Virgins 0, Sully 1
Fishing at PI this morning a young lady all set up for fishing stopped by and asked Terry and I if the fish were biting. We told her yes that schoolies are around.
While we were fishing I noticed her setting up with herring chunks and fishfinder with a 2oz. sinker. Just before I had to leave I went over and asked her if she was fishing for dinner and she replied no. I then explained to her that schoolies is a term used to describe sub-legal striped bass and that the minimum size of a keeper is 30". I then explained that I had caught some fish this morning that were far short of that size and I released them all basically unharmed. She said that she doesn't keep any fish either.
Without inquiring about her fishing virginity, wise move on my part. http://126.96.36.199/images/flytalk/Happy.gifI went into detail of the ethics of C&R and how to fish plastics with spinning gear. She was very interested since I convinced her that it is a very productive way to catch fish. So I replaced her bait fishing setup with a jig and BA. I gave her a lesson on how to fish it and how to handle and release the fish, wished her luck and off I went. I know it's not an introduction to SWFF but since she had equipment and was willing to learn I figured I'd do the next best thing. I hope she caught one.
RE:Virgins 0, Sully 1
Sounds to me like you went about that really well - you provided someone with more options than they started with and provided some insights into the "reality" of striper fishing. No matter how she decides to fish in the years to come, you showed her another way to enjoy the great resource we have in the striper scene. When a gut hooked schoolie comes to the shore, she may think of the advice of the nice man she met on the Merrimac. The sum of everything we learn along the way makes us the fishermen that we are today, and your discussion with her will probably be remembered by her through the years.
I once stood in a line of guys throwing plugs at the pogie schools last year. I was throwing a juvie pattern into the fringes of the school and hooking up regularly. There were no keepers in the mix but they were mostly over 24", able to at least make those hard compressed runs and take some drag here and there... great fun on the fly rod. The guy to my right couldn't help but ask about the fly stuff, so I cast the line and let him strip it in. Strip, strip - WHAM! He had a blast reeling in three or four nice fish. His comment after that was "that felt to me like 'true' fishing". I thought to myself "what a good way to put it - 'true' fishing". After a couple more nice fish, I moved on to look for bigger stuff on the next flat.
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