Monday, November 25, 2013

Earning Our Stripes

A healthy 35-inch striper that hit the deck of the Tunacious.

When: Saturday, November 23rd
Where: The Ocean
What: Striper fishing with Joe C. aboard the Tunacious
Weather: Mostly cloudy and overcast. Low of 45, high of 59. Wind S to SW 5 to 10mph and gusting over 15 at times.
Barometric Pressure: 30.2in dropped to 30.00in
Relative Humidity: Low of 78%
Sunrise: 6:49am
Sunset: 4:35pm
Moon: Waning, 3 days before last quarter. Moonset 10:31am. Underfoot 3:47pm.
Water Conditions: Low tide 7:39am, High Tide 1:29pm. Water temp at 49 degrees and the ocean was choppy at times and with some stained water.

I remember catching my first striper many years ago. For awhile, I felt like they were my bane. It took countless hours on the beach before I got one to hit the sand. It also seemed like every time I was out on a charter or a party boat that I was the guy bailing bluefish while everyone else was catching bass.

So even though Joe is a striper sharpie and has been for some time, my expectations weren't high when he said we were going to do some bass fishing this fall. When you take a guy out that normally fishes for muskies and can go three or four 10-hour trips without seeing a fish, the bar is set pretty low by default.

Still, I was pretty confident that we were going to have some action this week, and although we didn't get the crazy blitzes Joe would have liked, seeing a couple nice fish make it to the net was pretty darn cool.

But we worked for them. The first bass was in the box in our first 10 minutes on the water. It hit a teaser rigged 18 inches above an Ava jig. After that things got quiet, and although there were plenty of birds, bait and boats around, the action was hard to come by. We brought up a bluefish and a few junkfish, but our second bass seemed to elude us.

We tried everything we could, changing baits, locations and even trolling, although the latter for only 10 minutes or so. We were actually on our way back to the barn when Joe decided to check out one better looking swarm of birds. As soon as we pulled-up the birds started diving. Joe and I both bombed a cast and both got bumped. One of the fish found a hook.

After a nice fight during which the bass dove under the boat and I had half my rod in the water, I was able to lift its head with the Deadly Dick barely hanging by a thread. Joe did the rest.

Like I said, Joe is used to having some much better action at this point in the fall, but it was the nonetheless a successful trip on the Tunacious and one of the more memorable fishing trips I've been on. 

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