Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, June 06, 2010:
Took Dante S’s lead – he just entered a 36-8 into Simply Bassin’ using an artificial -- and switched to throwing a beautiful custom-made pencil popper – one of those ones with the bigger butt. Third cast and I found the area’s last remaining chopper. When the blue jumped, I knew I was in trouble. I loosed the drag and hoped the savage sucker would throw the surely-chewed plug before the inevitable – when fishing with mono. No such luck. I felt the line go dead and did one of those slow retrieves, hoping to soon feel the pressure of the plug kick in after any line slack was gone. Nothin’ but slack, as dead line nothingness hung in until I saw line’s end flapping in the breeze. Bit off. Whadda bitch. Uh, T. W., I kinda need another big-butt popper. Hey, you told me you wanted folks to fish your creations. Well I did – and now there’s a big blue out there was just the prettiest nose ring in this part of the Atlantic, he’s the pride of the pod.
After my loss, I resorted to jigging and mustered only short hits on “sand eel” Fin-S and a YUM “Paddle Worm.” As in the past couple sessions, the near misses sure seemed like fluke, though the plastics only showed light tears.
Yesterday’s late-day near-howling westerlies caught a few folks a tad too far out at sea for the forecast – which warned about the switch from light south to wicked west. Part of the wait-it-out thinking revolved around an apparent increase in the keeper count for fluke, at least south end. It’s tough to go in early when fish are staying onboard for the ride home.
As has been the case for years now, low-yield fluking often gets jarred awake by doormats. Though I haven’t heard of many flatties pushing ten pounds, numerous fish between 5 and 8 pounds have climbed aboard lucky boats. It seems part and parcel to catching any doormat that the angler must claim, “I thought I had a big skate on.”
As I oft note, from an epicurean angle, summer flounder are among fish species that taste great even in jumbo sizes. In fact, I’ve cooked wallop-sized filets (from massive doormats) and the flavor was better than smaller models. Also, fluke has some of the cleanest flesh when it comes to adulterants like PCBs and related dioxins. Other species that lose nothing, flavor-wise, when double-sized include mako (and many other shark species), tog, winter flounder, kingfish, tunas (which can also improve in flavor when huge – and fat) and blueclaw crabs. The most de-flavored species when over-grown: bluefish, striped bass, black drum, red drum, weakfish (mainly during spawn). Fish that simply stay the same low-impact (mild) flavor at all sizes: white perch, weakfish (non-spawn), seabass, dogfish (very edible fish despite contrary attitudes) and mahi (a personal favorite).
I got word of a large shark near Wreck Inlet. I bring that up since the emailer, also experienced in nearshore sharking, was convinced it was a bull shark. Take it from a former longtime diver, bulls are as badass as sharks get. There are likely no worse attackers anywhere. Though the water is kinda cold for them, this species has no set parameters of where or when it might show up – or what it’ll do when it does show. As most folks know by now, the so-called great white attacks that lead to “Jaws” could not possibly have been a white, which will literally keel over dead in the face of freshwater. Some of the most famed “Jaws” attacks were way upstream, in not only fresh water but highly tannic water, an acid only bull sharks can tolerate. I’ll have a segment on bull sharks in this coming weekly column. Some of you might have seen that fairly freaky bull shark episode of “River Monsters,” hosted by quite-cool angling heavy-weight Jeremy Wade. How many anglers can tame 1,000-pound fish in wicked often war torn regions while calmly conversing with the locals in Portuguese or Congolese or Swahili?
Simply Bassin’ 2010 keeps getting surgers entering the leaderboard. Still loads of time to enter, as we move in on a 50-pounder.