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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had a lot of bait waiting to be used. Once my youngest was out of school we started preparing for the weekend. Packed up gear and what not and headed out for the start of our fishing weekend. The time was around 9pm/Friday.

Needed one last bait to add to our supply. Hoped to pick up some mullet along the way. Intended to stop by Lighthouse Tackle on Shore Drive. There were no neon signs lit up. Seemed as though they were closed. Went by Lynnhaven Seafood/Marina. They were open but out of mullet. Headed to Lynnhaven Pier. Was told that Spot and croaker had been hitting throughout the day. Nice big croaker and very large spot. Didn't stay though. Just picked up the mullet and headed for the Lesner Bridge. This time, the boat launch side.

Talked with a couple anglers.....Well make that three anglers. One had brought his son along. Seems his mom had given the "no waders in the backpack for him tonight" instructions and they were following it to the letter. That was good. Got info on the parking situation as well as info about the artificials that were being tried. They had to be after "big" fish. Basing this on the size of the artificials..a Mr. Whiffle with a curly tail, or something like that. Don't recall the name of the lure exactly. These guys were dedicated to their sport. Had the waders as well as the courage...cause that's what I figured it had to take for them to wade into the choppy, choppy waters and brave the extremely strong/gusty winds that were out there Friday night.

Didn't feel we would get positive results there so we checked out the Duck Inn side. Saw only one angler. And he was on his way out. He reported "no luck" out there. Well at this point, we started reconsidering our options. We had wanted to fish the outgoing and then move on. But the wind was more than we had expected. Decided to head back to the pier. Got there around midnight.

Nothing happening so I set up the sleeping cart for Dominic. Winds were whipping from almost every direction. Had to wedge the cart between trash cans and an unused supply cart. Got him settled in. I noticed there were 6, I believe, anglers hoping for the same results I was. Not able to get to my favorite spot, but set up just the same. Tide was nearly out so I expected some anglers would soon be pulling out. After interest was lost, 4 of the anglers packed up and headed out. So I shifted positions/slid my gear down a bit, still within site of snoozing Dominic. Guess the winds had the others admitting defeat as well. Not long after that I realized I was a lone angler waiting along the rails for that first sign that the "bigger" fish had arrived. So I stood patiently awaiting.

Bam! Get the first hit around 4 am or so. Tide hadn't long turned. Even though the water was still shallow, they were here. Well, it didn't do well with that one. I guess it was nervousness from having a big one on. See, I had lost a lot of those larger ones the weekend before. Lost this one too. Decided it was time to awaken Dominic. After some eye rubbing and "get to his feet" coordination manuevering, he was up and at em. He goes down a bit and casts. Nothing for a while. Then I get a hit. Since I didn't have a pier net, I made an attempt to walk it to the beach. Well after ducking under a couple rods, seems I lost the upper hand. The up until this time cooperative fish decided to take my line away from the shore and into deeper water. Damn. This I hadn't planned on.:mad: To make matters worse, now came that urge to go. Started humming the tune to a tv commercial......Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now. No way, I started saying out loud. Why now? Why now? But had to put those thoughts out of my head and get back to the task at hand. Had to duck my rod back under those two other lines again. Just when I had caught up with him and was directly over him, the fish decided to pull another trick out it's hat. The old, "seek shelter from under the pier" strategy. Well, you probably have guessed what happened next. Hook pops out and I started reeling in the slack.

Not a minute later, a couple guys on the other side of the pier started getting active. Seems they had a big one on. I don't think they were able to get him though. Didn't pay much attention cause I had more pressing business to tend to. And since I was headed that way, stopped in and reserved the pier net. Let em try and get away next time, I was thinking as I took hold of that large ring and headed out the door. Didn't even think of one important thing....."how the heck am I going to use this thing". Add in the gusting winds factor and......"well, it's going be an interesting morning".

After regrouping for about 15 or so minutes, get another hit. Ok, "I'm ready for you fish" were my thoughts. Like it or not it was time for a crash course in pier net theory and application. Handed the rod to my son and let him have a go at it. Watched as he put up a brave fight. The whole time I was hurriedly unwrapping the drop line on the pier net while making a mental note to myself, "gotta talk to whoever wrapped that supply line so tightly onto that paint stirrer". I reached out and took hold of the rod line like a pro. Guided the fish into the net and the rest was history. I had actually made my first official netting. It was as smooth as clockwork. A moment I will always remember. And it was a striper. Yea! Took a quick photo opt and got back to the business at hand.

Then Dominic hooks up with his rod. I was a bit occupied myself. Someone came over to help Dominic out. Lost mine, so I went to lend a hand. Seems everything was under control. I kept my eye on his rods while he talked Dominic thru the process of letting the drag do the work. Both he and Dominic were very patient. As for me, I was thinking......"get him up before he pulls loose". Of course now I had to relenquesh my position. I was no longer the designated "netter". Gee!

Others began steadily arriving, many were headed toward the end for some spot and croaker action. And some were stopping near the front. Fish were everywhere. Keepers everywhere. It was a sight. Between myself, Dominic, and other anglers........we put a lot of miles on that pier net. Unfortunately, I wasn't given the opportunity to handle the net for 99.9 percent of those actual miles. Guess no one wanted to take a chance at having their fish pulled up by a rookie. Well, I have a fix in mind for that next year. I will have my own pier net. No more of that assumed to be "community property" crap. It'll be my way or the highway, sort of speaking. With the fish of course getting in the last word, "see ya".

Anyway, as the tide got low, packed the gear and headed to the end of the pier for a try at spot and croaker fishing. Only planned to stay for an hour or so then head home for a break. In actuality, we stayed right thru low tide.....got rained soaked....but continued to fish. Didn't have a spot on the "productive" side of the pier, so we weren't getting fish like so many others. Didn't matter though. Dominic was having a ball. That was what was most important. And giving justification as to why we were lugging around that big ole pier net was what kept a smile on his face even thru the rain. Oh, the pride that was shown on his face each time he opened the cooler to let others see the results of his hard work. What a trooper!

Once the tide shifted, we went back to our original position to have another go at it. Turns out the action of early morning was not to be repeated. Angler's outnumbered the fish 15 to 1. Only showing was from an occassional small pup, and that's about it. So after getting soaked for a second time, we decided it was time to call it quits. Packed up, said our goodbyes and headed for home. Home around 10 pm or so. I was so wiped out, I sat in front of the computer to start posting and ended up nodding off, eyes facing the ceiling. Talk about a "pain in the neck". What a day! I am sore just about everywhere. Even my temples are sore to the touch. Now that's what I consider "a workout". Never got to sit down til the ride home.


From morning til noon
And throughout the day,
I'll be reminiscing about our adventures
while continuously applying the Bengay.

OOCH, OUCH!:D
 

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sounds like you had a busy but very good time congrats on the accomplishments
Terry
Topsailbum
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Topsailbum and Kajun

Thanks for the kind words.

We did have a ball. We caught a lot of juvenile black drum(all throw backs), some undersize stripers (thrown back), one bluefish, two undersize flounder(throw backs), and a horse croaker. After taking on the big guys and letting my muscles take a well needed break, along comes Mr. Pull Hard croaker. I think he was the toughest of all the fish that we caught. I had had enough for a while. I ended up taking my lines in and just watched and help my son. Ain't young like I use to be. That's for sure.:rolleyes: Just a total of 4 fish got the pleasure of accompanying us home.

There were a lot of huge spot and horse croakers in that rough water yesterday. Also an exceedingly large number of puffers. I thought the puffers were long gone by now. Also saw quite a few roundhead. The fishing was the best I have seen it out on Lynnhaven Pier in a long time. Everything was large. Guess those size fish could handle the rough water better than the runts.

We spent the most productive time out there seeking the big boys. By the time we got around to going after the spot and croaker, the bite had decreased substantially. Really wanted some spot. Guess that'll have to wait until possibly next weekend. Maybe the shoulder to shoulder fishing will not be the norm then. Just not my scene to have someone standing behind me and casting over my head. I don't want any fish that badly to have to endure that.
 
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