Chill in the Air

It was cold this past week/weekend.  And windy as hell.  At least the tail end of the week and into the first of this week.  Been a while since I fished into 45mph+ gusts.  I didn’t do all that great.  One night last week I waited until slack tide, everything felt right, and when the hit came I was ready.  I was using a Mike Custom Pikie, and I set the hook HARD….and flung the poor little striper right out of the water.  He was all of 16-18”.  Aggressive little guy, I actually looked him right in the eye, and gave him a little pep talk- “keep up the good work little guy, go grow up, fall in love, and make more aggressive little stripers”.  I think he listened, because when I put him in the water (carefully) he splashed me pretty good.

It did get better after that...but nothing to write home about...

I also did a sunrise trip that resulted in a just a medium/small blue (25” ? something like that ?) and no hits besides that.

However, one windy night this past weekend, after trying unsuccessfully to fish facing North, I found myself in a very fishy bit of water that I know well.  It was pouring, and freezing, and the wind was whipping like crazy.  Blurple darter sent screaming into the dark.  I had to dip my tip into the water to keep the wind from sweeping the lure away.  But first cast I hook up with a pretty damn good fish that I ended up loosing!  I’m confident it was actually a big blue fish based on the pulsating/head shake that I was feeling.  Oh well.

Not really though, because that night I’d lose something like 6 fish, two more of which were decent feeling.  I didn’t have any hits on the blurple SS darter for a while after that first lost fish, and so switched to the Northbar Darter I talked about in the Vlog from last week.  Boom, first cast, fish on, almost 32”.  Then, next cast, bang, fish on 30”.  Then, a hit but no hook up.  The Northbar darter was digging in better than the SS, although it doesn’t cast as well.  I lost a schoolie at the rock after that.  REALLY liking the Northbar darter, I need to get a few more- parrot and blurple will be on my Christmas list (sold out all over as far as I can tell).

Nothing for a while, so I switch to a Black Label slant nose metal lip that I really like (and have ordered more of) that I randomly picked up at Striper Fest on Long Island last winter.  Quality plug, swims incredibly.  First cast with that, bang, good fight, jumping and drag pull…bring the fish in- and it’s a big ole’ chomper again.  This YED was about 32-33” (total length not fork length), and I tried to take a picture of it's big teeth digging into the darter, but my camera battery was dead.  I checked it before I left but I think the cold killed it.  Released after he tore up my hands by thrashing around like mad and scraping me repeatedly with the treble hooks, despite using fish grips.

Like I said, after that I lost like 5 or 6 more fish which was very frustrating.  They were way out and I think I had too much bow in my line from the cross wind or something.  I can’t explain it otherwise, unless they were small fish, but a couple of the hookups felt solid.

But man, I was FREEZING by the end- wetsuit weather is coming to a close fast.  The night after I went back and nearly froze to death again.  I really didn’t want to swim but I was convinced if I did I could get to more fishy water.  So I did.  I made it 25 minutes at that rock before my hands stopped working.  The water felt really nice going back to shore- it's still solidly in the 60s, and the air was only high 40's.  No fish that night, not a hit.  Weak tides, no wind, cold, clear and bright.  Yuck.

I have a hunch going into this week.  Despite a bad 4 or 5 days, I'm not panicking yet.  Waters warm, and the tides are really small and weak right now.  Going to stay warm for the foreseeable future, and lots of bait around.  We’ll see.  Stay tuned.