NE winds part 2 and Fall SJ Striperthon

DVSFSCXCAfter the little flurry in Browns died down, we all walked together back to the west. At this point if I remember correctly the tide was almost out. They lined up to fish the hole again while I being the youngest and stupidest had to be the one the furthest onto the reef. For about half an hour we plugged without success. I figured these guys have done this a zillion times, there is nothing my lure will find that they can’t, might as well try few casts straight into the reef. I found a good rock and fired up an overhand cast for the first time that day. Yeah, i got a little more distance but I lost half of retrieve due to the huge belly in the line. Definitely NOT worth it. Next cast was a kind of modified overhand/sideaways,  Cringlish type of cast only I can make. Guess what, I was into a fish and then another and then another. Greg came off the hole to my right and he started to catch few casting straight onto the reef. The conditions were a little too wild for the rest of the crew to join in and Greg and I kept picking at them. Although I was catching I did not like the angle I had, as half of my cast was bouncing over shallow rocks so I moved to another rock to his left. Now I was in much better position to make a correct presentation with a small bucktail and for whatever reason got myself in one of this insane “zones” where you just cant do anything wrong. I picked off another dozen or so fish before tide ran out and bite died.

Off to Herb’s to get a sandwich, texted Silver Fox that I am going back to south side, filled up the thermos with coffee again at 7/11 and back in the water for the incoming within the hour.

At this point I am the only person on the south side in the best looking water I’ve seen all year. On the first eight casts I landed eight fish, all while looking over my shoulder for Silver Fox who I was hopping would show up. He was fishing under the light and north side all night without a bump so I was really hoping he would show. Lo and behold here he comes and after landing two fish the bite shuts off. I moved around the reef a bit trying to find them while I left him in more calmer conditions and managed another two but that was all she wrote. Tried another spot together further east but no one was home in spite of great tide and conditions. Its really sad what this fishery has become in relatively few short years. Smaller and smaller schools result in shorter and more localized bites, if you are not in the “right” (lucky) spot, you are often out of luck. Nothing like years ago when good fishing was spread along the coast.

By afternoon I was heading back home, my construction boots waiting and ready to work. A  solid trip in my mind considering the state of fisheries, yet at the same time very disappointing to see only flurry of activity in those conditions. Yeah, I’ve heard all the excuses, the water is too warm, the fish are staying offshore, bass cant afford NY taxes, Sandy damaged the beaches, Kate’s breast are too large (they are perfect if you ask me)

I been saying this for years and I will keep saying it, we are in for some very unpleasant catch rates for the next few years. Saturday I fished all day and probably made a thousand casts with even better conditions for 3 dinks that took pity on me. I hope I am wrong about this

On a personal how-to note, If I do point out something to someone about what they might try to do to increase their catch rate, its not because I am conceded asshole. Its because I like seeing people catch fish and continue to improve their game and skills. That is why we keep making how-to videos. I learned two things about a particular spot on Wednesday that I was not aware of, even after fishing here for 15 years. My point is never stop learning, because if you do then you will become a conceded

One thing on these type of conditions…..heavy crosswind means a HUGE belly in your line if you cast overhand in most locations on south side . On the north side you get a benefit of casting right into the wind, you can easily fire off an overhand cast without a huge bow. But even there, the point of impact , meaning where your line is at the point of your bucktail landing in the water is insanely important. Of course those who have been doing this for ages will pooh-pooh but because its a second nature to them. But I see a lot of guys struggling with firing off a good cast and then losing half of retrieve by picking up a slack. If you put your line on the roller BEFORE your bucktail hits the water you will take off MOST of your slack out and be ready to catch fish AS SOON as it hits the water. Casting into the right portion of the wave is a whole other story that i will get to at some point but its no different than what I wrote in The Art of Surfcasting with Lures about metal lip swimmers. Same concept, different presentation. Eventually you will know exactly at one point during your retrieve you can expect to get a fish..even with fishing not being what it once was

(There is MUCH more to this , particularly the size of bucktails , retrieve rate, cast angles and retrieve thought the foam speed variations but unless you make a good cast, all these other things will be irrelevant)

Short video on expecting the hit..unlisted so please don’t share


If you wondering why this story is a week old, its because that bite is long gone and over, but it might help you the next time it happens

FALL SJ STRIPERTHON THIS WEEKEND..get your hooks sharpened



3 comments on “NE winds part 2 and Fall SJ Striperthon

  1. Roger Rosenthal

    Great piece. I agree about big fish. Fun and good for the ego/bragging rights, but I love just being out there and catching.
    I had a chance the day before you got there to fish the same spot with the three legends, although I had spoken with Pat I had never met him so didn’t recognize him. They are all great to watch.

  2. Mike S.

    Great post Zeno and great video …. you may give Mr. Skinner a run for his money if you video perfectly predicted hits like that, ha

  3. Rick Seifert

    Great story. Yep, will help me in the future, and yes, probably in for some slow years, but that’s fishing. Making the most of what we have. Thanks for sharing the tips Z.


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