November 2009 My boat has been on the rack for over two months undergoing a major engine repair and some overdue maintenance. But now that I’m back on the water, all I wanted to do was get out to my favorite fishing spot for this time of year, the Triangle wrecks about 30 miles off Virginia Beach. Day 1:
The wind was still dropping out in the morning, so we took it easy getting out. Captain Skip Feller and I enjoyed a quick, comfortable ride out to the Triangles in the late morning. There were several boats already on the scene. I couldn’t believe how warm it was for November. We searched for big bluefish for a very short time, until I just couldn’t wait any longer. I was ready to feel that tug of a fish again. So, we stowed the bluefish gear while we investigated a little flounder action. There were schools of micro-sized false albacore and bait everywhere. The water temperature was 64 degrees. We drifted our first piece, with a good mixture of keeper flatties and big seabass. It was a shame to toss the seabass back. The flounder action was good everywhere we tried. I lost a few big ones, until I finally got a hook to stick. This flounder was both fat and wide! One citation wreck doormat in the box! Skip also caught a big photogenic sea robin. I heard on the radio that folks were struggling to find the bluefish. One or two, to only 33-inches were caught. I would address the bluefish issue tomorrow. The engines purred, as we rode in on slick seas at about 32 knts.
Day 2: After an evening of chopper bluefish Intel, I was ready. We got an earlier start. The darn fog was thick inshore. Skip navigated through the sludge, and popped out of the shroud about two miles out. The seas were glassy, and we cruised to meet two other buddy boats already headed to the Triangles. We decided to detour to find Skip his big flounder, so we let the other boats start looking for the blues. Turned out to be a good move. Again, we found hungry wreck flounder. Everyone on the radio was also raving about the flounder bite. We worked this new structure catching nice fish until Skip boated a really nice one. Ok, so Skip’s citation flattie box was checked in short order (that Feller horse shoe is annoying). We then joined the other boats, which had seen no signs of bluefish yet. No biggie, we looked around for about 15 minutes and then headed towards my old stand-by. We set up for chopper blues, and within about five minutes that tell-tale bounce on the first rod announced that the big blues were there. Game on. We fought two or three, and then cut back to two rods. We caught over a dozen chopper bluefish, and lost or missed at least that many more. After 3-hours of catching fish, we said good bye as the other boats left. We decided to head in before it got dark, so we left them biting. About five miles later, we came across a VMRC boat waiting to check boats running in. The officers recognized us, and one of them said he had one of my calendars. I held up two of the bluefish and then Skip’s big flat fish. They congratulated us, and then headed off towards the Triangles. Nice guys. A great maiden voyage after two months off the water. The boat ran great, the weather was perfect, and the fishing was hot. It’s great to be back on the water! (Click ‘next’ for more photos of Julie and crew out on the water!)

Watch out, wreck doormats and chopper bluefish… Julie Ball is back on the water!