Quiet in the Cove this Morning

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Sun, 06/05/2011 - 14:33.

We are having absolutely great weather as long as you aren't a farmer trying to grow crops or a homeowner trying to keep a yard alive.

There is no place more stunning and enjoyable than the Crystal Coast when the skies are blue, the water warm, and the sea breezes light.

Sunday morning as I walked around the boardwalk, the only noise came from birds hiding in the pine trees.  They were concealed as I got no chances for pictures of significance.

The birds were there, but their backs seemed to be turned to me.  Eventually as I reached the center of the boardwalk in Bluewater Cove,  my thoughts turned to Friday of the first week of June.

Early Friday morning, a friend and I headed off on a fishing trip.  We typically manage to fish together about once a year, but we missed last year.  His memories of the two nice redfish we caught on our last trip together were still fresh even though it was early in the summer of 2009.

This trip he wanted to see one of my favorite spots, the backside of Bear Island.  We left my dock at Bluewater Cove at around 7 AM and made the quick trip down to Swansboro.

Even with a small detour because I got slightly off course, we made it to Cow Channel without any challenges.   The detour happened when I followed a boat part of the way to Queens Creek and got us off the ICW.   I also missed a buoy when we got part way up the channel to Bear Island, but we didn't get far out of the channel.

Since it was my first trip beyond Swansboro this year, I guess I just needed a little practice off the home river to get me back in the groove.  All the challenges happened in the first twenty minutes of our trip, and things settled down after that.

My partner could hardly believe how beautiful the marshes are between the ICW and Bear Island.  It really is a place of stunning beauty where you can easily lose any concept of time.  On a weekday there is rarely any boat traffic.  We saw only one kayak when we got over the back channel to Swansboro.

We fished in one of my favorite spots, and we were well rewarded with a variety of fish from croakers to small bluefish.  We probably caught a dozen fish before deciding to do  a little exploring.

My friend was interesting in seeing if we could make the journey over to the Point.  His son and I made the trip in 2011 so I was hoping that the GPS track would still work.  We made one attempt and appeared to be running out of water so we found a place to anchor and catch a few more fish.  It didn't take long to get back into the bottom fish.

Then we saw another boat come up the back channel and head towards the Point.  I made a mental note of where he made the turn, and we pulled the anchor up for another shot at making a crossing from Bear Island across the shallows to the Point. 

It turned out that the slight adjustment at the beginning of the trip got us back to the channel I had taken the previous year.  Still we made the trip carefully just to make sure we had plenty of water.

It wasn't long before we saw one of the buoys marking Bogue Inlet.  We checked out a few spots and then settled on dropping anchor just off the beach.  It was a spot with a fantastic view.

While we caught some more fish, we were ready for something a little more exciting so we decided to move closer to the eastern most point of the beaches that extend out from Bear Island into Bogue Inlet.

In our first stop along the beaches, it didn't take us long to figure out that the promised winds of five to ten miles per hour had become fifteen to twenty miles per hours with the result that we were fishing in some rather choppy water.

Of course if you are catching fish, your tolerance for choppy water goes way up.  When we moved the boat closer to the end of the beach, we got into even more challenging water, but it was not an unsafe situation.  However, it was about as much chop as we wanted.  It was as close as we could comfortably get to point where the waves were breaking.

The change in location added some variety to our catch.  We picked up some sand sharks to go along with the occasional bluefish.  We saw lots of bait and some of our bottle nosed dolphin friends patrolling the water off the beaches.  There also was a snowy egret keeping the beach crowds under control.

It wasn't long before my partner hooked some substantial and yelled for me to get the net.  It took some wrestling, but he soon had two very excited cobia heading for the net.  They were much calmer in the water than they were in the bottom of the boat.  It didn't take long to get the first one which was about twenty inches long unhooked and back in the water.

Actually it was so quick that I did not even have time to get a picture of the first one.  However, the second and larger cobia was much more of a challenge, but at least I had plenty of time to get a nice shot of him before he was returned to the water.

I estimated that he was very close to 33 inch legal limit, but my partner had wrestled so much with him that he wasn't interested in measuring him.  He did say that the catch was just the icing on a great fishing trip.

We fished a while longer, and while the water calmed a lot,  didn't have any more luck aside from some small bluefish.

A little after 11:30 we pulled anchor and headed back home.  The trip from the Inlet was beautiful as usual.  The ride down the ICW to Swansboro was uneventful except for meeting one sailboat headed north.  However, the trip up the river was choppy enough that we had to ride on top of the waves.  I was glad my wife wasn't in the boat.  Still we were back at the dock just before noon.

Those are the kind of fishing trips that you remember.

It is nice to have a great recent one to think about when the birds aren't cooperative on my morning walk.

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