A great day
Had the honor of fishing with Mark & Mike Doogue & Pete Saturday. Picked up fish throughout the morning, working a tidal area, all on the Real Eel fished deep.
It began to feel like I was a kid again as Mark, Mike & I decided to stay out past curfew for the area, through some pretty heavy rain, because we were having so much fun with these fish. As the weather let up we anxiously watched a blitz over a mile a way get closer & closer.
It was just one of those super-fun experiences when you can't believe you're actually in the right place at the right time. We were laughing & yelling as a HUGE school of stripers swam right thorugh us. Birds & fish were everywhere - it felt a little weird having all those birds flying around you, big fish blowing by your legs, a risig tide pushing you around - I could barely cast I was so excited.
We all landed stripers, someone might have landed a gull, another blitz had worked it's way into us. We hook up and painfully realized we were into BIG bluefish & we weren't rigged for them. I actually was actually thinking I have a chance to land mine when he breaks me off - I was down to a 25# mono section of my leader.
It continued, it was fun. Sorry to run on.
Go fish - have fun.
Thanks Mark & Mike for lunch - Doogue's & Pete we gotta repeat the whole day again soon!!.
I just attempted to post a rather wordy account of our day on the water and was greeted with:
The "Message" field cannot contain more than 4098 characters.
Oops! Lets just say that it was an extremely memorable day of fishing with great company. As always, Roop, you exhibited completely unselfish behavior in trying to get me into fish. Pete, great to fish with you as well. I'm sorry you didn't stick around for the carnage.
Pictures to follow.
These are the memories that make the off season bearable.
My brother and I turn down a dark, foggy road and find Roop getting his gear together on the shores of Pleasant Bay. The three of us prepare to head out onto the water when we see some headlights in the distance. A mammoth profile appears out of the darkness and at that point we know that it is Solo's truck. Awesome. We have a fourth.
In the morning, as Roop later put it, the fishing was "slow". He only picked up half a dozen fat schoolies - to a mere handful of fish for the rest of our crew. Poor guy. After the sun was up for a few hours we started to fish one little flat with a guzzle pouring out onto it. At that point, we all picked up mid-twenties schoolies as balls of sandeels and bunker passed by our submerged legs.
At one point, I found a nice hole with some deeper water on the down current side of a sandbar and I started to fish it. After 15 casts or so I decided that with all of the bait getting washed into this hole it just had to be holding fish. On the next cast I counted to 45 before stripping the fly - effectively allowing my 350 grain to probe the depths of the ocean. Strip, strip BANG. Nice schoolie. Next cast, same outcome only I lost the fish. I took 4 or 5 fish from the hole (including a personal best 31" fish - measured and released). That was a blast and it was the first time that I actually proved to myself - with factual evidence - that the swing is the go to technique when fishing deep holes.
After that nice keeper the rain came down in buckets. I stripped off my gear and threw on my raincoat, despite the fact that the 10 seconds of torrential rain had already soaked me. I waded over to Roop and my brother and we talked about the merits of staying where we were or going to South Beach with the rest of the Forum posse. We decided to stay, and I am so glad that we did. We extracted a few more fish from my honey hole and then Roop noticed a football field size maelstrom of busting birds on the horizon. We watched the carnage from a distance and only wished that this type of blitz would come our way. To make a long story short, this blitz came right to us – eventually engulfing us as we stood there in amazement. The display was epic. At one point we were just surrounded by cow stripers and massive blues. You only had to cast 10 feet to hook up. I wish I had an audio tape of our reaction to the blitz. Lots of incredulous shouts and wild hoots and shocked Holy $#!^$s. It was awesome - despite the fact that we did not have time to tie on wire and the blues kept stealing our flies. Many thanks to Roop for donating some flies to my cause since I had none of my gear in my raincoat. After 15 minutes of blitz action the activity slowed. Soon thereafter my heartbeat resumed to its normal rate. I did not land any of the cow stripers in the school (too many blues) but I saw them up close and personal. At one point, as I lifted my fly from the water on a back cast, a cow bass tried to engulf my fly. I practically could have lipped his open mouth when he came out of the water. It was incredible.
After the blitz we located a few more fish to end the day. The highlight of my day was watching my brother hook a HUGE blue. That monster was around 12 pounds or so and it tail walked like a tarpon when first hooked. Mark landed that fish, released it, and we called it a day.
After all of the activity we went to Squires, had a beer and some much needed food, and parted ways.
Many thanks to Roop, Mark and Pete for an awesome day. It was also nice to meet Peter and Jason, 2 great guys that I hope to see posting on this board in the near future.
I was sorry that we did not meet up with the rest of the Forum posse and I hope that you all had a great time at South Beach.
Roop, I agree. We all need to get together and repeat the trip. Pete, we missed you during the carnage. Phooey.
That 31incher was for me...right? ;)
Sorry I missed out. If there's any consolation, it's that my grandmother looked a little better; I'm glad I took the time to go down and see her.
Hopefully you, your brother, Pete, and Roop won't mind the addition of a fifth next time 'round. I look forward to it.
If having you along means that I have to swim to the hole then I'll do it. Keep the weekend of September 22nd open because I am free and I plan on fishing all weekend. Maybe a similar assault on Nauset via a short kayak trip. It is easy to cross Pleasant Bay, no worries.
Glad to hear that your grandmother is doing better.
Ah Yes..... the Mecca!
The Mecca is cake for you guys. Lucky dudes!
Jeff, glad to hear your Grandma is looking better.
I won't be making the trip to Chatham on 9/22 so you are welcome to take my yak over to Nauset with Mike and the gang.
About the same tides in two weeks - kayak will be on the roof.
Alright, Mike's post has prompted me to include the long winded account of my Saturday on the water. I'll break it into sections to thwart the 4098 character rule.
Here goes, it's your last chance to turn back:
As luck would have it, my first real blitz ever was an epic one. It started as a pre-pre-dawn meeting with Roop + a bonus appearance by Pete Gray. We all headed out into the foggy darkness in search of mine, as well as my brother Mike's first legit keeper bass on a fly rod. Our mission, though partially accomplished, became secondary to a monumental feeding frenzy that left us in an euphoric daze for the rest of the day. But I'm getting ahead of myself..........
We reached our intended destination and set about finding and coaxing large cows to take our offerings. Not unexpectedly, Roop was into fish on what I believe was his first cast (if it wasn't his first it was surely his second). We paused here, momentarily, to wet a line and then we were off to the flats. We wandered purposefully from spot to spot with intermittent hook-ups. Roop landed a few more, my brother and Pete got one or two each, and I still had the skunk on my back. None of the fish were monsters, but they were blonde, beautiful fish none the less.
Eventually we waded back towards our original position to work a drop off that looked fishy. I finally hooked up with a decent fish but the darn thing turned and ran right at me. Roop is yelling, "strip, Strip, STRIP!!!" and I'm doing my best to oblige him. I couldn't keep the line tight so the fish easily threw the hook. After a few more minutes Pete and Mike went in one direction while Roop guided me off in another, across a shallow channel. We waded out onto some bars and got back to fishin’. I hooked up fairly quickly and finally landed my first of the day, roughly a 22 incher. After that I had one fish after another get off due to poor hook sets if I had to hazard a guess. Note to self; work on that the next chance I get. We fished for a while out on those bars and finally it happened, a double hook up!! Roop was on first and then I felt the tug on my line and set the hook. We were laughing, trying to keep our fish from becoming tangled together because they were…….. awfully……….. close? That is when we realized, just as Roop was landing his fish, that mine was HIS fish too!!! While he was fighting his fish I had managed to gut hook it as well. We set that poor, outnumbered fish loose and I was credited with an assist on the catch.
Right about then we started talking about the possibility of having to swim back to our original spot if we waited too long. Roop got that kid in a candy store look in his eyes and said, “O.K., three more casts and we head back.” What the hell, I thought. That turned into five more, and five more…..until the waves were hitting me in the back, just under the top of my waders. We had a lot of hook ups, including one where Roop was dragging his fly behind him as he moved from spot to spot, but it was time to leave this location! We waded back and found a shallow path to cross the channel. Why leave yet if it’s going to be this easy. Five more casts?………and we were at it again. That is when the skies opened up. It rained so hard that the ocean seemed to be boiling all around us. I joked that, at least for the moment; I wouldn’t have to worry about my presentation. If it hadn’t rained like that I firmly believe Roop and I would still be out there, treading water and babbling, “five more casts?”
We hooked back up with my bro’ at our original spot and learned that Pete had taken off to catch the shuttle to South Beach. As we talked we fished the channel with occasional hook ups. About one mile off shore we noticed a massive flock of birds working a blitz. We watched in amazement as the flock moved closer to our position. At one point a boat loaded with fishing rods actually drove through the blitz with no intention of stopping. We were dumbfounded to say the least. Anyway, Roop got into position across the bar behind me. Mike told me to strip my line in and follow him over towards Roop. As I did I was greeted with that familiar thump, slack line sped through my fingers until Mr. Striper was on the reel. I finally landed that deceivingly strong fish, just short of legal I would guess, and headed for the blitz that by now had fully engulfed Roop and Mike. They were giggling like little kids and tossing around exclamations like, “This is incredible!” and the ever popular, “HOLY @#%$!!!” by the time I reached the action.
Again the water was boiling, the difference being the conspicuous lack of precipitation! There were fish slamming into our legs, crashing bait within arms length and all the while birds were raining from the sky. I am happy to report that these were not schoolies either. This was a full on cattle drive of cows, and, come to find out, there were some huge blues in there as well. The situation was so intoxicating; it made it impossible to think straight. You had three grown men desperately flailing in an attempt to get our flies anywhere in the water. I immediately hooked a large fish; the tension built, and then as fast as it was on I was stripping in the line that had shot back into my chest. Drat! Blues! I had no wire, I knew there were large stripers in there; I tied on another fly and hoped for the best. Stiff wind in my face, back cast time, roll cast, front, back, fro………….what the……I hooked a gull in mid-air! Of all times to be playing tug of war with a young gull. After nipping me as I attempted to free it the bird threw my fly and I was back in business. My next cast was another donation to the blues. I have no way of reporting how many blues were hooked during the blitz, or how many flies were lost. As selfish as it sounds, I had enough trouble keeping track of myself in the mayhem without worrying about Mike and Roop.
At the tail end of the blitz Roop had a fish on and I could tell that it was big. How, you ask? Roop is a person who catches a lot of fish and is always nonchalant about it. Well, this particular time he slowly turns to me and says in a low, very calm voice, “If I land this, I’m going to want a picture of it.” Camera at the ready I watched Roop ease the fish towards him. It was a large blue. Just before he could get it in it broke off and slowly swam away. After that we all headed back to our original spot to bask in the glory of our morning. As we talked we would occasionally throw a line into the water to no avail. Just as we were going to pack it in my line tightened one last time and the line peeled off my reel.
CONTINUED YET AGAIN
This fish felt like my largest of the day and I was determined not to lose it to another sub-par hook set. I waited a few more seconds and really drove it home. It must have gotten the fish’s attention because this large blue shot straight up, out of the water, tail walking like a tarpon. After a couple more surface jumps and crashes I had the largest fish I’ve ever landed on a fly rod. It was the perfect way to end a very eventful day. After a picture with my fish Roop, Mike and I headed for the Squire for an early lunch.
I apologize for the length of my report. I had such a great day that it’s hard to limit the number of words I need to express it. I hope all that read it find the time they invested was worth it in the end. I certainly enjoyed typing and sharing it as much as the actual experience itself. I want to thank Roop for unselfishly steering me towards productive spots and getting me into fish. As always, it was a pleasure to fish with Pete as well. I look forward to fishing with you both again some time soon. The memories of this day on the water with Pete, Roop and most importantly my little bro’ will easily carry me through the off season.
Great Stories! Thanks for the detailed report!
Here are some pics, terrible quality so I'll have them redone at a more reliable shop.
Roop, Pete and Mark in the fog
Me with a fish on and Roop with a fish in hand
Roop in the fog with a fish
Mark - sorry about the default limit, I found out where to change that config setting and I doubled it for future reference. Also, you could have hit <back> and cut and pasted it into two (or three ;)) posts.
I read the great report that followed this post - AWESOME and not a word missed in my read of it!
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