Good to be back…

I am back, somewhat grudgingly and somewhat gladly. Sleeping in the truck for five nights in the row will certainly make you appreciate things in life you generally take for granted. Like your toilet, that waits for you in the middle of a night. A house that does not rock like a cradle in a gale northwest wind..and few other things. Lots of things happened, mostly good and since some of you seem to like my stories full of Zenoisam, written in pure Cringlish (Croatian English for those of you who are not in the know), I will oblige, but it will take time

Last night nw gale deposited sand in every part of my body that wasn’t covered and some that were covered too. For Christ sake, my ears are still full of fine sand particles. But we’ll get to that, the big fish, the crazy night, the days and days and days with no fish…and days with a lot of fish

One thing we don’t do here at SJ is reports. I am sure some of you would appreciate them, and it might help you but this sport and reports never went hand in hand. So I might give you what happen a week ago, what happen when the heave was on after the heave subsides and bite shuts down. But I can’t give you what is going on today. It’s just not fair to those who found the bite. I hope you understand…but SJ was never a site for reports

Anyway, thanks to so many of you who stopped me just to tell me how much you love SJ and what we do. You might think it gets old but it really does not. We can’t get enough of it. If offsets some of the hate mail I get..As Tommy eloquently puts it , I am a ” Hater Magnet” ..haha

I been working on a project out east for past few weekends. This week I had some time off so I extended the trip. What I did was a lot of watching trough the viewfinder. My elbow was not getting better and I was not going to take any chances till I spoke to the Doctor. This was the first time in 24 years that I asked my wife to call a doctor and make an appointment. Usually she drags me kicking and screaming like a little child. Hey, where I come from you do not go to doctor unless there is evident blood, lots of it preferably..after all, the only Doctor we had when I was growing up was the same dude who gave our pig injections ,,,yup, a veterinarian. Bring on  the jokes..

But Doctor said cast underhand, but I failed to understand how would I do this with 11 foot rod. However I did figure something else out but more on it latter. The days are a blur, all I know is that I spent about 10 days in Montauk with camera and never made one cast over the past month. Columbus Day weekend was a Crazy zoo but then fishing took a BIG nosedive and the lot cleared on Sunday. And on Monday? Like a ghost town. Must be all that hard 20 to 30 NE winds they were calling for? After all, who wants to fish into that wind?

By Monday evening there wasn’t more than ten trucks in the lot. The noreast wind was starting to build, water started to churn , albeit slowly at first. I descended down to south side with camera. There was a dude tossing a fly rod in that wind believe it or not. About 20 yards ahead of him waves would lift about 6 to 7 feet and if you used a zoom lens it would appear they would collapse on him. While I was screwing around recording him he hooked up…then again, then again, then again

You got to be kidding me. The dude did not even  cast. He had something like 10 yards of fly line in front of him, he’d flip this in to the white water, strip, strip, strip and he was on ! It was beautiful to watch but I said to myself, maybe I should try a 1/2 ounce bucktail next to him? Just kind of “fling it sideways”?..

How much can it hurt ? 1/2 ounce?

There were only few guys fishing, maybe 5 or so. I decided to get suited up for the first time almost since Labor Day. I looked at my Commando Bag and though just how stupid I felt. There was no way I was going to toss anything but a bucktail. There was no need for it, there was no way you could really work many plugs in that wash machine anyway. But I did not have a dedicated “Bucktail bag” in which I could carry only bucktails and pork rind. I made a mental note to buy one this winter.

I walked onto the reef and made a small talk with fly fishing guru that was still hammering fish. If for no other reason then because I was going to mug his ass in a second. Ok, not really, but still, I make a point of making small talk when I fish close to other guys. This did not help me the next day when I get chased of the rock but even then, there was a valid reason for that…we’ll get to that.

Instead of making an overhand cast were I would have a huge loop of dead line to contend with, I fired off a sideway cast into the wind, just barely clipping the wave as it was cresting. More on white water coming up too…

You know how far can you cast a 1/2 ounce bucktail with a 11 foot rod into a gusty ne wind while standing in the water knee deep?..not far. It did not matter. I made sure that my line was on my ZeeBaaS roller BEFORE the bucktail  hit the water to eliminate any slack since I am literally fishing a foot or two of water. I lifted my bucktail, lowered my tip, lifted again and BAM…my rod doubled over.

I am going to expand on amped up fish in white water, crazy sweep, bucktails and pork rind but what shocked me most this evening was the size of the fish. I had twenty (yes count my fish for my own reasons, Thank you Uncle Vito) stripers by dusk up to nineteen or twenty pounds. I just could not believe that fish were that big. Usually six to ten pounds with occasional keeper is the norm but not this evening. I retired to my truck early, petrified that those twenty fish did a lot of damage to my elbow. But I could not help myself, I was like a kid that was let out into candy store once again with a Black Amex card with your name on it. The white water did not just amped up the fish, my adrenaline was running. It’s been weeks since I touched the rod and now this, almost fish on every cast and very few guys around. I slept like a baby that night and prayed to God while I crawled into my sleeping bag that it does not punish me with more pain so I can try it tomorrow again…even thou I knew that after that, even if I was in pain, I was going to get my big ,fat ass on that rock in the morning. It was good to be back..and the white water did not even start to get fish jacked up…overnight, the whole thing changed, the whole place changed, even the manner in which the fish fought


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10 comments on “Good to be back…

  1. Richard aka Woodwker99

    Z, great story. if you check I think I might have been the first to tell you to try sidearm casts for your bum elbow.(I also use a sidearm cast to keep my lures close to the water when the wind is howling into my face).
    I can’t wait to here the rest of the story.

  2. ovenrat

    wow, thanks for the update, I left there Friday after giving Turtle’s a hard days casting with PP’s for a good 3 hrs. on Thursday 🙂 couldn’t raise a fish that day or my right shoulder to enjoy the beverage of my choice(lie):-)
    foolishly thought the wind and temp change shut things down….
    great to hear M is still happening, have fun !

    “M”….. special, special place 🙂

  3. georgeC5

    Hi Zeno, It was a pleasure to meet you over on the north side and thank you for SJ and the magazine. If you need a witness I was at Kings when you hammered them sidearm style! G.

  4. Vito Orlando

    Z, do not try to fish through that injury. I know from experience. Just this past June I had been having some pain in my shoulder. Tried to fish through it while on Block Island. Injured my Rotator Cuff Tendon. Was out of action for 3 months. It still hurts but I now take it easy. Only fish one small session a day.
    Hope your injury is not as severe. Good Luck, my friend.


  5. captn bob

    nice to here from you. glad to see you gave it a try. just remember its not just a 1/2 oz bucktail its also the weight of the rod and reel too. take your time the fish will still be there. keep up the great work

  6. Mike R

    If you’re looking for an original idea for the Journal, how about featuring the best of the hate mail. Should make for some comic relief.


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