Yep, first genuine chum and drift trip, "it was so dang rough, it's about all we could do." So I'm glad I came prepared. Had regular clients Jeff and his dad Harry aboard. They've done just about everything with me, before. Trout fished, float-rigged the rocks, bottom fished the river. Light tackle fished the shallows. But because of the jetties being so slow the last few trips, I had to change gears. Jeff and Harry were up to it.
Come to find out the seas would be 4 feet back to back, with small craft exersize caution. Well, my 26 foot craft just slow peddled around in it, as the spray from the wind drenched us at times as we moved from area to area.
POGIES? Good gawd, this is definately the year of the Pogie. We no sooner broke out the jetties and turned north and there was an 1/2 acre right on the north side of the jetties. One toss of my 8 foot bait buster net and it went swimming away, full. Some go into the livewell and some into my chum chopper.
But first, it was time to try a few shrimp boats. Two were out a ways....probably to stay away from all the Pogie schools. We dropped in behind the smaller boat and it didn't look good. The water was clear, there was a few Dolphins, and we saw no Blacktips. I looked at the man in the back of the shrimp boat as I cast a few lines baited with a bunch of dead Pogies over the nets and he just shrugged in return. When the sharks were thick as fleas, I've had who ever was standing at the back of the shrimp boat, usually point straight over the transom.
We tried a few more times. There was nothing on the shrimp boats. So we made our way back towards the Pogie pods. All I hear is "POGIE PODS...that's where the Cobia are!" Well, there was thousands of pods of bait everywhere ya looked. As the wind blew the water into white caps. Personally, I've never seen a Cobia on a Pogie pod. Just Cuda's. I've seen Cuda's circling them as if to keep them in line, like Kindergarteners walking to the cafeteria for lunch. We looked and saw so many Pogie Pods and saw not a single fish swimming around them, at least not on the surface.
My plans were to just drift with live ones out behind the boat and use the chum chopper to keep a slick out as we drifted. That's why I had my chopper built into my boat. No need for endless slow trolling, this summer.
We worked the chum hole area, making mile long drifts only to have a Pogie chomped by small Bluefish. Our slick never even drew a single shark, let alone a Cobia, a Spanish Mackerel, or a King Mackeral. As we were hoping.
We made a zip code change and ran south against the 4 foot folding seas, heading for the SE hole area. Again, the Pogie pods were everywhere. The seas had me stop short of the genuine depth of the SE Hole. We saw plenty of Turtles, and small Rays along the way.
Again, we started a drift and started a good slick behind the boat. Drifting straight back to the south Jetty. The seas really had us alone. We saw maybe 4 boats all day long, and not many out where we were.
Harry had a rod bow over and had a fish on. It jumped and I caught a glipse of it. It was long and silvery. He got a good run out of it, but it somehow broke the mono top shot I had tied between the braid and the wire kingfish rig. We drifted a bit more and then Jeff's rod bowed over and he was hooked up with something decent. As he reeled it in we could barely see it. It was shaped like a Cobia, with a wide tail. Then I saw it's head.....I yelled "It's a damn Bluefish!!" No one wanted to believe me. Or was I seeing things. No, maybe it's a small Cobia. But I didn't see the Cobia's distinctive white line on it's side.
No, it is a Bluefish!!!
HOLY SMOKES...this one is a "Oil Tanker".
It was huge. We're not used to seeing Nantucket sized Bluefish around here. Years and years ago, there would be monster blues show up at the end of the jetties. But that's been a thing of the past. My Mom on her Mother's Day Trip years ago caught a Nine pounder while trolling for Kingfish offshore. But this one was even larger.
We put it on the Boga-Grip scale and it was 12 pounds. I couldn't believe it was so skinny looking with all this bait out here. But then again, look at the recent bite on it's tail. Probably a Dolphin. Can't figure any fish out here would tangle with this dude, let alone be able to catch it.
It's head and jaws were huge.
We continued our drift. And as we discussed Harry's hook-up, it too was obviously a monster Bluefish. It's not like we see Blues this large everyday. So while hoping for a Mackerel or a Cobia. To see a Bluefish crash the surface way behind the boat, then loose it. Has one pondering, "what was that?"
The next hook-up was a small Blacktip Shark. That ate Harry's Pogie. It was a stocky little dude around 10 pounds.
We came up on the south rip, and inside the dark water it was nastier as all hell. Didn't want to drift through that. So we picked up and headed back north again. We had a few small bluefish chomped baits. But it was very apparent, "It was not in the cards to chum up anything decent like a Cobia today, at least not with my Cobia luck. I usually do just that, "luck into them." Either while trolling for Kingfish, or as the last one I caught. Sitting frustrated eating crackers, drinking a bottle of water when two swim up to the side of the boat.
Back to the jetties we slowly go. The north side of the rocks were out of the wind. But there wasn't a stitch of current. I like me lots of current. Without it, I believe nothing bites. So after a short break anchored up in smooth water, it was time to go back and fish up inside the river.
Hell, I had to do something...I was scraping and scratching for anything! So, even though I wanted nothing to do with river or jetty fishing today. Here we are now, anchored up at the little jetties!!
I talked to a friend, that was anchored up and he said he'd had one break off and that was it. So we anchored away from him and dropped out two Pogies. Sliding on the anchor, between the wind and the haulin butt current of the rising tide. Harry hooked up!
And then it was gone. "Oh, that ledge down there, takes no prisoners!" Yep, we slid back just far enough on the anchor, that we were no fishing "CUT-OFF LEDGE", at the Little Jetties. I've lost so many big Reds to that ledge of lime rock down there, it's unbelievable.
Next, it was Jeff's turn. His rod thumped several times and now the fish is off and running.
Between the current and wind blown water, the fish handed Jeff a silver platter, whoopin' on him really good.
After a lengthy battle he got the big Red to the boat on relative light tackle, in adverse conditions.
It was a nice 16 pound Redbass and had a hook and someone elses leader hanging out of it's mouth. Probably someone else, sitting on "cut off ledge".
We tried for another. But it was getting late, the wind was relentless and Harry and Jeff had their fill. Boy, it was an adventerous day. And the rest of the Holoiday weekend isn't going to be very windless, that's for sure.
FRIDAY - SOUTH WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS BECOMING SOUTHEAST IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET. INLAND WATERS A LIGHT CHOP. ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
SATURDAY - SOUTH WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS BECOMING SOUTHEAST IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 2 TO 3 FEET. INLAND WATERS A LIGHT CHOP. ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MORNING.
SUNDAY - EAST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET. INLAND WATERS A LIGHT CHOP.
MONDAY - NORTHEAST WINDS 15 KNOTS. SEAS 3 TO 5 FEET. INLAND WATERS A MODERATE CHOP.
I'll be out with a full boat, and kids on Sunday and Monday......OMG!