Was headed to the OBX when Russians decided to delay my trip.
Reminded me that there is a small town in Russia that most of the able bodied young men with some intelligence are trained in the art of Cybercrime. In this town these men are hailed as Patriots because they transfer wealth from the wicked west into the coffers of Russian families, be it either in the business of Cybercrime or just the corner Vodka store benefitting from the cash influx from a Hacking Ransomware success. I get asked at least once a month to open an invoice from Russians, they even get into computers of my business contacts and the email comes from someone I know. However the Russians do not understand commercial real estate terminology so I have not been compromised, yet.
So when Cybercrime hits the Colonial Pipeline, then unfortunately the residents and Visitors of the OBX are unduly affected to their plans and bank accounts.....
My trip got postponed. But I did find out from the Secret Drum Hotline that the Secret CTS Blank Volume Purchase has a new right off the mandrel 1306 Blank headed down to the OBX this weekend to be placed in the care of DRumPro #1.
I am anticipating that said 1306 Blank after traveling all the way from New Zealand to Burlington NC to Hatteras will pick up some tips whilst down Hatteras way on avoiding Sharks and Flattosauruses and how to key in on Cobia and Drum. I want a Drum Rod, not a Flatto Rod in my stable. I already have multiple Shark Rods and even a few Skate and Doggie Rods, I want a dedicated Drum Rod that only catches Drum.
There is a group of DRumPros with extremely high numbers right now (estimated 60+) going into the final throes of the Spring Season.
Should be a couple good bites left at the Secret Spots until the summer species change of Blacktips and Spinners take over from Garbos and SandBars and the Flattosaurus begin to rule the bottom.
There is a Secret Spot in the Pamlico where you cannot wade to, you cannot drive to, but if you get there and tough it out on land and do not boat fish, all the big Drum count, and this is all summer long on a hard SW. A hard SW is pretty much an every day event on Hatteras by the way......
Sniper George has a good system in place. He fishes a lot when everyone else is asleep. Sniper George has been the Out-Of-Town MAN in several of the last years Tournaments, sounds like he will be tough to get around in 2021.
DrumPro Biker used to be right up there but he now has an OBX residency issue now that prevents him from qualifying for Out-Of-Town, and now he may even run up against the Hatteras Island 20 fish handicap penalty buy-in. That is you have to get 20 on the deck or sand before you even get to count the first one. (DrumPro GolfPro thought this one up and it is under consideration by MAN Tournament Committee Members)
I put together a Cobia Jig rod this afternoon Shimano Speedmaster lll 6.1 retrieve Garbo Custom Rod in all Black. One of these days I will be down, keep getting delayed by Life and Work.
Came across this photo today and it touched my heart.
It used to be that October was the greatest month for King Fishing on Rodanthe. The Kings who spent the summer off the Virginia Capes would migrate South and every morning a procession of Oregon Inlet charter boats would be slow trolling live menhaden past Rodanthe Pier on the other side of the Outer bar. In those days the limit per person was 6 King Mackerel per day, so around 5:00 PM in the afternoons, 36 King Mackerel would be laid on the sidewalks and a group of 6 sunburnt fishermen would be kneeling and posing for glamour shots and the Kings would make their way to the fish-cleaning room to be steaked or my favorite fileted and then butterfly steaked and then iced down. King Mackerel are a somewhat oily fish, so they shine on a barbeque or in a smoker.
Long story short, back in the day unless the water was really roiled up, at dawn on Rodanthe Pier you put an anchor rod out and spent the entire day until dusk fishing for King Mackerel. Skip paid $2.00 a pound live weight for Kings and my best payday was a crisp $100 dollar bill for a 50 pound King. Skip would cut large King Mackerel steaks and flame grill them and the dining patrons of Down-Under seemed to love them. Skip made enough $$ to buy a couple of condos in Breckenridge CO and the Red-Head and myself had iced beer.
Skip had to relocate to Costa Rica, the Down-Under went the way of the October OBX Kings but the RedHead is still at it.
I am building a new (old rewrap and new butt section) pin-fishing fighting rod, based on my new favorite colors grey and white and black. Going to put the second coat of Threadmaster on the butt section today.
From the photo above in previous post... It looks like the new semi-wider end of Rodanthe will accommodate my new four-part pendulum cast, when I get down there, if I am down there in October, no doubt I will have a Drum rod out all day, but perhaps for old times sake I will put an anchor rod out on the North Corner and think back to the way it was when we were young and the fishing possibilities seemed boundless for those aspiring to be amongst the best on an OBX Pier.
those king are awesome above. I know I have no right even posting in this thread but I got to go for king this summer for the first time. we were only trolling for them but man I had a ball. what a strong fish. the captain we were with was great. I didn't know their lips are kinda tender so when we hooked up he told us exactly what to do and when to reel till we got the hang of it and then turned got us positioned and walked us through landing them. the only problem that day were the barracuda. got a whole new respect for those fish also. holy cow they are fast and can ambush a king in no time. we ended up with 3 heads only in a row. all I kept hearing was reel faster reel faster here comes one behind it! but damn-it I landed 2 of those cuda afterwards. it was a great learning experience and day. I can only imagine how hard it is to land them so high up on a pier.
Not a lot of Barracuda inshore on the OBX. offshore on the wrecks they can be thick. Sharks are more a problem for pier caught Kings these days.
Need a good gaff man and a bit of patience on the piers, best to let the King come back to the pier colored grey and dying, if it comes back looking green and angry you can lose him real easy.
It used to be back in the day 1960's thru 1980's there were hundreds of Kings caught on the Northern OBX each season along with large numbers of Cobia and few Amberjacks. If you fished all summer on all the good days one Pin-rigger would end up with 10 to 20 Kings for the season and perhaps a half dozen big Cobia. There were a few great fishermen who caught way more, Like Romeo on Avalon Pier. The Redhead caught around 75 Kings or so by himself back in 1988 or 1989 I think it was. After 1996 the numbers of King Mackerel fell way off inshore and these days you have to count all the piers and dozens of fishermen putting in time to equal what one fisherman could catch. Some fellas blame the Florida Drop-net boats that came North, but I think it was over-fishing both on the Kings and Spanish and on the Menhaden they eat.
Amberjacks went away inshore, do not hear about them these days on the OBX Piers at all.
My biggest Pier Amberjack was around 50 pounds, I released it alive, we gaffed it in the tail... A tourist started yelling at me that he would have taken the Amberjack, I was in a fowl mood because I thought it was a monster King up until I got it close to the Pier. Back in those days we sold the Kings for $2.00 a pound to restaurants, so it was a let down for a broke-ass King Fisherman. No market up here for AJ's. After the tourist kept complaining to me about letting the AJ go, I told him that he wanted it so bad he should have caught it. AJ's are good eating but especially with the big ones there is a fear of Ciguatera poisoning if the AJ's went South to Florida and ate infected reef fish. Plus they get worms at the base of their tail like Big Drum do.
Used to be a lot of Big Spanish on the Piers too back in the day,
I fished for Spanish in the Pamlico with Nets in 1991-1992. I am pretty sure I have killed more 4 and 5 pound Spanish than anyone on this board unless they too went out in net boats. We sent them all to the Fulton Market, Spanish were $1.00 a pound back in the day at the Dock, a Bluefish might be $.05.00 a pound, sometimes a bit more. We got our check a week later from the Hatteras Fish-Buyer. At the time the Mafia was in control of the Fulton Market so the fishermen got a bit less paying off the La Cosa Nostra.......
Today there should be Kings somewhere on the OBX with the light NE wind......
Thinking back to how we used to act on the end of the T's on the OBX, we were a bunch or ........I know I did and said some things I am embarrassed of thirty years later, but we were trying the be the MAN and in those days the MAN meant Live-baiting since the Drum were nowhere near as thick in the 1980's as they are these days thanks to the moratorium on killing the Big Drum.
I remember clearly a day in early September back in 1989.... I was the only one with the pin rig out on Nags Head Pier. the whole Pier was empty it was a weekday I guess, but I was by myself.....There was a long silver-yellow procession of hundreds of 15-20 pound Jack Crevalle's swimming South migrating to Florida right around the end of the T and right under my pin-rig bait. I remember feeling so sad standing out there on the end of the pier by myself...I knew that that my Summer had come to an end but I also felt that the best days of King Fishing were likely behind me rather than on my Horizon. Not one of those hundreds of Jacks even swirled at my bait, they were leaving North Carolina and deep down in my Heart I knew I had better be leaving Nags Head too......
Best Gaffing Job I ever saw was done by Wacko on Rodanthe Pier. It was during one of the years when the end of the T had broken off and we were fishing with a couple of broken off pilings in front of the stubbed off temporary end.
A guy King Fishing who I did not know, can not remember the Angler at all or the fight, except for the final moments.
The King is green and the Angler watched in dismay as the King wrapped 360 degrees around that broken off piling with his running line. The broken piling was perhaps 15 feet from the railing of the temporary end and the Angler was really upset because this was perhaps his first big King. The King was perhaps 20 pounds which is about an average size for OBX. Some get a lot bigger but I would say that most are in the 20-25 pound range that hit the live baits.
Not sure if people still play tetherball but I used to a lot and I was good at it......So was this King he was a tetherball expert and he started wrapping himself closer and closer around that Piling. The Angler's Friend was standing there helpless with a gaff, when Wacko steps up demands to use his Gaff, the Friend obliges as he figured Wacko had something in mind. Plus who could say no to Wacko.
Wacko steps up onto the lowest railing board and with a 2 foot lead, he spins that Gaff around like a mini windmill and then casts it right at the King just as the King is coming around the Piling for one more wrap.......Gaff hits the King right in the head and Wacko snatches that King right off that Piling, breaking off the line and in a quick couple hand over hands has that King flying over the railing to hit the deck.....Both the Angler and his Friend could not believe their eyes......
Later after the excitement waned I asked Wacko if he would have done the same with his own gaff.........Wacko bust out laughing and said H...l No..... Chances were you would have sunk the gaff into that piling and would have to swim to get it back.....seen more than one Pin Rigger have to jump off the T to get a gaff buried in a piling.....
Wacko is one of the greatest fishermen I have ever had the opportunity to stand beside on either a Pier or at the Secret Spots on the sand. Wacko was an integral part of my most memorable Drum night ever. I count myself lucky to be his friend...
I remember speaking with Bob Eakes perhaps in 1989, I told Bob that I was looking for a Fenwick Surfstik at his old shop at the Red Drum Center. Bob asked me if I wanted a Surfstik only because the Twins had them, I told him I wanted one because it could put a bait out there..... Bob handed me a then brand new design one piece graphite Lamiglas heaver. I think is was around 11' long or so, do not know the blank number but it was real narrow in the butt. It was Bob's personal stick and he had a black 9000C Abu on it. Most everyone Drum Fishing in those days either used a 7000C or a 9000C with a few 8600's mixed in. You could get your thumb on the 9000's spool real good because of the relatively new thinness of the Lami Graphite Blank probably a 22mm butt versus the standard thick fiberglass blanks of those days with 30mm butt sections.
The Lamiglas was a bit out of my price range as a Hatteras Island Carpenter, it was perhaps a long weeks worth of salary to buy one. I had a Zzplex and a Surfstik and a one piece Lami fiberglass Heaver but I wanted another yellow Surfstik and Fenwick had quit making them a few years before, the new SurfStik had black butts and black fiberglass tips instead of yellow fiberglass of the originals.
Bob had a few of the new Lamis in the rack ready for sale, but I never had the type of relationship with Bob where I could try out a stick before purchase. So I handed the Lami back to Bob and we went to talking about something else. Bob was good about that with me, we never had issue, I never worked for him so I was a customer first and a fellow fisherman second.
Bob was a powerful man back in the day and to watch him bull his way out into surf to cast his bait, where the rest of us kind of turned sideways to the wave to let the force of the wave slip by, Bob met the waves head on, wide open. There of a lot of Island stories of Bob, he was epic in many ways, some of the conversations were born perhaps from jealousy as Bob was successful in business, whilst the rest of the Island folks were just kind of scraping by. Island gossip goes that way...
Bob never fished the Piers for Drum, only the Beach, even when Avon Pier or Rodanthe Pier was going off and nothing was going on at the beach during the day, he refused to hit the planks, but if the bite was on at the Point back in those days Bob would show up right before dark coming straight from the shop and he would bow up usually before most of the fellas because Bob could flat out smoke a cast back then.
Last time I fished with Bob was back when Shelly Island first connected to the Mainland and it was something fishing with Bob and watching him get bowed up, with Dan standing right there with him, just like the old days.
I am pretty sure from now on every time I see a Neon Green Daiwa Ballistic I will think about how we were back when we were all young and strong and whatever setbacks or triumphs or health issues that the future held for us were non-existent.....to a specific October afternoon back in the day when Bob showed up to the Point around 5 PM.. pulled on his waders....blasted his way out from the sand.. wading out thru a big surf and then immediately got bowed up to a big Drum on a splash bite with the setting Sun shining of his right shoulder, Bob's rod bent in a circle, the fish pulling hard....
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