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What a great weekend. Four days to play in the boat. In Virginia we are not allowed to hunt on Sundays so we have to make due with only Saturdays for those of us who work a typical five day work week. The day started like this, 3:30am alarm clock sounds, 4:00am to 4:30 coffee and suit up, 30 minutes in the truck to the boat ramp, unload and pack kayaks, launch and make the 30 minute paddle to the honey hole. What a great way to fight the cold morning with a brisk paddle in 34 degrees. For the second weekend in a row this spot has produced ducks. The first weekend showed the seasons first teal, evident from the pictures last week. This weekend, ten minutes before legal shooting time, a lone wood duck thought our spread of about 40 decoys was too much to pass up and landed among his seemingly sleeping comrades not more than 15 feet from the kayaks with us sitting on top of them. Lucky for him he was the early bird this time and abiding by the law we let him pass but not before we had a little fun and let him know that we were there. With a startled "peep" he took flight and was gone to tell his buddies about the place where the trees tried to catch him. As 20 minutes passed, my hunting partner and I sat in the 45 degree water waiting for the next flight to give our spread a look. Then as usual we got buzzed from behind when two mallards, a suzie and a drake, flew 10 yards overhead straight away. With a quick hail with the duck call, the two turned their heads and made a large sweeping circle right back up the creek and pitched with cupped wings right into the empty hole between the decoys that we had purposely left vacant. It was so nice to watch that I almost did not even shoot. Luckily my buddie, James, had his gun up and I backed him up with the two more shots that landed us with a very large 4lb mallard. What a beautiful bird. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the bird as my hunt was cut short by a family emergency. The next day, having no hunting partner and with high winds I opted not to hunt rather to do my other favorite thing, go fishing in a secluded river protected from the wind. Some of the greatest things about a kayak is the portability and durability to get it into tight places that a trailered boat cannot. I dragged the Day Tripper across a road, a galvanized guard rail, and a granite strewn bank (can’t do that with fiberglass) to get it into the creek that leads into the Elizabeth River. This section of the river warmed by a power plant and holds very large fish during the coldest months. Every year a new state record speckled trout is pulled out of its tannin stained water as it is also part of the intercoastal waterway leading from the Great Lakes to Florida. With-in a couple of casts I had landed a 23 inch striped bass (thats a rockfish or stiper to us East Coasters) and a 5 lb speckled trout, two of the most beautiful and tastiest fish that this area has to offer. Well, thats all till next weekend. Guess I will have to suffer another week of work before I can get back out on the water. Enjoy the pictures.


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