Thursday, February 22, 2018

Foggy Day on the Lake

    After a long cold snap and a ton of rain, we finally got a day worthy of a fishing trip.
I got the boat out and ready the day before.

Staged to put air in the tires of boat and truck

Ready to go!

    Camera keeping watch for the night...

Arlo on Duty!

    After seeing fog in the weather report, we decided to meet up later than usual to allow the fog to burn off. We met at about 830 at our usual place if we were putting in at Charleston. After a quick stop at Hammonds for some Bluebacks, we were ready to fish!

    Well, it turns out the fog wasn't going anywhere, anytime soon. We looked for fish around Charleston and Six Mile with no luck. From there we slowly worked our way over to Mary Alice and Bald Ridge. It was tough going as we only had about 20 feet of visibility! We decided to keep our speed to a minimum due to all of the rain leaving tons of debris throughout the lake. Any large log or board would have snuck up on us in that fog.

    Once we got to Blad Ridge (about 11:45), we tied up for lunch at Smokey Q's. By the time we finished up most of the fog was finally gone.

Dock at Bald Ridge Marina 

    We trolled some baits out the back throughout Baldridge and Mary Alice with no luck. We worked our way out and over to the Dam, nothing. By this time, it was getting late so we went back over to Six Mile and tried again, nada.

Leaving Bald Ridge with corks in tow.

     So it was a skunk for the day but it was great to be back out on the water. Jim took the helm to load the boat while I went for the truck.

Charleston Ramp

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bear Island 2017

October 15-18th, it was that time again. Time to load up and head to the North C coast for some primitive island camping and fishing from little plastic boats.

    As usual, I left Georgia and headed up to Kerr Lake to my buddy's house. It is a shorter drive from his house to the state park. Also, it is nice to hang out and catch up a day or two before the trip.
    By Saturday night everyone that was going had shown up so Sunday morning we set out for the coast with canoes and kayaks in tow. This year we had one canoe, with trolling motor, to haul most of the stuff. The rest of it (for the most part) went on a NuCanoe with a trolling motor. I had my Old Town Predator 13 and the other three guys had various other pleasure kayaks. This made for a total of six for this year's adventure.
    The paddle, from the dock at the park to the Island, is 3 miles across the intercoastal waterway and through the grass flats. The final stretch through a narrow passage opening up into a lagoon behind the Island. If you need to hit the bathhouse, it is 3/4 miles from the campsite (7). No fires, no alcohol.

    We left the docks at Hammocks Beach State Park about midday on Sunday and paddled the three-mile route to Bear Island.  As usual, I was in the back most of the way. The pleasure kayaks do not carry much gear and given their long narrow hulls gain more speed than the average fishing sit-on-top. I had a good bit of gear stowed in the bait tank and hatch of my Predator making a slow kayak even slower. It was like a tank. Every year I say it is my last or I will get a trolling motor... I never do.   I did manage to keep up for the most part and even got a short tow to help me along.

   I did catch the first fish on the way in just before pulling up on shore at the island. It was a huge pinfish, well huge compared to what I was used to catching. Maybe not?

    Once camp was set up, we did our regular routine of catching bait and hanging out the first night with some fishing from shore on the lagoon side of the Island. We spent much less time this year catching bait and more time with artificials. The bait we did catch came in handy while surf fishing. Steve and I mostly fished the lagoon out of his canoe, while the rest of the guys hit the surf. I took a couple surf rods but did not use them. I showed one of the younger guys how to cast my bait caster and left him to it. He caught on very fast and landed some nice reds from the surf. As a matter of fact, all of the large reds came from the surf this year.

    Steve and I managed a few puppy drums and Flounder to help with the evening fish fry. Steve's son and his buddy went out and got crabs and they were an awesome starter! There is nothing like fresh seafood right out of the ocean!

    The weather progressively got worse and we even got a bit of wind and rain, so we decided to end the trip a day early. Even short a day, I feel it was a banner year for fishing and hanging out with the guys.

    I did manage to get quite a few pictures and a little bit of video......

Most of these pictures are in the video, but not all.

The kayak trailer did great!

The Big Agnes did awesome in the heavy wid and rain. 

David on my Predator.

Kevin slaying them again this year from the surf.

Polar Bear keeping things cool.

Steve caught a Sea Robin

David fishing from the oyster bar

View from the campsite towards the lagoon

Dunes before sunset at the campsite

David surf fishing

David surf fishing

Steve in the dunes at sunset

Some fried Flounder and Redfish

Surf at sunset

Davids nice night time Redfish from the surf.

David got one the mornign we left.

We have to pack our trash out when we go.

Kevins trusty NuCanoe

Dan packed and ready to leave.

Leaving the island, I am getting a tow across the lagoon

Oyster bar at the intercoastal waterway.

Rest stop heading home.