Todays fishing trip was an extra special one for me. Today I had on board the "YEAH RIGHT" Rudy Jenkins, Brian Robbins, Darrell Kennedy, Ronnie Hussey, and Steve Blanchard. Now, what made this one so special. Well, back more years than I want to admit, I used to Striper fish on Badin Lake, one of the lakes on the Yadkin River Chain of lakes. Rudy, had a house on that lake and we fished mostly in the winter time when the stripers were schooled up chasing the small shad from the past years hatch.
We would pull "Green Things" this was the name that was tagged onto a bait configuration that I do believe that Rudy was the one that was the originator of this bait that worked wonders on the stripers, especially in the winter months. It was not uncommon to have two stripers on at one time (on the same rod).
Well, it was cold out on the water this time of year and we would meet at Rudy's house around lunch time to get a bite to eat and warm up before the evening fishing started. It was a great time in my life, and as fishing does so many times, it provides you with some great friends, great memories, and makes you realize just how short life on this earth really is so you should make the best of the time you have here, and those years spent fishing on Badin Lake was definately some of the most quality time I have ever spent with friends and my son Capt Chris!!!
Now, as for the fishing. A lot of you fishermen and women have met Rudy. He fishes a lot of the King Mackeral Tournaments here out of Southport and is the owner of R&D AUTOMOTIVE in Asheboro,NC. Seems ironic that two friends that loved to striper fish on Badin went our seperate ways only to wind up back fishing together on the high seas, with a love for a different type of fishing that we both can share again. The only thing missing today was Capt Chris. Had he been able to have made it today, the circle would have been complete. We all missed you Capt Chris, and had you been with us, I bet we would have had more Grouper in the boat. Grouper have a hard time outwitting Capt Chris!!!!
Today we were after bottom fish and grouper, please, no king mackeral!! I went to some of my grouper rocks that I haven't fished in a long time,(you can't fish them too often, or you'll burn them out). The first stop, SW of the Tower showed a good concentration of fish on the rock. We anchored up, baited up, dropped down and it wasn't long until a rod doubled over and the fight was on!!! A nice 14-15 lb.GAG Grouper came aboard. Now, you got to remember, I had King Mackeral Fishermen on board. These guys were not aware of the vicious bite and battle that the grouper can lay upon you with no advance warning!!
The next bite nearly resulted in a lost rod and reel. The comment came the starboard side of the boat, THAT FISH NEARLY TOOK THE ROD OUT OF MY HAND!!!!! Well, if you grouper fish, you know what that means, yep, he was in the rocks, GAME OVER!!!! No more than that happened, the same came from the Port side, well, if you grouper fish, you also know what two fish broke off in the same rock means, GAME OVER!!! It shuts the bite off nearly ever time, this was no exception!!!
We left there because the bite shut off after two break off's. The next rock we anchored up on provided two more grouper bites, but, they were too fast and powerful to get them up out of the rocks, so again, GAME OVER!!!
The tide turned on us and made for a whole different set of circumstances. This time the current was "screaming"!!! The schools of fish I was marking was gone and the few I marked, would not bite. I guess they were holding on to something to keep from being washed to England.
OK, enough Grouper fishing, let's get some bottom fish in the boat for the freezer. Well. with the current running like it was, I decided to make a run towards to shoals and get on the down side of the shoals in shallower water. Here, the current would have a break, and should not be as strong in the shallower water allowing the fish an opportunity to feed.
I love it when a plan comes together, I found a good break, marking a good concentration of fish on the high side (a good position to indicate they are feeding). We anchored up and when we dropped down, this time, FOR THE FISH, it was GAME OVER!!!! With a 20 fish per person limit on "reef complex species" these guys were limited out in less than an hour!! The bite was as fast as you could drop, mostly two at a time!!
Our creel for the day consisted of Black Bass, Vermillion Snapper, Triggerfish, Grouper, Grey Snapper, and a few Silver Snapper. With all the fish on board and the winds building the seas up,we decided to head back since we had a "head sea" of around four feet and building. I put the curtains up I designed last winter to use in these kind of conditions, got out the bean bags, got the "YEAH RIGHT" set and trimmed to a good ride at around 23 knotts, (even in a 4 ft head sea) Man, MAKO makes a fine boat, I looked back after about five miles to see how everyone was doing, but, I couldn't get many answers, those on the bean bags were asleep, so, I figured they were doing OK!!!
Some more great memories made with some GREAT friends, and we even caught some fish too!! Rudy, be sure to tell Deb and Tracy and all the guys in Asheboro,NC I said hello, and I will cherish this trip for years to come, just as I will always remember the striper trips!! Till next time, FISH ON!!! Capt Butch and "Private Bodie" the fish dog says, there was so many fish coming in the boat at one time, I thought we were under attack, so I went and hid behind a bean bag!!! www.yeahrightcharters.com