Catch date:8/27/2015 7:23:00 PM

Story date:8/30/2015 9:30:00 PM

Location:Brooklyn NY

Species:Bass, Striped

I was able to get out and fish after work on Thursday night. The decision came after two boat reports I monitor to know when bass are in my area had consistent good trips. This made me want to check on a few of my fall bookmarks in the western south shore close to home. But I first wanted to try and catch the last two hours of sunlight to give fluking another shot. But that didn't pan out. It was too dark by the time I arrived...tons of bait in the water. More than I've seen in the central south shores for sure. This full moon should set things off nice for the fall run. I wanted to fish two days before full because I've had better success on that phase.

When fluking in the dark was over I began packing it in to hunt for bass I came across a tall bearded guy in waders getting out of his Pilot. He asked me "did you catch anything" I said no, I was trying for fluke. Immediately he starts telling me he caught a bunch of schoolies on the SP Minnow, and needle fish...hmm the area he mentioned I have bookmarks over there as well but I had no intention of going to that side. So now I had a choice do I go to the spot I had in mind for the night or the exact spot where the tall bearded angler just caught...why leave a sure thing so on I went. As I'm driving to the lot my phone is blowing up...its Avi! Telling me his friend just caught some schoolies on the SP and needle fish where he knows I like to fish. I said I just ran into him and I'm sure he was your friend...small world! I told Avi I was in the lot suiting up as we speak. He said I just wanted to keep you in the loop. I thanked him and to my bookmarks I went.

Avi's friend told me he had to wade out pretty for, and they were hitting on the end of his cast. Given the tide hear that made sense but I know better to try that now. I have a rule that I strictly fallow. No wading in the dark! Especially with all the four foot sharks many are catching mostly in the central south shores but sharks can swim far so I passed. I did the next best thing. I set myself up on a rock pile where I felt his longest cast could reach and began with the floating Blue Mackerel SP that bass love.

About an hour passed and no hits. But I was confident bass we're hear like I just about always feel, and next thing I know I felt a striper suck in my SP...Alright here we go I said. The fight was clearly bass nothing big but a bass for sure. I did a drag adjustment because I didn't want the trebles to pull due to my tight drag. It weighed out to only 6lbs but hey I expected a schoolie as per Avi's tall bearded friend.

Another hour had passed without any more hits so I decided to take advantage of this North West wind and move a bit south. I cycled through my top water offerings then it hit me. This is deeper water so I need to get down deep. On went the Tsunami heavy weighted 5" 3oz bunker colored shad. I started into the wind but the current wasn't moving hard enough to swing/swim it in my targeted area. One long cast with the wind on a slow/start stop, let it sink retrieve...I felt a bump. Hmm let me try that again and bam! This hit was just like the other one but with much more force, and the weight...keeper! I keep my drag dialed in a half turn off locked on my SSV 7500 Long Cast to get a proper hookset then back off to the point where the fish can run when it want to, and just enough to reel without the drag complaining. This fish was taking drag at that setting, (half turn off locked) and had my 11' Battalion bent over real good. All I could do was hold on with two hands when it ran. When the fish came to the surface it slapped its tail and flopped to the side in an attempt to shake the hook. That's when I saw its white belly and those lovely stripes I've been hunting. My focus had changed to landing this bass.

I try my best to pick a spot where I will cast from, and where I will land a fish before my first cast. The tide allowed me to get low but casting an eleven foot pole on a rock pile calls for clearance during a back cast...back to this landing. I began leading the fish to the rocks just to my right where I was going to place the fish, then go get it. This bass was still fighting; taking drag in short powerful runs like big bluefish. The bass decided to run to the rock in front of the set of rocks I was leading it to...no you’re not cutting me off there I said so I put the butt of my rod on my belly, and off to my left to get the fish out of there...it worked! The fish now takes off again, and is now close to the rocks to my left. I had to make a fast decision to land it on an unplanned rock...I waited on a wave and placed it one rock over. This rock had a slope to me so the fish was vertically sitting on the rock. This rock was also lower tan the one I was standing on. It was between 30 and 32", 12 to 15 lbs. not my personal best (35", 18lbs) but a good catch none the less. For some reason I decided to grab my leader and not the gill plate or its mouth and Pop! Goes my 50lbs mono leader, the fish falls between the rocks and in comes a wave taking the bass away. When the wave retreated I get down seeing if the bass is still there but it’s gone with my shad in its mouth. That's a double loss for me. I would've been okay with just losing the fish but my lure as well!

I didn't get any more hits, even with a 2oz bucktail. I’m out of rinds so on went the gulp...nothing. I didn't have any 3oz with me at the time. Tomorrow night will be another day on the flip side of this moon. It's crazy to me the fact that these fish mostly run in a school but some days we can only catch one or two...that's why it's called fishing and not catching. Is this the start of the fall run? I'm not so sure but bass are close to home so I'll fish home during the week and out East on the weekends for sure. Catch'em up!

Shaka Antoine

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