Column: Finding time to fish

We got through the celebrations surrounding the 4th of July, including graduations, visits from family and friends and several flash rain storms.

We all survived.

Fishing picked up a bit with reports of some nice weakfish caught around Buoy 16 on the west end of the Island, and porgies caught fishing from a boat or beach made a lot of people happy. Reel Point had a standing room only crowd of beach casters on the two occasions I got a look there and the sunsets were spectacular.

While not many of our local boaters went offshore to the Atlantic Ocean, those that went about 20 miles to the Mud Hole area might have run into what a video I received indicated was an incredible scene. The area was loaded with several varieties of tuna, including black fin and blue fin, with the latter up to 400 pounds, and several white marlin were also in the mix.

Based on the video I reviewed the area for a square mile was alive with fish feeding on the surface and eating anything they could find. Now, why didn’t I go out there?

My fishing on the home front this week was restricted with family visiting, but I got a chance to get away from local waters in my skiff one day with Mike McConnell. We headed right to Plum Island for the first time this season. We arrived right at the turn of the tide and found ourselves to be one of only two boats in the Gut. The other guy was not doing much at all, just casting among the rocks, which was our plan, too.

We started our drift right under the Plum Light and glided along with the tide to the south to Pine Point with little action until we passed the entrance to the Government Dock. As we moved closer to shore in that sandy area, Mike got several hits on his plug, finally hooking a feisty 20-inch bass.

He landed that one and had a few more hits and then we each landed 20-inch fish that we photographed to prove there are actually some bass around Plum. While the activity was slow (to say the least), it was good to see some action since it was our first trip out there.

We finished the long drift to Pine Point and managed another bass before we turned the corner and headed toward the abandoned coast artillery gun emplacement. We immediately saw a bunch of terns wildly diving on something. I moved the skiff to within casting range with my electric trolling motor and we were soon into small bass again, and I picked up a 21-inch bluefish. We caught several fish on different lures and finally moved the small body of fish and the birds gave up their diving.

We drifted along for awhile until it was clear that within hundreds of yards we were the only things alive on the water.

The wind had come up a bit and the clouds were gathering so we cranked up the outboard and headed back to Reel Point. We fished the flat on the Mashomack side of the channel and landed a few rambunctious bluefish — again about 20 inches long- and decided to try my secret spot in the back of Coecles to see if there were any surprises for us.

I had taken one of my granddaughters there a few days before and landed one nice bluefish, so it was worth a shot.

When we slid into the shallow water we saw nothing moving at all, so I pulled out my heavier casting rod with a larger lure to cast farther, trying to entice some action,but nary a fish came after it. Mike stayed with his favorite lure and actually got a hit after about 10 minutes, but that was the end of it for the day.

All in all we landed eight bass, lost a bunch of small ones and four bluefish. It was definitely not a great day, but it was fun, and we now have a hint where to go next time we go out. It will be Plum on a different tide.

See you at the fireworks.