Cape Hatteras 2010
October 17th-24th
 2nd Annual NCBBA Red Drum Tournament
After a long wait, another trip to the sand is upon us.  We, along with Mom and Dad, arrived Sunday afternoon and checked in to the house.  After getting some weight out of the Expedition, David and I headed out to get a little bait to catch better bait (Bluefish) and see if we could get a few sharks to bite.  We managed only two but that would be enough for a short night of fishing.  We set up North of the Point just left of a nice shoaly area.  Prime shark territory.  Using my 12 foot heavy heaver and a Daiwa SL-X50HA loaded with 50 lb. test, I proceeded to get the first hit on a filet, our best big shark bait.  I have had giant sharks on before (like this one on 10/18/08) and was able to get it at least near the beach.  This one, no dice.  I have never felt power like this.  I was actually on my knees trying to dig more than just my feet in the sand to keep the beast from dislocating my shoulders.  Just before I was spooled, the knot finally failed at the steel leader.  This scene played itself out 3 more times and once for the two guys next to us from Richmond.  We measured the severely frayed leaders to get an idea of the length.  We have used this method many times for sharks we have landed and it has proven dead accurate.  The damaged leaders measured between 13 and 16 feet.  I have never had so much fun with a fish I could not land.  We called it a night after that and got to bed fairly early.  

Monday dawned with me on the dock catching bait in the canal.  I did pretty good but most were on the other side.  Our bait collection begins today for the tournament so we began the process of storing the bait for the long haul.  We all headed out to the Hatteras Inlet area for some fishing for fish to eat Wednesday evening.  Dad left after the first spot and we headed down toward the end.  I caught a few really nice Bluefish there up to 6 pounds and then it got slow.  Once the sun started going down, the Puppy Drum decided it was time to eat!  We caught 10 in a very short period of time with two being keepers.  David even managed two at a time.    

With the grocery shopping done at Atlantic Ocean, Inc., we headed in for another night of sleep before an early bait wake up call.  I was on the dock with the sun coming up and we managed another nice load of bait and waited on the arrival of Jaime and Andy.  Once there, we all headed out to the beach in Avon and fished around a bit.  We caught several small fish and I got a nice 25 inch drum on the beach.  While on the beach we did manage to catch some finger and cob mullet to add to the bait supply.  Onward to the Point area to get Jaime and Andy on some of that Shark action from the other night.  We had a lot of bait and two fresh victims to hand rods to.  We set up and soon had the first hit.  After a long fight, the first Butterfly Ray was on the beach.  The sharks had left the area, but the guys needed to pull on something big to get loosened up, and the Ray's obliged.    
Andy Wright thinking, "I thought you were supposed to relax at the Beach!"


It's a good thing my biceps are as big around as your standard small child.
you are a strong man
Jaime was happy as a kid with a dippin' dot


the Ray on the other end of the line now at least had a fighting chance
Told ya!

Ray -1
Jaime -0

Ooh my back, ooh my hands, ooh my legs...the sounds I remember  from a night on the Hatteras sand
Jaime was perfecting his new hobby of creating "sandbows".  It is all the rage now.
Met up with the Virginia crew as we were winding up the pullage for the night and enjoyed our conversation.  I hope they all catch big drum in the tournament.  We packed it up and headed in to get some sleep for the day of  preparation.  I was up early again and managed some more bait from the canal but we were still about a day short of all we would need.  We rode the beach and managed to find some nice cobs up close and filled our quota of tournament bait.  Nice!  I had to pull over to check on a cooler problem on the way back to the house and as I pulled off the road, I pulled off a little too far and down in the black bog ditch I go.  Framed.  Drive on the beaches for 15 years and never get stuck...shoulder once and stuck.
Jaime and Andy came over and we all ate a great meal of fresh fish and fixings.  We got to our starting spot about 7:00PM and Jaime and Andy got to theirs at the same time.  They were about 100 yards South of us.  We casted in at midnight and about 45 minutes later I see some commotion to my right and it is Jaime landing his first Hatteras Drum!  We fished hard all night and nothing much for us.  That Drum held up as the only one til the next night.  A tournament summary is Me, David, Dad or Mom did not catch a Drum.  Jaime caught the first one and Andy caught the last one.  BOOKENDS!  Not bad for the first time in the tournament.  We were all fishing around each other on Saturday and Jaime walked over about 12:30PM and said he was leaving to get some rest.  He casted out his little rod and just as he was getting ready to reel it in...BOOM!  191/4" Bluefish and big enough to win the category.  
Red Drum 26 3/4"
2010 NCBBA 
Red Drum Tournament
Winner longest day three

Andy Wright
October 23, 2010

Jaime Fajardo
October 21, 2010

Red Drum 26"
2010 NCBBA 
Red Drum Tournament
Winner most caught (that is not a typo!)

Jaime Fajardo
October 23, 2010

Bluefish 19 1/4"
2010 NCBBA 
Red Drum Tournament
Winner longest Bluefish

Me, David, Dad and Mom fished very, very hard and tried a lot of different things.  Some times it is just not your year.  We have been very fortunate in years past and I am glad to add new crew members that have the same passion that we do.  There were only 12 Drum caught in the whole tournament.  I said it last year and I'll say it again.  I HATE A FLAT OCEAN!!!  I just cannot get the fish to bite like I can in rough water.  Oh well, it was still a great time and I am very happy for Jaime and Andy.  They fished hard and smart and it paid off for them.  Hatteras can be very kind or kick you in the teeth, but is always a place I look forward to going.  I did catch a Stargazer.....hope that never happens again.  The banquet was a lot of fun and we ate ourselves stupid.  Jaime can eat as good as he fishes.  He will smell like banana pudding for a month.  
2010 Tournament Summary (Red Drum)

Day 1 (October 21)
1:09AM   Jaime Fajardo      26"Ramp 27  (North)      winner
8:55PM    Dylan Walker     45.75" Ramp 23 (North)winner
11:20PM        Al Adam      44.25" Ramp 23 (South)winner

Day 2 (October 22)
4:50AM   Steve Merrick     47.75"  Ramp 23 (South)  winner
7:09AM   Rick Hagedorn       41.50"        Ramp 34 (South)
8:56AM         Rusty Hooks          29.25"         Ramp 23  
11:27AM       Jacob Pirhalla         25.25"        Ramp 34 (South)
8:10PM   Bill Rowley   47.75"  Ramp 23 (South) winner
9:15PM   Jan Ellis  43.50"  Ramp 23 (North) winner
9:20PM   Roy Zweidinger  47"Ramp 27 (North) winner
10:05PM Steve Gilmartin  43.75"  Ramp 23 (North) winner

Day 3 (October 23)
7:11AM   Andy Wright     26.75"" Ramp 27 (North) winner