Archive for May, 2012
Pulled out the slip at 4am Memorial Day morning with my sights set on the schools of bunker moving along Long Island’s south shore in the ocean. Leaving the house the wind was non-existent but leaving the marina it was blowing 15-20kts Southwest pretty steady. The transit of Fire Island Inlet was not going to be comfortable this morning.
As expected, moving through the inlet was somewhat “nautical” to say the least but once outside there was just the swell to deal with. As it started to get light the baitfish schools began to make their appearance known on the surface. It did strike me that they appeared to be a bit too comfortable in their environment for my liking.
Lined up one of the schools and threw the castnet on them filling it to the point that I could not get the full net into the boat. I was forced to shake out enough baitfish to let me swing the remainder aboard. With that taken care of thirty choice bunker were added to the livewell and it was time to fish!!
Worked over each school I came across by pitching a hooked bunker into the school. It quickly became evident that the fishing was going to be slower that it had been in recent days.
Working from school to school while working down the beach to the west I was only able to tempt some large bluefish with my live baits. These saltwater piranhas can make quick work of your livewell stock by swimming by and snapping off half the bait. If the half they grab has your hook you’ll be rewarded with the fight they provide, if not, then your prize is half a baitfish.
This action went on for most of the morning and by 10am the entire fleet was out taking advantage of what was now a beautiful, WIND-LESS day on the Atlantic Ocean. After all the years of doing this type of fishing I still get a kick out of just watching the schools swim by the boat marvelling at the number of individual fish in each school. I took a minute out to record the following video throwing in a shout-out to YouTuber Capt Jeff of Lunkerdog.com fame down in Fort Lauderdale Florida.
I had Todd and his two boys Marc and Mitch aboard Friday night for my Afterwork Special. This trip is a 4hr trip where we fish the backbay areas with light spinning tackle for stripers, blues and whatever else may mix in.
We departed the marina at 5:30pm and headed across the Great South Bay in VERY foggy conditions. After a nice and easy cruise across the bay we had small diamond jigs in the water working over some pieces of structure on the last half of the ebbing current.
The slipgut weed continues to be a BIG problem in the Fire Island Inlet and Great South Bay areas but the guys worked through the mess and managed to pick away at bluefish on most stops we made. Landed some, lost some and missed some. Sorry to say the bass did not put an appearance in for the guys this time.
The fog had cleared by the time the guys were ready to pack it. I had a good time with a great crew and the boys were fishing machines. Fun night, thanks guys!!!!
Headed out for a combination fluke/bluefish/striped bass trip Saturday afternoon. Pulled out of the slip around 4pm and arrived on my intended fishing grounds for the very start of the flood current.
My first fluke drifts of the day were back in the bay and there was some fish to be had but the slipgut weed was terrible so I made a big move down to the Fire Island Inlet area looking for cleaner water. And found it!!!
Nice clean water free of weed made presenting the fluke baits much easier. Managed to pull out some decent fish and one made the legal mark with room to spare going 20.5 inches. I got a kick out of the fact that it would have been a keeper under last season’s regulations.
As the current built schools of bluefish starting popping up and I played catch and release with them till dusk as I then maneuvered into position for the second part of the trip. My plan was to feed fresh bunker chunks to any gamesters in the area.
It did not take long for the bluefish to find my fresh bait to their liking. The action started out with more of the same cocktail blues until after sundown where the size of the blues increased into the 7-9lb range. The action got so fast that I put the second rod away and still had a hard time keeping up with the bites. Nice problem to have !!
Sorry to say that the striped visitors I was hoping for did not stand much of a chance of getting to my baits as the blues were on them in short order. Still had a great time with the bluefish wearing me out till I was out of bait. Called it a night around 10:30pm and headed back to the marina WORE OUT!!
Another beautiful day/evening on the water!!
I fished a solo evening trip over this past weekend with the hope of finding some of the “mythical” Great South Bay weakfish. Pulled out of the marina at 5:30pm and arrived at my first location right on time. The ebb current was just beginning to build on this particular back bay location.
Unfortunately, a big northwest breeze was also building and combined with the amazing amount of slipgut weed the area was virtually un-fishable. Tucked into some lee and found the first signs of life as bluefish were hammering my offerings soon as they hit the water. The weed was also a problem here so it was off to another location.
Next location offered some relief from the weed and the bluefish were THICK here. Had as many as my arms could take before moving on. With the darkness now starting to take hold, I moved under the Robert Moses bridge span. Fishing bucktails and plastics on leadheads around the bridge stanchions produced more of the same bluefish. After a bunch more of them I had had enough so with tired arms I cut the night short around 10pm and headed back to the yard.
There are definately stripers in the Fire Island area and there may have even been some weakfish, but on this trip the bluefish were the rulers of the day as you just could not get anything past them. No complaints, it was a lot of fun and it turned out to be a nice night as the wind laid off some. Good time