Drumfest 2005

Redfish run explodes off Virginia Beach.

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Jeff Hester shows off a nice drum. (below) Anglers wait 20 deep for shots at big bulls.
Photo: Ric Burnley

Last fall, the water around Little Island Fishing Pier off Virginia Beach ran red...with big drum. The small pier was the scene of the most impressive run of big redfish in recent memory. Just look at the numbers: Two weeks, 300-plus fish, none shorter than 40 inches. The fishing was so good that a few anglers waited for more than an hour just for the opportunity to cast. At times as many as 40 12-foot surf rods lined up across the end of the narrow pier.

Ed Huff, who works and fishes on the pier, said the action was simply "phenomenal." Along with the massive red run, several cobia, including one 75-pounder, were in the mix as well. Huff said distance casting proved to be the key to scoring big, but anglers of all suits enjoyed the redfish frenzy. "A lot of people who had never caught a drum caught one," he said. "Including me."
— Ric Burnley