Cape Hatteras fishing trip 2009
October 16th- 24th

October 16th (Friday)

After a year long wait....we are on our way.  We had an uneventful trip down and had John along for the ride.  We have plans for him to catch his first Drum and a few BIG sharks.  We arrived on the Island about 3:00PM and stopped to get some lunch.  After filling up, off to get bait and other things we needed.  Checked in to the Lighthouse View and off we went.  The overwash was very much a reality.  The whole beach was washing over from ramp 43 to the point.  We fished there a while and caught one small Pompano.  Did not get the Bluefish we really wanted for shark bait, but no one else seemed to be catching anything either.  We went back out and got some big Mullet and decided to use expensive bait for the sharks.  We took the interdunal road and set up on South beach not far from the Point.  John got his first shark on the beach around 9:00PM.  

For the next two hours, we had several runs that we missed but did manage to land another 3 sharks including a double.  They sure were a lot of fun.  We decided to call it a night early and get some rest for what is sure to be a long and fun day tomorrow.


October 17th (Saturday)

Up and at em' good and early.  We headed over to Diamond Shoals and ate breakfast and then on to the beach.  We decided to start on the South Beach and did not have very much luck, only a few fish.  We went over to Hatteras Inlet and caught about 100 finger mullet and then fished there a while.  No real luck.  John did get in some good casting practice.

We then headed back up the beach a bit and tried for more sharks.  No luck.  We left and went back to South Beach and David did get a small shark and the first Drum of the trip about midnight.  

Tough day of fishing for sure.  I did manage to get stopped by a park ranger who said I was speeding and ran a stop sign.  He was very nice and a representation on how all park service personnel should act.  It was a warning ticked kind of night.    

October 18th (Sunday) 

Last night at the hotel was a good one.  We headed over for the "Wreckage" breakfast.  We then went to the Buxton Woods trail and walked some of the big meal off.  Let's play find the deer!

We baited up and then on to the area North of the Point.  Saw a few Puppy Drum caught but we only caught smaller fish but a good variety. 

We fished long enough to get hungry again and off we went to feed.  We checked in to the house for the week and Mom and Dad showed up around 3:00PM.  After that, we headed down toward Hatteras Inlet to see what we could find.  Not much.  The wind was now blowing 600 miles an hour and it was COLD!!!  We did catch a few Butterfly Rays but not much else.  

We decided to move when I discovered my battery was dead.  One van on a desolate stretch of beach in miserable conditions saved our night.  We drove out to the Point and were the only humans around.  Rough would be an understatement.  We suited up and headed out and managed 4 Puppy Drum on the beach and one lost in the wash.  Pretty good end to the day and John scored on his first trip.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

October 19th (Monday) 
We awoke from a deep slumber with that "the beach kicked me in the face feeling".  We bode John farewell and hung around the house until it was time to eat lunch.  We walked over to the Dolphin Den and munched out.  After that, we went over to Frank and Fran's to get a little bait and some more terminal tackle.  Off to the Hatteras Inlet area we went to catch whatever was biting.  After several hours, all we had to show for our trouble was a few small fish.  Dad and Mom did take home a Whiting and a Bluefish for dinner.  David and I headed over to Diamond Shoals for a great dinner and then on to the point area.  David caught a Puppy Drum on the first cast.  After that it slowed down and all we caught were small Whiting, Croaker and such.  At least the crazy hard wind is dying down so there are much prettier days ahead!  

October 20th (Tuesday) 

The trash truck gave us an early wake up call today.  We fell back asleep for a little bit and then up and out the door.  Plan was to catch enough for dinner tonight.  We headed to 34 and found a very flat beach.  Over to 30 and we found a flat beach with a long, long, long way to the bar.  We fished shrimp in the slough and then fired a few mullet baits beyond the bar.  That was the ticket.  We managed 3 nice slot drum doing this and dinner was on!!!  

We then motored on to 23 and fished from there to 27 for a few hours and met some nice dudes from VA while out there.  After they left, we rode the beaches to find the spot holding the winning drum.  It took awhile, but a great beginning spot we did find.  I like our chances there, but you never know.  I can't hardly stand the wait.  Made our way back home and cleaned the days catch and then ate an outstanding dinner.  We decided to head out to Hatteras Inlet to see if we could catch some bait for the tournament and to fish a little bit.  We got there right at sunset and David caught a big net of beautiful cob mullet in the first throw.  He gave it to the guys that let us throw where they were fishing and then he threw again for us..and again....and again...and again....probably should have kept the first net.  Oh well, several hours later we were able to get enough bait to last most of the tournament.  Back home and to bed....and then show time!

October 21st (Wednesday)

Today the objective was to get everything ready for the next three days. We made good time and were able to grab a short nap in the afternoon. We headed out to the beach about 6:45PM for the very long wait.  We are going to bring a few movies to pass the time next year.  The ocean was very flat and I had a bad feeling about that.  The big Drum do not like flat water.  We got everything set up and at midnight sharp....out went the rods.

NCBBA 1st Annual 
Red Drum Tournament
Hosted by Frank and Fran's
October 22 - 24, 2009
 (Cape Hatteras National 
Seashore Recreational Area)

October 22nd (Thursday) - 12:01AM until October 22nd (Thursday) - 8:00AM

All lines in and it was calm enough to fish everything we brought.  That is good and bad.  Bad, because we were targeting big Drum in conditions they do not like.  A few hours went by without much but Skates and other nuisance creatures.  David decided to try his secret Sea Mullet (Whiting) trick and boy did that work out.  First fish was 17", the second was 18" and the third was 17.5".  He stopped fishing for them after that.  The ocean looked like a lake.  Not a ripple and not a breath of wind.  Terrible.  We left in the morning and decided to reassess our options once we woke up. 

 October 22nd (Thursday) - 4:30PM until October 23rd (Friday) - 11:00AM

After a stop by Frank and Fran's where David had his Sea Mullet weighed in at 1.75, 2.2 and 2.9 pounds, we made our way back on to the beach at around 4:30PM.  Talked to Mom and found she got one around 1:30PM at ramp 27.  We stayed at our original spot and fished there until after midnight without a bite.  We moved over to the slough that Mom had fished and tried there for awhile but then decided to go back to our spot and try for big Drum for the rest of the night.  No dice.  Caught a few sharks and other assorted non tournament fish.  The ocean got even flatter and all night we saw mullet jumping and the bioluminescence splashes they left behind.  Tried to doze a little but was too miserable to even do that well.   David did get a small Drum about sunrise but that was it.  We then rode over to see Mom and Dad and fished around them for awhile.  The Bluefish were thick and we caught a bunch.  After we left, Mom called and said she just caught a 19" Bluefish.  Having won that category a few times myself, I knew that was probably the winner!  We slept until around 5:30PM and off we went to turn this tournament around.  

October 23rd (Friday) - 6:00PM until October 24th (Saturday) - 3:45PM

Back to the original spot now that the wind had picked up and the sea was getting a little bit drummier.  We fished there until midnight without a bite and left with some disappointment to fish the slough at 27 since it was high tide.  Everything felt right for a big Drum, but it didn't happen there.  We rode back to our first spot since now the wind was howling and the night was very dark.  For the next few hours, I was sure we would get a big fish.  It just didn't happen.  Oh well.  We rode back over to 27 around 4:30AM to wait for the sun and Mom and Dad.  I was resigned now to trying to catch Puppy Drum for the duration.  About 8:00AM or so, I look over to my left and Mom is hooked up again with a big Puppy Drum.  

I managed a nice one about 30 minutes later but it got away in the wash.  Figures with the way my luck has been going.  We fished hard all day and I managed another about 2:00PM or so.  I did not call the judge because it would not have really mattered at that point.  We fished the last few hours in some mean squalls and it reminded me how much I love this place.  We all made our way back to the house to clean up and pack and then off to the awards banquet to eat a great meal and see Mom and David win some prizes. David won the biggest Sea Mullet and Mom managed to win the Women's category, Senior's category and the biggest Bluefish.  AWESOME!!!  Back to the house and a nice 10 hour nap we took.


Random thoughts on the tournament:

  • I am definitely not a calm weather fisherman.  The calm years for me have been 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009.  All bad years for me.  You think I would get a clue and learn to fish flat water!    
  • Our second and third locations where we scouted proved to be by far the best areas of the tournament.  We never fished there.  Big mistake.  
  • Every man has a place he belongs and where total peace is found.  I find mine on the Hatteras beaches on the blackest nights, rain, wind and waves in weather most people would not step outside in much less stand in with a smile all night.  Sounded great last year, so I'll leave it here.  Unfortunately it was only like that this tournament for about 12 minutes.  But it was a good little time for sure.    
  • I knew when I saw the slough on Tuesday that Mom was going to have a chance for a great tournament.  Conditions for her were perfect!  She did a great job with no help from us.  She has now attained the status of Drum Fisherperson.
  • We have to be more willing to give up on the big Drum sometimes.  I felt a little sick even saying that just now.
  • The NCBBA did a fine job in the first year as tournament organizers.  I look forward to this tournament for many more year.  This was my 13th year in a row and even though I did not do well, one of the more enjoyable ones I can remember.
  • I ate more barbecue than a fat man should at the banquet. 
  • I look forward to next year and a nice stormy tournament....anywhere I can get a weather forecast 364 days out?