Tag Archives: surf fushing

Spaghetti chronicles part 2

The monofilament snapped right above the swivel and the big bluefish fell in between two rocks. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the swell building and I was aware that within seconds these rocks will be under water. I also knew that although the fish was jammed in tight, once the water floods the rocks it will lift the fish and it will be gone. Which was perfectly fine if my favorite bucktail was not attached to its mouth!

I drooped on my knees and lounged for the tail. At the same time the wave came over me, almost sweeping me in the drink. I managed to get my hand around the base of the tail and I just held on to the fish  with one hand while with the other hand held a death grip to a rock. My left flip flop came unattached and it was gone, never to be seen again There was really nothing to do but to wait till wave receded. I was already soaked from head to toe, almost shoeless and crouching in almost fetal position. Finally, the wave abated and I scurried back to the top of the rocks carrying what still was an very angry fish.

For some strange reason I felt victories. Yes, I lost flip flop to the seas but I managed to save my lucky bucktail. After unhooking the chopper and tossing it back into the water I tied on a fresh leader, clipped on a bucktail a made a cast. A smarter person would have quit while ahead but I didn’t…but I should have.

The whole point of me coming here was to test the reel but instead the monofilament, or my lack of familiarity with its properties  after fishing with braid for years, because the overwhelming factor. I was cursing out loud as I tried once, two then three time to set the hook while the rod and monofilament acted in unison to crate strech-o-rama. Unfortunately for me ,these blues were big and they weren’t going to left my incompetence prevent them from hooking themselves. I said unfortunately because next thing I know is I had a fish on and then all I had is slack. The bluefish  swallowed the whole bucktail and cut the line instantly. So much from going through all that torture to save a special bucktail…

Now I was pissed and often the upset mind does not make good decisions. After attaching a new leader I decided to cast a popper instead. Not often will you get a chance to cast a popper no more than 20 yards and have gigantic bluefish explode on them. With that in mind I clipped on a Guides Choice Popper and cast it ahead of the rip. Only working a popper with mono proved even more challenging then working a bucktail. The darn stretch in the line, coupled with cross wind made working the popper almost impossible! Try it as I may, I could not get a popper to “pop” properly. Not that the fish cared as it lunged at the lure as it was racing across the surface. Although the Guides Choice popper is not a small lure the big bluefish had no problem engulfing the hooks and half a lure. I instantly with my right hand tapped the place where my Boga Grip is hanging of my belt and cold sweat started to run down my spine when I realized I left my Boga in the truck.

Oh boy, is this going to be fun, trying to land a teen sized bluefish , on the rocks, in the swells, almost shoeless, without a Boga Grip and with two sets of trebles imbedded into its mouth. As I stood on the rock ,enveloped in the fog I pondered what my options are. Breaking off the plug on purpose is not an option. Maybe a single hook that would fall out of its mouth , but two sets of trebles and a lure? I looked at the swells and tired to time them to see how many seconds are in between sets and if they are coming in sequence. I needed any edge I can get under the circumstances.

Of course I said few prayers to good Lord, hoping he would make the fish come unbuttoned and save me from this ordeal. But I am sure he had more pressing matters to attend to

By now the moon tide was almost at peak and rock I just stood on few minutes ago lading the fish was underwater. I decided to just play the fish into the rocks and then lift it onto the rock I stood. The big bluefish was tired of fighting the swells and current and she came is surprisingly well behaved. Until I grabbed the line…

I use short leaders with short rods and I couldn’t reach far enough to reach the leader. So I did next best thing and grabbed the line. Bad idea! Two head shakes and the line popped like grandmothers dentures when she bites into an apple. There goes plug number two…

I’ll spare you the details and only tell you that I lost another two plugs before I went home. Yes, 12 pound mono on the rocks with one flip flop and swells is not something I’d recommend you try. But I was there and these fish were big. And hungry. Needless to say I came with right stuff the next evening on a same tide and got skunked. And the next night, and the next night. Consistency has not been my friend this spring that is for sure.

Anyway, back to my original point of writing this. Monofilament. Jesus, anyone still uses this for plugging? It’s like fishing with a linguini wrapped around your spool. I found it impossible to work the bucktail the way I wanted. Granted, this has a lot to do with habits and use of braid in the last decade. I know plenty fish were landed on mono for years before braid came on the scene. But if I had to go back to monofilament for lure fishing I could envision a lot of missed fish…a lot.

I made some changes in last few years. I gave up on super duper surf tops for a simple Grunden splash top. I am back to using a two piece rods instead of custom stick. I am back to taping my finger for the first time after using a glove for casting for years..but mono for plugging? I don’t think I can.

Now I have to admit that I prefer 40 pound mono for chunking, even if I toss bait infrequently. I never warmed up to increased sensitivity when using 12 ounces of lead and a half of bunker. I feel the mono and the fact it stretches actually helps me when allowing fish to swallow bait…because if I can feel the fish instantaneously with braid…it means it can feel me too….and I didn’t like it. Plus, the 40 pound braid is so thin the backlashes which happen to me more than any other person alive are a major pain in the ass. Some people say, use a 80 or 100 pound braid instead, you’ll like it. Not my thing but neither is mono for pluging

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