Yes, and no.
Monday night North shore- shocker- nothing. I had one hit and didn't land the fish, on a bottle plug. The NE wind was HUMMING, 20 sustained, 30 gusts (guessing really). I had a good tide. Nothing. Again, north shore is terrible. I really had great conditions. I know this place like the back of my hand. If you're keeping fish, you best heed my reports, and start really think about why you're keeping them. I spoke with a famous fisherman recently and he dissuaded me from visiting a famous fishing spot in the North East, because, quote "it's astonishing how few fish I've caught this year". When I heard that, it was a real wake up call. This guy is hard core, and when he says it sucks, I listen. Why travel if the fishing sucks, save the money for other things. Me? I bought a new mountain bike and with the money I was going to use for that trip put a good down payment on it (if you race mountain bikes, having to finance won't be a surprise- bikes are EXPENSIVE).
OK, take two.
Cape. I started out in the light- I'm on vacation- and fished a favorable tide. Big wind and rollers coming in. Rocking conditions, I was FIRED UP! I love the rough stuff, and after a quick swim my adrenaline was pumping. I tried poppers for a hot minute, but it was NOT possible to get them to work in the weedy, windy, rough water. I tried little neck and pencil. When it was clear that wasn't an option, and my darter came back covered in 1/2 of the oceans kelp, there really was only one option left. Bucktail. Started with a 3/4oz, and moved up to 1.25oz with a 70s sea rind. First cast with this combo nailed me a 29"ish fish. It's great catching fish during the day I will admit it. I love fishing at night, but day time you get to see how they act when hooked. This fish went psycho, with the current really put up a good fish- I think the ~30" fish fight the hardest. They don't put up the best fight because they're smaller, but if you scaled their gusto to a 40" or 50" fish I don't think we'd ever land any! Anyways, after a quick release, nothing for about 15 minutes. Then, again in the same spot, roughly, I had a solid hit and a very good hook up. Hard run from this fish and it felt good! I was using the big boy rod and even against my tight drag the fish took line against the current. I was thinking 20lb bass, but it didn't feel right. Then I saw the tail. BIG blue fish. My personal best. With the weed on the line and the current it was like trying to drag a bucket through the current. I was all fired up as I pulled the big gator onto the rock, she was between 33 and 34". I know guys in Long Island don't care for blues, but because I fish so infrequently during the day, and catch so few- I love them! This guy was a beauty. A true gator.
|picture makes it look small but I promise she was 34". VS200 gives a little perspective at least. Can't even see the bucktail she swallowed it!|
Then, I fished for almost 2 more hours and had 0 hookups but I moved around and probably shouldn't have. I decided to ditch this area and go to another. I got to this next location around slack and first cast my bucktail was nailed by a 29/30" fish, nearly at my feet. Sweet! I then had 4 or 5 hits and a couple hook ups and I lost two pork rinds. I'm guessing blue fish but strange to have them in thick like this at night. Or at least in my experience at this spot (although I don't know it that well yet).
Side bar- tumble weed Tuesday. Amazing how relaxing it is to have no one around after labor day. Traffic is nill, parking is easy. It's fantastic. I love September!
So I keep fishing. Wind is still screaming, even though weather app is claiming it's 9-12mph it's a solid 20mph.
Anyways, I ended up landing two other fish. One 25" and one 28". I lost a few more as well. One felt decent. How am I losing fish on bucktails???
2016. Fuck this season.
20 minutes went by and the current started moving. I'm thinking of leaving, I've been out now for 5 hours and ate dinner 7 hours ago- I'm hungry, thirsty, tired. But! I stick it out, and BANG solid hook up. Couple short runs against my tight drag- helped by the current- and I beach a beautiful mid teen fish. Fat, fat, fat. Nearly tripped and went head first into the drink trying to let her go, oops.
After that I stuck it out another 80 minutes for a couple short hits- and a pork rind chopped in half. I can't believe how the blues can do that. You can't even rip them off with pliers, yet they snip them like nothing!
Bed at 3am. Slept until noon. Going to be a weird week.