We waited anxiously. More than a few phone calls exchanged theories on moon cycles, water temps, past seasons, weather windows, family commitments and of course the unforgiving work schedule. By the time I got my stars lined up, Kayak Kevin and Jay Brooks had already clocked in a couple days earlier in the week and both had a notch on their belt to show for it.
Kevin was waiting for me when I pulled up to the launch and as I got things ready, he quickly “branded” my kayak. Holes were drilled, rivets got popped and before I knew it, I had one of his big DVD quality cameras attached to my bow. I couldn’t help but feel like it was part of a gang initiation I’m totally in!
Yeah, I know. I’m a dork. Anyway, we searched all around the Eastern Shore. The channels, the shoals, the flats, they all came up empty. 5 hours passed quickly and as the wind grew bothersome, the sun also neared the horizon. The last segment of the well calculated route had us near a drop off so we anchored up on the incoming tide. I threw out two carolina rigged whole crabs; one on a big conventional reel and the other on a big spinning set up. Normally I don’t use my spinning rod for chunking bait, but I really wanted to double my chances. Not too long after, the loop I put in the line-clip of my spinning reel gets pulled out and my 50lb braid is flying off my spool. I close the bail and hold on tight.
After a few exhilarating runs coupled with the tell-tale headshakes, I released the anchor and quickly found myself on a bull red drawn sleigh ride with a nice sunset backdrop.
The 43″er is a welcome start to the red drum season. The cherry on top is that it was the first big fish I tagged for the Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program.
Kevin wasn’t able to hook up but was happy none the less that I got on the board. I’m sure he’ll be out there as soon as weather and work allow. Best of luck to him and whoever else decides to venture out in search of that infamous bullride.