Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little river fishing

19 at the "Brown House"
I left the dock at a little before 7. As I approached the bay it became increasingly apparent that it would be a rough night. The wind was blowing straight down the river at 15 knots and with a nearly full moon, it was quite choppy. So I decided to give the river a shot. I do not normally start fishing the river until mid to late Sept. when the water temp drops into the 70's. I figured there was maybe 40 minutes of fishing to go, so speed was of upmost importance. I would hit each spot, make 10 casts, and move on. My first stop was the river side of South River Farms Park. I was pleasantly surprised when my sixth cast resulted in a nice 19. The fish hit in less than 2 feet of water, so I was given quite an aerobatic show. From there I moved on to the "Brown House" and immediately picked up another 19. Again, the fish hit in less than 2 feet of water and gave me a fight that easily rivaled the 22 inch fish I have been boating at the shoal.  My next stop was the "White House". This has traditionally been my most productive river spot, and tonight was no exception. Again the fish exploded from less than 2 feet of water and immediately went airborne. that is why I love topwater fishing so much. At this point it was getting dark, so I hightailed it home in hopes of picking up a forth fish inside the Riva Road bridge, but alas time had run out. It may be river fishing from here on. There is nothing that compares to a fish exploding on a plug in shallow water up against the shoreline. Great Night!!!

20 at the "White House"

Sunset at the "Brown House"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thats why they call it fishing

Arrived at the shoal to the same idyllic conditions from last night. Unfortunately, there were several boats already staged in the same spot where the fish had showed last night. Not to be deterred, I anchored as close to the rip as possible without infringing on the other boats. It did not help when one of these boats (name withheld) bugged out at full throttle ,which certainly scattered the fish even further.  After a half hour or so, with no success, I decided on one more move. and changed tactics altogether. I moved to the bow of the boat and casted up tide and let the plug slowly float with the current. Not long after, I had a nice blow-up and boated a 22. I had several other swirls in the same area, but they were not taking my offering. That was it for the night. I forgot both my IPhone and the card to my Cannon, so no pictures tonight. Suffice it to say, it was a beautiful sunset.

As for my Diamond Jim tag, once again, I was disappointed. It turned out to be a tag from an organization called the American Littoral Society. I mailed the tag in today will await the history of my fish that was needlessly killed in my quest for fame and bad.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

My hopeful Diamond Jim winner (tag at top right)

Rough night for Popa Dogg

Diamond Jim, gut hooked fish, and one about to be released

My new Coast Guard buddies
Like the classic Dicken's novel It was the best of times, It was the worst of times. I arrived at the shoal a little after 7.  It seems like I always do better when the tide is going out and tonight was perfect. The tide was going out, the water was like a mirror, and for once, Bill was not trolling around randomly scaring all the fish away. I immediately set to work and boated a nice 22 on my second cast. Nearly every cast after that resulted in a fish between 20 and 26. I snapped a quick pic of every fish and the total for the night was 13. The "best of times" got even better when I boated a beautiful 24 with a yellow tag sticking out of its back. I have never caught a tagged fish before and the first thing that came to my mind was the Diamond Jim fishing challenge. I had visions of winning 25k, being interviewed on TV, and having this Blog go viral. Unfortunately, I could not leave well enough alone and continued to cast, with my winning fish laying safely at my feet. My next fish was gut hooked and made a huge mess of both me and the deck. Plus, in the process of removing Popa Dogg, I caught a treble in the thumb that will be sore as heck tomorrow. After landing another 24, I decided to call it an early night and head in. I had not gone far, when the Coast Guard pulled me over because my green light was out. So my early night was now a late night. Luckily the guys were cool and I set off with just a few warnings. It was when I returned to the dock and was able to look at the tag a little closer, that the "worst of times" worsened. I could not find the words Diamond Jim anywhere and I retuned home with a a heavy heart and a throbbing thumb. I had called several family members on my way in, so my wife had become an expert on the Diamond Jim contest. She informed me that the tag is Chartreuse."Damn, my tag is yellow". It turns out that Chartreuse is yellow. Well then why don't they call it yellow?!!. I still don't think I have a Diamond Jim tag, but will find out in AM. An eventful night to say the least.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I spent this last week on Martha's Vineyard with my family and 2 of my daughters boyfriends. We rented a wonderful cottage on the shore of Lake Yashmoo. I had never been there before and my vision was quite different from the reality. The island is actually quite rural and our place was more like a cabin in the woods on the shores of a freshwater lake. On Sunday a friend mine Joe, who has a summer place on Cape Cod, picked us up in his boat for some "Bass" fishing (stripers). We worked a long rip the runs the entire northern part of the island along the Vineyard Sound. While Joe and his boys worked bottom rigs, Danny and I had brought Popa Dogg north to show them how its done. It was not long before both of us had huge slams and boated 5 pound blues. Popa Dogg continued his dominance as we each boated 3 more blues, before Danny boated the first "Bass" of the day, a 24 inch beauty. Joe explained that their minimum keeper sized fish is 28 inches and that Bass in general had been few and far between. As a matter of fact, he said that was the first Bass for him this year. One of his boys boated a 20, which they called a "Schoolie". We continued bail blues when I had the biggest blow up of my life. The initial run was fast and furious but ended rather quickly, so I was sure it was a big Striper. When the fish got close to boat, it turned and peeled off 50 yards of line so fast that I knew it was something else. Joe said it was probably a big blue, but even he was not sure. After its third spectacular run he said it could not be a blue. Finally we got her close to the boat and his boys said it was a Mackerel.  When Joe got a look he exclaimed "Holy Sh*t..its a Bonito". The only other Bonito I had seen was Trolling the ocean off the Vineyard last summer with Joe. To get one on a topwater plug was a hell of lot more fun and is something I will never forget.

Lake Tashmoo is fed by freshwater springs and is connected to the Vineyard Sound by an inlet that was constructed by the Army Corp of engineers in 1938. Its a relatively shallow body of water and protected from the wind. This made for perfect topwater conditions. We has a blast catching "schoolies" (18-24 inches) by either wading in or fishing from the Kayak. Danny was even able to catch several from a stand up paddle board. It was a great vacation with some excellent fishing thrown in as icing on the cake.

Danny with his 24

The Bonito

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Full Moon

The Wikipedia entry for full moon contains the following phrase "Full moons are traditionally associated with temporal insomniainsanity (hence the terms lunacy and lunatic) and various "magical phenomena" such as lycanthropy." After tonight I am not so sure that it is all simply folklore. Carter, James, and I left the marina at 6:30 tonight with high hopes of the perfect topwater night. High tide was supposed to be at 6:35, so we figured we would catch the changeover perfectly. Alas, like last night, the incoming tide was still ripping when we pulled anchor at nine. Instead of the perfect topwater night we faced nightmarish conditions with 20 knot winds and a 4 foot chop It took as at least 7 tries to get the anchor to hold. This was followed by a good old fashioned beat down by Wild Bill for anchoring where he had been trolling. Other highlights included James boating the fattest sickest fish with "wasting disease" I have ever seen, a head to toe blood splattering by a 14 incher that had been gut hooked, and me somehow catching a hook in the back while helping to remove one of Carters fish. Despite these obstacles we managed to have a very good night. James had gone back to the big Chug Bug and boated at least 6 in the 20-24 inch class. Both Carter and I boated a twenty and 22 each plus a ton of unders. For the past three nights the fish have been staging in the 6 foot drop off rather than up near the rock pile. We were all actually happy to be back in the slip with no major injuries.

One of James many keepers

My 22

Fill moon fish

Carters 22

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Does color matter

Carter and I left the marina at a little before seven tonight. The wind and chop was a good bit lower than the last few nights. We anchored up about a hundred yards from the rock pile near the spot that had produced so well the night before. I had purchased 15 red and white Popa Doggs on my last trip to Bass Pro shops. After having the hooks shredded Sat. morning, I was down to two to start the night. I have been surfing the internet trying to find more, but they are on backlog everywhere. So, needless to say, the last two were like gold. Carter has finally been convinced that topwater is just plain better fishing than using plastics, so he went to work with the second Dogg. It did not take him long to get the night started with a respectable 20. This was followed by 2 more 20's and a extremely bloated 22,that was clearly sick. Meanwhile, I had yet to even have a swirl. Finally, as our plugs landed yards apart, we had a double blowup. I knew instantly my fish was a big one. Within seconds the drag was screaming and then just as quickly she broke me off. I was really bummed to have lost that fish and then the dark cloud showed itself again when I realized the fish had my golden ticket in its mouth,,DANG. I did have one green and white Dogg in my bag, so I tied it on. Carter continued to bail 20 inchers with the blowups occurring in exactly same spot. In the meantime the Green Dogg popped and swam through the same section of water untouched. This went on for the next five minutes before I switched over to the white Stillwater and boated a nice 22. All of the action occurred in the first 45 minutes and then the bite shut down. The only other fish we boated was the first Bluefish of the year. It was a strange tide tonight, most likely due to the full moon. The outgoing tide was a good 4 hours delayed and was very week. I guess that's why they call it a flood tide. I guess color really does matter.
Carter with his sick 22

My 22

First Bluefish of the year
Incredible sunset

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