Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Got into some schoolie bass at sunset. Since it was my locale – and there wasn’t a surfcasting soul in sight – I can disclose that most of my action was at “tombstone” jetty, just south of the drive-on point at 34th Street in the Terrace. There’s one stone on the south side of that jetty that must not have landed right when they were building the jetty. It sticks straight up, all tombstone-like.
I hooked up about every third cast using Fin-S and a white jighead. My landing rate was abysmal because I absolutely ignoring my own advice about t always having the freshest and sharpest hooks when jigging. Not really expecting much action, I went with a set-up that had been already tied on – and sitting around for a week or so. I lost three fish in the wash after fighting them all the way in. I had a couple more solid swacks, minus solid hookups. I landed three stripers. None were anywhere close to keeper but I will still have to use my gritty orange-based hand-wash to rub the fish smell off my hands. That’s a good thing, by the way.
I went to Holgate again (just before fishing the front beach) and there wasn’t an owl to be found. I did find out how I got two long screws in my tire yesterday. Both pull-outs needed full-blown slug repairs. I recall hitting a board at dark yesterday down toward the Rip. I stopped to pick the wood up today and when I turned it over there were a slew of screws sticking out of it. Bastardly boards.
Tip: ALWAYS keep a small generator air pump/inflator, fully loaded slug tire repair kits and power/reliable flashlights – better yet a headlamp – in-vehicle at all times. And check now and again to make sure the air pump is working. Yep, things that you never even use can sometimes go phooey just sitting in a vehicle for months … or years.
Saturday, December 13, 2014: Small bass are being taken along the front beach, occasionally in decent numbers – one casters had seven, the largest a hair under keeper-sized. Even this desolate time of year I catch hell if I even hint at locales. So, to keep reports coming my way, I’ll just advise that Fin-S and smaller plastic are working very hell. For me, that has been my main go-to all fall. And my only spurts of stripers were all on those sand-ell-looking Fin-S. In fact, I had written that even switching to other assorted plastic slowed the bite. Again, it wwasn'tlike I had any great hooking sessions to go on but I had faith in the Fin-S jig set-up.
Personally, I like the brown Fin-S on a bright white jig with white bucktail. I think the white gets the attention and the sand eel then gets the take.
(Above: A Dante Soriente white jighead.)
I should note for those new to bucktailing that the point is everything. A savagely sharp hook is vital to sound hookups, considering a jig’s short pick-up time. i.e. how long the fish holds the jig. Even with GULP tails, bass realize something is seriously wrong almost immediately after sucking in a jig. That’s a small window so a hook has to be hammered home, which means ti has to be syringe sharp.
I bring that up because many folks, myself included, sometime re-use a jig far past its initial hookiness. It needs to be resharpened with great regularity – and, even then, resharpening is often not enough. It’s really hard to get a used jighead’s hook back to the bite it first had. Switch out for new jigheads with regularity, especially this time of year when takes are at a premium.
HOLGATE: Holgate is hoppin’. There are schoolies aplenty and snowy owls have returned. The bass are going for plastics. I hear (again) that there are also keeper bass going for clams or bloodworms.
As to the snowls, they’re down around 13,000 feet. Here’s a look at the one I came across, very white. As I note, "Two new Snowls in Holgate. This one is very white. It might be one from last year. I say that because it showed no fear of my truck but was spooked by others. As I had written, I even had these owls get so used to me that they'd land right next to my parked truck and just stand there for no real reason short of saying, 'Hey, sup?'"
Above: (Top photo) On a more somber note, look at the ribbon in the sand near the owl. That is easily enough to ensnare a bird. Those ribbons came from balloons. Just sayin'.
Along with the snowls I saw four bald eagles, two adult and two juveniles. Two adults and a juvenile were flying together, as this very poor video shows -- if you look closely. The other juvenile eagle was perched at 5,000-feet.
One has to wonder if the snowy owls and eagles travel somewhat together; not based on friendship, by any stretch, but based on following the same prey as it shifts south.