Fun week despite the weather

Reports starting mid-week last week.

Started out with the most fun skunk week I've had in a while.  The conditions seemed perfect- the wind in the my face was not overly strong.  The tide was super high due to full moon.  I attempted a wade- in my wetsuit- to a distant rock some 100+ yards off shore.  Making it is usually no big deal, no swimming involved, just chest deep in places.  But given the moon and the wind...well it wasn't long before I was side stroking in 2-3ft seas to my perch.  That'll wake you up when it's 48 degrees and the water is 50.  Once out to the rock, I casted until I thought I could just walk back.  I had 1 hit on the new big mag darter, and it felt like an uninterested tap from a small fish.  But I was having a ball.  This new spot is fishy as hell, and now I know it's deeper than I thought- should yield good rewards in the future.  Home by about 1am and up for work at 7.

Skinny fish (~28")

The next trip I was amped to hit a favorite spot.  The tides were good- deep in the night.  But this meant having to start fishing past midnight.  I slammed 16oz of strong cold brew coffee and hit the road when Carly went to bed.  I set up shop on my favorite rock around 1230am.  I forgot my fucking surf top, so I had to wear a polar fleece that I just randomly had in my car over the top of my suit- that's a first.  I had a blow up on my Gibbs danny on the second cast, but dropped the fish (this has become somewhat of a disturbing trend for me this spring as you'll read).  This brought my heart rate up- I was still some time out from my favorite window of the tide.  I don't know why now that I'm thinking about it, but I switched off the danny and snapped on a SS darter only a cast after that.  I think at the time I was thinking that the SS darter is just so productive that if I was getting a hit on the danny I would have more luck with the darter.  Not so much.  I fished it for 15 minutes hitless.  Put the danny back on.  10 more minutes hitless.  Decide to try a completely different profile, and put on a mag darter.  First cast I hook up and land a schoolie.  Then few casts later, have the most savage hit I've had in some time.  Damn near ripped the rod from my hands!  But no hook up!  Craziness.  So I stayed with the little lure that seems to catch big fish.  It's the only small lure I really use, besides bucktails which really are pretty small depending on weight and trailer.  I told Carly that I think I'm going to quit the SP minnow and stick with the mag darter.  Never been in a situation where the mag darter wouldn't catch and the SP would, but have been the other way around.  Anyways, I had a nice hit moments later and landed a "barely" (or barely not, not sure which) keeper.  Next cast, had another that was slightly bigger.  Next cast, dropped a schoolie at my feet.  Then, had another real solid smashing hit.  Hooked up and this was much better fish.  Even against my very tight drag, she took a short run.  I tussled with her for some time, and finally slid her up on the rock.  Nice!  She was definitely in the teens.  A quick boga weight since I was using it to hold her and pull the hooks- she was right around 14lbs (I'm guessing something like 32-33"?).  I was holding her in the water trying to get my camera out of my pack when I dropped a metal lip from my bag in to the water.  In trying to grab it, I lost my grip on the trashing fish and she swam away.  Oh well, no biggie.  The next cast, I got my first wind knot in two seasons!  Took me forever- literally 15 minutes probably- to fix it.  I should have just broke it and retied- I need to remember that.  Anyways, by the time I casted again, the wind had come up some.  Not sure if that did it or what what, but I had no more fish- not even a hit- after that for nearly 2 hours.  Water is damn cold still.  I think this killed the moon somewhat.  This week could have been better had the water been warmer.  That's my assessment.  The fish are still south of me somewhat.  Next week should change that.

So I head out the next night a little earlier, but still late.  Psyched for the Nor'Easter even if it was only 45 degrees and pouring rain!  Arrive in the above spot- whoa.  Forget it.  East wind had moderate sized water rolling in and it was a mess.  Weed and stained.  Surprised to find it so bad so early in the easterly wind.  So now what?  I trekked back to the car.  Gotta go protected.  So I contemplate where.  Decide on my spot and don't bother changing out of the suit.  By the time I get there it's pretty late again 1230?  I find some "quiet" water and set up shop.  It doesn't feel right though, and my confidence is down.  I decide to give it an hour.  Well, 40 minutes in as the tide peaked, I'm swimming my darter slowly in some minimal current and feel a VERY subtle bump.  I thought it was bottom and just give it a quick jerk to free it.  Weight!  Good fish!  Very good fish (OK not 40lbs, but it was definitely had some serious shoulders).  I'm shocked as I feel the tail pumps, then she's on the top thrashing her head.  Then she reverses direction and swims right at me, then stops, shakes again.  I'm in shock, this is a good fish!  Then she comes at me pretty fast and I'm reeling to keep up...and then she's gone!  I was so pissed- but it was my own damn fault.  I did NOT set the hook- I wasn't paying attention!  Still, it's amazing how a fish that takes drag can then somehow shake your hooks.  Craziness.  But few casts later I hooked up again and had a fish in the teens- which I set the hook on hard, but it felt nothing like the last one.  I had her on the sand when the hook popped this time- saw her whole body.  She rolled into the 1" of water before I could grab her, and like that I lost another fish!  After that I had two savage hits on the darter but no hook ups.  I was beyond frustrated.  I took a knee, in the freezing cold, driving wind and rain, and checked all the hooks to make sure they were sharp, straight, and everything was kosher.  It was!  The darter was near new save some vicious blue fish teeth marks on it from last year.  And after that, despite another hour of casting, I had no hits.  I left feeling dejected: but also excited that I had found another area that held big fish, which I didn't really think it ever would.  Got in bed at 6 am and slept through the day.  Couldn't drag myself off the couch to fish another night, not when it's 48 degrees and raining in May, so I guess only 3 days this week- ugh!  The coming warmer weather should really help pick things up.  Feel I'm really just into early migrators still.  Hoping I can get out more next week.

This is the moon- not the sun!  My new camera is really good in low light.  Looking forward to getting  better pictures.