A great night

Today’s blog is courtesy of our reader chef Chris Blouin





A Great Night.


It was one of those nights were all the conditions were right to get into some big fish, a light rain, the beginning of a good northeast swell building and an incoming tide would welcome us at one of our favorite spots along the rocky coast of Rhode Island.


The weather decided to take a turn for the worst while we were gearing up and getting ready to hit the rocks. The rain was cold and nonstop, some occasional lightning would brighten the dark sky and a distant roll of thunder could be heard. The storm was far enough away and we were determined to fish. It was the type of weather that keeps the weekend warriors, report chasers and fair weather fisherman sitting at home on the couch watching reruns of Sex in the City. The surf could be heard from the road and we knew it was going to be big at the spot. We walked along the path, recently rearranged from Hurricane Irene, sewer cap sized rocks washed up from the beach during the storm now littered our path, the dirt walk ways washed away to leave small uneven boulders thrown about.


I looked down at my watch to see the bright green screen read 1:01 am; we worked our way down from the path to our desired rock. This is a special rock to us, a second home if you will. Many nice fish have been taken here, it allows two guys to work a 180 degree area and offers two small coves one on each side to land fish into, you couldn’t ask for a better rock. Plus its flat and you can get a great footing, a valuable thing when dealing with big surf. We watched the surf and sets of big rollers breaking 100 yards out on the far reef; the waves were 10 to 12 feet high and 3 to 4 sets coming in at a time. The water in front was frothy with beautiful sweeping white water and good current pulling thru. 


“The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli” That quote from Seinfeld played over and over in my head while we watched our rock and made sure it was safe. Making me smiling and also take caution to the raging surf that was building outside the far reef. 


Taylor took the right side of the rock and I took the left, we were both set up further back on the rock to avoid the heavy surf. I clipped on an all yellow super strike needle and let it fly into the darkness, a few cranks later, bump bump…bump, I tried to set the hook but missed it, a great sign the fish are here and feeding. Taylor decides to throw a homemade eel bob, which was about 3 weeks old and left over from our Block Island trip and stunk to high heaven. He worked that jig slowly bouncing it along the bottom, a slight raise to hop it over the bigger rocks along the sea floor. It didn’t take long for her to find it.


The intensity of the storm was growing, the lightning more frequent, the thunder cracking louder and louder the closer it got. The lightning was so bright it would light up the whole cove the white water intensified the brightness leaving you with a shot of almost temporary blindness, the rain getting harder and colder with every cast, but we pressed on.



I switched over from my needle to a darter, a riggie then to a mega shad, a few slight bumps but no takers, Taylor continued to work his eel bob. He looked over and said “I’m having trouble feeling what it’s doing and I don’t know what to throw” one crank later of his VS and BAM he was on!! He set the hook hard and the fish made a long run straight out, he kept the rod tip up and leaned back to keep her from burying her face in the rocks. I quickly burned in my needle and set my rod against the far rocks so I could help him land the fish if needed. I’ve never seen his legend rod arc over like that and knew he was into a good fish. The fish made some strong long powerful runs, each time straight out. He was starting to tire her out. He shouted out over the thunder and surf “what side of the rock should I land her on” I yelled back “whatever one she goes to”. We’ve all tried to horse a fish in somewhere they didn’t want to go and it never ends well. As I stood and watched him fight the fish the lightning would light up his black silhouette and you could see the determination in landing this fish. She was tired and started swimming in, each wave pushing her closer and closer, as I tried to look for her in the surf all I could see was white water. She swam perfectly to the left the rock right into the cove, Taylor had her in the perfect spot, she swam around the edge of the rock, I could see her now, I grabbed the leader and with help of the last wave she slid onto the bubble weed covered rock, the water receding leaving her laying on her side, it was the kind of landing you read about.


Taylor quickly grabbed her and started to remove the hook, she was hooked perfectly, the bend of the mustad laid against her thick jaw. A few seconds later she was weighed on the Boga, ……29lbs. He was happy, a new personal best from the surf and in some of the worst conditions we fished all seasons. I quickly snapped a few pictures of him holding her, her colors bright, fins erect, full of life. He revived her in the small cove where she was landed, working back and forth in the foamy water until she regained her strength. You could tell he was concerned about her not making it; he stayed with her for what seemed like 10 minutes. There’s something special about seeing a surf fisherman revive a fish like that, they almost have a bond, taking care of a fish you chased for countless nights, the same one you cursed when she eluded you, now you have her and your setting her free to continue this cat and mouse game we play for the love of it.


She regained her strength and clamped on his hand to say “ I’m ready now, let me go” with a good push and a receding wave she swam off into the dark, lazily at first then with one quick tail swipe she was gone, almost as if she was never there. He stood up smiling; we shook hands on a job well done. Even though that was the only fish of the night and I didn’t catch it, it was one of the most memorable nights on the rocks to date. These are the times we will reflect back on as we grow old. Great job Taylor.


16 comments on “A great night

  1. striperguy

    Great story man, I love to read stories like that, reminds me of how awesome striper fishing is.

    Great job, nice fish!!!

  2. Jeremy

    Great post Chef and Congrats Taylor, what a scene to catch your personal best in too! Thank you for encouraging and showing people the beauty of catch and release. Its for us who truly love this fish.

  3. Jennifer

    What an amazing story recapping your night! It makes me want to go fishing. Nicely written Chef! Congrats Taylor you are a real Captain Ahab.


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