Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Blues

I just finished John Hersey's Blues, which should be recommended reading to anyone who has ever tangled with this formidable foe. The book couldn't have found me at a better time, as my home waters have been invaded by monster bluefish that are corralling schools of Atlantic menhaden in shallow water. Some striped bass are in the mix picking up the scraps, but it's large blues running the show at the moment. These yellow-eyed demons are packing the pounds too; an average catch this week would have fetched you $25,000 in August's WICC Bluefish Tournament, which had a poor first place showing of 13.92-pounds. 

Many anglers have a love/hate relationship with bluefish. They can chomp through 60-pound test mono like horse hair and swipe your expensive lure in a heart beat. Blues can also wreak havoc on your bait supply in short order. I've had a bucket of eels go to waste more times than I'd like to remember. But there seems to be a size threshold where all that hatred fades away. When a bluefish surpasses the 15-pound mark it gets much easier to acknowledge and respect their power and ferociousness as they make violent head shakes and fry your reel's drag system. They are true fighters in every sense of the word. 

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