Trip 6 – This trip was one that was not planned, and just kind of snuck up on us. On a random Friday night, Jay Brooks and I were having a few drinks at a local watering hole and the wind was howling from the NE with gust up to 35 mph. We both wanted to catch some fish, but we knew it wasn’t going to happen… That is until Jack Daughtry gave me a shout. He was in the process of making the trip down from MD, and was trying his hardest to convince us that the next morning was going to be a go. We drank a few more beers and decided to call it a night, and see if the weather gods would let us move forward.
Fast forward a short six hours. I wake up to a phone call from Jay telling me that the weather was going to work in our favor. After getting situated, we launch to find Jack and Matt already on the water. After a nice paddle out, we meet up just in time to see Jack get the solid hook up and bend of our targeted quarry… Mr. Sheep. The bad guy in me was saying “Really, Jack? Give us a break dude!” The other guy on my shoulder said “Good, the fish are chomping… Today is our day!”
We move on and make the paddle to the spot that I had been hooking up to nice Spadefish all summer. The action started out slow, and Jay moved on to triggerfish. I left my phone in the car, and wouldn’t you know, once he got out of shouting range, the bite turned on BIG TIME. I hooked up to a number of solid fish in the 14-16″ range, like this one
Photo Credit – Jack Daughtry
We hooked up to some really solid fish, and I stated my goal for the day… a 18″+ Spade. We knew they were there and were chewing. I ended up with some solid bites that never became catches, and some huge losses. One of which was an 18″ Spade. We found this out the following day, when Jack caught the same fish I lost with the same hook, swivel, leader and blue powerpro I lost the fish on. After I lost the fish, my focus started waning and I found myself engaged in combat fishing with three of my good friends. As I was pushing and shoving my way back to the spot, I decided I was messing around too much, and not fishing enough, so I moved on and this is what I was rewarded with…
|First Citation Sheepshead of 2014
Photo Credit – Jack Daughtry
On my first piling after leaving the spade honey hole, I hooked up with this beautiful 24″ Sheepshead. On my next piling, I managed to hook up with another solid 23″ Sheepie. At this point, we called it a day, and went our seperate ways!
Angler 1 – Fish Gods 0
After a few trips on the SUP chasing reds, and landing some beautiful upper slot fish, I found myself at the Tidewater Catching for Kids club challenge. I have fished this event for the last five years, and each year we (TKAA) have placed very high with a top finish and tournament record point total and winning margin in 2013. This year, there were some rule changes that were focused on the kayak anglers. We did what yak anglers to best… Adapt and Overcome.
My team consisted of Seth Goodrich, Lee Williams, and Jay Brooks. Jay covered the event well on his site. Ill leave you with the clif notes. We got to the spot where we had patterned fish the whole summer and almost immediately got on spades. As I was prepping bait, the unthinkable happened, a cham shell had sliced my thumb open. it was deep enough that I could see my heartbeat through the blood that gushed out of my thumb. None of us had brought a first aid kit, so I had a few options. First I could put pressure on the wound and hope the bleeding would stop enough to fish. The second option (which I should have taken) was to paddle in and go to get sutures. The final option was to wait for a boat to pass by, see if they could assist, and fish on. As I waved at the first boat I saw, he kept moving on. It wasn’t until I raised my hand, which was covered in blood that I gained his attention. Luckily, he found his first aid kit so I could tape my thumb and fish on. The rest of the day I missed lots of fish due to a loss in dexterity, but managed some small spades, and what ended up being the 3rd place trigger. Seth, Lee, and especially Jay got work done and put up a but load of points for the team, to include Jay’s 1st place Citation Sheepie!
|Brooks “Cheesin’ it Up”|
We knew with the work we did, and what the rest of the club had done, it would be close. Just how close we were unsure. In the end, we ended up with 17 points for second place, and missed out by a measly 2 points. I know that I left points on the table that would have put us higher on the board, but fishing is fishing, and knowing what TKAA and all the other clubs did for Catchin for Kids was enough to make it all worthwhile.
|The CBBT team… With Joe Underwood as my photo stand in.|
|Posing with the Club Challenge trophy until next year with my
Werner Paddles teammates Kris, Mark, and Drew
With the days events into account, even though I lost scoring fish and sliced my thumb open, we still had a respectable showing, a great time, and I put up a scoring fish so ill call this…
Angler 1 Fish Gods 0
So the way I see it, over the last two posts, I came out ahead and finally got my REDEMPTION!