Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Remember your Flares

Realized the importance of flares last night when it comes to visibility on the water. I had just gotten done cutting the grass, weedeating the yard, and was cleaned up and sitting down for a plate of fresh homemade baked Zitti when my phone rang around 9:15pm. It was a good friend of mine calling to say they had run out of gas approximiately 100-200 yards from tues marsh light and tried a couple other people but couldnt get a hold of anyone. I had him on speakerphone and my girlfriend gave me the WTF look but its kinda the unspoken code of the waterman to help out a fellow boater when can so i checked the noaa forecast, the radar, and agreed to get 5 gallons to him in the next hour since i had to go fill a tank first at WAWA.

I get the 16ft duracraft hooked up since the wellcraft is down and out at the moment and head to the ramp. My buddy Ethan meets me at the ramp and we take off. Once we break out of the sandbox we are greeted with 1 to 2 ft rollers but luckily my friends "were close to Tues Marsh light". Well we get out there and start looking for them and they are no where to be found so i give him a shout on his phone he keeps swearing he is near tues marsh. I have them do some off sequence spreader bar light flashes, nav light flashes, running lights, nowhere to be seen. The whole time i am idling into a steady 2 ft sea to keep my craft pointed into the wind and waves. I decide its time for the flare (last resort before i tell him i can't find him)..... PSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!! i hear it light thru the phone and we start scanning. Suddenly a red glow pops up off in the horizon towards Mobjack bay. They had drifted 2.5 miles with a small danforth over on the outgoing york river tide by the time we got to them. Transferred gas can, idled alongside until they were under power again and boarded the vessel and hitched a much drier ride back to the mouth of the sandbox while i drank their last cold beer they had in the cooler. once back around the sandbox we split ways and beat feet back home to walk in the door just before midnight. I hope i made the fish gods happy tonight bc my other half was certainly not. The smiles on their faces were priceless when i pulled up though. wish I had my camera.

Lessons learned:

Make sure anchor is large enough for your vessel
Make sure you have enough scope for your anchor
Check your fuel levels frequently and verify your guage is accurate (to be fair their guage read 1/8 of a tank at empty)
Always carry your flares (I never would have been able to find them if it was not for them setting off a flare)
Always save one cold beer in case of need for rescue

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Greed over Green

I don't usually post links on here to personal opinion but when it comes to stuff like this I get all fired up sometimes.

"London-based Anglo American, which has a spotty environmental record and Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty -- wants to build one of the world's largest mines to extract copper, gold and molybdenum at the headwaters of two of the most significant rivers in Bristol Bay."

This just happens to be the some of the most valuable water for Trout and Salmon in Alaska.

For more information on how you can help, check out the following link:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Crab cake recipe added

Took time on my lunch break to write up my recipe for making crab cakes. hope you enjoy them as much as my friends do. Check'em out under the recipes section.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Goodwin island and Warwick river fishing report

Woke up Saturday morning at 5am, loaded up the bucket with a couple dozen bull minnows and headed for sheltered waters on the leeward side of Goodwin island. With a incoming full moon tide I slipped in close to shore and got the anchor set, grabbed the biggest minnow I could and cast a popping cork about 5 feet from the grassy marsh island. I put the rod in the rod holder, picked up another one and before I could get it rigged up I heard that tell tale sign of FISH ON! Ziiiiinnnnngggg! I tightened down the drag and battled in a respectable 23.5 inch puppy Drum. Got him in the boat ,  got both rods out and noting for the next 30 minutes. Me being ADD, I started getting antsy so pulled anchored and trolled the flats blind casting hoping to pick up a speckled trout. Wel no love from the specks but did manage one more drum and raced back to the house for baby duty at 9:30am.

Last night after catching all these pups,  my girlfriend was really itching to get on the water and enjoy  some pullage so like a good boyfriend i obliged. I got up this morning at 8 am got the boat together, got baby Jackson fed and ready for a brief stay at grandmas house, dropped him off on the way and headed for the Warwick river to hopefully fulfill my end of the deal and push Ashley on some fish. Had a good day out with us catching two nice keepers, both on live minnows, along with a dozen other throw backs. White perch were thick in the same spot as well so keeping a minnow on the hook proved challenging. 2 to 3 dozen minnows later we called it quits and headed on back. Good little 2 hour fishing mission. When cleaning fish I always check their stomach to see what they are feeding on. Well I found a surprise in Ashley's keeper today........ A 5 inch paddle tail artificial minnow. It looked to be very recent, so much in fact that I kept it to reuse on a nice rockfish it his fall. Baited the crab pots on the dock with the scraps and will return tomorrow and hopefully have yet another meal thanks to the puppy drums. Now that is what I call recycling!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monday madness

Took the day off work a couple months ago and waited and watched hoping the weather would turn out nice for the day as you never can tell a month in advance. Well my prayers were answered with 0-5 MPH winds and the entire bay was a glassy lake. Everybody arrived in the morning on time and we headed to wawa for gas and snacks then then straight to messick ramp.  Everything was going smoothly and we were all excited for the beautiful day when KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.... motor started making a racket less than a mile from the ramp. NO GOOD!so we stopped let it cool, performed some on the water diagnosis of the issue and narrowed it down to oil injection. Thank goodness we were not too far from the ramp. Got back to the dock corrected the original problem but somehow the boat was stuck in limp mode. Determined to catch and not burn a vacation on nothing, we set out at 3000rpms all day which is roughly 11 miles an hour. After the sun began to get up in the sky, water visability increased greatly and we started to see cobia waking on the surface. Glare made them a little difficult to spot but there was no mistaking the ripples that their fin left as they cruised on the surface. Had a few pull the hook and then finally got a 40 incher to eat an eel which i promptly handed to Kegan's dad since he had never caught one before. The smile on his face did not subside for the rest of the day. Shortly later i spotted a NICE fish and pitches the live eel about 3 ft in fron of him. He did not hesitate to nail it and instantly turn and run at break neck speed. everytime he got near the boat he made another run. 20 minutes later Dave landed a well placed gaff in the slob and in the boat he came. 52 inches and who knows how many pounds. Saw alot of fish today out of the tower including a couple schools of spadefish that were easily 500 to 1000 fish thick. Great day minus the extremely long ride back to the ramp.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A whole litter of puppies

My friend, Buddy, asked me to go fishing with him on the Warwick river today so after checking the radar a hand full of times I decided to meet him at the denbigh ramp at 145pm. Fished out of his 15 ft weldbult jon boat. This was our first time targeting puppy Drum on this river so we did some quick research on navionics and took off  from the ramp and headed to the first spot we decided on. Got there and almost right off the get go I hooked up on a nice puppy drum. Got him to the boat and he was 20 inches and in the box he went. Managed one more fish and decided to make a move to another spot we had seen on the map. So off we went. Short but bumpy ride later we got over to where we wanted try. As soon as the gulp hit the water ,BAM!

He started out swimming my way and all the sudden he exploded in a fiery run. Fought him back to the boat watching golden flashes in the water every time he turned. What pretty fish the red drum is... We preceded to sit on this one piece of structure and pull at least 20 more nice sized drum off it and left when we got a two man limit of six fish.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th Annual Ducks Unlimited/ YCWA Croaker Fishing Tournament

It's almost that time of the year for the annual Croaker Tournament hosted by The Historic Triangle Ducks Unlimited and York County Waterways Alliance. Every year it is a great time and truly fun for the whole family. Fishing can be done from a dock, a boat, kayak, canoe, public pier. Just have to catch the day's biggest croaker to get a big fat 2000.00 check. The event is all you can eat and drink with plenty of adult beverages. So grab the kids hook up the boat and come support a great cause, cleaning up the waterways and rehabilitating wetlands! Event weigh-in party is at Dare Marina on Augst 17th! Hope to see you at the captain's meeting!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yorktown Beach - The new Water Street Grille Review

Tonight was our Ducks Unlimited Historic Triangle Committee meeting to continue planning the 4TH Annual DU/YCWA Croaker Fishing tournament. More to come on that in a later post. We had the meeting at the completely remodeled and newly re-opened Water Street Grille at Yorktown Beach Riverwalk. Our service was great, staff was super friendly and the food was fresh, hot, and tasted excellent. They have all kinds of original items on the menu but I liked the speciality pizzas the best. We sampled the Margarita, Buffalo Chicken, and White pizzas. All were phenominal. They have a great selection of beers on tap or mixed drinks to quench your thirst. The owner came out and took the time to speak to us even though the place was packed. I will definitely be making my way back down there very soon and I suggest you give it a try too. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Did somebody say crabcakes?

Saturday after catching a bunch of spadefish with my friends, i headed over to my parent's to use their dockside cleaning station since my girlfriend gives me a REALLY hard time everytime i throw a bunch of fish guts in our trashcan.  while filleting I decided to take the leftover carcasses, throw them in the crabpot, leave it over night, and see how many i could come up with the next day. After returning from our fishing trip on Sunday, i ran over and checked it and found 9 decent sized crabs awaiting me so i threw them in a bucket, brought them home and steamed them up Sunday night.

Yesterday evening after work I sat down, picked all the meat, and used it to make the best crabcakes in the world. Its alot of picking to have enough meat to make a batch of cakes and the self control required not to eat it as you go is almost too much to resist. I did make it through the process and it made for a great dinner when accompanied with steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes. My oh so delicious crabcake recipe is to be added to the Recipes of the bay section of this blog, as soon as time premits.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday Funday!

Went out for a few hours just to drive around and see what we could see. Many rays, 2 sea turtles and 2 cobia were all that was spotted. On the bright side, the only big one of the two was hungry... passed this one to old red beard. Kegan put the heat on him and after a nice little fight, he was in the icebox coming in at 40 inches. Came on back in, divided up the meat, and made Blackened Cobia Tacos for dinner!

Saturday Fishin' Mission

Saturday was the make-up day for the flounder tournament but with not too many flat fish making an appearance we decided to go after more spades and see what we could make happen. Arrived at York Spit Light at about 6:30am to try and beat the rest of the boats out.. IT WORKED! After resetting the anchor a handful of times, we finally got set up with the stern of the boat perfectly facing the lighthouse platform and got the bag of clam chum tied on the back of the boat. Unfortunately I managed to get the mesh clam bag mixed up with the prop in the process. bag shredded and all the fish attractant gone, we started to fish. Not 15 minutes later we already all had caught some spades and they were swimming circles just off the back of the boat.  other boats started showing up and eveyone had a good old time.

 After catching over 50 spades and running out of clam we decided to go looking for cobia as the sun was up, not a cloud in the sky, and it was looking fishy. Proceeded to cover alot of ground from york River channel to the concrete ships off Eastern Shore. on our way back home i spotted a NICE 50+ lb cobia  and pitched it a live eel. He immediately wolfed it down and it was game on. I handed the rod down to Ashley and she got him all the way to the side of the boat but in the hectic moment she had gotten the line around a rod holder and it broke off. Saw 10 cobia all day from 24 inches to some larger fish around 50 inches. Got to see alot of sea turtles and stingrays as well. Lost a nice fish but still had a great day on the water with some friends.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fourth of July Fishing Fun - Spadefish, Triggerfish, and Red Drum

Went out early yesterday morning to try and beat all the boat traffic that is always present on 4th of July.  Me and my friend Buddy met our girlfriends ,Ashley and Nancy, at the ramp and were on the water and heading to our destination by 6:30am. Upon arriving we were surprised to see we were the only boat at YSL. We dropped a bag of clam chum over the side and gave a little coaching on what kind of rigs to tie and how to fish them. While i was still cutting clams into bait strips i hear drag screaming and look up just in time to see my girlfriend's line snap from rubbing on one of the pilings. That insighted urgency in everyone to get a line down and almost immediately we were all hooking into nice 3 to 5 lb spadefish.

 After about an hour I decided to cut a piece of bait off of a live spot that Buddy was about to throw back and dropped it down on a ball jig. a couple minutes later it was fish on with a nice keeper red drum. This continued for a couple hours and then we decided to go sight fishing for cobia. We pulled lines up and slow boated across the bay to the eastern shore, made a tack and headed back to our port. One the way back we threw a few eels at the floating channel markers for the York River channel and i managed to hook up on a just under keeper cobia. I passed the rod down to Ashley and she did get the fish all the way to the boat only to lose it at the last second. Still produced a smile so mission accomplished. Then we sotted a few more swimming together but just as we headed their way the cloud cover picked up and shut the sight fishing down. Headed back in, treaded a couple dozen clams and went in to have fish grilled spadefish and clams casino. Great day on the water with everyone catching and some good food to finish off the evening. Not much more you can ask for.