Monday, July 11, 2016

One for the ages.

The only night since the 4th that was not red hot was last Weds. Interesting enough, the only boat out of four of us, that was catching fish, was a guy in a Robalo. He was catching one after another within an area about 20 yards wide, using some sort of subsurface lure. Every other night was one fish after another, with the biggest being a 23.

I fished with a new "fishing buddy" Glenn on Saturday night. We have been out quite a bit over the last month, but unfortunately had not experienced a night indicative of how great topwater fishing has been this year. We arrived about 6:15. I had a feeling the tide would not be moving since low was 4:30 pm and was not surprised. Once again, nothing was happening for the first half hour. To make things worse, I nearly sunk a double treble hook into his arm, but luckily just managed to snag his sleeve. Finally, just as the tide was turning, we started to pick up some nice fish. Glenn was using a myriad of offerings due to his job in the tackle industry. By the end of the night, I think Popa had won him over, with him matching me fish for fish with some funky colored Dogg, proving once again that color really does not matter.

Tonight, I was the Robalo guy. He happened to be watching me catch fish in an equally small area, as he had slayed them last Weds when I was skunked. Turns out the guy grew up on Thomas point and had been fishing the Shoal longer than I have. Once I realized it was a new boat, I recognized him right away. With my eyesight, I could not pick out of a lineup most of the dudes that I regularly fish next to. You are normally at least casting distance apart, so you have to rely on the make of boat, voice, and a vague knowledge of hair color and body type. When I arrived at the shoal there was one other boat that appeared to be anchored with the stern facing south. So I set up as if the tide was going out. Unfortunately, they were actually drifting, and the tide was slacker than
slack. By this time I realized this, I had drifted a good way off "the spot". I thought the other boat was Steve B, but when they set up 50 yards or so away, I realized it was 3 kids maybe 12 or 13 years old. Before repositioning my anchor, I made a cast and immediately boated a nice 18. From that point on, nearly every cast was met by a fantastic blow up. I tried to get the young-uns to join the action, but they did not want to infringe on my honey hole. On one cast I had blow up that moved more water than a 30. It turns out that I had a double header of 18's. One on the front hook and one on the back. Now that was one for the ages.

Popa pulls a double. 
That is a funny looking Popa
23 from Sat.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Holiday Review

My youngest daughter Grace had planned on leaving to go back to grad school the morning of the 4th. Luckily, after breakfast, I was able to convince her to stay for a quick outing before leaving. We had not fished over the holiday weekend, so I was thrilled to have her for a few extra hours. Unfortunately, the forecast was for rain and wind all day. When we arrived at the shoal, things were worse than anticipated. It was not raining, but it was downright miserable. I attempted to anchor on "the spot", but the chop pushed me a good 100 yards towards the red marker. Since we did not have a lot of time before conditions were to get really ugly, we had to make due. On literally every cast from that point forward we each boated a fish. I lost count of the number of doubles we had. All the fish were between 20 and 24 inches. We fished well over an hour and then headed in both tired and exhilarated at the same time. I can not stress enough to my readers how good fishing is right now. There is no particular spot. The fish are everywhere. The key is to stay in the shallows. If you watch your depth finder, you can clearly see where the water goes from 6 feet down to 3 feet. Stay in the shallow area and use surface plugs. If you are off the ledge or using a subsurface lure like a spoon or rattle trap, you just will not do as well. These fish are feeding on the surface.

I arrived at the shoal to a picture perfect topwater conditions tonight. The chop was gone and the surface was like a bathtub. High tide was 6:30, so there was little or no tide. Fishing remained "red hot". I did not make a cast tonight that did not result in a boated fish. They were not as big as the past few outings, but I am sure at least 15 were keepers. There were a lot of boats scattered around the shoal. A few of us were doing quite well, but I did see several boats that came and went empty handed. Again, I think the reason they did not have success, is they were fishing the deeper water and using either live bait or swim baits. What works at the point is topwater....period. Most people I talk to are intimidated by surface lures. They should not be. There is no wrong way to work a topwater plug. Just cast it as far as you can and use your rod to move it along the surface in a erratic fashion. Any movement will do. Striped bass will react to the movement..any movement.
Heading into hell on the 4th of July
All is not lost

Bonus time with my Gracie

A 22 and 24. Could not tell you who caught which

Moms snd Popa Dogg
We head back in the rain. 
Perfect Topwater night
What a difference a day makes

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