17 June 2014
I had been looking forward to today's trip. The Clarks went on a soundside adventure with me last year and I really enjoyed their company. Tracey, the first mate on her dad's striper boat; Lauren, the 12-year-old golfer; Ethan, the eight-year-old black belt; and Kevin who landed a Tarpon from the Bonner Bridge catwalk went on a fishing charter with me today. I remember them as a really cool family. I remembered correctly—we had a lot of fun.
Lauren and Ethan were excited about the fish they caught on that trip so today was a straight-up fishing trip. We decided to head to Oregon Inlet and look for flounders. The tide was still falling and the water was muddy and grassy, which are poor floundering conditions. We fished bait on the bottom and hooked up with several species of fish. The whole family would have been happy with croaker tacos but Lauren said that she wanted a quality fish. We started hooking some Weakfish (grey trout) so I brought out some jigging rods and began hooking nice fish, including a 16-inch Spotted seatrout (speckled trout or speck).
Meanwhile, the bait rods were getting so much action that we dead-sticked a jigging rod in a holder and tried to tend to cutting bait and releasing fish. All of a sudden, that light-weight rod with a jig started screaming. Tracey and I both turned to see a five-foot stingray leap four feet out of the water and land with a tremendous splash. So impressive! Kevin went to grab the rod but I took it and held the spool breaking off the ray before it destroyed my equipment. One second after I broke the line, the ray did the same jump as before and this time everyone saw it. We all looked at each other and started howling with laughter. That thing was free jumping across the water. What a show.
We ended our trip with good looks at dolphins and a nostalgic ride by "Pelican Island" and "Hermit Crab Beach."
I am impressed with my young anglers, Lauren and Ethan. Thanks for the great day, guys.
- Weakfish (grey trout)
- Spotted seatrout (speckled trout)
- Summer flounder
- Atlantic croaker
- giant leaping stingray