SHOW UR LUV - Mr. Striped Bass aboard the Captree Princess !!
Trip Date: Saturday October 19, 2013
Boat: Captree Princess
Port: Captree State Park
Anglers: Yours truly, Liwen & Bayaar
Fare: $47(online booking fare) + $30(stay on night trip)
Hours: 7:00am to 12:30pm (morning), 1:00pm to 5:30pm
- Seeker Hercules Custom 6'3" Spinning
- St. Croix PGM80HF
- St. Croix PM76MHF
- Lamiglas Tri-flex 1040C
- G. Loomis Pro Blue 7'
- Van Staal VM150
- Daiwa Saltiga 15
- Shimano Trinidad 10a (eva knob)
- Shimano Trinidad 10a
- Van Staal VM150
- Daiwa Samurai #70 moss green braid
- Sunline HG Jigger 8x metered PE3
- Pro-line #40
- Unknown moss green braid #30/40?
- Suffix Performance #40
- JDM green makeral 200g
- Jig-n-Pop Super Sardine 220g
- Silver diamond jig provided by boat, 4oz.
- Shimano 180g something jig
- Silver diamond jig provided by boat, 4oz.
So writing this report makes me examine the ways we fish and the types of gear we use. Being only 60% prepared for this style party boat fishing changes a lot of things. Some times there isn't a rhyme or reason for why the fish aren't biting however if nobody is on fish that makes a big difference.
This time, everyone was on fish, except for the three of us.
I'll take it as one for the books. Striped bass has been epic since the beginning of the month. There have been reports on the daily that boats along the island from east to west (Sheepshead Bay) have been taking in total boat limits for weeks. 20-45lb striped bass hitting the deck with pictures and on-hand experience to show for it.
One caveat is that there are 60-80 people on board and 100 keepers (On this trip there were no short bass seen by me) wouldn't take very long or be very difficult a number to reach. Still that is 100 bass and not to count probably half the number in additional Bluefish.
Another fact is that fishing is dependent sometimes on luck and determined (underlying) on tell tale stories. On our trip(s) out. It was a slower than normal day. It was a Saturday, and we were under-prepared.
On the positive side, the boat was prepared with hundreds of jigs in the 4oz. range ready for any angler that wanted to use them or not. Two female mates were aboard by 6:00am to ready every setup in a rod holder not already prepared with a tied #40 leader via uni-to-uni knot to a 4oz jig and tail-attached 5/0 single hook.
This is why I love fishing. Knowing that the fish are down there but no being able to catch them. It's a challenge.
Captain Kenny led us to the rest of Long Island's fleet as there were probably 150+ private boats out there in which reminded me of the "parking lot -esque" scene you have out at the Canyons off of New Jersey in the summer. Literally TOO many boats and party boats, entire fleets taking a maxed out capacity of patrons to the fishing grounds. Talk about boat traffic. The wind and drift in the morning trip was better then the evening. Evening had the better bite though.
The day looked promising as the smell of sod from Jones Beach State Park came into the vehicle windows. It was still 5:20am and dark enough to only guess what was on the sod side versus the ocean side. The vastness of the entire park was made evident to me as I passed a speed limit sign notifying the number 30 as the maximum limit. I just remember then the words of Willy recommending me NOT to drive on Ocean Parkway but to drive over to Captree by taking the Southern Sunrise Highway (this isn't the local name, I know...) or better yet Hwy 27A the local road aka Montauk highway where I one was permitted to drive a bit faster.
I pass what I later found out they call the "Pencil" as I drove into the roundabout and made my way to Captree. It is a tower built mid-to-late century to exhibit the grandness of the park and a beacon to marine travelers. I remember my stomach made some noise at this point and I realized there were no places to go for food that were going to be open. My hopes would soon-thereafter be relieved, say 6:30am.
On board, with the rods and Shout bag, the cooler comes later with Bayaar awake and ready to fish.
Someone has occupied the aft stern corner. I take the near aft two spots. In addition to those two I put my third rod, the St. Croix PM76MHF/10a combo in a rodholder for Li on the stern aft side. Ready.
Bayaar is almost "Dramamined out" as I finish tying assist cord to solid ring and split to jigs. The boat starts to load up. This will be one long tangled day.
The hour of 6:30am hits and I'm close to being the first to enter what is the best food service I've ever experienced for a fishing marina. Maybe they do it better here in Long Island. Perhaps it's the New York crowd that demands their breakfast bacon egg and cheese on a kaiser or whatever must be done right. But it doesn't come without the weekend warriors and rudeness of annoying human beings being just that...annoying. Okay, it happens as we are waiting for the kitchen to take orders, some mid-40's "gentleman" decides that me standing there doesn't matter and when the cook ask me what my order is he belts out his whatever order of whatever food he will put into his body. I turn left and stare at him, I love these type people to the core, stupidity due to the sense of entitlement. I decided to memorize his face as that is the guy I want to watch for an additional minute when he is pissy face from being all tangled up googan style. In my mind he is renting a rod and filleting his fish. About face, and then realize there is another dude that decided to skip the line of 6-7 others and order right next to me. I stare at him too for a few seconds, place my order of three Bacon Egg & Cheese along with an "Everything Omelet with the works" and pay for my order before leaving the building. No time for this, never want to associate with em.
Back on board at 6:55am and I'm slamming the breakfast and sitting at the table we were lucky to reserve because we arrived to the dock at 5:45am.
This is why I don't love fishing on the weekend.
First spot third drop. I hook into what is a nice bass on a slow retrieve with rod tip lifting jig action. I guess 40 inches. I know they were feeding on sand eels so I used the same approach I did fishing my first bluefin tuna in 2008, a couple sweeps and retrieve to clear the slack. I was told by the guy a few slots next to me towards the middle of the stern: "pool contender", although this day I didn't jump into the pool as I didn't feel the need. I didn't see much of the fish at color because of various reasons. I lost the fish at under the stern. Just too many people that don't know how to fish with others on board. I'm over people, they are under me. Nobody moves. They either want to get tangled or they have "tuna vision" and can't do anything but watch the situation. My Seeker bends and Van Staal screams. Four or five pulls later I feel I have the advantage only to have one hard pull by Mr. Bass take me around the corner. I'm past four others now as the mate takes my handle to over-under some people. I get the rod back, still moving left as most now are just looking at the water and not my line. I feel slack and as I would have called it, I lose the hook up due to not keeping pressure on the line and having pressure compromised by the other lines crossing mine. Today's situation was about the worse it could get for fighting fish with others on board. Patience. It's troublesome because you do what you can and still lose fish not due to dropping fish but to fighting others on board. I must note, some bossman-style/weekend warrior decides to belt out his opinion when I was mid-fight. He said quite confidently "that's the wrong rod". In my mind I thought this is 2013 and I've been getting these comments since 2008. I guess he has never seen a jigging rod before and never used high drag to see what could be done when on the mission to subdue fish. I sent time a mental laugh and told him to move.
When I fish a party boat I use high drag. This is done so I can turn the head and control the fish so I don't tangle with everyone else. I used around 25lbs of drag and most of the runs the fish took were when I was pointing the rod or when it took dives under the boat.
When I retrieved my jig, I was happy it was still on there but sad because the fish had chaffed through the #150 pound rated white Shout assist cord I tied the night before. I love these fish stories. Yes, bass not blue. :)
Anomaly, outlier, random act of dignity diminishing purgatory. As a collective, the three of us would fish from 7:00am - 5:30pm and not catch any other striped bass. It felt like we were probably the only other ones that day, other than two dudes on the bow, that skunked out. Some lady ended up winning the pool with a 42lb ish bass. I can laugh and be light-hearted at this situation, and the reason why is because the banana. Five bananas sitting in my car for a week prior and then thrown out the Wednesday before. How? Why? Doesn't this banana thing work FOR me, and not against? Didn't the "banana god" remember my photo with Aki and a cooler filled with of over 80 black seabass from 2009? Perhaps I need to take him on board again and post his face for the world to see again. (I mean the banana, not Aki ^__*).
We did catch blues. :) BIG, Gator sized blues. Bayaar caught two to 17-18lbs, Liwen had a slightly smaller one, dropped what may have been a bass, and I had an even smaller one (like one catch-able from the surf). But yall know, blues bite anything!
Trip two was funner than trip one. I enjoy the evening bass trips because that's when bass bite, in the close-to-darkness hours. The boat limited out again. I didn't catch a bass.
Banana 3.........215fishspot 0
Can't wait to get through another two trips before I can bring the yellow one on board and catch em all.