A Dozen Shorts

Last night fished the south shore of MA in a place I know well.  While it's given up about 25 keeper class fish so far this year, none have been over 33".  I'm starting to think, despite what it appears to be, it could just be a schoolie spot.

Little guys out in force...

The wind was probably only about 10mph when I started (around 8:30PM) but built to 25mph gusts by 1AM.  Nice temperature though, first time out in the wetsuit I didn't need my surf top.

I started the night off climbing amongst boulders casting a hogy 10" in white.  I landed a two fish on this, ~20 and ~23", and then casted for a while for nada.  I switched to a 4" swim shad as I was digging around in my bag because, well, I haven't used one yet this year.  Second cast with it and nearly back to my rock I had a 23" bass slam it.  Being so close I basically just lifted him out of the water.

Nothing then for a while so I hopped to the next rock.  At this spot, if I don't catch a fish, I know the night isn't going to be great.  First cast with the swim shad and I was tight to a 25" class fish.  Nothing for a while after that, so I cycled though the sluggo and a gibbs danny with the same results.

I bounced to the next spot, and switched to a blurple danny style plug as the last bit of light faded.  Then it got REALLY dark.  I had a bid early on but no hook up.  I moved on after a few more casts.

I got to my normal area, and the wind was whipping up a pretty good current.  I always go with a sluggo in this spot now since earlier this year it led to a 60+ fish night.  But tonight it lead to nothing, and I switched after MAYBE 10 casts.  I was having trouble casting it into the wind.  So, I switched a SS darter (black over white), also a solid plug for this spot.  Nothing.

I rummage through my bag, and I could feel the SP calling my name.  I rolled my eyes and clipped the blurple minnow on knowing what the result would be.  First cast, I had a hit, second cast I landed a 22" fish.  The damn thing is a schoolie magnet.

Then for the next hour it was a mess.  I lost 2 solid fish, definitely in the low teens (#'s), due to pulled hooks.  I eventually landed a 24" fish and another 20" fish.  But I was getting hits constantly.  The key was to get it into the rip and let it slide down and out, and as soon as it dropped out of the standing waves, bang, hit every time.

After losing at least 15 fish, I got fed up and switched to a Northbar blurple bottle plug.  I figured F' all those little rats out there, I'm culling something.  First cast, I land a 20" fish.  Greatttttt (not).

But next cast I did manage a very fiesty 26-27" fish.  I thought maybe I was onto something, but after this fish, I had no hits for about 45 minutes.

I cycled through some other plugs and kept moving out as the current shifted.  I didn't even have a touch.

Clipped on the damn SP minnow and first cast had a 22" fish.   Had another 23-25" class fish shortly after.

This pretty much repeated for the next couple hours.  I'd try a bunch of stuff, none would work, I'd get bored, clip on the SP and catch a schoolie.  Then, take it off, try more plugs, get bored, clip on the SP,,,repeat.

I will say, it was one of the only things that could punch through the wind to the current.  I couldn't get there with a bomber long shot 7", or 5".  The only time I did I landed a 16-18" fish.  Needle fish got there but didn't get touched.  The only thing I didn't try, I realize now, was the little neck popper, which I wish I had.

So anyways around 1AM it was clear there were not cows around so I moved on.  By this time the tide was low and I just picked along the shore.  I landed 1 other fish on a Maine-iac blurple round nose metal lip (below), about 25".

So total was 12 small fish (did I remember them all above?  I don't know, moral is, 60% came on SP).

So now, I have a decision to make.  Do I keep going back?  Or do I say, ok, this is a good early season spot, but it's time to move on to big girl county.  We'll find out, as I'm trying to make the decision as I type...