Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Playing Hookie at Sandy Hook

Where was that seminar I was supposed to attend? Ok, so it wasn't a seminar nor anything other then an excuse to get out of what I was supposed to be doing to go fishing. I just couldn't resist! My last four trips to Sandy Hook were lovely days on the beach with sunny skies and mild temperatures but those kind of conditions aren't exactly prime for Striped Bass. Yesterday was perfect it was cloudy, rainy with a nice breeze coming off the ocean.

I arrived early in the afternoon and hit the beach running like an excited little kid. On about the tenth cast my first striper of the day hit. Amazingly, the fish followed my lure, (a yellow bomber) right into the suds nearly at my feet before it hit and then ran straight out peeling off about 30 feet of line before turning up the beach. After a few short runs I was able to land the 24 inch bass and cut him loose to fight another day.

For the next half hour there was not another hit. I then switched gears and changed lures to a metal crippled herring. After several casts I got the second hit of the day and much to my surprise, after an impressive little fight, I landed a 17 inch Atlantic Herring! Go figure I caught a herring on a crippled herring... Cannibal!

Walking back down the beach I opted to switch back to my trusty yellow bomber and within a few casts I had another striper follow my lure and hit it at my feet in the suds. Once more I found my self just holding on to the rod as the fish tore off line and headed out to sea. This fish was just loaded with energy and it took me a while to get him tired out. After several long runs and and a leap right out of the waves I finally landed it. This fish was about 25 inches and was good and chunky. See photo below:

My Second Striped Bass of the day 25"
Catching stripers on light tackle is always fun and challenging in the surf. After I landed my second bass the cheap Okuma reel I was using simply gave out and my day was over. I could only imagine how many fish I would've caught if i could've fished until dark as intended. But none the less I had a great day of fishing and playing hookie was at least in my mind justified! My only regret was that I couldn't share the day with my favorite fishing partner and love of my life Tracy.