My “fishing weekend” started Monday when I received a text from Captain Jorj Head asking what the state record for tripletail was. We added tripletail to the state record program a couple of years ago as more were showing in the bay each year and anglers were starting to target them. We set the initial minimum at 8 pounds as that was about the size of one Jorj had caught in the past and was the largest I had heard of in Virginia. He said that his son, Hayden had caught one that should make the minimum. I let VSWFT Director Lewis Gillingham know that a potential record was coming in. Hayden’s fish did make weight at Wallace’s. Lewis was hours away. I was finishing with my last patient of the day and said I could meet them at Grafton Fishing Supply to view the fish. At Grafton, the fish weighed 8.6 pounds. Congratulations Hayden Head! A state record form was filled out and sent on to Lewis to continue the process.
Friday, I ran over to the Eastern Shore in the dark and watched the sunrise and rolling tarpon. I caught sharks. They were relentless. No tarpon hookups. On the way back across the bay, I got a call from Grafton Fishing Supply wanting to let me know about a potential record tripletail. You mean the one I already checked a few days ago? No, another one coming in. OK, call Lewis if it makes weight. I got home and when I got out of the shower, there were two messages waiting for me. The fish weighed 16.8 pounds. While I was talking to Grafton, the home phone rang and it was Ann from the tournament office wanting to know if I had gotten her message on my cell. I said that I saw it but was talking to Grafton on my other phone. She said that Lewis was out of town and asked if I could take care of it. I said sure and I told Grafton to keep them there, I was on my way. I did put pants on. I have reached the stage on my life where I do not have to worry about drying my hair after a shower. Ok, I reached that stage a long time ago.
The massive tripletail was caught by Richard Stuart, Jr. who was fishing with his father, State Senator Richard Stuart. The Senator said that when he had the fish in the net, He called VMRC Commissioner Steve Bowman to make sure that the fish was even legal to keep. Another state record form was filled out and sent into the tournament office.
For any questions concerning the two pending state records, contact Lewis Gillingham: (757) 491-5160.
Saturday, I ran down past the ribbonfish fleet. I had caught more than I wanted of those things on my last trip to the oceanfront. I spent the day not catching king mackerel off of Sandbridge.
Sunday, I made a short trip close to home. I caught tautog, black drum, sheepshead and of course, oyster toads.