Catch date:9/18/2015 11:14:00 PM
Story date:9/22/2015 7:02:00 PM
Montauk Albacore Blitz 9/19/15
This was a good trip to Montauk no matter which way you look at it. I’m finding myself fishing The End almost every weekend…far more than the three trips I had planned for the season. I just can’t get enough of the place. I met up with Joe at his house then we hit the road fast! It was my fault this time we were behind. I was running a bit late getting home from church. We arrived about an hour after the targeted time we like to show up…still a good time as per Paulie (Joe’s co-worker) who has a habit of showing up about the same time, and catching a cow within his third cast of a yellow darter. Paulie didn’t come out for this trip but his methodology seemed to pay off in a similar way in my favor. Two sharpies were already on the sweet spot so I got set up 276 feet away from the landmark I have bookmarked, up current from the first sharpie. I had a goal in mind of starting hear then moving onto the bookmark that I tend to catch at when I come here.
The conditions couldn’t be more favorable for this spot, at the time we were there. The wind was South West at 7MPH maxing out at 8, Air temperature was 70, water temp in the 60’s, the sea had 1’ waves that faded to 0.9’ as the morning came around, clear skies…the stars were just as beautiful as can be, and Waxing Crescent provided some light but it was still dark.
I got started with my blue over white Super Strike darter in search mode. It wasn’t long before I switched over to the TA Darter because I feel like if a big bass will it the SS then a monster should hit the TA darter because its much larger than the SS…big bait big fish right…nothing yet. I put the SS darter back on and moved on to my bookmark casting along the way. I’m not sure how many cast I took but the hit on this darter was welcomed like no other. This fish is not “peeling drag” but it’s got my settings complaining. With all the hard jerks I was getting concerned that the fish could rip the hooks from its lips so I backed down on the drag and cranked the fish in…it’s a healthy 8lbs bass! Just as I suspected its lips looked a bit worked but it’ll live. I noted this fish was caught only fifteen minutes after we arrived and all I could think about was Paulie’s method of arrival…Hmm he might be onto something. My next fish came 30 minutes later same violent hit except my rod is bent much better than the last fish. I couldn’t help but stair at the nice arch accompanied by the tail pumps this fish applied. The bass wanted to go down current but I let the 11’ Battalion put the brakes on it allowing the rod to work the fish to me as I leaned into it. This was another clean and healthy striper. The fish weighed out to 10lbs…KEEPER! I caught and released my first MTK keeper. The night was still young, I wanted to catch a bigger one, and besides I’m trying to stick with a rule of thumb for keeping stripers. I will keep “personal best” fish unless I’m at the end of my trip, and that last fish is a legal keeper. So far this season only one keeper was not released and that fish didn’t go home with me…technicality fish that was.
I didn’t get another hit for a while so I put my blue mackerel Floating SP minnow on that I modified a bit more than usual just for this trip. The standard upgrade to SP’s are stronger split rings (I like 40lbs rings) and 2/0 VMC trebles. Lately I had noticed they haven’t been holding larger fish well enough when they get in close so I bumped up the hooks to 3/0 keeping the same rings ensuring my SP don’t lose that very key balance that affects its action bass love. The SP is now in the water 45 minutes after my last fish and bam! I’m into another fish…small but hey I love tonight’s action. The 6lbs fish was a bit pail in color but was still in good condition. By this time John (Joes friend that I have fished with before was already there with his girl, and his girl’s friend) had caught a 25lbs bass on the SS yellow darter…in the spot next to the two sharpies that had not moved.
I lost my yellow darter testing some modifications pre season so I went with the next best thing for what the fish were hitting in front of me…a Sinking chicken scratch (color pattern) SP with the standard upgrade. I only did that after what I think had to be a big fish completely ripped the rear split ring and hook off the rear of my blue-mac SP. Question: if the split ring was 40lbs test and the weight of the fish after I set the hook is what tore the ring off does that mean I had a 40+ fish hit my SP Minnow? So now with the chicken scratch SP I’m getting a bit more distance out of it. I got another hit, I set the hook, and then the fish is off. For some reason my mind flashed to a video I saw last week on social media of a guy get hooked up, and then the fish came off. He kept the same retrieve and the fish came back for his lure and he was able to land the fish…I decided to keep the same slow night time retrieve and had the same thing happen. A double hook up baby! The 6lb bass was a bit lean so no photo and back it went.
The night was giving up its grip to the sun by now so I took a short break to satisfy the photographer in me and let God's creation put me in awe of Him. Joe was packing it in, while John got some rest, and I was putting together my next move. I wanted to hit the light house to see if any daytime blitzes were happening so I got my albie gear together and began testing where I was. I didn't like the set up so I scraped that plan and just went to the light house with my bass set up. Just as I got there a guy told me he saw bass and blues blitzing but they were too far to reach. The location he mentioned was a bit further than I planned on walking so I just hung out. Just as I got to the point I saw splashed out of range so I took my phone out and recorded my first Montauk blitz...turned out to be albies judging by the fast longitudinal splashes...boats got on them and they never came close enough.
I decided to take a hike to stand on a rock I'm fond of to see if I can catch a Bluefish or the elusive daytime bass...nothing! I noticed I was surrounded by small to medium small bait that was perfectly mixed in with the weeds/muck in the water. I saw bait ever spot I went to for the whole trip. The fall run is getting even closer now it's just a matter of time.
My goal for my next Visit to MTK is to replace my yellow over white SS Darter. I'm not huge on "colors" of lures but I had to take note of one facts. The bigger fish (john's 25lbs bass, and one of the sharpies 36lbs slob) of the night came on that darter. I even caught one more 8 lbs and 6lbs bass when I went back after helping Captain Thomas Lasala meet his Porgy quota on his boat Reel Assassin. Again with my blue over white darter. All together I caught 6 bass on this trip. The blue seem to get the attention of smaller fish while the yellow over white halls in MTK'S better quality fish...I like quality over quantity any day. This was a good trip none the less, and I'm glad I made the sacrifice of sleep to catch fish...I love what I do catch'em up!