Friday, June 08, 2007

Afternoon Drifting

Friday, Part II

By 11:30 we were back on the water. First some aquaculture work, then checking and baiting the pots (with the morning’s racks), and ultimately some fishing. Friday afternoon resembled a typical weekend out there. The weather was prime and lots of folks took the afternoon off to take advantage of the day. Alex, Joel, and I fished a few of our favorite spots and the action was cyclical. Almost immediately Joel hooked a keeper over some eelgrass meadows. This made him quite happy. Eventually we rolled into a school of small bass with hickory shad mixed in. These were in skinny water along some of the sand flats. We changed over to small lures (yellow wiggle tails) to enhance our chances of landing a shad. Within minutes Joel had one on. These shad are acrobats and they often cartwheel out of the water on the both the hookup and the retrieve. Joel’s fish, about 20 inches long, leapt out of the water right next to us but Joel’s attempt to cowboy the fish into the boat failed as the fish shook the hook and dropped freely into the bay. We continued finding fish here and there for a couple of hours and eventually, after frustratingly failing to snag even one of the ubiquitous menhaden, we went in. We breaded and fried up a softshell green crab that was collected from one of the pots – it was great. Striper was on the dinner menu and fishing tomorrow’s first light was on the calendar.

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