Bite me

In most years, my season started in the same manner. First I would make few attempts at Little Neck bay in Queens, and I hated every minute of it. I never was much of a light tackle angler…at least not in conventional sense. I like using a 7-foot St Croix Legend on the jetties when everyone is using a 10-foot stick. Am I under gunned? Absolutely. Do I know these jetties better them 99% of the anglers? I think so. As such, I can compensate by knowing the area I am fishing.

Few years ago, on a sunny May day, we had a ball bailing 2-pound bluefish on bucktials. Until 40 pound plus striper got pissed off and tried to eat a whole hooked bluefish three times before finally giving up. All this happened no more then 10 feet from the rock I stood on. In this case, if I hooked this moose, it would have tested my Legend to the max in that current.

But fishing Little Neck feels like fishing someone else’s spot. I am not familiar with it, I don’t have a great deal of confidence and I generally do not fish with a 9 or 8-foot light rod. Even my 7 foot Legends and St Croix Premier are beefy.

So with a tail between my legs I would migrate to Manhasset Bay where I felt more at home. Generally, after catching few small stripers and if I seen bunker flipping in the bay, I would come back with a chunking rod and some bunker. Some years were banner years, while other were so-so. Thirty-pound bass were not too unusual with 20’s plentiful. And to think that I would trade this all for a 10-pound bluefish, even a 6 pound…

I know, you are shaking your head. But hear me out. I don’t particularly enjoy fishing North Shore Harbors regardless if it’s May, August or November. Not because I don’t like the place, mostly its because I never put enough time in there to be familiar. And to feel confident. And I am a south shore junkie. Just being honest.

So I am catching bass on chunks yet I am keeping my ear open to when the bluefish will show up in the inlets. Then I toss my chunking stick in the corner, grab my 7-foot Legend and a handful of bucktails and off I go. It’s like a striper junkie after slow summer who anticipates that first fall run blitz at Montauk, that is how I feel about bluefish in spring. Two weeks from then I will curse them when they chop my rigged eels and cut my line, but right now, when they just show up, I will feed them every bucktails I own with joy. Strange, isn’t it? 🙂

Btw..Many of you will find this implausible, impossible, crazy or just plain stupid but I lost every lure I had in my surf bag in one tide to the fish. A dozen bucktails, darters, bottle plugs, needles, metal lips…all of it. Nope, I did not have a nick in the guide neither did I tied bad knots. My line or leader was cut every single time. If you don’t believe me, ask my buddy Ray who fished alongside of me. Because he also lost every plug in his bag to the fish that night too. And then went to his truck to get more..lmao

Hopefully if I finish this book I am working on, you will get to read about one of the craziest night I’ve ever had.

Yup, bluefish are the fat bottom girls of surfcasting. They make the surfcaster’s world go ‘round

Enjoy them

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21 comments on “Bite me

  1. Dave Whitney

    I’ve had those days as well when you loose everything to those devils. Soon they will stacked up in the inlets, can’t wait.
    For now the bass fishing is good and getting better.

  2. Kindman

    I am with you, Z.
    I love the light tackle bluefish action… even better on the fly rod.

    Plus, there is NO BETTER fish that does better on the smoker.

  3. Richard aka Woodwker99

    What’s not to love. they bite almost anything , pull like mad, jump, all you could want (except being able to lip them).
    You have to like bluefish.

  4. Barry Kronberg

    I agree with you Z. I hold them in high regard as a sport fish. They’ve saved the night and day many a time and have eaten many of my tins, bucktails and plugs over the years, but they’re totally worth it!

  5. Bobby

    Gotta keep a couple steel leaders!

    I’m the same way, I like getting into them a couple times early on then I’m done with them.

  6. CHIEF500

    Yep, great to have something pull hard on the other end. When your complaining about them tearing up your rogged eels in a few weeks re-read this and smile.

  7. Rob k.

    hey z the night you are expressing above, is that the night during a tourney weekend and your buddy introduced you to the inlet out east? I remember running into you when you were walking into to resuply and you did shhoot the breez with my buddy and myself for a good 15 min outside saltwaters. later that night on demo front i hit the mother load of 10-11 pnd blues – one after another till you were too exhousted to cast.
    blues are fun! 🙂

  8. bob jones

    My friend Richie D won’t look a bluefish in the eyes. He says that they’re ‘the devil’. I sometimes tend to agree with him.
    I love bluefish.
    I once caught a 22 1/2# on 8# test at Jones Beach. She took over an hour to land & it she fought lying on her side for the last 20 minutes. The sad part is that I couldn’t revive her & had to keep her.

  9. Gerard D

    I love my gorillas . There better then a worm glass of milk to put you to sleep. My wife can tell the difference between nights I’ve been catching blues or bass. She says if it was bass I have a little hop oin my step the next day. Blues I’m dragging ass for two days . My teammates don’t want me fishing on Tuesday anymore cause I’m worthless Wednesday night for softball . They just don’t get it.

  10. Troy S.

    You cant go wrong with a story with Queen lyrics added in!!!! Catchem up fellas. My favorite is reeling in half chomped storm shads !!

  11. Jason

    I like 6-7” blues for catching summer flounder and it is not a fluke when I catch big ones with this bait.

    For the vicious spring time blues stacked up in the inlets I toss poppers, metal lip swimmers and bucktails depending on the boat traffic and love every second of it. Just use 80# mono and don’t cast into schools and you will be good to go. Now it is even cooler when the tog jump out of the water at the edge of a jetty to get away from hooked blues making one last effort to get away.

    Then the new moon comes and I toss some massive simmers or drift chunks during a nighttime slack/low to pick up momma cow.

  12. jon

    i’ll make you a deal, Z. i’ll send you some tufline knottable wire leader and a bonus spool of 80 lb seaguar if there are bass mixed in, and you send me those expensive mojo wood plugs of yours that you’re feeding to the bluefish! deal?


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