Wednesday, July 5, 2017

day seven - fishing, not catching

Crystal clear overnight, the stars and the milky way at first, then the too bright moon causing me to slip down in the bivy and pull the cover over my head.

Sailed off anchor at dawn, southwest wind.  Made a series of tacks down the creek while enjoying the last apple store up in the netting under the foredeck.  Out of the creek and into the Pungo River at 7:00.  At Sandy Point the sun already feels harsh.  Making 4.2 towards Pamlico Point.  By 8:00 out on the Pamlico River, 5.4 knots and waves rolling down the river.

Approaching the southern shore of the Pamlico River I see two small fishing boats casting along the tiny Cedar Island.   Just to the east of the island we sail into James Creek, drop the anchor along a grassy shoreline, bring down the main and jib, and start casting for trout.  

No luck at the first spot so I raise the anchor and the jib, skimming along the shoreline under mizzen and jib, working our way back to the Pamlico.  I work one more point on the James, then jibe towards Beard Island Point to ghost along the southern shore of the river.  The wind is perfect for mizzen and jib.  I stand in the aft cockpit and nudge the tiller with my knee, cast up along the grass with my favorite lure, a green twin-tail grub on and eighth ounce jig.  I point up along the shoreline casting to the edge of the grass, letting the lure sink to the bottom, then twitching it back to Spartina.  Sometimes I fall off a bit, cast out to deeper water for a mid-level retrieve.  The twin tails of the lure flutter in the clear water, looking like a small flounder or maybe a little crab scuttling across the grassy bottom.  I work my way east along the shore line towards Pamlico Point.  Everything is perfect....well almost perfect except that...... I don't catch a fish.  Not even get a bite.  Towards the end of the shore I pass outside a power boat with a couple fishing with an electric trolling motor.  "The fish are on the points" the gentleman tells me.  So I work the last few points particularly hard, but still ..........not a fish to be seen.  

Full sail at Pamlico Point before noon, working our way across the mouth of Mouse Harbor, the Big and Little Porpoise Bays, Middle Bay and Jones Bay

The afternoon wind builds, as it always seems to do on Pamlico Sound, and I enjoy the shoreline that I've been exploring now for nearly a decade.  

Inside Jones Bay I tack to the south and look for an anchorage inside Boar Point.  The wind is too strong and the cove doesn't offer much protection.  With shallow water I raise the cb and the rudder, turn back out on to the bay and sail down to Ditch Creek on the southern shore.  A tall stand of trees blocks the wind.  The water is calm and quiet.  It is early afternoon and the sun beats down.  I could be back at the ramp in 30 minutes if I wish.  Instead I drop anchor for one more night out.  

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