Catch date: Not Specified
Story date:9/11/2015 7:57:00 AM
Location:Far Rockaway NY
I took advantage of a rare opportunity to fish during the week with Rockaway JB at one of our local spots. I contacted him to get an idea of how things went on the path over the weekend, and to see if he was fishing tonight. JB told me what he had in mind for the night…checking on a logged trip from last season where he caught a keeper. My log was showing skunk at a spot not too far away from tonight’s mission after a nice trip on the Western North Shore (my honey hole that the first keeper of the season produced) boy do I miss that spot…I no longer have access to that privet property. It was good while it lasted.
I told JB I wanted to go and check on a few of my bookmarks on the south shore, and I had to know if the rain we just had made puddles on the path. I’ve been keeping track of the conditions on this one because I’ve wanted to drive that beach for a long time. But this path looks like the most challenging I’ve ever seen to date. The wide tracked, deep ruts, and in some places soft deep sand would make a tow truck operator a nice pay day. One of the good things about this beach is its relatively flat and was the furthest thing from my mind unlike this path! JB said “Several stuck this weekend-most near beach entrance. Saved one guy with my battery boost box” Not the kind of info I wanted to hear with the mission I had in mind for the latter portion of the evening.
JB was walking his dog while we were speaking and he mentioned the wind was out of the South just like it was on Sunday, and hadn’t changed much. My eyes lit with excitement because that would be the perfect wind needed to push bait over the bar, this fallen tide would trap them, and the fish should be on them in the trough. This meant wind in our face and JB wasn’t too thrilled about that because of less casting distance, and keeping contact with our lures would be a challenge. I told him no need for a long cast in that spot under these conditions. I knew from previous trips that the fish are in close, a bottle, SP, and a needle fish are the only lures I’ve caught on over this stretch of the beach at night…daytime and it’s a Bluefish bite for sure.
I told JB my target time will be 9PM, and to meet me in the lot then. We began walking the beach 17 minutes late thanks to the toll cop…JB wanted to start west close to my two rocks and I said NOPE! That’s a daytime Bluefish bite. Only in the day time do I start there. He said OK I’m with you…we go east to the first of my two bookmarks. I went into search mode (stopping here and there only taking 3-5 cast then move on) with my 2-3/8 oz. yellow over white Super Strike Little Neck (Rattling) swimmer (aka bottle) We made the trek to the first bookmark…nothing! On the way to the next one we made a stop for another test. I told JB “the next stop is the last for this leg of the night”. We were 784 feet away from my next bookmark on this side of the beach. I got to the fifth cast and I’m hooked up! I tried to let JB know I’m in by whistling but he don’t know that’s what I do to inform my partner of a catch…or he was out of ear range. I could tell the fish was on the small side by the lack luster bend in my 11’ Battalion. This fish was fighting odd, and I didn’t want to pull the hooks so I backed down the drag…It still felt weird so I just cranked the fish in not knowing what I had. It’s a striper! Hooked on the top of its head…that explained the fight but I’ll take it. I took a quick photo of the 6lbser, held it up to show JB fish are hear ( I didn’t feel the need to ask him to take my photo with this short) and sent it on its way to get bigger. That was a resident fish for sure but hey no skunk tonight!
I couldn’t get another fish to commit to the bottle so I went with the next best thing for these conditions. The SP Minnow got the nod for catching me some more fish…nothing for a while. I wanted to keep fishing big plugs because I’m targeting bigger fish amongst these residents. I have two Super Strike Super N fish (aka Needle fish) in my surf bag. The 6” 1-1/2 oz. needle should do fine while the 7” 3oz. would just dig in and drag through the sand so it was pointless for me to present that one. (I tried it eventually to see if it got any attention…Nope) I took many cast because I was no longer “searching” when I felt a grab…I pulled up to set the hook and my rod bent then bounced back, I looked up and saw a splash 15’ in front of me. The fish must’ve missed the hooks or the rear “inline” hook (just like the Surf day show special needle) I’m testing out for this season just proved what I don’t like about them. I can’t see how those hooks will increase my hookup ratio at all. They say it saves the fish…for sure by not getting hooked! We didn’t get any more hits, JB wanted to call it a night so he went back west. I wanted to continue onto my next bookmark to see if I can find more fish. There wasn’t enough water there so I began walking back to the truck. I stopped at the spot I caught to make that a new bookmark, and see if the fish where still there and were interested in my darter…nope! I went to my two rocks just for kicks…Nothing!
I had a good time overall fishing with Rockaway JB once again. I attempted to target bigger fish but only the resident 6lbs bass bumped my bottle and got foul hooked…the intent of my effort counts to me. I’m the type of angler that pays more attention to the quality of my trip more than the quantity of the catch. Acting off a “hunch” and knowledge of similar conditions of a previous trip, info passed on to me and actually catching holds a high value in my book, and is worth logging/a bookmark. If I didn’t catch on this trip it would still be logged just for the purpose of noting the conditions of what I saw that never made it in this report/story to prevent “spot burning” Those that I talk to on the regular are usually more privileged to the detail that never make it in witch shapes a lot of my trips…those that know knows. I want to publically thank Darkskies for giving me a few pointers on how to locate the bait, and when to fish the points in my area. That info, along with your writings helped me out big on this trip. I tilt my hat to you sir…Catch’em up!