Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Theyyyy're Heeeere!!!!

Saw a bit of silver today. Will see what we can do with them over the next few days.

Open for tarpon fishing July 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

OK, I'm over it.

Cobes are all but gone and the amberjacks don't jump. I'm sure with some hard looking we could turn up a few more cobia, but there are probably just as many in the sound that we're going to run accross while tarpon fishing. These SW winds are making it a little choppy out there and I'm tired of getting beat up in that tower or trolling for Spanish Mackeral. I'm ready for some silver.

If the tarpon won't cooperate or if the wind is blowing, at least we can make the day with the excellent puppy drum fishing along the shoreline. Mixed with some trout and flounder, the light tackle fishing is really good.

For those that still want the salt of the salt, there is still some good bottom fishing, amberjacks, plenty of bailer dolphin, groupers and more, Capt. Ray and Capt. Greg, a couple of remaining openings on The Run Off with Capt. Brian.

Capt. Gary and Joe Ward are the best of the best at beating the banks for the mixed bag.

Scattered openings remain for all of us through July, but if you are looking at a trip in August or September for the giant red drum, you better book now. On many dates, all of the guides are completely booked. Some of the guides have scattered openings, but from all the advance bookings, it's going to be a very busy season.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tuna and wahoo and lots of them

No, not hear, but the meat fishing in Costa Rica is really, really good right now, also a few sails and daily shots at marlin. Funny enough, the weather is cooler there than it is here right now.

What's happenings here? I'm about to have some first hand reports, I've had a week of honey-do's, getting ready for the grind.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dragin Fly Report

Since the last Costa Rica report, May continued to yield good marlin fishing, also plenty of tuna and scattered sails. The last couple of weeks we had a slug of dirty water pass by that slowed things down, struggling to catch a few billfish each day, fortunately a lot of those have been marlin. Now that the water has cleaned up, the fishing is getting much better, this is from a two day trip that we just had:

Sounds like they would have had no problem winning the release division of the Big Rock Tournament with this fishing:

Day 1 almost had a grand slam today jump off a striped marlin, catch 1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 6 wahoo and one bige mahi mahi

Day 2 5 more wahoo again today, 5 sailfish and 1 blue marlin release

On the coast and BT-11 incident

Capt. Ray is alternating between the Neuse and the the beach, with good fishing in both locations, puppy drum fishing in the river has been fantastic and he is still working on the groupers and aj's on the wrecks. The dolphin pushed inshore pretty close, Ray had 17 bailers on Saturday in addition to his bottom fishing mixed bag.

Capt. Joe Ward is working on the big trout, especially with the good early morning topwater bite, pups and flounder once the sun gets up.

Capt. Gary is doing a lot of the same, but he had a very interesting morning on Friday. While fishing an area OUTSIDE of the newly enforced restrcited area at BT-11/Piney Island, he was first buzzed by the PEDRO rescue helicopter which routinely makes sweeps of the range to insure that it is clear. Then the helicopter returned, failing to call or respond to calls on CH. 16 and then it began hovering right over his head, forcing prop wash down in the boat, scattering tackle and equipment and definitly freaking out his party, not too mention the big school of drum they were fishing on.

I don't blame the men and women of the helicopter crew, they are professionals and good at what they do. I've seen them pluck a bleeding to death fishermen out of a moving boat, under rough conditions and at night. It happened so fast that if you blinked, you would have missed it.

But the poor judgement of their superiors who have endorsed, if not mandated this dangerous activity is inexcusable. This method of intimidating anglers anywhere close to waters that they have traditionally fished for years is unacceptable. Since this incident, I have received two other reports that the same thing has happened to others who were NOT in the restricted area.

The poor decision to use this dangerous tactic is probably made by the same ones who believe that the military can get what they want by strong-arming locals, passing along missinformation and being poor neighbors. Shame on them for endorsing tactics like this. They have had no consideration for those who have fished, hunted and boated around BT-11 in Traditional Use Areas for years without incident, injury or interuption of military activities. Now that attempts are being made to expand the range, areas that have historically been available are being closed and this is the way they are attempting to close them.

Gary was completely legal and within his rights to fish those public trust waters. After contacting Cherry Point, they agreed that he was not at fault and was NOT within the restricted area, but they made no formal apology to him or for the intimmidation tactic that they are using.

Father's Day fishing report

Father's Day fishing report:
I headed to the mountains this weekend for a little R and R and family time for Father's Day. My fishing was limited to a float trip down the Cowpasture River, Anna and I in one canoe, dad and brother Henry in the other. Dad thought it was a great idea to make the trip from a put-in place "several" miles up the river, pulling out at the little family cabin that we have downstream. It being Father's Day, who was to question any of his how far or long the float would be or did we have enough to drink or should we bring some food?

As we drove up to offload the canoes, riding in the back of the pick up, I commented to my brother that this was going to be much longer than any of us had planned. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, or the closest to it would be the track of the road around the mountains and through the valley of the Cowpasture River. Several miles down route 42 translates into many, many more miles of meandering river. To further lengthen the adventure, things have been pretty dry up in the mountains and the flow was slow and the water was low. Getting those canoes through some of the "riffles" would be a chore.

Arriving at the offload spot, we loaded the canoes with our small coooler, containing one bottle of water, one gatoraide and 5 beers, lathered up with sunscrean and got our tackle in order, one rod/canoe and a bait bucket. Soon after launching, just above the first set of riffles, I got out of the canoe and started turning rocks in search of hellgramites, cat minnows and crawfish. It wasn't long before I had enough bait to play with. Dad paddled my brother Henry who casts a panther martin, catching "red eye" bass, sunfish, small smallies and an occassional "suckerfish" which I added to the bait bucket trailing behind the canoe in case we ran accross a muskie.

The first couple hours were very pleasant as we leasurely cruised down the river, stopping at likely spots. Although dad wasn't getting much fishing, he was enjoying guiding his son, who isn't a big fisherman like his big brother. Anna was thoroughly content taking in the scenery, catching some rays and dangling her feet in the water. No, she wasn't paddling me as I fished, in fact, she refused to paddle and said that she was not going to paddle at all that day, it was all up to me. Which was fine, the slow quiet pace was just right for viewing wildlife, a doe and fawn, a thirsty groundhog, a startled family of wood ducks.

As we rounded a bend, for the first time, the songs of birds were interupted by the distant sound of cars pounding asphalt. Anna commented that it was good that we were getting close to the bridge, which I told her marked the half way point to the cabin. The sound of cars got louder, then faded away underneath the soothing ripples of water over rock.

"I thought the bridge was around that bend?"
"No, it's just around the next bend."
"Well, I'm getting a little tired (of dangling my feet in the water), you need to start paddling."
"But how can I fish if I'm paddling?"
"Oh, you're not fishing anymore, you're paddling....and you might want to pull in that bait bucket, it will only slow us down."
"But then my bait will die".
"Well go ahead and let it go"
"But then I won't have any bait in case I see that giant smallmouth or a muskie"
"Oh no, you're not fishing anymore, now start paddling"

An hour later and several bends of the river later, dad and brother are far behind us and there is no bridge in front of us. There is a pick up truck parked next to a slow bend in the river and fine gravel beach. She tells me to pull over so that we can ask the sunbathing occupants in the back of the pick up about the distance to the bridge; perhaps even asking them for a ride back to the house. I advise that I did not think it was a good idea to bother the sunbathing couple, just as Anna protests, she says, "Oh!, Oh my gosh! They don't....they don't have any clothes on" For the first time of the trip, Anna picks up her paddle and starts stroking......almost as fast as the couple in the pick up.

With Anna also paddling, the stealth of the canoe was lost as a glance over our shoulder revealed two heads peaking over the side of the pick up. Upon my suggestion that the pick up couple may have had a good idea on how to spend an afternoon by the river, Anna paddled that much harder. Fortunately the sunbathing activity in the back of the pick up resumed, as was reported by my dad and brother who rounded the same bend about 20 minutes later.

The beers were long gone when we encountered the next human occupants of the Cowpasture, a family swimming in the river. Their car was not big enough to carry a canoe, but Anna commented that it looked big enough for her to ride in back to the camp. As we passed, she asked the mother of the bathers how far it was to the bridge.

"Peter's Bridge? Oh darling, that's another good hour of hard paddling from here"

The wrath of the tired, hungry and thirsty were then bestowed upon me and her father-in-law, who suggested the launch site. He may have been able to hear her from several miles upstream, I was overcome with laughter, I love it when she gets fired up and it's not directed completely at me.

The tactical error that I had made was misleading Anna into believeing that Peter's Bridge was the half way point, when in fact it was just about an hour from the camp, which still made for two more hours of paddling. She was not amused and was not sure what to believe after 4 hours in the canoe and being faced with at least 2 more hours of hard paddling under the best case scenario.

I've got to hand it to her, after that "fit", she resided to the fact that this was a team effort and we would get there a lot faster if we worked as a team......except the parts that involved her getting out of the canoe and dragging it accross the shallow riffles.....that was all me.

I did get much joy at threatening to make a cast or two at a likely spot and she got much joy at the thought of wrapping the fishing rod around my neck if I were to put down the paddle to make just one cast.

Finally, Peter's Bridge. Now convinced that the remainder of the trip was only an hour more, we slowed our pace and enjoyed the river, waiting for dad and brother to catch up. When they did shoot down the upstream slough.....and tip the canoe for the 3rd time, we were informed at how much more stable our canoe was compared to theirs. "Did you see the doe and fawn just above the swing bridge?" "Did you see the cliff that dropped straight down to the water's edge?" "Did you spook the cows sleeping by the tree when you came by?" "Was the pick up truck and sunbathers still there?" "What did the lady and her family have to say about the crazy girl who freaked out when she found out how far away Peter's Bridge was?"

Happy Father's Day

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

hit and miss

Is the way it's been for the cobia, caught a nice 42 pounder today out of the 6 that we saw on a half day trip. Plenty of spanish around. Ray was working on the groupers and aj's a little further offshore. Also some dolphin and kings around the sea buoy and inshore wrecks/reefs.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Great day, including the cobia

Rarely does the plan come togehter, exactly the way it was scripted. Yesterday, the plan was to catch bait along the beach on the way to the East side of the Cape, hit a wreck to fill our limit of amberjacks, which turn out to be really good eating, hit a live bottom area, catch our limit in groupers, which are really good eating, then hit the beach for the cobia, my most recent favorite thing to do. Part 1, catching bait, no problem, found the bait, one cast with the cast net, onward we go. Arrive at the wreck and the amberjacks greet us before we get a bait in the water, maximum pulledge, keeping some little ones, releasing the big 'uns. Now for the grouper, one stop and we got 'em. Now for the cobia, which have been a little inconsistent lately. A mile off the beach, we come accross a bait ball and sure enough, it's got several big cobia in it. We pull one of the big ones off, catch a 55 pounder and another keeper. Several bait balls later and we find another single, catch him, then another and another and another. No time was wasted with pretty much continuous action and we're back at the dock for an hour of cleaning fish. Oh, and the weather was perfect, absolutely slick calm. Back to reality today, very rough southwester, no cobia in the baitballs, but plenty of those big Spanish.

The amberjacks.

The groupers

And the Cobia

From the days before:

Grouper picture:

Friday, June 11, 2010

No cobes

but plenty of pulledge, all the amberjacks you could ever want to tangle with and a few big grouper in the 20 pound class. Still seeing some tarpon along the beach, looking like it's going to be a good year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cobia carnage continues

Not all the cobia in these photos were harmed........

But many of them were, especially the ones resting on the dock.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This past weekend and upcoming week

Despite the very windy conditions yesterday, we managed to get out for a few hours and catch a couple cobia, pulling off a monster. Safely back in the inlet there were bait balls being harrassed by 4+ pound Spanish Macks which are a lot of fun on light tackle.

On Saturday, I fished a half day in the afternoon, catching 7 out of at least 40 seen on the short day.

It was Friday that we got back in them, seeing 40 or more fish and landing 5 nice 'uns.

Looks like there is another good push of cobia around and a slug of cold water up north that should keeep them hemmed up down here.

Weather looks decent this week and I've got a couple of openings, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. If none of these work or you want to get out after the pups, the other Down East Guides have some openings.

On Saturday, Capt. Ray had a pair of half days, the day's catch totalled over 50 puppy drum and yearlings, 3 trout over 4 pounds and 3 flounder over 4 pounds.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Another wave has arrived, seen about 100 over the last two days. Also, scattered reports of tarpon are coming in.

Friday, June 4, 2010

pics from this week.

Looks like we've got another wave of them coming......

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cobia on a clark sppon

While trolling for Spanish, Karen Cartlidge caught this nice one on a Spansih Mackeral rod. She just sent me her picture and caught the fish a couple of weeks ago, but thought you would get a kick out of it.

Courtesy of Dr. Bryan

Sounds like he had a great week in Florida, patting them on the butt and sending them north. Won't be long now.

Fishing good, but no cobia

With a livewell full of bait, the amberjack fishing is incredible and plenty of nice gag groupers, even I'm catching them. We have not seen a lot of bait on the beach, nor have we seen many cobia over the past few days. These are probably related, hopefully we'll get a wave of both. Trout, pups and flounder remain strong in the river.

Here are a couple of pics that were sent to me this week. Kind of cool. I don't know the details of either, but they are pretty self explanatory:

More pics from this week to follow.