First off, thanks to Juro for putting this all together. Thanks to the Estey Bros. For the great chow (& the lower GI-series from the chilli). Also, thanks for the Friday night trip to The Race that was great. Also, thanks to Randy, Bruce & John for sharing their expertise, advice, and stories with us.
The Saturday South Beach trip started around 6:20 with a SW wind that was already kicking up. After being dropped off we walked over to the Ocean side & I hooked up with a nice 25" fighter on my third cast. After landing the fish & releasing it, it was promptly devoured by a huge seal. From there we headed over to the cove side & started fishing the dropping tide. Chuck hooked up with a real nice fish (34"), which took a real nice run. Next, Juro hooked up with a 32"er and I got some photos of the fight & the fish, but he broke off just as Juro reached for the leader, D'OH. Then another hookup & breakoff. Shortly after a pup seal swam by & popped up about 4' from our feet, so we decided to move on. We headed South to fish the big bar that shoots out perpendicular to the beach front. Roop & BigCat (AKA Ladder-Man) were already working the area, Al, Juro & I joined in. We casted for some time, but nothing happened, so we headed back to the North. Al & I work our way back towards Chuck; he hooked up several times. When we got to him, he said he was dragging a crab pattern, then proceeded to hook up again! The wind started kicking up even more & things slowed for a while. Everyone seemed to go off on their own to try to find the honey-hole. I went where Chuck was fishing, because he was the magnet. I switched to the QD line, because the wind was really blowing & the fish seemed to be in the deeper channels. Just as I was getting to the frustration point of thinking about taking an earlier shuttle back, Wham, a real rod bender. With the bend in the rod & my wrist, I was thinking keeper. Chuck proceeded to take some pictures (thanks), when low & behold, not a keeper but a 6+ lb blue; what a fight. After removing my destroyed clouser, I put on Juro's transparent sandeel clouser & proceeded to hookup & land a nice 22" striper; now I'm happy again.
Also, JimW was nearby & got some pictures; thanks man, I hope they come out.
All in all, it was a great day. Because of the strong winds it was not "Classic" flats fishing. I personally did not see any fish on the flats, but I think about ½ of our group did.
Got to meet some more people whom I only knew by name, but not by face, Roop, JayC, Diane, BigCat, Rich & MikeP.
I think we deserve an award for the most slovenly camp site in Nickerson. We where the wildlife magnet.
I forgot to grab my disposable camera for developing this morning, but I'll get it in ASAP. Juro, how did that other shot of your fish come out? I hope it was worth the wader-sprint down the beach!
Once again, a great group effort made for yet another successful Clave. My lower body is sore from all of the walking/wading & my upper body is sore from all of the casting/landing, but it's a GOOD kind of sore!
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