Catch date:5/2/2015 10:49:00 AM

Story date:5/4/2015 3:19:00 AM

Location:Brooklyn NY


I love Blue fishing. From catch to the dinner table...

I had a hunch that I would have a chance at catching some bluefish at sunrise. I wanted to catch bass also so I went to the bay close to me after church with high hopes after learning a 28lbs striper was caught there the previous night…skunked! Part two of my planned fishing adventure involved going to the tip of the jetty to see if the blues made it from the south west. I just had the feeling that if I get into position by sunrise I would have a good chance of catching old green eyes. It’s always good to be prepared, and have a plan. I caught three 7lbs Bluefish and one unexpected RAT bass too small to weigh on a spoon of all things.

If nothing else this report will be about dedication and determination. I had time on my hands to fish hard so I had originally planned to fish a spot a bit East of where I would normally be fishing this time of year. I figured being that bass in the 25-35lbs class were caught a week or more ago they might be set up in an inlet/channel I like to fish from time to time. I didn’t have any intel on if the Norester that fish a bit east of the spot I had in mind was catching bass so I didn’t want to waste my time going that far. That would’ve been a shot in the dark so to speak. My thought was start a mile east of the inlet working my way west to the channel. I was trying to get a buddy to fish with for the night but my usual partners didn’t answer the roll call, and there was a miscommunication between Joe (mostly on his behalf lol) and I so this was another solo trip…I don’t really need company to fish-I like company.

As a last attempt I shot Neil a buzz because I know he also likes to fish the sunrises at the spot I had the hunch to catch Bluefish. Neil said he was putting the surf down for the day to get on his Kayak! I said COOL! Elias is South West catching linebackers so good luck. He let me know that one of his partners had just caught a 28lbs bass just last night at the spot I planned on fishing with Al and Julius on Monday night…That might be a good chance to get into a big bass given they don’t move around too much in the deep muddy bay close to me. My surf bag was already packed for the inlet/bluefish but that would have to do. I could’ve made the quick change with my new set up for this season but I just wasn’t in the mood. I wanted to hop to a few spots in the bay to see if anything was shaking then go meet up with Joe near the inlet IF he went out to fish.

I got started around 12AM 90 minutes before low slack, and was planning to be done with both trips by 9-10AM. Spot one in the bay is known to be a “bait fisherman” spot so I wanted nothing to do with fishing near them but I wanted to see if it was holding any action. I get there and only one coupe (I adore it when I see a female fishing with her man) was fishing. With an empty beach I said let me go south a bit and comb the waters with a heavy shad…nothing. Up next was a spot that requires a little climbing to get to that will usually deter the average bait fisherman. I loved what I saw and herd when I arrived. The place was loaded with bunker tailing and splashing around. I also saw and herd splashes that not even the biggest bunker could make. It sounded like a good sized fish trying to free itself from the shallow muddy water slowly…that can’t be bunker so I have to figure out what they want. I was a bit limited by the inlet bag I packed so I through it all but the jigs for nothing. I went back the way I came working back to the first spot…nothing for me and nobody was on the spot but some new guys. I spoke with them for a few and went on to the Bluefish grounds.

I arrived at 4:45am still dark I didn’t do my normal troll/casting along the way with a lure just in case I catch a fish to the spot. Time was wasting I had a bit of a hike on my hands, and the sun was just showing signs of its rise. I couldn’t risk not being in place during that magic hour. When I got to the jetty the tide was 90 minutes before high slack too early to fish the tip safely. I know this rock pile well by now so I knew that if I go there now the waves would give my StorMR jacket, Hodgeman waders a good soaking. I wanted to check the spot that Kenny any I caught 18 bass between us last season to see if they have arrived just east of the jetty…no hits. I did that until I saw all the birds heading in one direction. That was my cue to start heading back to the rock pile.

I put my Korker Rocktrax on and began to fish where the surf meet’s the jetty. I’m keeping an eye out for what the birds and boats are doing once they get near the tip to pinpoint where the fish are. I was sure they were there just not sure of the exact spot. Each boat that was searching for fish would slow down, stop or drift the area to the south west corner of the tip. Any birds flying by would double back, hover or dive…Bingo! I’ve got my target area where I just knew the fish are…now if this tide was just a bit more into outgoing. I know the “safe rout” to this tip but the wave was fully crashing over the path with force! I also knew one hour needed to pass before I could make it. I fished in that spot hoping they would turn into the bay but they didn’t at that time. When the tide was right it was time to rock hop! The duration was every five to seven seconds in two sets. The gaps between rocks mint I had to take my time carefully mapping my rout while I take shelter behind rocks to stay dry. The scrapes on the rocks left behind over time by the other rock hoppers was a good marker of my next step.

Now that I am standing on the base of the tower of this jetty the sense of accomplishment was through the stratosphere! I said to myself I better go home with fish for all this effort. I took a quick scan of my surroundings and noted the Genets hovering, cormorants diving, along with sea gulls doing the same thing at both the south west and east corners of the tip…they are still hear! With no one else around I had just about 360 degrees to cast my lures. I presented it all but my darters and bucktails because I didn’t want to lose them in the rocks. I brought A17 to A47’s with me…no hits until I put the Spoon jig with a green tail on my 125lbs TA clip. The hit was soft but I could feel the Wight so I thought it was a bass. No drag was peeling so I just began bring the fish in. I was high up so I waited for a wave to bring it closer to me. I was still a bit higher up so I had to “boat” the 7lbs bluefish to me.

I caught my first bluefish of 2015 on my new outfit (Penn 11’ Battalion/Penn Long Cast) I didn’t have my stringer on me; this fish had plenty of life in him so I bleed him right there and put him in the shade. The next cast my spoon jig got stuck between two rocks SMH. It was a dry rock so down I went to retrieve my jig. I’ve been down there at low slack so I knew how to get there. Two cast later and my spoon jig feels funny, dragging through the water differently. I examined it and my leader the eye is bent a full 90 degrees, and the body is beat up bad. I put the Hammered A47/6/0 Siwash jig on that I can only find on the Brooklyn VI (a bit too heavy because of the reef where the fish where holding) The Bluefish must have weakened my leader more than I thought because that jig was gone on the next cast…time to pack it in!

Just as I’m doing that the wife calls to remind me of the time witch is almost 12PM Oopps I never took note. I got out my “keeper” bags (burlap, nylon back strap) that I keep in my jacket and put my Bluefish in so that I can safely navigate the rocks that were a lot easier now that the tide is 60 minutes away from low slack. (That’s what I call slack to slack fishing)
I began walking the beach on the bay side going back to my truck (can’t wait until the 4x4 path opens up) when I see the beach has Nuff people fishing bait and lures. As I walked up to the first three the guy closest to me gets hooked up! I stopped to see what he had…a bluefish! He lost it in the wash using a spoon. They guy next to him hooked up and land 7lbs blue using a deadly dick the bait guy next to him gets a hit…okay so this is where they went.

I’m not Googan so I didn’t jump on top of them to begin casting so I walked on. There was woman bait fishing about 20 feet north of the three guys hooked up so I said the wife will have to understand I’m catching fish! I got myself set up 50 feet away from the woman with 50 more feet until the next set of bait fishermen. I had enough space between both bait guys and gale to be comfortable with leading the current. I put a spoon on that I changed the hook to a 3/0 VMC treble that I use when my Snag is in the truck. I was able to land two more 7lbs Bluefish before the lure bite died while all the bait fishermen continued to catch. I began my second walk home when I noted one bait guy was hooking up at a rate that was almost impossible for one guy. He had two bait rods out. He would get on the bar to cast into the channel, by the time he got back to his holder the other rod was bent over. I went 50 feet away, took a cast and l’m in! I landed one unexpected RAT bass! The striped bass was too small to weigh. I learned later on that I could've gotten a reward if I would've removed the tag that was going through both side of its body...oh well next one. Someone else will get MY reward lol

You can’t beat this day of fishing with a stick. Looking at my log and I’ve caught my first bluefish 3 weeks earlier, and two weeks before my Dad caught his first last season. I love how most of the fish are “on time” unlike last season…Catch’em up!

Shaka Antoine

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About Shaka Antoine
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