This is a tale of a battle of epic proportions. While my son was visiting this spring past I invited him to a day on the Chesapeake to pursue the mighty Striped Bass. The day started with wakeup at 1:30. AM that is! After traveling an hour we stopped to fuel and pick up my faithful fishing companion Paul, another two hours on the road and we arrived at the marina. Whew, half a day in already and we’re now just ready to launch!
With the boat in, a two mile run took us to the fishing grounds. Spring trophy striper fishing is accomplished by trolling. For those not familiar with this sport, the boat is run at slow speed pulling the lures through the water. As long as the lines are in the water the boat cannot stop or the ensuing tangle will be so severe as to make any old salt weep!
Here we go! Eight lines in, trolling speed set, 3.5 mph, water calm, sun rising, the hunt is on!
Soon a rod goes down and my son does the honors.
After a battle lasting a few minutes the first fish is on board. Too short! Oh well, splash, maybe we’ll see him again in a couple of years. On my boat we take turns fighting the fish so a couple of fish later it was his turn again but he passed. What's this? Do I see green? Yeah green it is! We have us a case of sea sickness! Out with the pills. Down the hatch. Reassurance that life will get better.
Ok more fish to catch for the old salts. The youngn needs time to recoup, but no problem. He can drive the boat while we fish.
A couple of hours later he is back up, ready to have another go.
Whoa! Now that rod is down big time, drag stripping, get it boy! It’s a biggun! Biggest one today! Maybe biggest one ever! Keep the pressure on! Don’t horse her. Might break the line. Doing good! Keep im coming! Good job! Gosh it gotta be a biggun! Take it easy! Keep the line tight!
With line taunt, muscles bulging, sweat popping, he pulled, he cranked, pulled some more, slowly ever so slowly the great leviathan neared the boat.
Hold the boat straight Paul! Pull up Chad, bring her over the net. A little more. More. There we go, she’s in the net! Wowzer!
The fish didn’t flop, she didn’t ever wiggle, she was totally exhausted! And so was our hero! I ask him to hold her up for a quick pic. No way. Wooped! Totally! Wooped! So I did the best I could, then quickly put her back in the water, held her, revived her, and set her free. I looked around, my young fisherman was eating! Calories, he needed Calories!
They had a good fight. He won! But the best part…………..
They both lived to fight another day!
Note: some photos by Chad Oneil