Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I thought I’d be the first one there, but Donnie was already creeping around the shoreline and came out of nowhere with the coffee he promised me. His energy level was high and I could tell we were in for some gut busting over the next couple of hours. Eric was also early, so we got on the water ahead of schedule and followed the outgoing tide to the Bug Light to assess the morning’s situation. It was a cool, calm morning. The fish, however, were not in their usual placement or numbers. We drifted over some areas that were historical hot spots but these produced only a few small guys. But as the sun rose the action turned on and we were amidst a good sized school.
A number of boats arrived which produced a kind of conveyor system around these schools: set up the drift, run through it, then get back in line behind the others. Some guys don’t do this, but rather they fish the bottom of the drift and continually motor back up to the edge. This is less efficient and usually, depending on the number of boats out there, tangles things up and increases the likelihood of spooking the fish.
Anyway, we did this for a while and had some nice hookups. Surface poppers, swimmers, and rubber shads all worked well. After some time the fish thinned out and rather than chase them around the bay we all agreed to try some shallow eelgrass meadows that held some nice rips. So we did, and it worked well. The tide had changed and was now flooding the bay with first the dirty, unmixed ebb water, then the clear, cool offshore water. We drifted past some small rips and found the spot that held them and ran several passes which resulted in a bunch of ballistic popper-chasing events. Some of the follows and misses were big ones – I saw a couple of 35to 40” bass approach the boat but was not lucky enough to actually hook any of these.
The temperature warmed significantly as we moved along the shoals and many comments to that effect were heard. But time was marching on and we all had to get to work at some point, and as such, we started in toward the landing. And of course, we saw more fish on the way in. In fact, there was a large blitz of surface action along Captains Flats and plenty of room for another boat or two to get in on the game there. So we did, and it worked well. These were mainly small fish; however, it was almost every cast that the rod would bend and “Oh, yeah!” would emit from Donnie’s cakehole. It was here that Eric made up for some poor luck earlier in the morning and Donnie peaked with his trademark antics that cracked us up and probably, unfortunately, made us the loudest boat out there for a few minutes. But there’s nothing wrong with that.
We were just a few minutes behind schedule when we returned to shore. All safe.