April Showers Bring Freezing Cold Weather in May...And the First Keeper

First week in May.  First week I got out in my wetsuit!  I just hate waders and I ripped mine last time I went out.  First night it was 49 degrees and the water was also 49 degrees.  I upgraded this year- finally- to a 7mm suit on top of my 4/3 I've been using forever.  The new suit is incredible (neosport- great deal), and with my surf top I have 8.5mm of neoprene.  Only thing that gets cold is my hands, and my feet did eventually get a little cold (my booties are riddled with holes).  Man, I fucking love wetsuiting.  I just absolutely LOVE being in the water.

The first night I nailed a schoolie (20-22"?) on the second cast.  I lost one on my first (probably the same) and one on the next.  6" storm swim shad (cheating).  I was optimistic.  But then didn't land another fish for almost an hour (it was like...9:20?).  The next came on a SS 7" needle- little bigger no idea how big.  And a couple casts later I hooked up on a solid fish- keeper?  Ugh, I don't want to believe it.  The fish got hung up in the boulders I was fishing and I lost her after a few moments of trying to just drag her through- with 20lb test, 30lb leader, and smaller rod I couldn't power her over- she just came off.  Damn.  After about 30 more minutes I got antsy and moved away from the boulders to another productive spot.  Two casts in the with the needle, and I miss a fish.  Next cast I hook up and land a 25-26" schoolie.  Nothing for 10 minutes, switch to mag darter- the new bigger one- and miss two fish.  Switch to smaller size, also miss fish (must be small).  And that was it- it was time to go home so I could get in bed by 1am so I could be at work by 9am, so that I could be home in time the next night to get ready and head out again.  South east wind felt cold while I was changing out of my suit.  I'm looking forward to warmer weather.  But the next couple days are only going to be worse...

Next night sucked the big one.  I took a risk and went to a spot I've never been this time of year, and one I don't know that well- but I had a feeling and I thought if it worked out, it'd be the big time.  Well, you win some you lose some.  So I spent 3.5 hours casting into a strong wind, big waves, in the pouring rain, for nothing.  At least it was like...57?  Interestingly enough, I snagged a bunker...and I didn't know what it was until the next night...

So the next night I took a little bit less of a risk, but still a risk.  I showed up and found a decent swell which I didn't expect.  Wetsuit + 52 degrees + 3-4ft swell = WAKEY WAKEY.  I was fired up.  Within 5 minutes I hooked up and lost a schoolie at my feet.  Then I lost another fish a couple of minutes later that felt MUCH better.  Da' Fuck is going on!  So I'm casting, and then I hook up with what I think is a dink...it wasn't a dink...but I lost it.  I landed a 25-27" schoolie on a bucktail (1oz) right after that.  Then 15 minutes went by...and as I was swinging a choopy darter through the waves, right when I thought there HAD to be a fish there- bang.  Another decent fish.  Got her to the rock...and fucking lost her too!  I was SO PISSED.  Then a pretty long period elapsed.  30 minutes?  And I was farting around with a couple different lures, when I felt a tug on my savage gear freestyler- set the hook and was very confused.  Felt like a snapper blue...turns out it was a big honking adult bunker!  I didn't take a picture but I should have.  I snagged another the next cast.  I was real upset I didn't have A) a snag B) a bigger rod.  My 9fter just doesn't have power to throw anything big- I didn't have anything anyways- that could mimic those big baits.  But chances are there were no big mommas around, so I'm not too upset about it.  So, I kept casting.  There is a golden window of tide stage at this spot that always produces...or many times.  I was in it and really focusing. I had on my beloved HookR peanut...focus focus focus...The hit came just about when I expected- but I was surprised to actually feel a little weight.  And tail pumps.  I worked the fish against the swells, and got her in- and she was a keeper.  Or close?  29"?  Roughly measured on the rod.  I had my new 60lb Boga (got it for so cheap you wouldn't believe it) and was just trying out carrying it on my belt, so I weighed her and she bottomed out between 9 & 10lbs.  Not a trophy- barely a legal fish- but boy I was pleased to have this fish in hand the first couple of days of May in MA!  I still can't figure out my god damn camera, so the pictures are terrible.  I had one other schoolie besides that, and then an hour with no hits.  I was freezing my ass off, so called it quits deep into the night.  Drove home a happy guy.  The whole night was fishy as hell and felt great- even if I only managed a few fish.

The next night I was exhausted- I'm still recovering from my 32 mile trail race (5hrs of hard trail racing), and not used to night tides yet.  But I went anyways.  I decided I couldn't fish the same spot because the tide was just too late and I didn't want to use any of my vacation time this early in the season.  So I fished sunset through early evening back at the new area I've unlocked in southern MA.  The "best" area- what I think anyways- only gave up one little dink on a small swim shad.  The wind was stronger than I thought it'd be- and stronger than what NOAA said it'd be- and I was having trouble getting out into deeper water.  So then I got all antsy again and ran off down the shore, got distracted and ended up running through some deep sand and high grass and it ended up being a nightmare.  And then when I got to the spot I was trying to get to, it was super shallow and just not fishy at all.  So I trekked BACK to my original location, waded out to a rock, and casted for another hour.  I wasn't feeling it.  But forced myself to stick it out until 1030.  Was happy to get dry and warmed up on the way home.  Looking forward to the coming week and full moon...just wish the fucking weather would warm up!