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2-N-TOW

Bad timing twice this year for vacation.

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Spent a week at the beach house first of June. First weekend was great weather, but since we had guests, I stayed on the beach and kept the BOSS happy. Sunday evening the guests left.

 

Well, Monday morning a slow moving cold front hit...cold, rainy, nasty weather. By Tuesday, highs were only in the mid 60s and I had to buy a pair of jeans to wear at the beach. Weather cleared up Thursday night and waves laid down by Friday afternoon...just in time for additional family members to arrive. Of course, boat stayed in the yard for the weekend and no fishing for me! After that, I told the BOSS next time, fishing was on the same level as guests!

 

So, here I am back at the beach for a week. Rained all day Friday, then a cold front pushed through with NE winds. By Saturday, we have a full blown Noreaster which even NOAA called a freak event for summer as this is more of a winter thing. At one point waves were 8-10 ft. Today they were down to 4-6 ft, wind still out of the NE at 20-25 mph. Should lay down more over the next 2 days, just in time for Tropical Storm Emily to pay us a visit on Friday and mess up the water all over again.

 

I guess the good thing is we are not on Hatteras Island and did not have to deal with the mandatory evacuation due to the only power lines to the island being severed last Thursday. They still don't know when the island will re-open to vacationers.

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Feel for you. We're on a trip for our 50th at Prince Edward Island, Canada. Weather great, waves about a foot, but I promised her, she'd be the center of my attention, so no fishing for me. Good news is I know she'll make it up to me later, but for you...I'm not sure the weather will return the favor.

 

Sorry. Hope you get a few days in before the next storm. At least from the NOAA maps it doesn't seem like you'll get a direct hit.

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Wind went to 5-10 today; swells from 4-5 to 3-4 by this afternoon. Period looked around 7-9 secs. Decided to prep the boat then check the water at 5:00 am. If it has dropped like I think it will, gonna poke my nose outside the inlet and see what we can do. Got a bag of medium ballyho, box of squid, 2 TLD25, 2 TLD15, 2 Penn spinning rods, both inshore and offshore tackle bucket. Hope to have something good to report tomorrow :thumbsup:

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Went to the beach this morning at 5:00 and water looked great! No wind and a 2 ft swell that looked very manageable.

 

Back to the house, jumped in the truck, and first stop was the gas station for 40 gallons of fuel. While fueling up, I suddenly realized I left the ballyho and squid in the freezer....duhhhhh! Bait store is just up the road, so I stopped and bought the same damn items again along with 60 lbs of ice. Next stop, boat ramp! Caught the morning fishing report from the local charter fleet and it was not sounding real good. Scattered yellow fin the past few days with most of the charter fleet having to work hard to get 5 or 6 in the box. Also, mahi have been scarce out of Oregon inlet, yet Hatteras has done good. Sounds like the fish have not moved north of the Point in large numbers like in years past. Oh well, we will still give it a shot.

 

At the ramp at 6:30 and away by 6:45. Hit the shortcut just past the Coast Guard base and headed for the Bonner Bridge. PLC is making great progress on the new bridge, only if they could avoid hitting buried power lines, though. Navigate through the trestle then turn starboard to hit the channel markers. Inlet was actually decent until where you are next to the shoal at the mouth of the inlet, then it was a little sporty for a couple hundred yards. Once past that, I turned southeast and set the gps to the G tower (one of a series of offshore towers the Navy uses). Distance to tower is about 23 miles, so set the throttle to 4,000 rpms (31 mph), and enjoyed the ride out.

 

A few observations heading out....water temp at the inlet was 75 degrees. 2 miles out, there was a distinct tide line and color change to clear, blue water but water temp was still 75 degrees. I did not see any weed lines on the ride out. No trash or anything that may cause fish to congregate. Also saw lots of big leatherback turtles...4 on the run to the first tower! One scared me as it popped up just in front of the boat while running, but I swerved enough to miss it. As big as these turtles were, i could easily see wiping out a lower unit if one got hit.

 

As I was approaching the G Tower, I see 2 other boats already there. As I get closer, I see they are charter boats that would typically be fishing 15 miles further out along the edge of the Gulf Stream. Seems odd, but what the heck, lets go play with the amberjack for warmups! Ease up to the tower and start tossing a whitebucktail. I can see the amberjacks chasing it, but they are not biting! No problem, switch to a pink and white Spro bucktail and second cast have a fish on!

 

I was using a Penn Battle 5000 on an Ugly Stick Tiger Lite rod. The tips of these rods are very thin, so I was really concerned on if it would hold up. These amberjacks can put a heck of a strain on equipment, and a lot of time the darn rod tip was in the water. Worked the reel until I saw the fish and it put on another charge, causing the knot at the lure to break! Some choice words were said, then I re-positioned for another run. Pull back up to the tower and notice the two charter boats were hooked up, but they were using live bait, so their job was easier.

 

I already had a green bucktail on the other spinning rod, so started with it. Made 3 drifts jigging the heck out of it, and did not even get a sniff! Grabbed the other rod and tied on a 4" Storm Shad and had a good hook up after a few casts. This fish did one strong run, then nothing! Reeled in the line and all I had was the hook...the shad body was gone! Darn fish must have only had the shad body and it ripped in half before he swallowed the hook.

 

During this time, the first two charter boats move off looking for more variety. Another sportfisherman (charter) shows up, and I stopped tieing on another Storm Shad to watch the "show". This boat would back up to the tower then drop down a live bait with a weight 2-3 ft above the bait. That is fine, but what shocked me was the reels....they looked to be gold 50 or 80 class reels! Way overdone for messing with 'jacks! Half the fun is scaling down the tackle to make it more sporty...anybody can winch in a fish with a boat winch!

 

First hookup and the mate is whooping it up about it being a big fish (I am only 20-30 yards away and can hear it all). He then straps a fighting belt on one of the guys and he fights it standing up. Mate leaders it to the boat, gaffs it, and into the box it goes. They repeat it again and the next hookup, they get the next person into the fighting chair, strap him in, and does battle with the fish. Gaff comes out and into the box again. This goes on for maybe 5 or 6 fish before they finally move off. Now I have nothing against keeping a small amberjack for fish tacos, but 5 or 6 fish??? BTW, anybody catching amberjacks must now have a NOAA Highly Migratory rod/reel permit.

 

Once they move out, I ease back in and have a hookup on the Shad. I moved away from the tower, and 10 minutes later was able to ease the fish onto the swim deck, then over the transom. Measured out at 38 inches. Took a few pictures then sent it back over for another day! After doing battle with that fish, I was kinda kicking myself for letting that cobia get a free pass a few weeks back!

 

Decided to head north looking for any "fishy" signs. Funny thing is that as I left, here comes another charter boat! Pickings further out must have been slim, so they were looking for any kind of pullage for their paying customers. Saw a couple big turtles and checked them for any hitch-hikers, but they were traveling solo. I then saw a strange looking fin off in the distance, so tied up a white bucktail and eased over to the fin. Killed the motor and glided to an intercept line with the fish, waiting to see what I found before casting to it. When it comes into view, it is an oceanic sunfish....maybe 4-5 ft long and 3 ft high! I put the rod in the holder and proceeded to watch and follow this oddity for the next 5 minutes! What a strange looking fish!

 

Ended up at the 102 tower and tormented the amberjacks for a while. Did this for maybe an hour, then decided to call it a day. Pointed the bow west and ran 17 miles back to the sea bouoy. Checked a few for cobia until the jig got caught on the anchor chain, then decided to head to the ramp. Total distance for the day...71 miles for only 4 hookups!

 

Remember what I said about the water temperature when I first left? I never saw a temp break anywhere. Temp 20 miles out was the same as 2 miles out. I guess the nor'easter at the beginning of the week really churned up the water, resulting in the same temp everywhere. What did strike me as odd, though, was the lack of any weed lines. I would have bet the wave action would have bunched up some sargasso, but I never saw the first piece today. That was definitely a first!

 

I have pictures from the trip, but left my card reader at home. I promise to post up some pictures this weekend!

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Ok...here are the promised pictures.

 

Resident osprey at the first channel marker after leaving the boat ramp.

 

P8020024.JPG

 

One view of the new bridge to replace the existing Bonner Bridge.

 

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This was the water conditions all day. Considering we had a nor'easter just 3 days prior with 8-11 ft waves, I was really suprised at how much it laid down.

 

P8020027.JPG

 

And turtles everywhere!

 

P8020030.JPG

 

Approaching G Tower and already 2 charter boats are working on the amberjacks!

 

P8020031.JPG

 

Finally, I was able to get one to the boat! A heck of a battle on both the fish and my part! After a quick photo, back in the water this one went so he could join his buddies!

 

P8020034.JPG

 

And finally, this is the ocean sunfish I was talking about. Odd looking creature and it did not show any fear of the boat.

 

P8020037.JPG

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The last few days I spent time on the beach or in the kayak fishing the wrecks just offshore. There are two shipwrecks from early 1930-32 time frame about 200 yards offshore in 15 ft of water. Tons of trigger fish, black sea bass, pig fish, and I have seen a couple of nice grouper a few years back when diving on the wrecks.

 

kayak fishing.JPG

 

Picture is compliments of my son who decided to play with my Mavic drone while I was fishing. You can see my anchor line attached to the white float. Earlier the water was so murky I was having a hard time locating the wreck. Ended up dropping the anchor line and start paddling in circles until it got hung on something. Bad thing was it got hung so good I could not free it for retrieval. I left it for some other kayakers I met and told them to pass the word to anyone they were welcome to tie off to it in the coming weeks.

 

Now for some fun. Bait of choice was squid on a #1 red circle hook. Weight was 3/8 oz egg weight.

 

While fighting through the BSB (they are so numerous, they are a nuisance) targeting triggers, I had just unhooked a small sea bass and tossed the hook over, with the rod still laying in the boat. Bait could only get down about 7 ft. All of a sudden the rod goes flying and I manage to grab it before it is over board! Fight is on and I reel in a decent trigger. Ok..so bait was not on the bottom...lets try this again. Darn if I get another trigger! Curiosity has the best of me now, and I repeat the same process and catch 4 more triggers in a row, all of them nice size!

 

It was about now I saw 3 snorkelers approaching. Need to hide the results, so I drop the bait to the bottom and reel in a miniature BSB as they were asking if there were any fish on the wreck. No need to give up my little spot! I point them towards some other pieces of wreck that had not been fished that morning, and off they went. Went back to my new concept and got 3 more triggers before I called it quits for the day!

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And it continues :wtf:

 

Had planned on going to the beach house this weekend; come home and work a few days, then head back Labor Day weekend. On the agenda was fishing some from the big boat both weekends (meaning, not just the kayak). Just checked windguru: Friday-10 knots, Saturday - 20 knots, Sunday- 30 knots, Monda- 30 knots! I guess I should not complain because whatever it is spinning up off the coast of North Carolina (and it is not the storm in the Gulf) looks to be a full fledged tropical storm off of Connecticut Wednesday morning.

 

I am still thinking of dragging the boat down and leave it next week so I don't have to deal with the Labor Day traffic. Who knows...if I hit the PowerBall tonight, I will just go out and buy something that can handle some waves :yahoo_rotfl:

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Got to the beach house around 7. Original plan was to drop the boat off and head out for dinner. Went to unlock the door and noticed a funky odor. Opened the door and the odor is stronger.....oh-oh. Hit the light switch and nothing happens...did somebody forget to pay the electric bill? Check the meter and the wheel is just creeping along. Hmmmmm :yahoo_think:

 

Go back inside and the downstairs refrigerator is at the door. I open the freezer and get hit by an incredible funk! The 20 lb bag of ice I left there 2 weeks ago is gone...just the plastic bag. Then there is the 2 boxes of squid bait that have turned to muck and oozed out all over the place! Close the door and run upstairs to check on the kitchen refrigerator. It is working fine...so what the heck is going on??? I did notice all the digital displays were indicating a power failure, so what happened.

 

Head back down stairs and look at the circuit breakers in the panel. Some are fine, but every damn one of the arc fault breakers were tripped. And guess what my drink / bait refrigerator was on which circuit....a damn arc fault one! I reset all the breakers and we have lights and I hear the fridge start back up. Go back to it and that is when i see water with pink stuff on the floor...SQUID OOZE!!!!

 

Drag the refrigerator outside and chuck the contents into a heavy trash bag. Back inside, and wiping up all the stink juice off the floor. Damn this stuff is nasty smelling! Take a quick inventory of cleaning supplies and come to the conclusion I need to get some heavy duty stuff.

 

Call the wife and give her a heads up on what is going on and told her if she gets there and finds all the doors open and I am gone, don't be alarmed. I am just trying to air it out as much as possible.

 

Go to Lowes and get 5 quarts of vinegar, 1 gallon of industrial strength bleach, pump sprayer, sponges, and rubber gloves. Beat the wife back to the house. Proceed to hose everything down inside the fridge, tilt it on its side and pull the drain pan, then spray a good dose of vinegar inside the fridge, on the floor in the house, and on the concrete where all that crap has spilled out. Let it soak for 15-20 minutes, rinse thoroughly, and repeat 2 more times.

 

In the mean time, doing a similar process on the tile floor, spray, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, wipe down with damp sponge, then repeat.

 

After the third round, it was still smelly, so time to load the sprayer with bleach/water blend and thoroughly spray everything again. Let that work for the obligatory 15 minutes, then a good rinse. By this time it was 10:30 and my appetite was shot from the smell of rotten squid, vinegar, and bleach.

 

So everything is airing out tonight and we shall see what it smells like in the morning. Hopefully, I can salvage the refrigerator. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated!

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Can't help much with the smell issue (time, more cleaning, Fabreze once it's lessened). I had a friend that accidentally left 2 mullet in his car when he went away to a 2 week school. Ended up selling the car to get rid of the smell. Hope your results are better.

 

I don't know what is on your ARC circuit, but if you can isolate the refrigerator you could use a standard CB and still meet code. Not a fan of GFI or ARC due to excessive tripping, but I did have one save my life, or at least severe shocking when the motor on my pond pump went bad. I felt the shock when I reached in to see why the pump wasn't working, but the GFI tripped so fast it wasn't much more than a tingle. So, not a fan, but a true believer in having them on circuits where needed or required.

 

Exception to GFCI/ARC requirement:

A single receptacle on a dedicated branch circuit identified for a
specific cord-and-plug connected appliance, such as a refrigerator or
freezer. You can use a duplex receptacle without GFCI protection for two
such appliances. Receptacles permitted by this exception must be within
6 feet of the appliance [210.50©].

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Funk is not as bad today, but still there. Did a few more washdowns of vinegar and bleach. If it does not improve, off to the dump Monday and start cruising Craig's list for a replacement.

 

Tomorrow I will be tracing what receptacles are on that arc fault breaker. The room it is in is a game room/storage space with an attached half bath. I guess the builder thought it could one day be a bedroom, thus the damn arc fault breaker. Since it is not being used as a bedroom, that breaker is coming out for now. I also think all bait will go in a plastic container before it goes in the freezer so it this happens again, the collateral damage is minimized.

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