Archive for July, 2011
Well, all I can say about this past weekend is WOW!!!!! I had the good fortune of spending time on the water each day taking advantage of the spectacular weather. On Thursday record setting heat rolled into Long Island with record breaking temperatures of over 100 degrees all across the area. Friday saw more of the same heat as folks around the area flocked to the ocean front beaches trying to escape the oppressive heat.
My weekend began with a late afternoon trip on Friday. Arriving at the marina at 5:30 pm the thermometer in my truck was still reading 101 degrees!!! The local ferries servicing the Fire Island communities were more crowded than I can ever remember seeing them. Sliding out of the creek and into the open Great South Bay offered immediate relief as, while still VERY warm the breeze from the southwest was significantly cooler.
Our plan for the evening was to fish live baits in search of the summer run weakfish we get in the Fire Island area in the late summer. Snapper poppers fished on the flats were the ticket to quickly getting our limit of live snappers in the well and we were off.
We fished several favorite pieces in and around the mouth of the Fire Island Inlet and while there was plenty of action with the fluke and bluefish we were not able to connect with any weakfish. Moving way back into the bay after dark only produced a few more bluefish and LARGE amounts of the slimy green seaweed that has appeared in the area over the last week or so.
Saturday was family day at one of the popular local anchorages. As we left the house at 8am the temperature was already 90. It was going to be another GREAT day!! My wife and I were joined by my sister-in-law Kim, her husband Chris and there two children as well as friends of ours, Scott and Marie. Our destination was the Sore Thumb cove where we were meeting my fishing buddy Capt Bob. and his girl Jill.
We arrived early enough to secure one of the nice spots with deep water close to the beach and setup camp for the day. This particular spot is extremely popular and by 12pm it can get very crowded. Boats did show up but I was surprised there was not the traffic jam this location usually sees. Maybe everyone just decided to stay home in the air-conditioning.
Bob had bought Jill and brand new kayak for her birthday and Jill was kind enough to offer rides to all on her new boat. Everyone took a turn paddling around the calm water inside the cove. It took some convincing but then it was my turn. It was a first for me on the ‘yak and I was impressed with how stable the boat was. We had a great time with awesome company.
On Sunday I had the Varone party aboard for a fluke fishing trip. Mr Varone and his son Jake were joined by Jake’s friend Jarrett who arrived from Saltaire on Fire Island via his dad’s beautiful Everglades center console boat. We departed Seaborn Marina at 9am and again were happy to get on the open bay to cool off.
We dropped the fluke rigs in and Jake grabbed the first fish of the day almost immediately. A short fluke around 15 inches. It was then my phone rang. It was my buddy Capt Bob who advised me of the beating he was putting on the striped bass in the ocean on the schools of bunker. Following a survey of the group to confirm they were okay with the ocean we were off.
Just outside the inlet we found several schools of bunker balled up tight and periodically getting flushed by gamefish tearing through them. The boys got a kick out of seeing the schools swimming under the boat and “fighting” the snagged bunker we were fishing for bait. We worked over a few schools for about an hour before it became obvious that the ocean swell was not agreeing with one of the little guys. It was time to get him back inside as Mal de Mar was taking it’s toll on him. Once back inside he was back in action in no time
As we got back inside the flood was just getting rolling and we fed our baits to a bunch of short fluke, sea robins and crabs. Unfortunately there was to be no legal sized fluke on this day. As a bonus a school of small bluefish popped up right in the middle of boat traffic and we managed to hook a couple between boats running them down before calling it a day. I had a great time and Jake and Jarrett were two wonderful kids who were a pure pleasure to have aboard.
My wife and I closed out an excellent weekend with dinner at the Beach Hut at Smith Point County beach. This place is great with free parking after 5pm, a live band nightly and very nice menu all while sitting and looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. Good times!!! Doesn’t get any better than this!!!
Well it has been WAY too long since I’ve had anything fishing/boating related to speak about. This, unfortunately due to the fact I experienced motor issues two weeks back. I am well aware that “stuff” happens but I have been very fortunate in my boating years and this marks the very first time I’ve had a boat out of order due to mechanical problems. I guess it could be said that I was overdue.
On the way across Great South Bay on June 26th I noticed the port-side motor just did not sound right. As I backed off the throttle the sound became even more evident. A very noticeable clicking/knocking noise. I can only describe it as sounding like a car engine that is VERY low on oil. I knew the oil was still new but double checked and found the level was fine.
My party did fish the rest of the day where they loaded up on short fluke to 19.5 inches. The return trip was a mess as I was forced to limp back across the bay on one motor during a VERY crowded boating weekend. Add in the fact that I had to disappoint 3 other parties slated for that afternoon and the next day. Not my fondest boating memory by any stretch.
Brought the boat to the mechanic and the first take was the powerhead was the issue. I left the boat with them for further investigation but was not feeling too optimistic about how long it would be down for.
On Friday July 8th I received somewhat good news from the yard that the powerhead was fine and the issue was related to the lower unit. With the green light given they replaced the unit over the weekend and gave the boat a good test run. She was given a clean bill of health and I rescued her from the yard on yesterday (July 12) afternoon.
I took a nice easy cruise across the bay and as my confidence in the repair grew I let her run. It was a RUSH having the boat behave as good as the day I got it. I needed to confirm everything further in my mind before having anyone else aboard so I headed out Fire Island Inlet in some sloppy conditions. VERY sloppy actually. Not a problem at all. All systems were GO!!!
I decided to fish some while I was out and found some of the bunker pods despite the big swell and chop kicked up by a 20kt west wind. Spent some time fishing the live bunker on a bunch of different schools but had no luck. I then headed back inside to fish some pieces in the bay and as I had expected the bluefish made very short work of the live bait.
Once the livewell was emptied I moved way back in the bay with the idea of bucktailing some fluke. This paid off pretty well as I grabbed a nice fluke that went 4lbs on the Boga on the very first drop. From there it was back to business as usual with the normal procession of one short after another. It did not matter to me one bit as I was back aboard the Maybe Tonight and we were FISHING again!!!
I would not be going on a limb to say it was a VERY long two week layoff but in the end all turned out as well as it could for a mechanical problem of the magnitude of a lower unit.