Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Twelve hours, no injuries.
Tuesday/Wednesday, July 17/18, 2007
One of the last times Dave Y. departed from Duxbury it was with a deep 3” gash across one of his knees. This wound was the result of a freak accident; he stumbled and sank beneath the boat as he generously attempted to shove us off to a fishing trip of high expectations. An oyster shell, perhaps, shuttled a piece of Dave’s knee material to the crabs, but he didn’t complain, and in fact, he went through the next 27 hours before seeing a doctor. The doctor cussed him out, of course, and it was after that I learned how serious his little scrape was. But he survived.
So this year’s challenge was to keep Dave Y. blood-free and happy on the water.
It was Tuesday evening, about 4:00, and we were off from Howland’s Landing. Dave quickly revisited the accident scene and displayed the scar on his knee, but soon we were off onto the calm bay. My expectations didn’t match my hopes. The past few days on the bay were good, but not tremendously good. I had fished the past few mornings and had several nice fish as a result, but nothing to brag about. Evening fishing was something I hadn’t done in several weeks, mainly due to my early mornings and being dead-tired by 6 PM. But my friend was in town and I needed to see him succeed.
First, a sure thing: bluefish near the Powder Point Bridge. These were small ones, but fun to catch and good eating (I’ll eat any bluefish, anytime). The bridge area produced several (dozens) small blues. We kept five – the perfect number for dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast. This was a good warm up because Dave got the skunk off immediately and got to test out some of his freshwater tackle on these guys. He seemed confused when I doubled over in a laughing fit when these aggressive blues attacked, with vigor, his little Tiny Torpedo (a Heddon product) which was about an inch long – it chattered like a nervous Nelly, and had a little propeller stuck in its rear. I marveled at the way the small blues busted at this little thing. I could hear the “brrrrbbbbrrrr” of the little prop and then the unforgiving strike of the bluefish, turning this little thing into a piece of rubble.
So we had fun, and after about 10 drifts through our spot we decided to switch gears and head for some stripers.
Again, my expectations were modest. I scanned the usual spots and, to my surprise, my first choice was boat-free. Dave and I gabbed on about frustrations at work places and the unimaginable level of inefficiency associated with legal and administrative processes (*yawn*) while I set us up on our first drift. Within a few seconds we had ballistic stripers after our sorry lures. I explained all my thoughts about how to hook fish in this particular place to Dave. He seemed half interested because the trip through the rip only lasted about a minute or two, and he didn’t want to miss anything. And he didn’t. Within a seconds I was onto a bunch of stripers – wildly attacking my plug. But only a few fish in the low 20s were hooked. Then I switched to a Fin-S, and Dave to a swimming Yo-Zuri, and immediately we were doubling up on good fish. I landed a 28-incher and things got going. But Dave struggled to find hookups. I decided to try to find another rip to fish. So I did.
We moved on. Within seconds Dave had a large fish on. This fish would turn out to be his largest striped bass to date: a 29-inch keeper. Man, was he happy. A few pictures and laughs and in seconds I had another keeper on the line. This guy was hooked on the first cast of one of Joel Meunier’s third-edition cherry poppers: the fish took to the home made plug within 2 seconds – amazing. We ended up taking home three stripers and five small blues. We were happy. Another stint in the morning was agreed upon over beers and broiled bluefish at the house. I was worried, however, as I felt completely bushed out and lethargic. I started to think: what would influence me more, fishing or sex? But I promptly fell asleep.
4:10 – here is what I hear: “Dalalalaladada, Dalalalalaladada – boom-ding-dong…boom-ding-ding….(pause)…[repeat]”. My cell phone alarm is reminding me that Dave Y. has already risen from the loft and is preparing for his morning trip on the bay. I hear water running, I feel like shit. Basically, I am tired…too tired, but within a couple minutes I rally up and decide it is no use to fight. Plus, I want to hook a fish or two.
The mornings are getting later. A couple weeks ago I would have seen some light on the horizon, but this morning it was pitch-black. We stumbled with some aquaculture materials that were necessary for our mid-morning project, then finally got our act together and got on the water.
The morning was spectacular: awesome colors and FAC (which is an acronym for “flat ass calm”). First stop and – boom – fish! Good fish. They were nestled into a small area, but very consistent. Jon Nash showed up with his friend Sam and we all took turns over the rip and did well. Dave quickly landed a keeper and released it. He was excited about the action, as was I. But after several drifts the action diminished and my mind drifted elsewhere. The sun broke through the morning clouds over Clark’s Island and this created an amazing scene. Some photos were taken and soon we decided to move on.
Closer to Saquish, the rips were roaring and within seconds the cold air arrived, followed by the fog, and then socked in. But within a drift or two we were on. I switched from a surface plug to a 9” white Sluggo that Joel Meunier had fitted with a nifty hook assemblage and after two cranks of the reel – SCHLURPT! – a good hookup. Lots of line peeled off – drifting through lobster pots – maneuvering the best we could, and finally the landing: 36” and fat. Next drift: Dave did the same on his Yo-Zuri swimmer and landed a fat 36 incher. Eyes bulging, Dave stated clearly that now, this, was his largest striper.
The fog wisped around us then finally socked us. “Dave, what do you think about heading in a bit early, putting these guys on ice, then getting our shit together for our oyster work?” [we had oyster work ahead]. “Sure,” said Dave, blinking excitedly, still recovering from his fine fish.
In sum: fishing was excellent. Lots of bait in the bay, large fish in the right spots, and fun catching them.
Dave left intact. No stitches or whatever.