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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nov. '79 Jennettes Pier 'Navy days'
One of the guy's in my squadron came up to me one day and told me that he had heard that I fished alot and wanted to know if I would take him saltwater fishing. He said he had been freshwater fishing a couple of times but he wanted to try out saltwater fishing before he got out of the Navy and returned to Ohio. I told him to meet me Sat. morning & I would take him to the Outer Banks.
Sat. morning found us at Kill Devil Hills searching the water for signs of bluefish. We hunted them all the way down to Oregon Inlet before we found any. Bad timing: the school had just left the inlet, leaving about 50 anglers behind picking up stragglers. After seeing a couple of 15# blues come in this guy was so excited that I couldn't talk him into waiting to we found the fish and not just where they had been. I got him started and told him he had 30 min. to prove me wrong but that 2 fish in 10 min. out of 50 people fishing meant no fish. In the mean time I made my way toward the mouth of the inlet talking to anybody that looked like they knew what they were doing. Finally I got a consensus from the locals that they seemed to be headed north.
When I returned my protege was ready to go find the fish and back across Bonner bridge we went.
We scouted the beach finding some blown out slicks at coqina beach but the fish seemed to be steaming north full speed ahead. We finally caught up with the fish at Jennette's Pier. There were small slicks forming about 350 Yds. off the end of the pier and getting closer. I told him that it looked like the blues had found a big school of fish and that they were all headed toward us. After a fast trip to the truck and 5 min. of casting lessons we were into the fish big time. Like dummies we tried fishing 2 rods ea. but had to go back to 1 apiece.
We were catching them , he was weighing them as soon as I gaffed them and it was a wide open, before the bait gets to the bottom BITE. We had the whole pier to ourselves until this guy comes out and ask us what we were going to do with the fish. I told him he could have all he wanted but to save us 6.
He went back and got a wheelbarrow and started making trips to his truck. We were too busy to pay him any attention until he came back without his wheelbarrow to thank us. I told him "Hey wait a min., we've got 25 fish laying here. How about taking at least 19 more. I'll even roll them out for you." HE says " I can't even get another fish on my truck. I had to leave my wheelbarrow in the pierhouse." I ask him what he had on his truck when he got there and he said "Just my wheelbarrow." Until he said that neither one of us realized what we had done.
Time for lunch I said. We left everything where it was since the pier was empty and headed to the pier house. We got there just in time to see an old chevy truck squatted down under a rounded up load of blues pulling out of the lot. Wow, he wasn't lying . I could just picture a trail of 12#-18# blues going down hwy 12 and then across to Manteo and right into the fish market.LOL
While we were munching out on the limited winter time fare, some guys came in and the pier operator gave them a hoop net and told them to use that instead of gaffing them. Right then we realized we could go back and catch some more. We stayed until all 25 of those blues had been used for cut bait and we expierenced what it was like to fish a blitz with the end of the pier full of crazed fishermen fishing lures and bait side by side. There was a strong bite going on when we finally were too tired to do it anymore.
I feel reasonably sure that we caught the better part of three pickup loads of blues that day. The funny part of it was that he never asked to go fishing with me again. The only thing I ever heard about it was his chief asked me how many fish we caught. When I answered I could tell he had already heard it one time before but didn't believe it. I just chalked it up to beginner's luck. His one and only time in the salt equalled my best day ever. I will admit that he was a quick learner and handled it like a seasoned pro. But I'll take credit for teaching him. LOL ;) Yep this is another true story. If I had made it up I would have kept it down to one pick up load.
AL
 

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sinker man--- I was planning to post a bluefish story later on, but you have taken the wind out of my sails with this one. Could you kindly reduce that catch by at least 1/2 pickup load or maybe consider a compact truck? :D

Thanks, Forrest
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now Forrest, you wouldn't be asking me to lie would you? 2 1/2 or more is the best I could do and not detract from his accompolishment, although I feel like it would sound more believable if I said 1. There is another story that happened that day also. I won't bore everybody with it now though. This one is too long as it is.
 

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sinker man--- The only thing I can imagine that could have happened in addition to this eventful day is that the poor fellow hauling your catch of bluefish broke the handles on his wheelbarrow or bursted his pickup truck tires out on hwy 12 from the overload of fish. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually I lost one fish that day. Out of several hundred that got netted that day only one found the big hole along the hoop in the net. It was a personal best fish of about 23- 24 lbs. I begged them to bring me my gaff so I could go ahead and gaff it as the net was busy and I didn't trust it with a fish that size. They were adamant that they would net it for me and kept saying that there was no way a fish would go out that hole in the top of the net. There was a big crowd around in my corner looking at the fish as the biggest ones were 5 or 6 lbs smaller and like myself alot of the guys had never seen a bluefish over 20 lbs. So just to insure disaster this 13-14 yr. old boy comes up with a jerk jigger and wraps it around my line about 5 or 6 wraps. I had just got thru asking him not to cast till we got him in the net. When he saw that he had cast directly over my line he yanked back and around and around it went. About that time the net got there and I reeled the fish and jerk jigger up to the pier. I told the boy that he hadn't listened the first time and that if he didn't listen now he would lose his jerk jigger and I would lose the biggest bluefish I had ever seen and really be mad at him. I told him too open his bail until the fish was on the pier as I felt strongly that that fish would flop out of the net thru the hole and if it did and his line went tight it would break both our lines. I even turned and made him open his bail just after it went in the net. As soon as I turned back around I heard his bail click closed and he started reeling. As I turned toward him I heard the big ooohhhhh!!!! all across the pier and the sound of mono parting. I had called it perfectlly and my only reward was I got to tell a few people I told you so. We didn't stay but about 30 min after that.
AL
 

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sinker man--- I can somewhat identify with that poor kid. When I was 11 years old the church sent us young folks to Fort Caswell for a week of church activities and recreation. My recreation was fishing every afternoon from the pier located on the south side the Cape Fear Inlet.These were the days before fiberglass and spinners. Our outfits were steel rods and level wind reels spooled with 50 wt. braided line. My tackle consisted of a bag with a tin of assorted hooks and old spark plugs for sinkers. One afternoon a huge school of blues ran by the end of the pier. All of the church leaders and deacons had fish on when I ran to the end of the pier to make my mighty cast with my spark plug sinker.It started straight, but suddenly came backwards and made a 90 degree turn. The mother of all backlashes had crossed and tangled about 20 lines with fish on. Before this happened, I thought I had heard some foul language around our mill village barber shop, but my young tender ears got subjected to some of the most ugly vile profanity from these church folks that I have not heard the likes of since. :eek: This was some my beginners luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't use any 'sailor talk' on him but I did my best to make him think about his actions. I had calmly told him what would happen and it happened just like I told him it would if he didn't exercise some self control. The sight of those big blues flashing under mine was just to much for the young man. I knew what was going thru his mind. I just couldn't overcome his desire to catch a big fish. It was as if he didn't know that they had been there for hrs. In your case youth and enthusiasm shone thru in a time when nobody could blame you for your actions. You had seconds left this kid had hrs. lol GOT TO LAUGHING AT YOUR PREDICAMENT AND FORGOT TO POST THIS :D
AL
PS Thanks for the rootbeer, Forrest
 
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