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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I was asked by a buddy of mine what I wanted to do for my 33rd B-Day today...easy answer, fishing of course!

Loaded up the kayaks and we headed to the usual launch behind topsail island. The weather felt great today, unlike some of the past weeks where it's been super humid/hot and muggy feeling while fishing.

The drum bite was pretty hot today. We each caught a bunch, stopped counting at 6 or 7 a piece. Most all of the fish were in the upper slot or over slot, so the action was fun. A majority of the drum were caught in 3-4 feet of water in 2 different locations at the mouths of creeks. The others came off of a large flat that I had not paid much attention to before spooking a few in the area today. Lost a good trout at the kayak, and plenty of short flounder mixed in with the Reds, in addition to 2 very large rays.

Fish were caught on paddle tail jigs and finger mullet. Also, found a rod/reel today in the water, hard to see it but its on the right of my kayak rig. If you lost a combo today tell me what kind and I'll get it to you...

All in all a fun bday on the water!
 

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Red X Angler
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I went fishing today for my belated Bday (yesterday) Happy Bday!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Way to go. How do you handle a big ray in a kayak?
Good question. I got lucky and hooked them over semi-hard bottom so they didn't suck mud and stick to the bottom, they actually ran and made me think they were drum. But when unhooking I was able to keep the tail side underwater and I gripped the hook shank with my pliers. I turned it upside down and used the rays' body weight and gave 2-3 down-up hard pulls and the hook popped out both times. Neither took the hook deep and had it right int he side of their mouths.

Definitely tricky, but beats needlessly cutting tails off or cutting the hooks. They gave quite a pull!
 

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If you flip a ray upside down they will go into zombie mode and be easy to deal with. That is the way we do it when we are cobia fishing. Just be sure to right them back onto their stomach after you unhook them.
 
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