Spaghetti chronicles

On a recent afternoon I decided to head down to a local inlet seawall to test a reel. I bought this  reel for my trip to Florida few weeks ago , mainly for my son to use. I wanted to test it myself, and possibly write a review in the future issue of the Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine. But I wasn’t willing to strip the 12 lb mono and fill it with braid. Not only because I was pressed for time but because I feel that my son can use some give of the mono.

My problem was, I forgot what that feels like…

Last time I used mono on the spinning rod was at least ten years ago, probably more. To be perfectly honest, I could not tell you what does it feel to fish with it.

But I was going to find out …

Murphy’s Law states that if something can go wrong it usually will. This day there was a good heave coming into the inlet and crashing into the rocks. It was also a day of the full moon and wind has been blowing out of easterly direction for days.

Let’s put this together, easterly wind, full moon = astronomical high tides and swells coming from the ocean and crashing along the seawall. Why did I decide to go in my flip-flops and shorts instead of waders? Because I am stupid….any of you tried to navigate rocks in the crashing surf? In flip flops? ..I didn’t thinks so

But I thought hey, I can always move back into the inlet where water is calmer. But before I do that I have to make one cast into my honey-hole. After all, I didn’t drive half an hour to water to not make a cast into my favorite little rip. Besides, it was the best place around and if there was going to be any fish, this was the place. How can you test the reel without catching fish anyway ?

I got onto the seawall and looked into the water. The swells were coming from the ocean and crashing along the inlet rocks. It wasn’t your standard calm conditions that you are used to finding in the inlets but it didn’t look THAT bad. So I crawled down on my ass, just in time to see a large swells heading in my direction. Oh shit, I said to myself as I reversed the course and tried to crawl back up the rocks…did I mention I was in flip flops? I did managed to get high enough were my shirt was dry but the wave got my shorts, and underpants…!#$%& great. Haven’t made a cast and I am already soaked. But I am here, I am already wet so might as well cast.

I attached the bucktail to the clip and made a  cast with my trusty the 7 foot St Croix Legend. Except the cast felt weird…it was like casting a lure attached to a string spaghetti !!!

I closed the bail and started to work a bucktail with a short twitch of the wrist. What is going on here? The bucktail is not responding the way I am used to. I have to lift my rod almost  two feet to replicate the action I get with a braid and a short twitch. Has it been that long since I used the mono that I forgot completely? I guess I did.

After about third crank I got a hit but because my lift was so high up I got no leverage to set a hook! Not for the lack of trying as I tried to drive the hook into the mouth with my rod now extended over my head. Then bang,bang,bang…I missed all three hits. I reeled the bucktail in and checked my hook, sharp as a tack. I let the bucktail sail and this time I changed my rod angle, keeping it pointed at the water while twitching. I figured this would give me more room upwards to set the hook with a spongy mono.

 Success ! I hook into the what I can tell immediately is a large bluefish as it breaks the surface and tries to spit a hook. Only this bluefish is well in excess of ten or twelve pounds, I am standing on the top of a seawall, looking at the frothy water underneath me, while holding for dear life to my seven foot rod and 12 lb test monofilament. How am I going to land this fish if I can bring it close without getting cut off on the rocks below? Did I forget to mention that I am wearing flip-flops? …oh man, this is not going too well

While bluefish is peeling the drag heading away from rocks my pocket is buzzing. Now what? I remembered that I put the phone in the buzzing mode because I did not thought I could hear the ring over the crashing surf. Should I attempt the fish it out of my soaking pants and possibly drop it in the rocks, never to see it again? Sure ,why not ? It could be President Obama looking for an advice of how to deal with Mideast crisis. Or even worse, it could be Da Wife telling me that I forgot to turn the dryer on….again. As if it takes less effort to push the ON button then to call me?

I was relieved to see “Lenny” on the caller ID. Lenny Ferro or “Silver Fox” as we like to call him is my occasional fishing partner and a hell of a surfcaster. We fish the same areas so we often run into each other and fish together, but we never call each other to chat about God, politics or weather even though both of us are ardent conservatives. We only talk when we got something “fishy” to say. So you could say this was an call I just could not let go into the voicemail box.

I pressed “TALK” with one hand while holding onto St Croix with a very pissed off bluefish on the other end. Lenny informed me he was on the beach about five hundred yards to the west killing big bluefish on pencil poppers. Not one under ten pounds and some pushing over 15 pounds. I thanked him for the information and informed him of my predicament to which he replied “got to go, got another fish on”. You got to admire a man who makes a call while casting, working a pencil popper and hooking up without missing a beat!

Now it was time to concentrate on task at hand. The bluefish was getting tired but as we all know, never surrendering. I finally got it within ten feet of the rocks but I knew that if I brought it any closer that I am risking a change of monofilament touching a rock and snapping off. Losing a fish wasn’t really what bothered me but the thought of losing my favorite bucktail was freaking me out.

I timed the waved and leaned on the fish hard while at the same time jumping down the rocks to the water’s edge. If I could grab a 50 lb leader and lift the fish before the next set arrive I might be able to get out of this predicament without any further damage. I muscled the fish towards the rocks, putting a bend into my St Croix Legend that I did not though was possible. I was almost home free, the bluefish ,still trashing, was at the base of the rocks. Because I use a short leader however I had a hard time reaching it so I decided to pull on the monofilament and lift the fish onto the rock. Bad idea!

part two tomorrow

[issuu showflipbtn=true documentid=110508225219-e8758a6b96d645c0a4184fd7e909a62a docname=sjissue7 username=SURFCASTERS_JOURNAL loadinginfotext=Surfcaster’s%20journal width=420 height=162 unit=px]

2 comments on “Spaghetti chronicles

  1. Greg Tucceri

    I got a feeling this isn’t gonna turn out so good,but sometimes they do, can’t wait for part two


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *