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One cannot imagine the afternoon of fishing that John Casale, Jim Rekas and I had on Friday afternoon down at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in VA Beach! Talk about getting worn out!
This was our 1st ever CBBT trip and it was a memorable one at that for a couple of reasons which you will read about below.
As soon as we got there we headed over towards the 4th island, which we never actually fished. It was a bit rough (we got slammed by a couple of rouge bay waves) going out in my 19 footer but we had our lines in the water by 1:15 PM.
Since we had so much success in the Washington Channel with the Rebel Jointed Spoonbills, we decided to troll (using 4 light tackle rods) in between the pilings in 15-25 feet of water. There were no birds working but we marked bait around the 12 foot level. It did not take but a minute and we had our 1st CBBT striper! By 3:30 PM , we had caught 55 stripers up to 34" (which Curly caught)!
Out of those 55, only 3-4 were short of 18".
We then stated casting the same lures and the action heated up even more. We should have started doing this earlier. In less than 45 minutes, we had another 29 stripers, all between 18 and 25". Man....that was fun! I even went to a 7" BA for the last few minutes and managed 5 more nice fish. As soon as the sun set, no more fish and we headed back in the dark. Oh....that was fun too!
After a good meal and good night's sleep, we headed out early Saturday morning to see if we could duplicate what we did Friday.
It was not going to happen!
Saturday morning was windy (and got windier) and the current at the bridge was ripping! While we did manage to catch a few nice fish like Curly's 31 incher and Jim's 23 incher, we were starting to take on water down below and the bilge could not keep up with it. So we bolted back towards the Kiptopeke ramp but the faster we went, the more water was coming in. We were baffled but we needed to start bailing the bilge or we were going to be in trouble. It took us more than 2 hours (at 6 kts) to get back.
The culprit was a cracked hull! Talk about spoiling a good time!
Thankfully, we got back safe and sound but I will be out a few pennies in the coming days! Regardless of the mishap, this was one of the best fishing trips that I have ever been on. My crew said the same thing!