We launched a little after 9:30 and headed to the canals on the east side of Sea Isle where I caught everything the other day. The first thing we noticed was the wind was much higher than predicted. In fact, Shoffer went back to unload his trolling motor and battery to lighten his load. The water was pretty choppy getting over to the canals and for the first 50 yard or so into the canals. The bait wasn't there but we made a few casts into them and came up empty. I told my son we should go a little farther into the canals to see if the fish had moved in farther for protection as well. I threw at the next underwater light and was rewarded with an 18" speck. As I am netting it, my son yells at me "Dad, come take a picture. Is it a keeper?" In his net is a 19" red. I take the photo and watch him, slightly disappointed, release it. We make our way down the canal and I pick up another 16" speck. On cue, the little man asks, "Do you want a picture of this one?" as he holds up a 16" red. I tell him if I have to stop fishing to take pictures of every undersized fish he catches it could be a long night. Nevertheless, I pedal over and take the picture.
We fish up and down the canal a couple of times, getting a bite here and there but nothing more is landed. I decide the throw a tandem rig into a few lights and hook up with a pretty good trout. Instead of letting the drag out, I try to muscle it out of the lights to try to keep from frightening the other fish in the light. After a minute or two, the hook pops loose. I look at the 2" Tsunami shad and see that the hook has been bent.
Shoffer asks if we should brave it and try to make our way to the west side of Sea Isle. Sure, why not. With the wind at our backs, we make our way through the waves and hit the west side. It feels much farther than normal. My poor son fighting to keep the T160 straight. Once we make it into the main canal on the west side, we get a reprieve from the wind. We pick up a couple of dink trout in the first few lights and then nothing from then on. The bite has definitely slowed. We wind through a couple of the canals and I see a spot that looks protected on one side with wind blowing to it on the other. And an overhead light to boot. I throw the Vudu shad into the light and slowly bounce it back. I hook up with something that at first felt like a small flounder and then it suddenly starts pulling and then running up under my kayak. As it comes back out I see the big girl trout. Into the net goes the 21" trout.
A few more undersized trout round out the night and we head in around 12:45a. The wind has picked up and the bite has slowed down. We realize how much the wind picked up as soon as we made the turn back into the bay. It was a loooong trip back for little arms so a couple of times I reached over and grabbed the front handle to drag him for about 20 yards so he could catch his breath.
Back at the launch some 30 minutes later, we take our time loading up, enjoying the tales we get to tell about fighting wind and fish.