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Its a little early but was wondering how 02 treated ya.

I found P&S,learned alot from this board an hope I've passed on a tid bit or two in th process. Caught two fish over 30" from th surf,my first cobe an first keeper ocean striper.

Met alot of people here on th board,some I feel like I know just from your post an some I met in person.A good bunch of guys an gals we got here an hope ta meet more of ya in th coming year. Good luck an Great fishing. :cool:
 

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This was my best year in a lot of ways. I retired on Jan. 1, 2002. I now babysit my 19 month old grandson full time and fish as much as possible. He is starting to show some interest in my fishing equipment and I am looking forward to him catching a fish.
I caught my biggest Striper (35#) and my biggest Red Drum (44") this year.
Hope to meet some of you guys or gals fishing this coming year.

Tight lines....

Ken
 

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I had a good year I fished more than in 01 and as a result caught more, also I got more striper and less flounder this year, caught my 1st keeper pup @ 19 in at the lesner by boat, all and all its been good, I know more now than I knew this time last year.
 

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2002 was the first year I did more saltwater fishing than fresh. I also caught my first reds, a new addiction, as well as my first pompano, first blacktip, first black drum, and of course, my first stingray. Also learned how to shrimp and found that Mr. Red is my new favorite quarry. Caught two large ones, one 45" and one 46".

Hopefully, wherever the next year shall find me, I'll be able to fish. Also would like to meet some more of you guys someday soon.
 

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02 was a great year me. I got a lot more fishing trips in. I think i caught twice as many stripers as i did last year including my biggest one yet(28 inches). Fished for speckled trout for the first time and caught plenty of them at lynnhaven. Caught my first real puppy drum(24 inches) not a little 14 incher thing. Caught my biggest fish yet.(35 lb cuda down in georgia).I got much more but the list would go on forevr.
 

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02 was a heavy duty learning year. I found out that there are better rods than ugly stiks, I bought my first heaver (actually 3), learned to throw a conventional, learned how to fish for drum and cobia, learned how to pin rig and tie my own rigs, poured my own sinkers (lures to come). I ran into a few striper blitzes, caught my first spanish mack and met a bunch of great folks down on the Little Island Pier. Still waiting for my first big drum, cobia and king, but I have a good feeling about 03. I did neglect flounder fishing since I started collecting splinters (and they closed off my favorite spot under the southside of the Rudee Inlet bridge). Most of all I found that the people on this site have a wealth of information that has improved my technique and made fishing much more enjoyable. Thanks to everyone and Happy New Year.
 

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It was my first year (in 10 years) without a keeper cobia, only caught a small pup that was released. A bunch of large amberjack, one small king, three large red drum, some big stripers. Though the drum and one striper were citation sized, non were registered for one for the 2nd year in a row. Caught a mess of smaller fish, nothing spectacular.

Had two large yellowfin hooked up solid, both broke both off due to snelling a circle hook that does not have and offset eye - like you would do on a standard drum hook (J hook). You know what I am talking about: the standard Mustad circle hooks. Never run the line through the eye on one of these hooks when doing a snell knot - under pressure from a truely awesome fish the leader will fail where the line goes through the eye. Inevitably it's going to cost you a fish.

So my new year's resolution is alway tie directly to the eye on these hooks, or use a crimp.

Lou
 

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I had a slow year. Fished mostly the OBX surf and piers. The Drum just didn't show up in the right numbers (when I was there) and the Stripers were always somewhere else. You would think that this is negative but, think of all the fish that I left behind for next year. I can't wait.

Have a great New Year.

Keep A Tight Line [/b]
 

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2002 started out slow. A home improvement project run amuck kept me off the water through most of the summer.

A week vacation at OBX in August was not remarkable.

Another week long vacation in SW Florida resulted in my kid catching the most fish. I caught my first Albert and a few Jacks.

The end game was much better!

I rediscovered the Bay. Had great fun fishing the schools of trout under the piers at night.

Started fishing plastic baits in the Brime.

I caught my first Bay stripers and leared a lot about that scene.

I took a tour of most of the spots you guys post about (got lost looking for chixs at night).

I discovered that you can fish at night and not have to buy a hotel room. That will get me down more often.

I will be a much improved fisherman next season.
 

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Sounds like there were good years all around- whether it was finally getting into the fish of your dreams- of arming yourself with the gear and confidence to go after the quarry. Congrats to all! This has also been a bang up year on the board, [I think] more than doubling the membership- most all sharing their stories and insites. It has also been fun meeting some of you and getting to fish next to some of you- I look forward to getting the chance to fish with more of ya'll down the road.

As for me this has been an interesting year. It started out pretty well. Over the course of the year there have been a bunch of transitions including finishing up some school work, landing a better job, and discovering that I actually do need sleep. :D

Unfortunately I don't think I got out there on the water quite as much as I did the year before, but I think I did alright- missing a few citations for flounder and speck by a few ounces, and missing a state record by a few ounces. Had an odd striper laden summer- catching and releasing quite a few- up to about 42"- too bad there weren't more in there like that IN season. Also got probably my best red in a year or two. Got into a few more tagged fish and probably played party to tagging a few. Made it off shore once or twice chasing tuna and dolphins. Finally, I discovered that an eel WILL live in a five gallon bucket-in the kitchen- for 7 months (and still counting). :D

I look forward to another season and can't wait too see what it may hold- I look forward to a bit of a boom in the red and speck population in '03. With some hope- maybe this linesider season has been a bit of a fluke and we will see a little bit of a resurgence in the population while issues like mycobacterium and physteria fade away. Speaking of flukes- maybe this year will see a few more and better flounder.

Tight lines and blue skies, :cool:

Salty
 

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Like most of these posts, I had a good year as well, largely due to the wealth of information on this site. I started wading some of the bridges this year which I had never done before, and it turned out to be very productive for the stripers. I started learning about and using a lot more lures vs. bait than in the past- I caught bluefish, speckled trout, puppy drum, spanish mackeral, and lizardfish on lures for the first time. I also met some of the board members and hope to see you again this year.
 

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At the beginning it was my belief that "Crabs Are the Bomb." That defined me as "Crab Bomber", til I bombed out. Seems the focus that was once reserved for the hard shelled inhabitants of the area redirected itself to the masses as a whole.

From there "Thrifty Angler" emerged. A bit conservative with no specific expectations. Just taking things as they came. And in the process, a world of knowledge was opened up to me. Along with that came a new found awareness. No longer was there a need to search North or South. Nor East to West.

One would say there's a passion we share that has put us in touch with each other. From that, I have found an ever present feeling of peace and contentment.

The last couple months of 2002 have brought about a desire within me to place more focus on technique. Casting allows for presentation of an offering. Retrieving prepares one for the next offering. And with that--an opportunity to assess which approaches would better fit the situation.
Success is not always determined by the brand of Rod and Reel one uses. Simply said, it all comes down to hook, line and sinker. Maybe a split shot.
Heavy would take an offering out of one's sight. On the other hand, just letting it float out there may in itself prove to be a better choice. All said, if the offering stays hooked long enough, then eventually it will be picked up. And hopefully by the sort after species. Or maybe the occassional shark.

In 2002 I gave it my best shot. In 2003 it'll be a whole new ball game. The ball will be in the other court.

Till Next Time Folks!!! Happy New Year!!!
 

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I had to wait until Dec 31st to make my post in case something big happened today. But if you're interested, here's my tagging info for 2002.

Thanks largely in part to my fishing buddy Kimoslobby, and in no small part to his friend Eric, and others (Flounder Pounder & Crew, Salty and Ed) to name a few, and many others I met along the way, I was fortunate enough to have tagged 612 fish in 2002.

Also, thanks to Mrs. Jake Ace, who went out with me for the first time in 2002 on 12.31.02, to help me get enough Puppy Drum to break the 600 fish mark for 2002.

My 2002 tagged breakdown was as follows:

398 Flounder, 191 Red Drum and 23 Specs.

On the sizes, 31 of the 398 (8%) released Flounder were 17.5"+ with a 24" and 23.5" in that batch.

Another 107 Flounder were between the 15.5" and 17.5" size, which would have made them '01 keepers. If you add the 31 to the 107 that's 138 or 398 (35%) that would have been 2001 keepers.

While in 2001, the tagging breakdown was 554 Flounder (no Red Drum or Specs). Of those 554 only 63 were 15 1/2"+ keeper-sized throwbacks (11%)

So while the Flounder weren't as plentiful in my spots, they were larger.

The return percentages were lighter in 2002 where only 39 of 398 (10%) were recaptured, while 2001 had 80 of 554 (14.5%) recaptured.

Additionally, I caught several (5) flounder in 2002 that I tagged in 2001. So I know the measurements are accurate in that, at least I measure them all the same way.

From each one, it looks like the average growth rate for the 12" to 17" fish was about 1" every 90- to 100-days.

The good news being that any 14.5" or larger fish you caught and released from May on, will be close to 17.5" this year.

This year I learned the value of the circle hook as well.

I would implore you all to use more circle hooks on your flounder minnow fishing trips.

Especially if you're a minnow fisherman who uses small minnows and practices the counting to 10 ... or 20 method when you feel a flounder bite.

The mortality studies on flounder show that lip hooks (as long you get them back in the water in a reasonable amount of time) will hardly ever die.

And if you can't use a circle hook, than at least use the bronzed hooks, that rust away in a day, so that when you get a gut hook-up you can simple cut the line and release the fish with the hook in him.

The fisheries folks have also shown that when the fish is released with the rustable bronzed hook in it (and not ripped out) that they even stand a very good chance at surviving, probably 60%.

Whereas ripping the hook out almost 90% of the time ensures death to the throwback flounder.

On the Red Drum, the most interesting thing about the 191 Reds is that 138 of them came from December 15th - 31st from the York River, about 85% of those on grubs. Only 8 of the 191 Reds thrownback was 18"+.

On a different note, I did hook and fight my first cobia ever this year ... the hook-up and fight lasted approximately 3 1/2 seconds.

I could go on, but I should probably call it a night in case I opened up any wounds.

THROW MORE BACK ...

JAKE ACE
 

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I forgot I did my biggest flounder ever in 2002 a couple oz's shy of 5 lbs
 
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