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JPChase

Great start to 2014 and a very brief recap of 2013!

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Well 2013, was pretty much full of suck for me.  With very limited time to fish due to work and the growing needs of my 4 year old son, I found myself zigging when I should have zagged on the rare occasions that I made it out to fish.  I didn't catch ANYTHING worthy of mentioning all last year on the several trips I made to AI, one trip to VA Beach, and the several trips I made to the OBX.  The one saving grace of last fall was that I fished a pier that I have never fished before... Rodanthe Pier!  I met our very own Shocker Pops (one of the owners of the pier) and the rest of the crew at RP as well as a couple of red drum fishing local legends.  Everyone was incredibly kind and the hospitality was nothing short of awesome.  While I didn't catch a red on that trip, my brother in law did manage to get one around 44" or so (bastard...).  I really can't say enough good things about the guys at RP, they kept things entertaining even though the fishing was slow on that particular trip.  

 

On to 2014!  Wind forecasts for this past weekend were predicted to be SW 11-20mph for Thursday through Saturday and for once they were right on the money.  This brought the water temps right up to where they needed to be for the reds to show up, and show up they did!  My brother in law and I made it down from Northern VA on Thursday night and I just returned home around 8pm. 

 

Gear used on this trip

Rods:  13' WRI Prototype and a virgin 13'3'' Daiwa Ballistic 40-405 I got wrapped over the winter to use as a travel rod since it breaks down into 3 pieces

 

Reels:  Daiwa 7HT Mag ST and Penn Fathom 15
 

Thursday night we trudged our way out to the point with my trusty WRI rod which is about a 15 min walk from where we parked on the beach due to a 50 yard beach closure on the way out to the point ( supposedly an endangered oyster catcher was observed trying to make whoopy or something...) There were only a handful of other fishers out there and we fished for a couple hours, but managed to catch a year's worth of spiney dogs in that time period.  We decided to get some rest.

 

Friday, we began the day by hunting for mullet in some of our spots and only managed to find a little bit.  We supplemented our bait with some store bought bunker.  I decided to give the new Ballistic a spin this evening.  We headed out to the point early afternoon and managed to pick up where we left off the previous evening with spiney after spiney.  There were around 10 other fishermen out there that evening.  Then around dusk I managed to get things started with a 40" fork length drum!  Soon after I got a 42.5'' FL and then my brother got a 43".  Then another 44" FL for me.  Things slowed down and the spineys began chewing again.  We packed it in around 11pm and called it a night.

 

Saturday, we once again began the day hunting for mullet with very little success and were forced to supplement again with some store bought bunker.  We tried our hand at some meat fishing for puppies in the morning with no success so we spent the rest of the morning tuning our gear and respooling and such for the night ahead.  I decided to use the Ballistic again this evening (not that I'm superstitious or anything :D ).  We headed back out to the point early afternoon along with about 25 other fishermen and started with our spiney warm up and then they moved in...  I got things started with a 43" and then my brother got a 45".  I followed suit with a 45" and we stopped measuring after that.  I ended up getting 2 more around the same size and my brother got 3 more that evening. I may have gotten a couple more had I not blown up a reel beyond repair immediately followed by moderately blowing up my back up reel amidst all the excitement.  

 

Sunday, we slept in a bit and made the usual 6 hour drive which ended up taking about 8 due to traffic.  Regardless, it was a happy drive home!

 

2014 red drum count to date:  7

2014 spiney dog count:  23984293849283498234

 

All in all, a great start to 2014!

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That is awsome! I only got one 46" last fall in Virginia. I'm hoping they will have a spring run here.

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Nice bull red. When I lived down there in Buxton years ago I timed the drum to start biting around Easter. Despite the cooler winter this year the biguns are biting early. My personal best drum was a 51" caught right at the point in the wee morning hours. He basically parked himself in the slop and dug in for a while before I could pull him free of the current.

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Wow!  Thank you for the kind words.  Looks like a great start for 2014.  We just reopened the pier, so I'm looking forward to a little fishing.

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That is awsome! I only got one 46" last fall in Virginia. I'm hoping they will have a spring run here.

That 46 incher was pretty, I remember looking at that pic in jealousy!

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Nice bull red. When I lived down there in Buxton years ago I timed the drum to start biting around Easter. Despite the cooler winter this year the biguns are biting early. My personal best drum was a 51" caught right at the point in the wee morning hours. He basically parked himself in the slop and dug in for a while before I could pull him free of the current.

Yeah, I would have guessed that the bite would have started a bit later, but glad that the four days of SW did the trick.

I would love to live down in buxton for a couple seasons out of the year :)

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Wow!  Thank you for the kind words.  Looks like a great start for 2014.  We just reopened the pier, so I'm looking forward to a little fishing.

I wish you would have seen the look on the girl's face in the pier house when I asked her if "shocker pops" was there.

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