Still bait around...

Before I start talking about tonight I forgot to mention something about this weekend.  I fished nothing but big lures- I didn’t carry a single SP, swim shad under 6”, no tins, no bombers, nothing small.  I almost exclusively threw big dannys, darters, glide baits, and 18” hogys.  So yeah, I got skunked on Saturday night, and Friday night didn’t go well either, but that was a little intentional.  I know exactly where I could have caught a half dozen or dozen schoolies, but that wasn’t my goal at all- I wanted a big fish for the tourney.  Forgot to mention that.  But it’s also important for tonight.

I was pretty tired, and almost feeling a little burnt out, but I knew I HAD to fish- new moon of October after all.  The next new moon may find us here in MA with little or no fish around.  So I sucked it up and headed out.

I fished south shore Monday night with a light S breeze at my back.  When I first showed the water was calm, and as the night progress it went to absolutely flat.  Tough conditions.  But there was SO much bait in the surf.  Not big bait, little bait, the biggest being maybe 4” long and thin.  Some of it was sand eels no doubt, but some of it wasn’t.  But man, it was the whole area as far as I could walk in any direction.

I tried to get there to do some pencil fishing but barely made it before sun down, and only had about 10 minutes to fish my poppers.  I then walked a lot of shore at low tide, picking my way from point to point and trough to bowl to bar.  Long story short I didn’t get a bump form 6:30-10:30.  At 8pm I thought  it was 10pm (read my military time wrong) and was going to quit, but realized my error, and forced myself to stay.

Found myself on a flat around 10:30 and decided…ugh…ok you damn SP minnow do your thing.  Clipped it on, and in maybe 10 casts I was hooked up.  I landed the 23” fish and on the next cast lost a larger, but definitely not large, fish.  I dropped a few more before eventually landing a 26” fish.  The fish were SUPER fussy- they wouldn’t touch a sluggo, needle, or even a straight retrieve SP.  I had to give it all kinds of twitches and jerks, and both of my fish came after it hit the bottom- they were keyed in on sand eels clearly.

By now it’s like 11:15pm and I’m so done.  I clip on a big 3.5oz Gibbs danny for the hell of it and start what was supposed to be my final 5 casts.  3 casts in the danny gets NAILED, and I’m tight to my best fish of the night.  A scrappy fighter, I hooked the bass maybe 40 or 50 feet from shore, and jumped at least 3 times.  Upon post-release measure of my rod, it was just about 29”- I’ll take it.  Just about exactly what the fish was from earlier last week- maybe they were siblings J.  This is why it’s good to not just get stuck on using the damn SP minnow.  Yes, it’ll catch any schoolie within 10 nautical miles, but if you are looking for a big fish…try something else.

I took 5 more casts, had no hits, and was just anxious to go home and sleep- I was in dream town by 1am.
(I just looked at my tally and I'm at 412 fish and 63 keepers on the season after correcting one mistake.  This already exceded my goal for the season.  But, I'm after big fish now...where are they?  Where's the big bait is the question.  Time's running out!)