So anyways I won't go into how silly I was on Saturday but, yes, I did run for a few hours in the blazing heat, so I was pretty cooked and ended up dragging my feet. I was so close to just bagging the whole weekend and doing something different. Again, long story short I didn't leave the house until much later than I had planned. It ended up being fine, because the storms didn't blow through until ~10PM.
I hit the surf right as the storms blew through. There was a truck where I park, and two dudes chumin' it up talking fishing. I HUSTLED just in case they wanted to chat with the new guy in the wetsuit.
When I took my first cast, there was still some "rile" to the water. But it was relatively calm. I hucked out the my SS darter yellow-over-white, as an automatic reaction to the conditions. I fished it for...20 minutes? Nothing. My lowly confidence was even lower now. What a season.
OK, time to change it up. Find a profile that's much different. Snap on a Mag-Darter.
First cast, maybe 30 feet from my casting platform, BANG. The water explodes as the little lure is hammered by fish as it rose towards the surface. This happens a lot- the line angle changes and it pulls the fish towards the surface, and then seemingly as you're about to pull it out- boom. Right? If you fish at all you have experienced this I'm sure.
Anyways, the fish took off into the current. Drag! Guys, my drag was going FINALLY. I laughed out loud. I tussled with the fish, it washed past me, pulled it back etc. Got her in, what a beauty. I thought she was about 28" but when I measured her up against my tape marks on my rod she ended up "taping out" at ~31". Took me a second to get all the hooks out of the fish, and I'm afraid her eye might not be the same (did my best) but she swam away with a strong kick into the warm water- I wanted a picture but she had other ideas!
Next cast, BANG fish on right in the same spot. This one seems significantly smaller, but when I get her in she initially looks about the same but "tapes out" on the rod at 28" +/-. Another keeper sweet. Stealth picture above.
Few casts later, but further out, another nice hook up. Fight her aggressively in the warm water (30lb braid but an 80lb leader- testing it out) and she puts up a great fight. This fish also tapes out at 29-30". A decent night, finally.
I think...maybe it's just the tide stage now, the incomings really moving now.
So I tried things that had similar profiles- 6" swim shad, small savage gear freestyler- and had no hits. I tried an SP minnow too, and had a few little taps but no hook ups. Snap on the Mag darter- first cast I get a hit, third cast I hook up with a ~26" schoolie. Guess they're into the Mag darter! This happened last year too in the fall with peanuts in the water. The Mag is a dynamite peanut imitator, so maybe that's why?
Anyways, then I went a while with no hits. So I tried tons of different stuff from 4oz wood lures to 1/2oz bucktails.
Then, just for shits and giggles, I put the Mag back on. Instantly getting bids, but no hook ups. Taps and such. It seems they're super fussy. So now what?
Try ripping it across the surface?
So I do that.
First cast doing so, another schoolie landed. Pretty cool!
That was it for the night besides another couple taps. Drove home SO HAPPY to just have a few keepers finally. Really glad I went out. Yes, I've only been out 1x in the last 2 weeks, but I almost didn't go at all. I have next weekend, then I can't get out until Mid-August. That, hopefully, will be full blow peanut time and the start of bait bonanza time.
I am wrecked this morning from running and lack of sleep so I think I'll just do some fly fishing close to home tonight...