: 2007 Year in Review (Long Post!)
12-06-2007, 07:08 PM
2007 Year in Review
This year started out as it always does for me in the Seekonk River. This year was a little late in getting going and the first fish we caught were during the Spring Clave. MikeZ, Jimmy and I were onboard the Avril Marie and while not a banner day we all caught fish.
Fred and Nick made the long ride up the bay with us and got a few for their efforts as well.
Fishing continued to be relatively slow but in mid May the bass found the bunker that had been in residence for almost a month. I managed to get a few decent fish on fly but nothing to crack the 40Ē mark this year.
Of course when in RomeÖ.so I fished some bait with buddies and scored a few large.
The bunker bite continued through June and I mixed it up with a little sight fishing. Had some great days with a few keepers in the mix. I would have continued that through July but something out of the ordinary dragged me away.
12-06-2007, 07:09 PM
On Friday June 29th Jeff Smith put up a post about tuna on top. Jeff was kind enough to share some valuable intel with me and Jimmy and I were off to chase tuna on Saturday. We found our first fish early in the morning but they were pretty scattered and tough to get position on. We learned a lot during the course of the day and while making it back toward the ramp we came into a mass of birds and bait. The bulk were bluefish but if you paid attention around the outskirts we found some pretty big pods of tuna. At first we thought it was a lone roller as the fish were just slowly pushing through the bait. Jimmy got a nice cast into the middle and it was fish on. Unfortunately we quickly learned that 20lb fluoro was no match and the fish was gone. We had a few more shots but that was it for the day as it was getting dark and we needed to head in. Back at the ramp I was on the phone frantically trying to locate a partner for a Sunday trip. Sean Ransom accepted the invitation and met me at the ramp Sunday morning. We headed out into some slop (surprise surprise the forecast for CCB was off) and quickly found some fish. We worked through the boat positioning and Sean was a quick study. Hooked my first big tuna on fly but the triple nail knotted sleeve popped and the fish was gone midway through the first run. We re-rigged with an Albright and got back in the game but we couldnít find the fish again. We made a long run (lost some gearÖI think we all know that story) but came back to find the fish up again in the same spot with the wind laying down. Sean was gracious enough to give me the up again and we quickly hooked another fish on the backup 12wt (thanks Jimmy) and Seanís Loop. After a 35 minute battle the fish was in the boat. After a few high fives and phone calls to friends we were back in the game with Sean in the bow. Sean got acquainted with the 12wt and soon enough he was hooked up. Thirty minutes later and we had the second tuna on fly in the boat. Fish got a little skittish to end the day and we headed in coming in close contact with a pilot whale less than a mile outside the ramp.
Snuck back out the morning of the 4th and was able to beat the wind and get Porkslice his fish. This fish was in the boat by 7:30 if I recall and only about 6 miles out from the ramp. Just silly fishing and a great day with a good friend.
Sunday rolls around and Slinger is up. I mentioned it in an earlier thread but this was a special day. We did everything we could to keep us from catching fish. Steve brought a big cooler and even stopped to pick up a new filet knife that morning at Buds. I bought a better hand gaff earlier in the week. Way too prepared for my boat. We ventured out at first light and found fish just a few miles off the ramp. However, they were a little skittish so we broke rule number 1 and left fish to find fish. Next spot its looking like it isnít going to pay off. We motor on and end up 20+ miles away on the backside of P-Town. Very little chatter and we are starting to think it was all just a nice boat ride. However we move back in toward the hook and sure enough we find birds, bait, bluefish and tuna on the edges. Steve is yelling at me to make some casts and just as I am about to take him up on the offer line starts peeling off his reel. I think Steve was a little nervous about breaking this one off but we tightened the drag up a touch, palmed the spool a bit and got the fish in the boat. A little Freddie Kreuger action and I am up. Steve does a great job putting me on the fish and I got my second of the year in the boat. Another fine day in CCB.
Monday is looking like its going to be another great day so Rob gets the call and we are on. Perfect conditions as we are leaving the ramp. Overcast with a light breeze and a few spits of rain. If that ainít tuna on top weather I donít know what is. Sure enough we get about 6 miles offshore and there were more tuna than I have ever seen and may well never see again. At one point there were at least 3 massive pods all on top within sight of each other in limited visibility. Everything that could go wrong did and the first four fish Rob hooked came unbuttoned one way or another. Rob owes each of you who came before him a big high five cause to this day I am not sure what came over me giving him four uninterrupted ups :) I get up and a few casts later I am attached to a freight train. This was the lead fish in a big school and came out of nowhere to demolish the mushy. We get what we both estimated to be a 55-60 inch fish to the boat and get the gaff ready. Leader in hand the fish decides to make another surge and heads right for the stern and slices me off the trim tab. Rob is back up and this time everything goes right. Rob makes short work of a nice fish on the backup 14wt (lost the tip of the TFO on the break off as the Albright knot caught the tip top). The weather flattened out shortly after and so did the bite. We found huge pods of pushing/finning fish but could not get them to eat. For hours we made perfect casts into the middle of hundreds of fish with only a few leans to show for it. All in all another unforgettable day.
Ventured back out the following Saturday and found a few pushing fish but after 130 miles in the boat all we ended up with was thisÖ
12-06-2007, 07:10 PM
Took a few weeks to get the boat back on the road as I quickly learned there is nothing standard when it comes to trailer parts.
Boatís back on the water just in time for the arrival of the smaller hardtails in RI. While I have been around bonito countless times both from shore and in the boat over the past few years they have always managed to elude me. This year was different and I scored this one just a few hundred feet from where I hooked my first Albie in August of 2002 and began my obsession with tunoids.
Jimmy and Rob got in on the actionÖ
Later in August the albies moved in with abandon and mixed with the bones. Something I hadnít experienced before. While often extremely picky, as they were on micro peanuts, they provided non-stop action for weeks with one very memorable day where I managed to get 15 all within a mile of the WW. Mike Z joined me for a day early in the game and while the fish were tough to hook we saw some awesome feeds. We also had some fleeting shots and one hit from a school of Mahi. Seeing those fish lit up in the water was definitely a treat that only would have been eclipsed by a grip and grin.
Later in August I also caught what I believe to be one of a few inshore RI Bluefin on fly. We were in the middle of albie blitzes a few miles outside of the bay and a pod blew up right off the bow. Not the biggest fish but a nice tussle on the 9wt.
I should mention that I did make an attempt at another Big Brother killer day but the weather gods had other ideas in mind. Just a few days earlier (mid August) I had scoped out the bluefish bite and things were on. Steve and Jack met me at the ramp and we headed off. I knew it was going to be a gamble based on the forecast but with scheduling conflicts we decided to make a go of it. We bounced around the upper bay but only found some scattered pods of skipjack sized blues. Found out later there was a good bite north of Conimicut but we had cut it short of the light earlier in the day. We put some time in around the cove in the sheltered conditions but couldnít find anything of size. Hopefully I can reconnect next year and save my rep!
Spent a good amount of time in September and early October in CCB on the tuna hunt with one amazing day to show for it. Hooked six fish that were all in the 100lb class and had two at the boat in one day. Definitely a true test of the angler and leader manís skills but the team effort came up a little short of the gaff shot that day.
Weather and family obligations took up the rest of October and I began to focus on a season ending trip to Harkerís Island. Unfortunately, the fishing was off in general. We did have one great trip out to the wrecks and hooked two amberjack. Both came off at the boat but it was very cool to see them in the water. BigDave and his buddy Mark did a much better job of landing them and I bet if we ask nicely he might actually share some pics.
All in all 2007 was awesome and April í08 canít come soon enough.
12-06-2007, 11:05 PM
That sure was some season!
Maybe I`ll be following you next year, with the house sold and the new job, I`m seriously thinking of upgrading to a 19` with a 115, I`ll be able to go anywhere. Maybe with my discount I can get some real tuna equipment! Of course by then we`ll be into a new ICAT treaty and probably not allowed to fish for them.
If the squid and pogies come back like they did this year we could see the best season ever. The big bait fly worked great when the pogies were in and I`ve got some squid flies that are dying to get wet. After 4 months of hopping rocks I can`t believe I used to fish that way every day! I`ve got some serious making up to do for missed time OTW this season.
Now to start figuring a way to get some days off next year!
Now I know how all the guitarists felt at Woodstock after Jimi played. Yeah like I am gonna top that!! ;)
Cool stuff, especially the effort for a Big (and little) Brother.
You da man.
12-07-2007, 09:24 AM
Hey you left out the part about the swan in the Seekonk!
12-07-2007, 09:36 AM
Ahh yes, the swan, gliding over the Avril Marie like a B52, jimmy and mike ducking for cover... What a payload!
A happy thought I'd almost forgotten about.
12-07-2007, 10:23 AM
That was a classic moment and I really should have taken the time to snap some pics. If Jimmy hadn't pushed me out of the way I clearly would been persona non grata at Ray's.
12-10-2007, 02:26 PM
Sean nice uber-report and pics. That shot of you casting into busting tuna is a classic. I have some pics of the jacksons but don't know how to resize them or send them to you...let me know offline if you want them.
12-10-2007, 05:16 PM
Great report! Great pics! Great memories!
My salty season got off to an awesome start this year, up on plane in the Avril Marie across a glassy smooth Bay through the fog. What a smooth ride! I enjoyed that ride up the Bay as much as any boat ride I've ever had.
The little holdovers in the river were gravy.
And the swans, oh the swans!:chuckle: . I've gotten many vivid stories out of that event. No doubt, many recipients secretly believed I was making it all up. If only they saw the actual event! Even my best stories couldn't do it justice.
The stories from the "Day of the Albies" on the other hand, I had to give up trying to describe what we saw that day. Even trying to downplay it, the stories sounded too fishy for most. Seemed like every albie in the western Atlantic was frothing the water. Impossible to describe without resorting to cliche'. I'll never forget the excitment of seeing all those fish feeding on the surface or the total awe I felt at seeing those mahi lit up in neon colors. Most memorable of all though was the patience and generosity of the captain who put me on shot after shot trying to get me hooked up. I can imagine how frustrating it must have been. It wasn't until the end of a long day that he finally took a turn in the bow. That didn't work out too well either. I guess 50 feet off the jetty in a sharp chop was not the right time for mike to learn boat handling.:o
I can only hope for another invite someday so I can learn to run the boat in an area where there's nothing too big for me to hit.:roll:
Anyway, many thanks and a tip of the hat to Sean, a hell of a fisherman and a classy guy.;)
12-10-2007, 09:33 PM
Mike, were you eating marshmallow fluff sandwiches that day ? There's white stuff all over your chin!
12-11-2007, 07:39 PM
Mike, were you eating marshmallow fluff sandwiches that day ? There's white stuff all over your chin!
No, those are white hairs. They all grew that day! Every single one represented a cast made into massive schools of albies without a hit.:chuckle: