I’m not gonna stop…


I suppose one way to look at the fishing trip to Oak Island is at least something was boated. Not the redfish or speckled trout I covet, but a fish is a fish is a fish. The glass was half empty but I look at it as half full.

—————————-

August 11, 2014

Ellen/Reid: I don’t know, there’s something about being on the salt water that is just so glorious and fun. I’m hooked (no pun intended) just like a few fish this past Saturday. I went to bed Friday night about 9:30 and woke at 3:30 a.m. and felt like I sprang out of bed. It was like being a kid at Christmas – I just could not wait to hit the road. I showered (why would anyone shower before fishing?), begged the coffee maker to move the joe along, and was out the door at 4:20 a.m. It’s not quite three and a half hours door-to-dock.

I actually got the Miss Emma loaded and ready on Friday. The toughest part is lifting the 14” sucker onto the rack atop the car. It’s not overly heavy, just not much of anything to grip and is unwieldy. The process from car-to-water is getting a bit more streamlined. At the recommendation of a bait shop owner, this time I went to the 55th Street put-in spot. It’s right on the Intercoastal. To cross it you have to dodge gigantic boats – 50” plus – to reach a system of back bays where, allegedly there are speckled trout and redfish. Another local kayaker was coming out of the water about the time I was putting in (8:30 a.m.) and he said the action was non-existent. He said he usually catches a few but the weather (rain) had been incessant the last couple of weeks and somehow effects the fishing. But I’m just in it for the fun.

The tide was coming against me but that was okay. It is enormous fun to paddle along the reeds, but Ellen, tell Tim I didn’t see any redfish working the oyster beds or the reeds. I need his advice on all of this.

This guy was a few inches shy of the 15" legal length for flounder but still great fun to catch. Remind me to take ice the next time if/when there's something worth keeping.

This guy was a few inches shy of the 15″ legal length for flounder but still great fun to catch. Remind me to take ice the next time if/when there’s something worth keeping.

I tried to drag a fake shrimp on the bottom by the weeds and caught a nice flounder in pretty short order. My stupid iPhone camera wouldn’t cooperate so I wasn’t able to get a picture. It was a couple inches over the 15” legal limit but I forgot to get ice for the plastic thingie you put your fish in. But it was fine enough that it swam away. I caught another couple of flounders but was frustrated by the lack of trout or ‘reds.’ One of the things that is most enjoyable is running the bow into a mud bank or an oyster bed and just sitting there watching what’s living and doing some idle casting.

The tide swept out, leaving these oysters to fend above the water line. I really enjoy just being in this sort of environment. Note to the few who read my trash blog; some plastic bottles were retrieve not far from this scene of calm.

The tide swept out, leaving these oysters to fend above the water line. I really enjoy just being in this sort of environment. Note to the few who read my trash blog; some plastic bottles were retrieve not far from this scene of calm.

It is just so peaceful. I figured out how to work my anchor and that was fun, too, idling in place against the current.

It was pretty slow the rest of the day. One thing that is dawning on me is that the fishing action is best when the tide is moving in or out. When the water was slack there was no action at all.

With nothing falling for my feeble baits, I packed it in about 4 p.m. It takes about an hour to get the darn thing loaded and all the wet stuff stowed. The car just reeked of fish even though none was kept. About the time I was about to head out, I talked to a father-son and they too caught nothing and bitched about how all the rain had somehow impacted the fishing. Another couple in a boat was skunked, too. It was some salve that I managed to boat a few even though I do feel quite inept at it.

Reid, I changed clothes in the car and went to a restaurant adjacent to the Ocean Crest Motel where you and I bunked. Sat at the bar and had a Guinness and a wonderful plate of blackened shrimp in Alfredo sauce. Really good. Hit the road and got home about 10 p.m. I cannot wait to do it again. I’m not gonna stop until I catch a redfish. John Cleghorn might go with me in September. But this time I want to hire a guide down Charleston way. That would be fun for the two of us.

Sliced the first tomato of the season yesterday. Man, that’s eating. Ellen, I wish I had your good black dirt. But there are more to come and I might turn my back on my no-bacon mantra just so I can make sandwiches.

Played golf yesterday but we won’t talk about that. No, we won’t talk about that.

Okay, kiddos. I’m outta here. It’s only a few weeks until Labor Day and it will be great to get up to St. Paul. Reid, anything I can do to prod you and Liz to make your way up there?

Love, Dad

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