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Started by Dougfish, October 22, 2019, 09:14:17 AM
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I'll start this. I don't have a ton of pics. The others can chime in.
SRTU had a trip to Harkers Island this past weekend. Some of the usuals on here were among the 6 that shared a shitty little ranch house for three nights. We boogied down Thursday hoping to get a few hours on the water. But the winds and chop changed our minds. Lost day. We hit up The Fishook for dinner that night. On Friday, both boats were in the water early. Driver, WB and I on Driver's bote. Al, Roy and Joe on Joe's bote. Pretty choppy once you got out of the hook, but we still ranged far and wide in search of the Albies. No signs. We hit up a trawler to see what was happening behind it. Jason broke out the 12 wt for sharks. They were there, but no bites. No albies. We burned a lot of gas, listened to everyone's frustration on the radio and decided to go up the cape to harass some bluefish. Both botes caught plenty and the seas got calmer as the day wore on. No albies for our bote. Day one was done and we cleaned up and had my pulled pork, mac and cheese, slaw dinner. That lone, poor bathroom.
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Day two dawned chilly with some chop. We had to have a good day because of the tropical storm remnants pushing up this evening and ruining any chance of fishing Sunday. We did the far and wide albie runs. Jason beat Keith and I up pretty good, running and no gunning. We gave in after a few hours and settled for the crowds and the blues. The water calmed considerably, and we had caught enough of the piranha of the sea, so we headed out a few more miles to check some rumored action.
And before you know it, we had burned 3/4 of a tank. No albies seen.
We picked our way back through the maze of shoals and hung it up.
About the time we got both boats clean and a seafood dinner started, the rain began. We ate good, Hokies bet those cheaters in 6 OT's, awoke early, loaded in in a steady rain and boogied.
Interesting. Back in the 70s in the Chesapeake, whenever the blues were thick, the stripers were sparse, and whenever the Stripers were thick, there were no blues. At least that is what I remember....
Email from the Smith River was the start of an Albie trip for Al, Doug, Jason, Roy, and Joe who was the ringmaster of the show. The plan was to split lodging (#whatadump) and fish Thurs thru Sunday.
Since the weather was iffy we didn't start off to early
Doug and I met at Drivers at 9 and transferred rods, reel, and luggage into his truck and hit the road. The drive down was uneventful. We made a stop for Driver to get some new bibs, he got a 50% off deal on the only medium size left.
We arrived in the afternoon and after the meet and greet, we entertained the idea of getting out on the water.
Rigged up the rods and all.
But Capt. Joe wanted to round up some oysters and clams, and Jason went along. Well the made a side trip into Beaufort looking for shrimp only to find them back on Harkers a couple of blocks from the house, and by the time they got back it was too late to make the effort, so we went out to dinner instead.
Up early on Saturday we saw a glorious sunrise and took advantage of the only perk of the lodging a discount on the closest boat
ramp. There was a slew of kingfisher boats staging for a tournament.
Out on the water Driver navigated the shallow channel as one of the kingfisher boats with trip 300s powered past us too close for comfort but instant karma came into play as they made a swooping ess turn to the starboard and ended churning up mud and we boogied on past them.
No fish to starboard or port.
So it was beer thirty.
As Doug mentioned we traveled up and down the shore and miles out into the sea searching.
I was a kidney jarring ride. We heard the depressing calls of the radio, nothing much happening anywhere. Finally we went to the shoals were busting blues were caught in good numbers, but catching them wasn't nearly as exciting as the thrill that one albie would have given.
Doug served up some amazing pulled pork with sides of mac 'n cheese and slaw.
Rinse and repeat...
Red skies in the morning...
I realized that I hadn't taken a single fish pic on the first day so I made an effort to get a few shots...
We all got tired of chasing and catching the blues so we went on the hunt again, this time Jason's keen eyes spotted a pod of albies, but they were up and gone in a flash.
Shore dinner sure was good...
Looks like a good time. I've still yet to ever catch a salty fish on the fly. Nice efforts....
Good reports and I am sure fun was had even without the albies. And,yes that size bluefish are great when eaten fresh.
I have a few photos and commentary to add - first of all it was a good trip.
The crew of old timers outfished the youngsters but what else is new.
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Can't beat the sunrise
We ran into a small pod of Albies and I immediately hooked up (not my first rodeo) and had one well on the way to the boat but the rest of the crew tossed in right on top of me and we ended up with one giant goat screw which broke my fish off. Once we got it all untangled we boated one Albie which by default I was allowed to pose with.
We caught lots of bluefish both days
We had previously hooked up on a shark which cut off a bluefish and lost it but awhile later another did the same thing and I was able to get the steel into it - only problem was it was caught on a bass / striper fishing rod. The fight went on for over an hour - it almost spooled me several times but Captain Bly redeemed himself by skillfully maneuvering the boat so I could regain line. I felt like a replay of "The Old Man and the Sea" - It was either him or me
Captain Bly said 150 pound Black Tip - I personally think more like 100 pounds but no matter - it was quite a feat on a bass rod.
Admire the effort fellas, not in vain. Blews Salted and slightly smoked, one fillet eaten with bare hands... the rest will be churned into cream cheese, capers, dill and lemon zest for a nice spread on toast. Damn fine fillets 0:0