Tonight I was lucky enough to have guided/captained woman angler Maureen Klause to another line class record. This is far from our first IGFA World Record, but this one was particularly special. Mo has been trying to get the Black Drum record on 4# test for over 5 years and tonight she accomplished exactly that! Congratulations Mo!!! I’m stoked I got to be a part of this one.
We slipped out around 1:30 after getting our clams from Off the Hook. With the Memorial Day crowd we ran to the DE Side to get away from the fleet. Trying to chase a line class record fish through a fleet is super difficult. We started out on the edge about 2 miles South of the Coral Beds towards the end of the outgoing tide with 60 degree water temperature. The water was pretty dirty from the front we had all weekend and it made it difficult to get marks on the sounder so we had to setup blind. All we had were dogfish so we slipped up into the Coral Beds in 13 feet of water and setup. Game on.
We had a solid drum on that we chased for a while. It was a nice fish and I could not get it off of the bottom every time I grabbed the leader. Finally I got the fish to move and played a little give and take then as I was letting the leader slip through my glove it got caught on the foam and mesh part of my glove, completely caught the leader and POP. Needless to say I was pissed. Stupid problem to have and it cost us a record fish. I felt really bad because as bummed as I was I knew Mo had to be upset on that one.
Anyway we got back on the ball and Mo caught two smaller drum shortly after. At the bottom of the tide she got into her fourth drum and we chased it for a bit. After about 20 minutes of Mo doing battle and me playing tug of war on the leader with the fish about a dozen different times, the black drum decided to come up show is its size, and I will never forget the image I saw. I yelled, “This is the one!” After another 20 seconds of gingerly pulling it within the gaffs reach, I slipped the meat hook right under the chin and on the deck of Maureen’s Contender it went. It was obvious this would beat the standing record of 40lbs and change.
We ran into Off The Hook where they weighed in the fish in at 61.85 lbs, took the measurements, took photos, and had the paperwork ready. Huge thanks to everyone at Off the Hook for making the process easy for us. All that os needed now is for the line to test out at the IGFA. Fun night of fishing. As Maureen would say, the moon and stars were aligned just right today…
Well we got back on the Black Drum fishing again and ran right back to where we were Monday night. Today there was a solid fleet of 20+ boats there which was going to make chasing a fish on light tackle tricky. We got setup in 26 feet of water with the incoming tide just starting and 59 degree water temperature. It didn’t take long for the action to start. We caught two black drum in the 20 pound range and released them quickly. With the FULL MOON coming up this Friday night, the current was ripping. Mo got hooked into another drum and we dropped the ball to chase the fish. This drum went right for the anchor of someone else’s boat and the fish gave us no choice but to break it off and get back to fishing while the bite was on.
Shortly after getting back to the anchor ball and tying off, Mo got hooked into another, and this one meant business. We weaved through the fleet and made it outside of the boats after about 30 minutes and the fight was on. We chased this drum for quite a while, and the fish never once left the bottom. Two and a half hours and 1.6 miles away later, the line finally broke on the 4# test. Major bummer, but all a part of the line class record fishing game. It was just about dark so we ran back, picked up our gear, and headed back to the dock at Cape May Marine.
Well I am finally settled back in at home. The weather for today was questionable but by 10 am it looked good enough to take a shot. I fueled up the 27′ Contender, trade in, at Sea View Harbor and ran from GE Inlet to Cape May. Mo got to Cape May Marine where I picked her up and we shot out to the DE Bay with a bushel of clams and 4# test.
We started on the end of the incoming at the 20 Foot Slough and had one good bite right away that didn’t connect, then proceeded to catch dogfish one after another. At 5:00 pm with the tide slowing down we made a move outside to Pintop and got there with the tide just barely trickling in. We were in 24′ of water and the water temperature was 59 degrees. It was game on.
We had 6 hookups on the 4# test, one round was a triple header. We got one puppy drum to the boat and released it which I caught while Mo was on another better fish. It was pretty fun, and its surprising how much pressure you can actually put on a fish with 4# test.
At 7:28 Maureen hooked into another that she fought for a while. We ended up having to pull the anchor and chase the fish and 8:42 we stuck a gaff in a nice black drum. We weighed it with the boga and it was 1.5 lbs shy of the women’s IGFA 4# test line class record. We called it a night and ran back home.
Well my time here in Cat Island is over. Got in some decent marlin fishing during the Billfish Blast and had a lot of fun. The staff at Hawks Nest were fantastic and they do everything they can to make sure everyone that goes there has an awesome time. It’s been fun, but its time to get back to New Jersey and get the fishing started there!
We had a flat calm day here today with a little bit of overcast. We trolled for the first half of the day and it was slow. A few barracuda bite offs a Mahi and then we picked up a white marlin which put on an awesome aerial display right at the boat. After that we put a 20 pound blackfin tuna in the box and had a blue marlin bite on our teaser but it never gave us a shot. We spent the afternoon bottom fishing for grouper which was slow today as well.
Today was my last day fishing here in Cat Island on the Over Under. The Hawks Nest Billfish Blast is coming up this Monday through Wednesday and I am going to mate on another boat for that tournament.
Joe pointed the Over Under out towards Columbus Point where we got into some bottom fishing. It was a super calm day and we drifted all day in 80-120 feet of water. Jeff and Kim caught a bunch of groupers all throughout the day and Kim’s was the biggest, an 18 pound Nassau Grouper. The sharks are relentless here in Cat Island and they were no different while we were bottom fishing.
With the OverUnder back in working order just in time, we got back out fishing with our last group during my time here in Cat Island. Jeff and Kim got into plenty of action with dolphin all day long, caught a couple small yellowfin tunas and Jeff caught his first white marlin. It was another rough and windy day, but the fishing was still pretty amazing. I went through almost all 60 baits I rigged because the dolphin were so thick.
We went out on a friends 52′ Viking overnight mutton fishing. Basically you anchor up and chum for yellowtails and bottom fish for the mutton snappers. I pretty much slept the whole time as it was slow since this moon is a little early for them, but the guys still put a box full of fish together.