Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Tuesday, June 19, 2007: Waves: Small but still some current and rips to deal with.
One of those crazy busy weeks at The SandPaper. Thanks to the following emailists for essentially writing today’s blog.
Jay, I managed on Saturday to find a window when real-world stuff didn't get in the way, and managed to hit the beach in the Ocean City area** to soak clam and bunker. It felt good to be back on the beach under the stars.
Managed one big smooth dogfish (about three feet long) in the first hour and a half, and was waiting for things to get good, when I got a big hit and it was off to the races.
I fought the fish for about ten minutes, alternately gaining ground and losing ground, losing more than I gained, but I was fishing an open beach with a reel (Alvey sidecast) holding 950 yards of 20 lb. test, so I wasn't worried about running out of line or getting cut off. I just let the bugger go and waited for her to tire herself out.
I use heavy gear fishing the beach, especially at night, because I don't want to blow a chance to catch a good fish. I have over a half mile of 20 lb. test, a good stiff 10-foot rod, a reel that guys in Australia use to catch billfish, and a 50 lb. test hi-lo bait rig with a 300 lb. ball-bearing swivel. If I lose a fish, it's not going to be because I'm undergunned.
So naturally, in the middle of fighting a big fish on big tackle, my line decides to tangle helplessly in my reel, and because it's dark (new moon, remember), I don't realize I'm tangled until it's too late. I release the drag, hoping to give the fish some play, but I react too late, and the line snaps like a dry twig, leaving me with nothing but unrealized hopes.
I've caught fish from the beach ranging from four-inch spot to six foot brown sharks, and I'm usually right when I guess what kind of fish I'm fighting, and I'm pretty sure that I lost a big striper. I try to convince myself that it was another big dogfish, or even a brown shark, but deep down I know that it was a bass. I tell myself that this kind of stuff happens when you're alone on the beach at night and you can't see, that it's just part of the game, but I still feel the disappointment of losing a good fish. So it goes. And at least I'll get a tale out of it: every fish story, from Moby Dick on down, has to be about the one that got away, right?
It's felt like summer this past week, but there are still good bass out there. You just have to be nocturnal to find them.
Keep 'em crying,
I fished the south end last night from 8pm-11:30, the conditions were ideal—sunset and incoming all at the same time. The bassing was great with 6 fish, the smallest at 27 inches and the largest at 32. Took along a friend who had never fished before and had one of those beginner’s luck experiences that seem to happen frequently. My first bass of the night came while I was still baiting the 2nd rod, a nice fat 31 incher. I tell my buddy “the next one is your fish” and a few moments later the rod goes down really hard. Now this is a 12 foot Tica with a Shimano Baitrunner 6500, a whole lot of rod and reel. He has the butt end between his knees, his right hand is all the way up by the first guide and he’s got me screaming instructions at him like “GODAMMIT JUST RELAX! KEEP THE PRESSURE ON HIM! TIGHTEN DOWN THE DRAG! JUST LET THE DAMN THING RUN! And it starts to occur to me that he’s never done any kind of fishing at all, let alone something of this nature. Somehow, some way, he eventually got it inside the breakers but the fish got off in the suds. I was about 10 feet away and I would estimate this fish to be in the 20-25 lb range. A heartbreaker for me more than him, I'm still kicking myself for not starting him out on a sea robin or a skate instead. Anyway, sorry for the long story, still lots of bass to be had out there though. All fish on clams and bunker, lots of smooth dogs last night too. All fish released and we left them still biting.
BHM&TC Mako Tourney –
A great success more fished weighed than ever.
17 Boats 62 Anglers
1st Place Four The Boys Tom Lynch Jr 190 lbs
2nd Place No qualifying fish
3rd Place No qualifying fish
Tim Knorr won the 150.00 Gift card for weigh in drawing
Notables: 5 fished weighed in
Endless Drifter; 236 LB
Four the Boys 190 LB
Smokin Again 147.50
Bad Bouy 86.40
I want to Thanks the following volunteers: Ced Vohden,Roger Zelles,Rich Corboy,Rich Perelk,Steve Berkeisen