Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Time for Dinner

Tuesday, August 5

With the weight of yesterday’s so-so afternoon of fishing with Ben and Kelly on my shoulders, and a major appetite for some fish for dinner, I departed with keen instincts matched to catch and not to release (legally of course). I meant business this time.

The afternoon started with a bang. I found a couple of schools of menhaden and easily snagged enough for the trip and kept them going in my makeshift livewell. Then off to my favorite big fish rip. The plan was simple: liveline a menhaden off of one end of the boat and strategically cast surface lures off the other. It worked. Within a few minutes I had a striper on the liveline, but also one on the other line. A dilemma. The livelined bass seemed to be okay as I quickly unhooked a 25” striper off my Sluggo and didn’t appear to be going anywhere fast. But then when I finally got around to applying pressure on that line he woke up and screamed the line off the reel through the strong currents. It was a beautiful scene with eelgrass below and broken sunlight nearing sunset. The fish fought for some time and I had to be careful not to cause a commotion as the drift brought me closer to the other boats that had unintentionally, and mistakenly, lined up to fish on the wrong side. He was brought in, and although I didn’t need to measure him I did and he was 32” and quite healthy. The last third of the menhaden was hanging out of his mouth for a few moments which brought on a short-lived feeling of guilt for the situations of both of these fine fish. But they’re fish, not humans. And after all, I was just as hungry as that bass.

The second keeper came on the next drift on one of Joel’s double-rigged white Sluggos. This one was smaller but respectable (29”). I bled them both under the stern using a length of black nylon line with a leash clip on one end that Jon Nash gave me last month. And then they were in the boat and I was off to my next couple of spots as the area was getting crowded and I didn’t want to give the right spot(s) away.

The evening continued on the upside. Another dozen or so fish in the mid/upper 20s. They were very active and engaged both Sluggo and homemade poppers. Then the phone rang to remind me of my promise to be home at a certain time and that was it.

The photos here are pretty awful in terms of quality and I apologize for that. They were taken with my all-weather/condition cell phone which has been in the saltwater and mud for a few months now. I’ll replace my old camera soon....It costs about as much as a guided trip out to the rips with me.

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