Shrimp Fest, Brown-noser, and Surf Fishing

A quick bit of surf fishing yesterday, then I tied some flies. I learned the shrimp pattern at my first Virginia Coastal Fly Angler’s club meeting. It was a good time and I brought home a few materials to try tying the pattern on my own. I ran out for the third and had to make due, but I think it will be fine. I also added the pink hackle as opposed the white (how I was taught). Hopefully these will find me some speckled trout in the near future.

The shrimp eyes are beads melted onto mono-filament line. The body casing is created using epoxy. Shrimp swim backwards so that explains the orientation.

I also threw together my first clouser. I call him “The Brown-noser.” I gave it a brown back and white belly with some flash and a small amount of red deer hair in between.

Here is a quick video showing the conditions on the surf. It was a lot of fun jumping in the waves and I caught my first black drum…. It was just a pup, but still 🙂

Raise Your Voice!

Regardless of your stance on supporting public radio, this is an easy way to get some cool fresh music.

Minnesota Public Radio has a separate music station called The Current. It is probably one of the best music stations I’ve ever listened to for it’s wide variety of music that never fails to be anything less than impressive.

They are giving away 16 tracks of music if you give them your email, and thereby support public radio. If you are interested, click here.

I don’t care if you do it, I just wanted you to know about it 🙂

Oh yeah, I caught a Croaker today. Croak Croak! I like these little guys.

Lastly, thank you to Appalachia and Beyond for giving me a new set of Winchester pocket knives. They are great! I won them in one of their giveaways. Check them out!

Up and Down

The waves are sliding
Like sheets on a bed.
Tuck on in,
Get on out.
Wake up. Drink your coffee.
Wake up. Play guitar.
Wake up. Eat your breakfast.
Wake up. Cast long and far.
I get 4 days off a month. Today is one of them. It can be a day of activity or nothing. Both have their benefits. I decided to wake up without an alarm, only rise when fully rested. I had coffee and breakfast at a leisurely pace. Then played guitar for a bit. An activity long overdue.  
Now that I’ve got a surf rod, I figured I would walk 2 miles down the beach to the rock breakers where some bigger fish might lie. Gear rigged up and fanny pack tight on my waist, I set out.
If I were in Minnesota,
I’d call this a walleye chop. 
On the Chesapeake,
These are Croaker curls,
Striper waves,
or Flounder tides.
I was off on a brisk pace. It was a gorgeous morning. The heat cooled off a bit. There was a little cloud cover. As I approached the area I was looking to fish, I came across a crab cage that had been dropped by a boat. The heavy waves brought it in and, by the look, it had been there for some time. There were close to twenty, exhausted blue crabs inside, over 2/3 of which were females carrying their eggs beneath their tails. No one else was around. The crabs were dying. A wasted catch. 
Emotions mixed,
I clipped the wires.
Guiltily apologizing to the fisherman.
Why couldn’t you just anchor your cage?
Why did I have to find this?
With satisfaction, I let the crabs go,
Trading their release for guilt
That shadowed me the rest of my day.
Upon reaching the spot….
I hooked up my bait, and made a few casts. Three in, I felt the shudder of a bite. Set the hook. And began to reel. This was a better fish. I was right, there are bigger ones here. With out warning, I felt the tension of the line release. Did my line break? I looked. No. No it is still there, weighed down in the water by my rig. I looked at my reel. What the heck? My bail was gone. 
I buy a brand,
Though the cheapest deal,
Looking for reliability,
in my rod and reel.
But on it’s third use,
A major malfunction.
Is this karma returning
On behalf of the crab fisherman?
*sigh* It is what it is. My fishing ended early. After reeling in by hand, my largest croaker yet, I started back.  I walked past the empty crab cage wondering if I was too rash in my actions. Should I have left them there? They would have died. The boat would not drive up to shore to fetch an errant cage. At least, I hope not. For if they would, I feel even worse. My clipping isn’t anything they can’t fix, but still, maybe I should have left it alone. 
I walked back, feeling sour. I wasn’t sure how to receive this morning. Would I have been better off at work today? I suppose not. 
Walking and reflecting,
Singing to myself,
I spotted a pod of dolphins
playing in the waves.
Jumping, playing,
Diving, and chuffing. 
Laughing in turbulent waters,
They put on a show.
Up and down.
I sat and watched. 
Some days are fulfilling,
And some are not.
If you look close, you can see a fin.
All in all, the reel ended up being an easy fix. I had another broken reel, that willingly donated a few parts. It has been a busy morning. Full of activities. Some brought me up, some brought me down. Tides move the same way. There is no up, without a down. And I must remind myself, a bad day on the water, is still better than most days off.
Lunch and a nap sounds like a good activity for the afternoon. Yeah. I think that will be good. Up with the tides. Up with the sheets. Up with the corners of my mouth.


And things go up… Peanut Butter, Honey and Cinnamon on Vanilla Ice Cream.
Heck yes I did.

Surf’s up!

All it took was a quick trip to walmart and I’m now equipped for surf fishing. I was able to pick up a setup for around $50 (thanks mom and dad). Not too shabby. I got out twice this weekend for a few casts. Using cut up shrimp on a 2 ounce down rigger (it is a bit like a lindy rig), I was able to catch one whiting and a bunch of small croaker. And those croakers really do croak. It is pretty funny to hear/feel them burping in the palm of your hand.

I have to thank JM at Something’s Fishy for giving me the confidence to get this started. It is going to be another fun way to catch some fish, even if I’m not throwing that 2 ounce weight with a fly rod 🙂