Capt. Charles Haywood does double duty as a waterfowl guide during duck season as Fin and Feather Guide Service, and he was taking the Furlough's on a duck hunt on Jan. 5 when fate intervened: The weather became so calm that they headed back to the marina about 10:30 and grabbed a bite to eat before boarding the 54-foot Omie Tillett sportfisher and heading to the striper grounds.
"Normally Virginia Beach has all the good striper action, but this year we have had an excellent season," Haywood said. "Last year we caught a 64-pound striper but had a mishap on the paperwork, so this year we went straight to see Nick at TW's Bait and Tackle in Nag's head for an accurate weight and proper North Carolina paperwork,"
The big fish hit about 1 p.m., and the three anglers were excited to see it come across the transom. Furlough was fishing four lines using Penn 50 reels spooled up with 80-pound braid line and double-shad bucktails in colors green and solid white.
Sea conditions were flat calm, and the water temperature was steady at a cold 42 degrees.