Living in Delaware we don’t typically see many Red Drum in our waters. Traveling for the opportunity to target these game fish is exciting. Fortunately its only a 140 mile drive south from my home! It’s only a little over 2 and a half hours to make it to the trip to Cape Charles Virginia. I’m spoiled since I have been driving maximum an hour to the water all my life and now it has become my backyard. This drive is worth it though. This is the story of A Fourteen Hour Fishing Trip.

In Delaware 10-10-2017

After Work Fishing

Midway through October 2017 and the days have been still warm. I have been getting out after work here and there for the evening Striped Bass bite close to my work. Some good fish but it’s still like summer. The size of the fish is still 30″ and below. Tuesday Oct 10th during an evening on the water I sent Joe H a text giving him a fishing report. He called soon after informing me that he was planning a trip to fish in Virginia for Sunday. The weather looked good so I decided to ask if it was cool if I met up with him there. The trip was on.

The Plan:

JK Kilroy LT - Red Drum - Matt Trucks

Photo by Joe Hosler

Meet up at 06:30 near the Eastern Shore Wildlife Refuge Boat ramp Sunday. Then go fishing targeting reds. Simple enough!

The Chesapeake Bay can get rough in this area but I loaded my Jackson Kayak Kilroy as i feel it is the best suited for saltwater creek style fishing. The kayak has a Torqeedo Ultralight 403 installed for those days when you need to get back quick or against a river style current ripping tide. It comes in handy!

Sunday Fishing Day!

Out the door by 3:45 am on the road. It’s still raining and foggy. The misting and fog finally became intermittent around 2 hours in.  I can spot the deer peering into my headlights while passing through heavily wooded areas. Warm coffee and maximum concentration. Thinking to myself how much i love my 2016 Ford F150 over my old truck. Waze on the consul broadcasting the distance traveled and my ETA its 6: 30 to start but traffic light s and such made it more like 6:40.

Start of A fourteen hour fishing tripI arrived and everyone was there gearing up. It was just starting to become light. There was an eerie yellowish cloud as the sun hit it from below the horizon. We hit the water and fished a small creek. It was slow fishing only with a few small Speckled Trout.  So we crossed the channel and begun fishing that area. The tide was on its way out. A few more trout early. Paddling through the shallows I went as far back as I could. Oysters in VirginiaThere were oysters all over in the sod banks. Not sure if these are edible or if they are even legal to harvest. I found one laying on the bottom and picked it up to examine it. They were pretty small and flat but i put it back and went back to fishing.

There was no water only an inch or two. I circled back and figured id throw some casts at a drop off I saw on my way in.

First cast reeling slowly bump bump across the bottom and bang fish on! Great fight on my bull bay rod paired with the Abu Garcia Revo Inshore casting reel. Peeling drag running towards the kayak and back deep again. A great fight to land a 23 inch healthy Red Drum!

Released him and caught a few more on that drop until there was inches of water left. The clouds had finally broken away to sunshine. It was nice and warm now as everything begin to dry out. The tide slowed to a crawl so did the bite. Managing a bunch of Speckled trout a few more reds and small Striped Bass. At this point it was 12:30. We realized we were now landlocked. We fished for another half hour on a slow bite until finally dragging the yaks across the sand bar to return to the launch.

I took a detour to go take a few photos of a large chunk of drift wood that had washed up on the sandy part of the island. As an amateur photographer I spot these things and have to get there to grab a few photos. This particular piece of drift wood i spotted from a mile away in the morning on the way across the channel. After getting my shots using the Torqeedo I went back full throttle. 6.5 mph most of the way. A following sea made it a bit strange.

Fortunately the drive home wasn’t so bad. I was worried that id be exhausted as I have been in the past coming back from really long fishing days in the summer heat. Arriving home around 5 PM the concluded the fourteen hour fishing trip.  Will defiantly be doing this trip again in the future.

 

 

One of the most unique places in the United States is Assateague Island. Located in both Maryland & Virginia the barrier island is home to hundreds of feral horses. It all began in January 2017 when in a conversation with Joe Hosler about doing a Kayak Fishing Excursion there. Not knowing the area it was tough to pick a date but we picked what worked out best for the two of us. I then figured it would be nice to extend it to fellow kayak anglers. A post on facebook and an enormous amount of interest followed. The date was set for June 9 – 12 as still in the spring the hope was for a less buggy experience.

Assateague is said to have the second highest mosquito populations just under the Everglades in Florida. Insect repellent with deet is highly recommended. The camp is set up for tenting camper or RV but has no hookups. It’s amenities include an out house with cold showers but its a  great trade off for the outdoor beauty the park provides.

Assateague Island National Seashore Park Kayak Fishing Camp

This was the first run while personally never visiting the park had no idea what to expect. For this reason the car camping was our best bet. There are many factors while wilderness camping that can make it a good trip or a tough one weather conditions being a main one. Rain can be one of the worst. Even in the summer things will not dry in humid places making the adventure cold and risky. “Backcountry Camping” at Assateague the closest camp in Maryland varies from 2 1/2 to 13 miles away from the ranger station.  No fresh water is available at the back-country sites so paddling in water would be a must.

Car camping as opposed to wilderness camping is much easier while weather is still a factor it can be overcome easily. The amount of gear you have with you is not limited to what you can take in your kayak. So for those reasons car camping was the way to go on the first run at Assateague. Campsite reservations fill up quickly at the park so planning out dates happened well in advance. I booked 2 sites in January which can hold up to 6 campers 2 tents and 2 cars.

Friday:

Assateague Island National Park is located in Maryland about an hour south of my home. Ricky took the drive from Philly and crashed at my place the night before. I was waiting on a special delivery from Torqeedo of a Sunshade 50 solar panel for charging the Torqeedo battery. It was amazing as it arrived at the moment we are hitting the road!

The Road to Camp:

Fortunately the camp is only an hour from my house so we were there in no time. We stopped at Buckys bait and tackle shop for bait and also got a flounder sandwich for lunch.  Ed and Noriel were already there and set up by the time Ricky and I arrived. Dee and Kelly were also already there so we set up our camp. We needed firewood as the park states you cannot bring firewood from out of state.

Its pretty neat as the Assateague road in there are about 20 different places that sell firewood both honor boxes and salesman. After loading up on wood we and then hit the water. In search of flounder and set up with crapping handlines we fished and crabbed until the evening. Suddenly Ricky had a fish on. It was a small striper. Who knew. Some time went by and I started catching them on the buck tail and gulp.

One after another 14 in all which was followed by an amazing sunset.

Horses crossing the bay at Assateague

Right after the sun past the horizon horses crossed the water from sod banks which they were grazing on the salty grass during the day. The full moon raised above the trees at that exact time.

 

Ford F150 Chillouette with Kayaks

We did a bit of grilling back at camp. Some sausages that Noriel brought. It was late due to the long days and no one really felt like cooking. We then all went and crashed out only to be awoken at 2:30 am by other campers setting up and being very inconsiderate. Ricky said something to them and they didn’t care. We figured in the morning since they packed up quite early that they were not supposed to be camping there to begin with.

Saturday:

Mosquitos outside my tentWaking up around 5:30 to await Jeff Little’s arrival and to cook up some breakfast.  The mosquitoes that were caught between the screen dome and the rain fly of my tent were still trying to eat me alive. The dash to unzip the door and run to the concrete or become breakfast to the blood suckers. Well I made it. The other guys were just getting up also. I started cooking bacon and eggs for everyone. Jeff arrived and ate with us. We filmed a short video on the Torqeedo Sunfold 50 Solar Charging Panel.

Convoyed up we drove off the island to South Point which lies on the west side of Sinepuxent Bay. Launching at a boat ramp we learned the water was colder than that closer to the island. It was funny because it probrably took us about 20 minutes to drive to the boat ramp while it was only 1.8 miles from the Assateague Island Drop in.  Water was deeper in this are a reason we went there but couldn’t find a fish the whole day. Resorted to crabbing and caught mainly females which is illegal to keep for dinner in Maryland.

Jeff was able to get in a bunch of footage for the Torqeedo video. I covered how to use the Torqeedo motor while flounder fishing. Making new drifts wind tide etc. It does save from a lot of paddling throughout the day. Then went onto hand lining from a kayak for crabs. Technique bait, and how to anchor. All great information which I will post up on my blog when I get around to it! Everyone ended up giving up around 2 PM and headed back to camp for dinner. Becky, Ricky’s wife had prepared  chicken and veggies for grilling! Good thing I brought the Camp Chef cook op and grill top.

We did manage to get out again in the evening for the bass again. Wasn’t as productive as the evening prior but did catch a few.

 

Sunday:

The attempt to sleep in was impossible due to the fact the sun was beating on my tent. The heat was becoming intense. Ricky was leaving soon and so were Kelly and Dee. Jay Sav had to leave Saturday unfortunately due to a family emergency. Ed Noriel and myself decided to fish where we did the evening before and try some crabbing there also.  Crabbing was very slow and almost uneventful. Only a strange thing happened. I had a small bunker on one of my crab stringers. Suddenly it was pulled really hard and the bait was gone. What could have that been…

Couldnt say anything for the fishing. Didn’t even have a hit but next time i will throw a bunker on and let it sit on the bottom. We all were bored and decided to head back to camp around 1 PM. I was able to set up the Torqeedo Sunfold 50 to get a gauge on how much battery it would charge in a certain time. Realistically its 50 watts of charging so it will charge a full battery over the time of 2 full days of sunlight.

We had leftover chicken sandwiches for lunch and I cooked the steak for dinner. We were all sort of beat and didn’t go out fishing on the last evening. A heard of horses came through camp in the late afternoon.  They just walked through feeding on the tall grass not minding ours or other campers presence. Then they rummaged through a neighboring campers trash. Its bad to leave trash or food out at the camp. Horses are not built to consume human or other animals food. They eat grass.

I went down to the beach for a clear sunset. We had our last campfire and the wind in that campsite again saved us from the mosquitoes.

Monday:

Well it was an early wake up again. This time to pack up and head home. This was a very enjoyable few days of doing what we love best. Camping, Fishing, and hanging out with good friends. This will most likely become an annual trip for us. All are welcome to join. Please do! Hope to see you all next year.

Wrap Up 5th Annual CBKA Tournament September 10th 2016

Another Chesapeake Bay Fishing Tournament in the books. For me it was great to be out on the water with my kayak after two and a half months due to relocating and my truck having mechanical issues. Living now in South Eastern Delaware it was a pleasure to have half the driving distance to the venue on Kent Island Maryland. This was my third year to be present at this beautiful venue.

Preparation:

wp-1478057920921.jpgIt was the first kayak haul for my new 2016 F150. I took the Friday off from work which worked out as I was able to get my new truck bed cap installed at the ARE Dealer, Trick Trucks in Millsboro DE. Previously had removed the Thule rack in anticipation of installing it on the new cap asap. It took me around an hour to drill and bolt on the rack to my new cap. It was now pretty set for kayak hauling. I loaded up and let around 3:50 PM to arrive at the venue around 6:00 PM.

Arrival:

Upon my arrival meeting up with Joe Hostler. Checked in and received my captains bag stocked with goodies. Then awaited the captains meeting. After sitting trough that went to the field to set up my tent. The day was a scorcher at 95 degrees and high humidity. As the sun set during the potluck dinner which I provided some tuna mac with crab salad. All of the potluck food brought by others was excellent as always. Joe’s mac salad was amazing along with various other items such as jalapeno poppers, chicken wings, and a crab mac & cheese dish.

As the evening set in the temperature leveled at about 86 degrees as the humidity shot through the roof. The conditions were not the best to be camping but made the best of it. Sat in the truck air conditioning for a bit. Finally going to the tent around 12:00 am. Some of the guys were still up hanging out and apparently were until around 3 am.

Tournament Day:

wp-1478056234649.jpgThe morning came fast. Sounds of alarms and others waking from camp. It was still dark but not for long. I went over and met Joe at his cabin grabbed some coffee and rigged up a few rods. We were probably the last to launch but it worked out because driving to the drop in was simple. Rather than loading up the kayaks and walking then there on kayak carts. Hitting the water we immediately started fishing for bait. In these areas Spot are an excellent source of bass bait. Spot can be gathered using a small 1/0 Octopus hook a small bit of weight and a fish bite or small piece of blood worm.

a-spot_cbkaAfter about a dozen or so spot and catching small white perch at the same time we trolled over to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in search of solid fish marks on the chart plotter. By this time the wind had kicked up from the southeast and it was rocking and rolling out there. Live lining for bass was non eventful after a few hours. The stripers just didn’t seem to cooperate on the live bait.

Attempted trolling for hours catching one small striper around 17″. We went back at catching perch with an attempt to place in that category but could only manage fish up to 8″. We fished the entire time and missed the weigh in but were sure we had nothing that qualified for placing in the tournament anyway. It was a great day to be out on the water doing what I love the most.

cbka_16-striperThe awards ceremony commenced and as always is very well put together. A representative from the make a wish foundation was present and spoke a little bit about the charity followed by a tear jerking video of a boys wish to take a trip on a US aircraft carrier. They really do amazing things for these kids whom unfortunately endure a lot of pain and suffering. This is what we do it for!

If you have never attended the Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers tournament come next year and check it out. Hang with a bunch of friendly kayak anglers.

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