End of season blowout! [WARNING no ff content] - Fly Fishing Forum
Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 10-27-2003, 03:57 PM
mikez mikez is offline
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End of season blowout! [WARNING no ff content]

First, my appologies to the Purists here who have been patient with my occasional posts containing the dreaded non-flyfishing subject matter. Although this is arguably the "purest" of flyfishing boards, it's the board I prefer to contribute to so I'm glad I've been allowed to stray without a spanking. I promise from here on I'll be good. Or, at least till next fall. Well,...maybe a little in the spring. Um, ... actually, how do you guys feel about ice fishing threads?

So anyway, if you read my reply in Adrian's thread below, you know Saturday afternoon after the two hander demo [thanks Juro, very interesting] I ran into some considerable action on the east jetty at Weekapaug. Actually, it was more like a slaughter. In all honesty it's probably been close to a decade since I've seen the carnage I saw this weekend. Humongus schools of bluefish relentlessly harrassing peanuts by the ton, while stripers join the fray in respectable numbers and the surfcasters with some years on them compare the action favorably with the "Good Old Days". In short, the stuff midwinter daydreams are made of.

I won't reiterate what I posted in the other thread accept to say that the action of the east jetty, as awesome as it was, was absolutely, completely out of the question for a flycaster. Even an exceptional caster with special flygear who may have overcome the howling gale and reached the longer distance would have been less than welcome in the elbow to elbow, back to back surfcasting crowd. I on the otherhand, having come from that community not so many years back, was able to take up the necessary weapon and rejoin my Brothers in Arms for the task at hand. And that task gentlemen was catching a hitload of fish! Catch fish we did, lots. I was lucky enough to grab a spot far out on the jetty which, surfcaster style, I defended tooth and nail. Actually, I was lucky. I was in a decent, experienced crowd and we functioned together with very few problems. I was to come to appreciate that alot more the next day.

Sunday morning, with high hopes, I returned to my Beloved Watch Hill Lighthouse where I was soundly shut out. Skunked! AT Watch Hill! In October! In a Southwest wind with acres of clean whitewater!!! I knew right away what the problem was. I had been too cocky lately! Surely King Neptune objected to my bragging here and elsewhere about how I was gonna clean up on the fish. So I did what any experieced salt does in that situation - I fell to my knees and bowed to the Sea and cried "I am not worthy". Then I went for coffee.

Having made my peace with the Gods and fortified myself with legal stimulents, I next visited the scene of last night's mayhem. The early morning shift was just leaving so I was lucky enough to grab the exact same rock I had the night before. I was pleased to see that conditions were still favorable and indeed I didn't have long to wait. Soon it started all over again. Spraying peanuts, boiling swirls, screaming birds, bent rods. The only difference was less blues and more stripers, with the average schoolie fairly small with one ~36" stray mixed in [taken by my next rock neighbor]. The other BIG difference was that I wasn't as lucky in the mixed crowd. Many inexperienced and/or over eager surfcasters made conditions a little shall we say,... tense. At one point,while playing my only good sized fish [maybe 30 inches], the fish took drag and ran parallel to the jetty. By the time I landed it, I had THREE other plugs hanging from my line! The topper was when a pair of teenagers with more enthusiasm than common sense started casting literaly over my shoulder. I know all they needed was a tolerant, experienced older guy to set them straight. However, since I only qualified for two out of the three catagories, I felt it prudent to retreat with my dignity intact. I had managed about a dozen bass and felt after the previous night's glory, I shouldn't be greedy. Little did I know, the best is yet to come.

Satisfied that I was again in the Gods' good graces, I said my seasonal goodbyes to Weekapaug and headed east. I still had unaccouted for one species of aquarium fish I desired for my latest setup. Knowing it was a common denison of tide pools, I headed to Beavertail State Park where the best tide pools are found.
Arriving well before low tide, I took surf rod in hand [Beavertail in a gale is NOT the place for a long wand!] and went to pick the whitewater pockets. Unlike at Watch Hill, the stripers at Beavertail knew their job. They cavorted in the creamy white foam and slapped my plug with abandon. It was as if they were giving me an end of season farewell. I landed a couple of unmeasured "probably keepers" and several beefy schoolies as I worked my way east around the point. When I rounded the corner, off to my left I saw what at first I mistook for a small squal. Upon closer examination it revealed itself to be one Hellacious cloud of birds working the Mother of All Blitzes! And right against the rocks! Needless to say, I quickly executed my best 100 yard over wet rocks in waders dash and tossed a plug into the raging confusion. Instantly I was on, and right away I knew this wasn't your average schoolie bass or 5 lb blue. Eventually I subdued what turned out to be the biggest aligator blue I had seen in over five years. He was not alone. The school was mixed, with blues of all sizes and schoolie bass, but at least one in five was an honest ten pound gator.
I've already waxed way too poetic for one post so I'll spare the gory details. Sufice it to say, when the tide finally went slack along with the action, I was one tired and bruised and bloody angler. With a VERY big smile on my face. I could barely lift my arms and my hands were a bloody wreck [note to self: NEVER forget the pliars!], but I was wearing one size large sh!t eating grin!
To finish off a great weekend, it took my dip net to the nearest tide pool and quickly aquired four prime specimens of my quarry. What more can I say? At that point I knew enough to quit when I was ahead. I safely navigated my way home in my sleep and packed away my gear for the year. One thing's for sure, my midwinter daydreams aren't gonna begin with "If only I had..."
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2003, 04:23 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Awesome, we should all put the season to rest in such glory!

Now about the long wand... you left just before I broke out the LC-13 freak casting show! You might not have thought things were out of the question if you had seen that.
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:09 AM
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Lefty Lefty is offline
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Zman,
Just read this. Really enjoyed your post.
Keep up the great posts and see you next season.

Lefty
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:53 AM
JimW JimW is offline
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The storm front of birds......
Mike, That sounds like it was unreal !

For no fly fishing content this thread is getting quite a few hits.

Thanks for your great stories. I for one really enjoy reading of your adventures on the rocks of rhody.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2003, 12:22 PM
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bonefishmon bonefishmon is offline
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Man, I want to go fishing with YOU! You seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to finding blitzes. I was at Weekapaug yesterday, late AM. Nothing. A few small schools. Skunk.

Phil
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Old 11-02-2003, 11:27 AM
mikez mikez is offline
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Thanks guys! I was lucky this fall. I was in the right place at the right time purely by chance several times in a row.
I must say, I was very impressed with the fishing this fall. Peanut bunker has been plentiful for several seasons now but this was the first year that I saw consistent action like I remember from the late 80s.
If only those peanuts would return as adults in the numbers and sizes they did back then! For those of you who weren't around back then, picture the blitzes you've seen these past few seasons with all the bass and blues going nutty after the peanut bunker. Now imagine that the bunker are a foot long, the bass are three foot long or better and most of the blues weigh over 10 pounds!
This, my friends, is why we need to be concerned with menhaden conservation! Saving the stripers was not enough! Now we've got to address their number one forage!
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