Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Charter Day with my son....

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to share the water with two amazing people, my son and Mark Lozier of 1st Landing Kayak Fishing Services.  I had never chartered a guide before, but I wanted to leverage the expertise of a trusted friend while also supporting the local economy.  Plus, the added reinforcement of how to do certainthings while fishing coming from another person wouldn't hurt in the "education" of a future angler.  The last few trips I had taken with my son were not as productive as I had hoped, so I wanted to switch it up a bit.

We decided the Poqouson area afforded the best opportunity to try for some larger speckled trout and redfish, so we set our date and the launch time and patiently waited for Friday to arrive.  When I left the house, I had no idea that mother nature would not be kind to us on the day.  Mark had arrived ahead of us and had tested out a couple of the potential locations and found the top water bite to be promising.  He had three nice blow ups to set the stage for what would prove to be a challenging but still very enjoyable day on the water.

When we arrived, the winds started to blow in earnest and made holding position in our planned area a little difficult.  We worked a variety of presentations under the choppy surface - a Marsh Works Bayou Thumper (3 different color patterns between us - Croakaine, Margarita and Shrimp), a Mirrolure topwater, two different popping cork rigs and a gold spoon - no bites were to be found.  I switched over to the crystal color pattern with a chartreuse tail and immediately had a hit, but later learned it would be a crab.

When that location failed to produce, we attempted to move to another area with an extended flat, but we found the wind and chop to be a bit much, so we headed back to our original setup location.  When we got there, the winds started blowing even stronger, so we headed for a sheltered cove.  We found a nice pocket with very minimal wind, so we staked out in a spread pattern and started searching for fish.
We started to see some surface activity with little finger mullet busting in sporadic spots along the edge of a small channel, so we had my son and I throw our popping corks out into the channel and allow the incoming current to bring it along the channel ledge.  We were also working our moving presentations as well.  After a few minutes, I finally get a strike but miss the hook set.  My son follows in short order with what would be his only catch that day - a small crab.  My next cast landed the only fish of the day for all of us - a rat red loaded in spots - 17 in total, 8 on one side and 9 on the other.
We kept at it - my son missed three fish that I know of.  He is still learning how to detect the "bite", and this was his first go at using a popping cork.  All three of his misses were from having too much slack in the line when the fish took his bait and pulled the cork under.  No worries - Mark was gracious enough to donate a popping cork setup to my son to keep and practice with.  I'll take him minnow fishing with me to a good spot that he can use it with so he can get some more practice and be ready for the fall speck run in a couple of months.

As I was sitting there taking in the scenery, the wind shifted just slightly and turned me a little sideways.  It was then that I noticed the nasty thunderhead fast approaching, so Mark and I looked at each other and both agreed to call it a day.  It was about time to end our day anyway, so mother nature just eschewed it along a few minutes ahead of schedule.  As we rounded the point on our way back, the winds blew in strong at 20+ easily, just as it had been doing for most of the day out in the open water where we started our day.  Mark an I couldn't believe how strong it was.  I wish the forecasts were more dependable.  I checked three different internet based forecasting utilities and none of them had predicted the winds that we were experiencing.

While the day was not as action packed as we had hoped, it was still quality time spent with my son and with a good friend.
If you ever make your way to the Chesapeake Bay area, whether it is for a vacation, you live in the area and have never tried kayak angling or you are an angler that primarily uses a boat, I strongly encourage you to reach out to Mark Lozier and setup an outing for yourself, or even with other members of your family or fellow anglers.  The experience of catching a fish out of a kayak is one that every outdoor enthusiast should experience at some point in their life.  Once you do, you'll find that a kayak is an exceptional tool to add to your fishing arsenal that will help you catch fish in places where others cannot reach.

Tight lines, be safe and get out there and experience the kayak fishing lifestyle!!

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