. Ben can be found on the water under cover of darkness, waving a stick in a plastic boat. He is slowly but surely learning to gear fish.


+1 # smj190 2013-03-26 14:39
The man, the myth, the ghost! Thanks for sharing.

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