Friday, October 17, 2008

Drum da Drum Drum.....

Sorry, that just sounded like it fit, even though it's corny. The anticipation for the red drum trip was mind blowing. Preston and I were as giddy as 12yr olds as we bolted from work and headed out for Beaufort. We took off early to beat traffic and hopefully get some dinner at the Sanitary. It's a great restaraunt and I highly recommend it if you're ever visiting Morehead City. After dinner I tried to talk Preston into surf fishing. The weather was really warm and there was a full moon. It would have been pretty easy to see and wade in the surf. In the end we decided to call it a night, we had to wake up the next day pretty early.

The next morning it was 69 degrees at 7am. It was definately going to be a hot one. We got to the boat dock with our guide and the views were spectacular.
It was one of those days, you felt lucky to be alive. We started heading towards the flats, the wind was cool and brisk but not too cold. I was still awing over the views. The sun shining threw the mist in the trees was almost spiritual.Our guide was Dean Lamont, he was a great guy and had a awesome flats boat. I don't know much about boats but Preston seemed like an expert and gave me a lecture about how good this boat was on the way down to Beaufort. The engine is on hydrolics and can be raised an lowered depending on water depth, the boat can float in 6inches of water, and we saw this first hand. It has a platform the guide stands on to alert us of where fish are and when to cast to them.It was a couple hours before high tide. This trip was a real learning experience for me, I never understood how different fishing in the flats is to anything I've done before. When you walk on the beaches in NC, you'll often see little islands hear and there with tall grass. When the tide rises this grass gets flooded. Soemtimes the tide is a few ft over the grass, the fish come in with the tide and feed on the animals they can't get too when the tide is low.

The weather was steller. It was a perfect day for fishing. Calm winds, crystal clear water, bait fish running everywhere. We were very optimistic. The first few hours we cruised locations trying to find fish tailing. While we were coasting we'd cast to various areas.In some of the coves we found tailing fish. I had a couple chances at them, but I couldn't get them to strike. Drum fishing is actually pretty tough. On youtube, the drum fishing movies make it look like you just keep stripping and the fish hang themselves. Or that they are as plentiful as bluegill in your average farm pond. This was not like the experience we had. During the whole 6-7hrs of fishing we had, Preston was the only one who caught a drum.I can't say it was for the lack of trying. I cast more on this trip than I've ever cast in my life. My wrist was getting sore from it. I wanted to catch a fish bad. It wasn't my day though. The fishing was tough, we didn't see that many and the ones we did see were spooky. We searched everywhere, flats, creeks, snakey canals. I got to drive the boat on this one.

On the way back to the boat dock, there was one more suprise for us.Dolphins were feeding on baitfish, and some came within 20ft of the boat. Dean was nice enough to stop the engine and just let us enjoy the view for awhile.This kind of made the day for me. It was a great day, even though I didn't catch a drum. I am eager to go again. I'm not sure when it will be, but I'm definately going to put it on my things to do list.

When we were loading the boat, I slipped a little on the ramp, Preston was coming down the other side of the boat when I heard him start to slip. He slid about half way down the ramp and fell right near some oysters. Oysters are bad news, if you fall on them it's like falling on glass. I cringed as he went down and asked if he was ok, praying that he was. His response slowly getting up was "NO!" I came around the boat as fast as I could and he showed me his hand, where there was a huge gash in his palm. I knew right away he was going to need stiches. We stopped the bleeding and Dean had a first aid kit and patched him up. We made a detour from Raleigh and headed to a urgent care faclity in New Bern.I'll tell you what, you never want to fall on oysters, he had to get and X-ray to make sure no fragments were in his hand, they had to clean it to make sure it wasn't contaminated. To top it off after the pain of stitching everything he had to get a tetnis shot. He was sorry we were going to be going home so late because of him. I just told him his health is more important than being on time or fishing. I also added at least he didn't get hurt before we went fishing, then the trip would have been ruined. Preston is always fun to fish with and I look forward to going on more trips with him.


  1. Sorry you did not catch one. But it is amazing just to see those beautiful fish tailing, isn't it? And for some reason it is addicting - even without catching anything flyfishing salt has a mystique all its' own.

  2. Sorry about the skunk but then again you sound like you really enjoyed yourself and kept the right perspective. I guess if it was as easy as those videos looked, then you would have missed out on all of the rest of the big picture stuff. Sometimes the tunnel vision of fish catching closes us off to so much more. Beautiful pics. Sorry to hear about Preston's oyster encounter. Did he go eat some on the half-shell later? I'd be exacting some culinary revenge. Great post. Zircon

  3. Great write up Kev.
    I was checking some of my old PM's at the SE fly-fishing board and I noticed your blog url in you sig.

    Great stuff.

    We should fish somewhere soon.