Featured Story

Fish on: Feeding frenzy

I haven’t been out fishing since we arrived from Florida about a month ago. I did have a brief day with my son-in-law Dean Weaver.

Since Dean is from upstate, he’s had some pretty good fresh water fishing in the big lakes and has also done well with me on the big waters in the past.

I was a little nervous that he was willing to take his new 28-foot boat out to work out the “bumps” in his technique, especially since the run between the Coecles Harbor mouth and the deep water at the Lighthouse looked especially bumpy with the wind blowing about 15 mph as we crossed the open water.

When we got a bit closer to the Lighthouse in the Gut, I spotted a commercial fishing boat with six fishermen trolling and catching fish  whenever they came to the surface to feed. There were only three other boats near the Lighthouse and it was apparent the fish were stalking and eating bait fish.

I next spotted a large cloud of diving birds wheeling in the sky about a quarter mile away that were picking out the small fish from among the larger ones so we headed over to that rough water to see what we could do.

I had Dean get his eyes on the cloud of diving birds and got him throwing a nice popping lure of about 6 inches in length with two treble hooks on it that threw a flashy wake as we drew the plugs in. Dean got us off to a good start with a nice striped bass hitting his treble lure on his first cast.

He actually had about five or six fish in that school of bass chasing his lure.

They kept after our lures until we were both hooked up fighting fish. Dean was happy to bring in his bass of about 5 pounds with no damage to himself or the fish.

He got it on the deck using a landing net to calm it down. I got a photo of the fish for Dean and at the same time hooked and landed a good-sized bass of about 7 pounds before I let him go, too.

When the fish were both back in the water, we moved to another spot and the fishing really got wild, each of us hooking and landing or losing fish and quickly “reloading” and firing until the tide turned and headed out to the big waters again.

We both lost a lure or two to the sharp teeth of bluefish, but we also had what I could guess was a tied game with two bass for each after losing a few more of them. We landed at least 20 fish between us and all were admired and released to the deep. We were pooped after chasing those tough characters.

The fish were definitely on a wild feeding search and were in the game of catching and eating anything they could catch.

As soon as our lures hit the water the fish were after them, and as soon as we hooked and released a goodly number of them we were both ready to take a nap, but decided that we might fall asleep and float past Gardiners Island.

For those of you who might want to get after those fish, make sure you have the proper strength of rod, reel, line (25 pounds at least) leader, sharp hooks for your lures. Make sure you also get a landing net to make sure you can bring your fish aboard.