My dad and I met this morning for our yearly Thanksgiving rockfish trip. As it is every year, the conditions were less than perfect, but oh well, we have only fished a couple times this year together so we decided it had to be done. Normally we troll but this time I also brought a supply of stingsilvers and soft plastic baits. We Came out of the Piankatank in pretty good conditions and headed towards the deeper water. Saw some nice balols of bait this morning, much better than last weekend. Put the trolling spread out and worked an area that was showing lots of baits and some nice sized fish around the bait balls. Nothing. A while later I see the white glimmer of birds north of 2R. Reel everything up and run north. Gannets and gulls were everywhere, not exactly going crazy but they knew this would be the place to be. We pulled up to our first group of birds and I gave my father a quick jigging lesson and then I threw my first cast and hooked up with a small fish on a green/yellow stingsilver. Caught a few here and there with one keeper at 18.5. Dad still couldn't get one. Tried for quite some time around the birds and finally I hooked one and gave it to my dad to reel in. This must have gotten him motivated because he started catching after that. The fish were all just below the 18 minimum and not what I was looking for today but oh well, it's fish and thats what we fish for. When we ran back south for a while we started showing nice fish marks about half a mile south of 2R but birds were just passing overhead. I decided to try and drift around there. We caught more of the normal smallish right around 18" some above, some below. Then I had a small tap that turned into a big pull. Fought the fish around the cluttered trolling gear still stuck in the rod holders and finally got a nice fat fish just shy of 28", my biggest yet for LTJ. Caught a few more smalls then decided that we had been beat up enough for the day so back up to the river we went to go get ready for our turkey day celebration. The big fish weighed a bit under nine and a half pounds. Once I get the pictures on the webserver I'll put them up. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I hope everyone enjoys the day as much as I have so far.
Tried vertical jigging when we got on the fish but the wind pushed us to fast to keep them down so we would cast in the direction we were drifting and jig in the slack in the line. Camera batteries are dead so I will have to wait until tomorow to put a picture up. Too much turkey and other concrete laden foods in my system now to look around to get the camera working