Catch Date: 07/11/2015 6:30 AM
Story Date: 07/14/2015 3:24 AM
Location: Greenwich CT
This trip is all about my Dad on one of his annual trips I like to tag along on with him when I can. At least once per year around this time of year my Dad likes to rent a 15’ skiff to fish the Long Island sound. Last season we rented one from Jack’s Bait and tackle out of City Island. This trip we decided to explore new to us waters out of Greenwich CT with Ebb Tide bait & tackle. The idea was to start out a bit east, satisfy an itch to fish for Porgy, Fluke, Bluefish, and the elusive Striped Bass. I love a good mixed bag trip. I feel like it only increases our chances of catching somehow. Today was just dad’s day because he had all the action landing the only Blue fish while I had two hooked, lost them both at the boat, and one that smashed my jig but missed the hook.
We got to the lot at 7AM and they were already giving out the boats. We were third in line and I was too thrilled we didn’t have to wait an hour like last time. We were on our way in no time. I wanted to try trolling so dad told me to do that on the way out. I got my green white and black 6oz Spro sandeel bucktail/black Lunker city ready, and rigged it up on my Defiance 30 conventional combo.
The 8HP motor can’t do more than 5 knots yet we still kept the troll to about 3knots. As we came within view of the inlet I spotted tailing bunker just ahead of the boat, and then a splash as we got next to them. By the time my bucktail got near them I felt a small tap…probably hit the bunker we just passed. I then felt another tap the same size…was that a hit I thought. I figured at this speed a hit should feel violent so we both dismissed it. When we got to the beginning of the sound I reeled in my trolling effort to see that my sluggo was missing…so those were hits! We had a lot of ground to cover in this skiff today so we moved on.
Our first stop was near Great Captains rocks. The sound was like a glass as it is most times, no wind or drift at all. That also made things a bit challenging but we made the best of it all. Dad let a chunk float, and I put one on the bottom while we tossed an assortment of lures to see what will get a hit…nothing for thirty minutes or more even though we saw the occasional splash on the surface. Conditions like this should be good for top water lures and poppers. I gave my tension lure some time in the water but it didn’t get a hit. Captain Dad made the call to cross the sound in search of some action so lines up and we were off!
We didn’t have any fancy electronics aboard this skiff so we had to rely on our knowledge and a Navionics HD app on my phone to have an idea of the bottom structure. I knew that deeper water should appear shinny on the surface while the more shallow waters should have small ripples. The lack of wind, and any drift made it a bit easy to spot. When the wind picked up a bit in an area in the corner of the NY/CT border I had to rely on my app to locate the deeper waters. Once we found a good prospective spot the Klondike IX, Shamrock IV, and a slew of other nice privet boats were in the area. All we had to do now was figure out what everyone else was doing so that we could join in on the action. We stopped a good distance from everyone because we are not googan, and we wanted to observe a bit. We were the only skiff so we needed to be careful not to get ran over.
Dad noted one of the privet boats were casting lures, while another was using bait holding the bottom. It wasn’t until the Capt. Of the Klondike blew the horn and said over the loud speaker “alright folks drop it down, and reel as fast as you can” Bluefish! Is what they are doing. Dad and I diploid our bait and lure game plan just like the first stop only focusing more on tins. Dad couldn’t understand why these bluefish wouldn’t touch our bait the entire day. When I’m fishing near bait fisherman in the surf they usually turn the bite on but not today! We agreed to wiggle a bit because we were not getting hits and the excitement from the party boats were building frustration.
I noted most of the boats were all drifting in a line with enough space in between so I suggested we “get in line” We still were having a bit of trouble hooking up. Dad said well look these Captains wouldn’t have their fears all in this area if the fish were not hear so let’s figure out what the fish want. I lost my green tail spoon jig on my last trip so I didn’t have what I felt picky bluefish will hit. But I did have the next best things with me. The A47 with a green tail should get a hit…nope so on went the red tail in the same configuration. As a boat trolled pass us at a speed that shouldn’t be a good troll speed got into a fish half cast away from us I sent my jig behind him and hooked up immediately! That must’ve been a trailing fish…love it when they do that.
The fight of this fish was erratic and strong. I could tell it had some size to it by the bend in my Mariner (MH) this type of fishing is why I got it to jig big bass and blues from the boats. The drag of my Pursuit II 6000 was crying in strong burst. I actually had trouble keeping up with this fish. When I got him close to the boat it made a jump so I could see I had a nice size bluefish on. Once the fish got next to the boat it spit the hook DAM! We get back on the drift and the same exact thing happened to me except with my hammered A47 with a 6/0 Siwash hook and no tail was the lure of choice. On the next hit the fish grabbed my jig but missed the hook. Dad’s fish hit the same jig I was using except it was hooked well. This bluefish had a fight like no other. The 8lbs bluefish was spinning the 15’ skiff around as he held on.
Once the bite halted, and the boats began to skater we decided it was time to start Fluking. We headed for the Long Island side of the sound as time began winding down. On the way I happen to look over my shoulder and spotted a huge school of bunker. They weren’t bunched up tight, nor were they tailing. When we stopped, I took my phone out to get some video, and see if I can take some photos of them feeding. It was a site to see hundreds of bunker swimming in unison with their mouths open go under the boat and circle us…I need to get a half decent camera to capture a seen like this…I then got back into fishermen mode and snagged one to drop down, while Dad snagged one and let him float. This was my Dad’s day because only his bunker got bitten in half (funny how bluefish seem to always miss the hook) while mine just died on the bottom of the sound.
We still wanted to get some fluke in the boat so on we went to shallower waters. We both put on the “Skinner rig” and tried to locate some flat fish. The only fish that took interest were the sea robins that hit my Dad’s offerings…I did say this was his day right. It was minutes to 3pm, the boat had to be back in CT by 4pm so we headed for the docs. We passed the same bunker in the same spot still feeding…if we only had our own boat I’d love to stay with that school to see if a bass bite develops…maybe next time Catch’em up!