Like casting a post-it note

After last weeks 5-nights-in-a-row-new-moon-extravaganza I have been BEAT.  I wasn’t going to go out tonight, but couldn’t help myself- I’m addicted.  And a fun night it was indeed!

South cape, light east breeze, calm calm conditions.  Fished 9:30pm to 2am…even though I said I wanted to be home by 1am.  Come on, don’t judge!  NICE warm water- I mean probably damn near 10 degrees warmer then anything I’ve fished so far this season. 

Walking a star lit shoreline, I came upon a huge, 100 -300 meter area with fish on top feeding on small bait, and I knew my night was done.  I worked this are for the first 30 minutes with 0 success- eventually over the 4-5 hours I was there, I threw EVERYTHING.  Everything you see below I had on me, and I friggin tossed it all!  But early on I realized they must be on something small.  So I put on the smallest thing I had- a 5”, unweighted, white, sluggo.  Silly thing casts like a post-it note.  But I was able to whip it out about 40 feet, and landed my smallest fish of the year on the first cast- as Carly would say “an adorable” little 13-14” striper.  I even went “aw, he’s cute”, and then I rolled my eyes: ok, clearly I need to move on.  Just one more cast to keep it honest.

It’s always the “one more cast”, or “last cast”, isn’t it?

Next cast, no more than 15 feet from my booties (I’m standing in ankle deep), the micro sluggo gets hit again, and I set the hook.
The water explodes.  Next thing I know, the drag is humming.  Mother F$#%@!

After the initial shock I quickly gain control of the situation, and fish succumbs to my horsing.
On the sand, the fish measures out at just barely under 32”, very healthy, and totally pissed still and covering me and my Van Staal with sand.  I’m swearing at her, but smiling, and let her go gently, back to her feasting.

The little sluggo was just about cut in half, the front inch had broken off and was up the line, and the hook was bent…but I re-rigged it, and that single fish kept me there for another 80-90 minutes.  I did eventually landed 1 more fish at about 20”, which finished off the tiny sluggo.  I tried ripping a 9” in half and using the tail- yeah, that doesn’t work ha!  In the 90 minutes I was there, like I said, I threw everything.  Eventually I go frustrated enough I left, as the mosquitos swarmed me.
I was wearing my NEW AMAZING surf top from Stormr that I won in the tournament and I was WAY too hot.  It’s so friggin awesome, so comfortable, so functional...and so warm!  I feel like a fishing ninja in it.  BAMF.  But, sadly, I eventually had to take it off because I was too hot.  Even wading in to my belly button I couldn’t get cooled down enough.  What an improvement over my beloved simms top!

I carry too much...wait not possible
I worked the shore to a rock I’m developing a love affair with.  Mostly because it’s about chest/shoulder high, and at high tide has about a foot of water over it- and it's the size of a pickup truck- perfect casting platform.  Now, it was sticking out of the water and I found it easily.  I’ve pulled 5 fish out of here this season, and lost a doozy one night.  I tried the sluggo first, nothing.  Then a bottle plug, nope.  Metal lip, nada.  Needle, zilch.  Modified bomber long shot (filed lip so it runs shallower)- goose egg.
FINNEEEEE.  On goes the damn SP minnow.  First cast, wack.  Borderline keeper.  As I’m unhooking it, I drop it, it throws the hook, and swims away.  No picture.

The next 15 minutes of casting yield nothing.  I’m getting tired, and I realize…it’s 1am!  Well guess I’m won’t be home at 1…

I decide, since I’m all the way down here, I might as well take a few casts with the big danny just in case.  First cast I hook up!  Not a big fish, but not a schoolies!  After I get it ½ way in it jumps, and I figure maybe teen fish, and not long after it throws the hook!  Damn!

Few casts later, almost the same scenario, but smaller fish.  I don’t have it on as long either.  Grrr…
I put on a smaller metal lip, one I bought used.  First cast I lose ANOTHER FISH.  That’s it, I’m putting something else on.  I’m burning the metal lip in, and it swings towards me as I lift the rod.  It misses me, but the hook jams in the slots of the reel…and the reel jams the hook.  Now, I can’t reel, the hook won’t pull out (despite crimped barb), and I can’t pull the spool off because it’s being held on by the hook.
I spend the next 15 minutes on my knees in 6” of water trying to get the hook out, eventually breaking and using brute force to yank it out with my pliers.

Yeah, time to go home.  Three casts with the big danny again, and I am wading back to shore.
On my way back I find the big school still feeding on the little bait.  I can’t help myself and stop for another 15 minutes, try tossing a 7” hogy and a few needlefish, and don’t get a bump.  I decide to turn my light on to see if I can see what they’re feeding on, and while I don’t, I’m surprised to see medium sized “bait” fish (aka not stripers) that were one of only a few different things- scup, shad, or bunker because of the body shape.  I really think they were scup, but I’ve had a couple people tell me I must be wrong.  I did see a few micro schoolies as well, but couldn’t see any bait and figured a super bright light being on in the middle of the night was just asking for trouble (been there) so didn’t leave it on long.

So all in all, not a lot of fish caught, but an entertaining night.   Still looking for a big fish night (>6 fish over 20lbs…)