Things were looking up from the start. I’d loaded the livewell with pork-chop menhaden on the first throw of the cast net, and shortly after I reached the wreck— 15 miles off Virginia Beach—and put out the first livey, a smoker pounded it and was off to the races before I could get a second bait in the water.
I remember hearing that first outrigger clip pop and the line zing off the reel. The rest is sort of a blur. But two hours later, after cranking in and releasing a dozen big kings, I was out of breath, drenched in sweat and nursing sore arms.