Catch date: Not Specified

Story date:8/10/2015 1:29:00 AM

Location:Long Island NY

Species:Bass, Striped

This is a story I wrote last season. I never posted the full story hear until now. The memory of these to fish is helping me get through the doldrums...I need intervention!

I finally caught my first keeper! I had my personal best on a Bluefish in the same night. The 31” blue took a piece of bunker that I swear is the best piece (second piece after the head has been cut off) to catch a Bluefish. This year I have caught a bluefish on that piece ONLY. Likewise my first keeper hit the SP Minnow (floating) at 2-3am. The bass was 35” and 18LBS. This bass felt heavier than my two year old (she weighs 24lbs). This season I have only caught a bass on this SP Minnow. No matter what body of water (all locations were different) night or day stripers love them.

I got a call from a buddy of mine that went on a Porgy charter with my church to fish his “Honey hole” that I’ve been wanting to fish from when he first told me about it. It’s behind his Aunt’s very private property in an area that I have been hearing a lot about from so many other anglers. I will not disclose the location where I caught these two fish. However I will talk about how they were both caught in the same night different stages of tide. So don’t even ask about this location please. I couldn’t and wouldn’t go back without him out of respect.

I picked him up at his house about 8:30PM Saturday night. I felt a bit under equipped when he loaded about 6 to 8 rod’s in the back of my CR-V. I came with the two rods I felt I would need after I asked him what type of fishing we are going to be doing. His answer was off a doc and from shore. So I loaded my 10FT Shakespeare Tidewater/Penn Pursuit II 6000 bait rod, and my 9FT plugging rod. My buddy’s rods were very NICE! Penn Graphite outfits. We have a lot in common I thought to myself.

My buddy’s technique was nothing short of scientific. I never fished with someone that knew his spot so well. He knew where to dig worms while the tide was way out, when how and where to catch bunker when the tide reach a certain level for an hour. After we had bunker his next call was we wait until high slack (1AM for that night) then we should catch a fish on the bait…not even before high slack was over one of the bells were ringing. I was closer to it so I set the hook on a bass! Then some time after I see in the dark a fish jumping on the surface, I run to the sound of the bells and it’s my Rod! I set the hook and the fight was memorable. The bluefish swallowed the circle hook on my fish finder rig that I used for the first time since I bought it last year. I was shocked to see he didn’t chew through the mono leader.

When that stage was done his next call was now we wait for the tide to get lower then we throw top water lures because they will be feeding on top on all the minnows that are thickly stacked on the shore line. We waited for the sound of splashes of the bass sucking in minnow and fired away. I recalled that I only caught a bass on my SP Minnow so I’m not surprised the Slug-Go, poppers, shad, grub jig heads didn’t convert. I said let me go back to the SP. I took one long cast parallel to the shore in the direction of the bend my buddy said the bass will be turning. The SP just hit the water and I turned the handle to flip the bale and I was hooked up on some weight. This Penn Prevail surf 9FT/Penn Pursuit II 5000 works well! I’m hooked up and I didn’t even turn the handle three times. I must have thrown it in his mouth.

My thought process flashed back to my Dad’s advice from the last bass I lost on Thursday. He said don’t pump him, gage his direction, let him run when he does, if you fell slack reel! Before I knew it the fish was just in front of me trying to go under the doc I was standing on. I carefully kept his head under water while walking the doc to shore where my buddy was waiting to beach him for me. I enjoyed the sound of my buddy’s reaction to the size of this bass for a bit, and then I just took some deep breaths Yes! Yes! I did it! I thanked him and got down to the fish and noticed how it was hooked. When I did the VMC 2/0 hooks, stronger split rings upgrade in a lazy way I didn’t crush the barbs. I’m glad I didn’t because he was only hooked by 2 of the trebles in the very corner of his mouth. This fish was meant for me! The weight just made it a reality for me that I got my first keeper. We had planned to call it quits by 3AM but between landing this bass and wanting to catch another before we knew it the times was 4:30AM. By the time we packed up our gear, and I dropped him home, and made it back to my house it was 6AM. Time to get ready for Church now…no sleep for me! I couldn’t really sleep anyway. I was still running off of the adrenalin that was still pumping through my blood stream after catching my first keeper! What a way to end my first two weeks’ vacation…tight lines!

Shaka Antoine

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