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One of the biggest advantages of living in Virginia for attempting this quest is that many states are within a day’s drive. Delaware is one of those states, and I headed out to Lewes in November for some striper fishing. Most Delaware charters are headboats, but, luckily, I found Chuck Cook ( who specializes in light tackle striped bass fishing and offers private charters.

Unfortunately, recent heavy rain had muddied the inshore waters and pushed the fish out, so we spent most of the time looking for fish. But the search paid off, as I caught a 39-inch, 27-pound striper, beating the Delaware trophy minimum by two inches. This monster had a 26-inch girth and put up a fantastic fight. After we got back to the boat ramp, we discovered we were the only boat to catch a fish that day.

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