Friday, September 21, 2012
Lots of action.......but not what we wanted
We met at Oceans East at 0600 (that's oh dark thirty for most sensible people.....) to grab some bait and made our way to the beach. We decided to focus our efforts today on the two primary species I already mentioned, but we also took a couple items in case we spotted Mr. Brown (aka Cobia) or wanted to try for some flounder.
We launched into the peak of max outgoing current running at .8 this morning, but there was little to no wind, so the unfavorable tide was a non-factor. In minutes, we were setup and ready to drop our lines in the water. Joe hooked up right away, but the fish either buried itself in the rocks or wrapped the bridge piling and snapped the line. Joe re-tied his setup and dropped again and was rewarded with another strike but this one came off, too.
I made my way over to a set of pilings and started working them over pretty well and began to feel the subtle strikes. After a few sacrificial baits, I was able to dial in the depth and the take of the fish. Shortly around 7:45, I feel the "weight" of something and quickly made a strong upward hookset. I was rewarded with the tell-tale fight and bulldog runs of a sheepshead. After 30 seconds of fighting him, she came unbuttoned for some reason. Most likely from me not being quick enough on the hookset. I re-bait my hook and drop again and am rewarded with a different bite - a subtle 'tick'. Quick hookset and fish on!! It's my first tog ever, so I am pumped to say the least. I get him to the kayak and leader him. As I lift him into the kayak, he thrashes and comes unhooked and escapes to the watery depths below.........instant sadness.........
After that, the tog and sheepshead bite turned off completely for me. I was till getting hits, but they were not the subtle 'ticks' or 'heavy feel'. No, this was a solid take followed by an immediate run but not one pulling drag, rather just a good firm fight on my hands. I secretly hoped it was a Tautog, but I knew it most likely was not. As luck would have it, I was the proud angler who caught........
While the sheepshead will most likely have to wait until next year for me, I will be back a few more times this year to chase after the togs before I change gears and get ready for the big striper run that happens around holiday time.
A great day on the water indeed, made even more memorable by spending time on the water with a friend. Thanks Joe!!
Tight lines, be safe, and get on' em!!!