Let me sum up 2017 for you. It's the season of "almost". Let me explain.
Take last weekend, that I recounted to you- I had about 10 fish, and one was 13-14lbs, all keepers but 1 or 2. And had I gotten there a little earlier, I think I could have had double the number- and maybe had a few bigger fish? It was "almost" awesome, instead it was just...normal? Or close to normal I guess.
Or, getting to this week, Saturday night in crazy CRAZY conditions, I knew where I had to go. I had a campsite set up somewhere on the cape, I won't say where, and despite having very easy access to fishing grounds, I drove over an hour to one of my spots- because I knew I had to be there. The SW wind was 25mph sustained gusting over 35. I showed up an hour early, but I was there for a 20 minute window. After an hour of nothing, at minute 4 of this 20 minute window, I switched from bucktail to a SS darter. The very first cast, I had a savage hit- I mean the fish CRUSHED the darter, and then took off using both current and waves. It was a good run, and I knew I was into a decent fish. It was tough to get her in close because the bottom is sticky, and the current was strong- and I was on a rock in rib deep water. But, when I finally pulled her up I immediately thought "not 20", as in- not 20lbs. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the boga hovering around 18-19lbs, short fat fish.
So close. I was stoked though, and got her back in the water and on her way using the back side of the rock as a lee. I expected a few more like this in the next 20-30 minutes. But I casted for another hour with only 1 hit that I didn't convert- which felt like a small fish. So, I waded back to shore before the water got too high and sketchy, and was home around dawn (I just left the tent and drove home, slept through the day, then went and got the tent the next afternoon). As I drove, I thought...Almost again! I mean, if the fish had been 38lbs, or even 28lbs, I would have been totally content with the night. But...while happy...I was left feeling a little disappointed. Almost.
And the next night, I decided to fly fish based on something in my logs. First night this year. I ended up having a ball, landing maybe 20 fish in the 15-20" range. But that's the bitch of it isn't it? They were all small fish- I was banking on catching fish in the 25" range- maybe 30" or always a chance to get something bigger. I had one decent fish that broke me off immediately, but I don't think it was even a keeper, didn't feel like it anyways- just bad luck. Oh, you know, it could have been a blue now that I think about it. But anyways, this is an another example of "almost"- I had numbers, but I didn't have size.
Again, it was very entertaining, minus the no see ums that almost ate me alive (holy shit did they almost eat me alive), but it wasn't "great".
It was almost great.
And don't get me started on the minimum 3 large fish I've "hooked" (i.e. not hooked) and lost this year. That's unprecedented. ALMOST.
I'm tired too. Friday night was hard, I did catch 3 fish, one was a 2011 fish (small keeper maybe 9lbs?), but I wasn't feeling it- that's not going to keep me awake. I went back to my tent to "rest" and I fell asleep for almost 2 hours- not typical for me at all. I missed my tide window and then didn't catch anything. Putting on a sopping wetsuit, while you're half dead in the middle of the night, is the WORST feeling. The fish were, again, only interested in the redfin. I made a real effort to fish other stuff, including sluggos which I've been neglecting.
So, anyways tonight, as I write this, I've decided to not go out. I'm just cooked.
43 nights I've spent in the suds since May 1.
There's a little bit of a slow down coming for me. Forced. Work and family obligations are going to force me take at least a few Friday/Saturday nights off, a couple whole weekends. Anyways, this coming weekend is the full moon, and I'll be out there hard for that at least. Let's hope it goes from "almost" to "perfect".
Happy Fourth of July