The Good, and the Bad of Ms. Irene

Never forget to remain humble and grateful for what we have in our lives today, at any time with a wave of his hand the “Big Man” upstairs can wipe it all away.

First fishing trip since Irene and except for one thing I was plenty pleased with what I found. I fished with Steve and Shannon Elixson from Virginia. We had scheduled the trip for Monday but I hated to pass up today’s forecast. What I did pass up, though, was opening day of dove season which is one of my favorite sporting days of the year. We slipped over to the Kellogg Camp which was fishing pretty good before to the big blow.

It was prior to sunrise when I eased the anchor over and started retying jig heads. I never paid any attention to whether or not the camp had any damage. We immediately started catching speckled trout. A few minutes after sunrise Shannon asked what the deal was with the camp. I got right sick in my stomach when I realized what had actually happened to the camp during the storm. Completely gutted. When I pulled the anchor to move to another spot I got to see how bad it was. I’m not sure if there has been more memories made inside the camp over the years by duck hunters and poker players or by local trout fishermen anchored right outside her front door. Regardless, it’s rather iconic. We probably jumped off a half dozen lady fish and caught about 30 specks but the size left a little to be desired. We fished a few more spots and ended up keeping a mess of fish from 15-17.5”. Thanks to a persistent northeast wind since the storm the fishing has recovered quickly, the water conditions are great and there’s bait everywhere. I found out that Shannon is kind of a driftwood nut when I pointed out a cool looking piece across the marsh and next thing I know she bailed out of the boat and across the marsh she went. It is pretty neat looking. Looks kinda like a fish. I think she was more proud of that than all the specks she caught.

One last thing, a relief fund has been set up for Hurricane Irene victims at www.manteofirstag.com and is being administered by Outer Banks Sportsman’s Fellowship. One hundred percent of the fund goes to folks adversely affected by the storm. I’ve seen the devastation from the flooding and encourage you to help start putting lives back together. Thanks sincerely.