Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Stripes

A friend and I paid a visit to some local surf haunts last night after a long break. Expectations were not too high for early August, but we were confident that we could drum up a fish or two using live eels. The approaching new moon made it nice and dark for us, though air temperature floated above 80 degrees and the Sound felt like bathwater. There were legitimate rollers at the first destination, which made it sorta feel like we were fishing the Rhode Island surf. We waded out on a cobblestone point and tossed artificial plugs into the mid-outgoing tide that was sweeping right to left. After two hours of casting we had just two small bumps. So while the steady south wind died down and the water flattened out, it was time for a spot change and a switch from plugs to live eels. 

Following a short drive, we waded out on a rocky point covered in slick bubble weed. An hour flew by of casting and retrieving eels in a low dropping tide. This rhythm was broken up by a tap tap on my bait followed by the welcomed sound of a fish thrashing on the surface. Throughout the fight I was convinced I had hooked a bluefish because of violent head shakes, yet was pleasantly surprised to soon see stripes at my feet. It was by no means a trophy bass, though it was certainly a respectable surf-caught fish for the western Sound in early August. This striper seemed to be a loner, as no more bumps were felt for the remainder of the tide. My fishing partner had an eel chopped in half by a bluefish right before slack, so we thought that was a good time as any to pack it in. All in all, it was a good night on the water. 

Fishing live eels during late tides can help your chances in the August surf.  (Photo credit: Mike Gill)

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