Believe me, every rainy and cloudy forecasted day on Weather Underground makes me want to hunt the topwater bite for Largemouth Bass. Every High and outgoing tide makes me contemplate which inlet/jetty/sod bank/submerged-or-not structure to target. Every late dusk with a perfect sunset tempts me to drive down to the shore and bucktail for fluke, or wish for a BIG TIDERUNNER by-catch.
There is no better time for multi-species then now, it's MAY and it's time to fish.
For every familiar fishing experience I encounter I can re-collect a scenario or outing where it wasn't familiar. Where it was new and exciting. Where UN-chartered water and vessel come into play. Not owning a boat is still "OK" when we have access to some of the best water the United States of America can offer an angler.
Fast Forward two hours after we come back into the dock....
"EMMONS?" Announced my bright eyed parking attendant during the late night/post-midnight hour of 1:45AM. I nodded with acknowledgement that the individual I was speaking to had experience privy to a FISHERMAN that has experienced what NYC has to offer. As I found out a day later, his roots to the city fishing scene went beyond nycfishing.com websites but to the actual dock locations of one of many long-standing and famous party boats hailing out of once-more-famous Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn New York.
My initial decision was to fish on the FLAMINGO III a day and a half earlier however discovered they don't fish weekday evenings anymore (or at all). Second came the decision to meet Captain Dave of the BROOKLYN IV however as is the saying goes: "when the going gets tough, let's help the fellow captain out" went into play.
Back to the trip...
I rolled up on Emmons Avenue with rods tucked and reels loaded. Cooler filled with ICE and the stage set for an epic evening of CINCO DI MAYO Modelo and the cheerful manner of my fishing partner of the evening Bayaar. It was my second trip out this season with him and without hesitation he jumped at the chance to catch some table-fare.
With enthusiasm Captain Dave directs us to the FREE lot behind the plaza where Applebee's is located. This is the lot for patrons of the party boats aka paying fisherman can park within a security fence around the perimeter. Feeling lucky I thank the captain and we make our way over to park, unload, and roll the cooler boatside. Immediately we get the welcome from mates and fellow anglers asking us if we are fishing and whether it's for stripers and on which boat. A young mate helps direct us and we get a hand with the cooler while we step aboard.
I gotta thank Bayaar at this point as I was at first hesitant on leaving the boat and getting one very important thing we didnt plan and pack. FOOD. Going back to experienced familiar or not, this was one of the ones where I was not familiar. I've never paid to catch striped bass and never hopped on a headboat for them either. At least not specifically. So it was one thing that I could appreciate alot in having a buddy to fish with. Chips, Pasta salad, Sodas, and chicken fajita panini's. Awesome.
The crowd is light and the evening becoming chilly. We had a week of good warm weather and SUN beaming down on us so it was a time for the weather pattern to change and the migratory fish to stage up before their next run up and alongside long island. Cigars, beer, wine, and a certain bottle of Hennessey make it into the cabin and along with the laughter and microwave setting off we make it quickly out of port and onto the sunset-scape water of lower Manhattan.
Making wake, the mate cheerfully responds to my request to buy weight, leader, and a fishfinder. Being prepared is important to fishing new waters and in this case I wasn't. However the boat was and without any charge our two bait rods were rigged up with a four foot leader #50-60 and a 4/0 J-hook with 6 oz of lead.
We fished in 15 feet of water near New Jersey. I couldn't see Ellis Island or Lady Liberty however many shorelines within a mile and a nearby lighthouse perched on its own rockpile. No need for secret locations as the fellow anglers mentioned they had stuck to this spot as it had produced for the earlier part of the weekend. Beside us at the port stern corner was a fella named John. He had fished the prior three nights and had done well with fish up to 20 pounds. Great conversation and experience with a new crowd.
We anchored and ran about three times in the vicinity. The first and last spots did well for the boat. Only two shorts were caught. I ended up catching the first fish/keeper and second to last fish. Which was short two inches. Clam was our bait and was fresh from the shell. The chumslick was light but consistent. Over all a nice keeper at 32" and some time shared with a buddy. I will be back and hopefully have the same experience as I did this time. Too bad Bayaar felt the blues coming out of the harbor, but yea...that all part of fishing and it happens to the best of us.
Rods: G.Loomis HSR932, St. Croix PM76MHF, Custom Seeker Herc 6'3"
Reels: Shimano Trinidad 10a (EVA knob), Daiwa Saltiga 15, Shimano Stradic 5000FJ (10bb)
Line system: Sufix 832 #30, Daiwa Samurai #50?, Sufix Performance #40 (jig setup)
Depth: varing 10-20 feet