I have a daughter that is almost 3 years old, a 6 month old daughter and a wife who works part-time in the ER as a nurse, so my time is thin these days. I know many anglers/ paddlers face similar family duties and I'm not looking to make excuses, but rather to explain why this blog is an amalgamation of different trips.
First off, Demo Day 2014 happened on the 7th. It was awesome! Thank you to all the Reps., Pro Staff, etc that made the trip. A big thank you to all of the folks who came out to test different kayaks, canoes and SUPs! That is what it's all about. And a giant thank you to the staff at the shop! All the boys in the warehouse work their tails off every year! Demo Day 2014 was the biggest event yet. 700-800 people attended and the weather was perfect.
You can find more pictures from Demo Day 2014 on our Facebook page. If you've never attended this event, put it on your radar for next year.
The Sunday following Demo Day I headed to Briery Creek Lake with a local buddy, Robert. We put in and started paddling for some shallows. I caught 4 LMB's and one of them even spit up a little hint as to what they were eating.
The PowerTeam Lures Craws were looking like a good bait for the rest of the afternoon. Robert and I met up with Richie Bekolay of Hook, Line, and Sinker while we were out. It was good to hang with Richie on the water for a bit before he headed back home from the Demo Day weekend. After some catching and paddling, Richie and Robert headed home. I paddled over and met ARC_Hampton store manager, Vic.
Vic wanted to stay out of the wind so he headed shallow, paddling away in his sweet Wenonah canoe. I moved towards some of the good summer spots, to see if they'd heated up yet. The first spot was a total bust and I contemplated heading for home. As I paddled towards the ramp I made a last second decision to paddle over to one more spot. I'm glad I made that choice.
First cast hit the drink and my rod bowed up. It stayed bowed up for the next 30 minutes as I pulled bass after bass out of the lake. I was giggling like a kid. None of the LMB were monsters, but it was a ton of fun catching quantity. I put around 10-12 more in the kayak before I called it a day.
I had the 5" PTL Sick Stick on a drop shot and was slinging it deep around a point. I never had to let it sit long before the hit came. The bass were schooled up and tagging the bait so hard I went through 3 sick sticks in Baby Bass and Okeechobee Craw. They loved both of them.
Bass thumb was in full effect.
Later that week, my wife and girls headed to the beach in NC with my in-laws. I had to work, but I'd be meeting them that weekend. In the meantime, I had some after work hours to kill and a new kayak to try out. So two nights in a row, I loaded up the Feelfree Kayaks Lure 11.5 and headed to Briery to try fly fishing out of a kayak.
I'd only cast my fly rod once before these after work missions, so it was nice to get some practice in. The Lure 11.5 is ridiculously stable and a great vessel for fly fishing out of a kayak. I'll have more on this rig as I test it out over the summer. I landed my first fish from the kayak on the fly as the sun was dropping below the horizon. Funny how such a tiny fish can illicit such a big smile.
Lastly, I headed for Atlantic Beach, NC on Saturday afternoon. I got into town and hung with the family. Sunday, I awoke and started planning a little trip into the salt. I struck out for a spot called the Haystacks. After 5 hours, I had struck out. Nothing, nada. Â As a competitive person with a strong drive to accomplish little self-set goals, I always have a hard time accepting the inevitable skunk. Sometimes all you come home with is fish-less selfies. ;)
The next afternoon I headed out into the Bogue Sound behind my in-law's condo. I put in about 2pm and started casting into the mouth of a cove. I got several bites. As the tide emptied out , I drifted back and decided to jig for flounder. I'd never caught one and so decided to try and knock another species off the list. After about 30 minutes, I had one on! I was pretty psyched and quickly starting googling to see the size limits on NC flounder. At close to 17", this little guy was coming home to VA with me.
The flounder bit a Electric Chicken Hammer Shad from PTL on a jig head.
Pretty cool! I headed in after that, having been on the water for about 2 hours. The wind was kicking up and the tide was quickly draining out. I got back in time to play in the pool with my girls for a bit. The best of both worlds.
The Crystal Coast in NC is a magical place, with the ocean on one side and the sound on the other. I can't wait to get back.
If you're ever down that way, stop in at Chasin' Tails Outdoors. Good people and a great shop. I've stopped in a couple times now, on Mark Lozier's recommendation, and these guys are very knowledgeable and helpful.
The summer is here! Things are heating up. June 28th the River Bassin Tournament Trail comes through Farmville. Looks like it's time to get some river slime on my yak. See ya'll out on the water!