FishTales 2019: So It Begins

The Fall Surfcasting season ticks towards its onset as a Good News/Bad News story.
SEASON’S GREETINGS: Amazing Randy and I got well in an “old time religion” blitz of schoolie bass under the Montauk Lighthouse.

GOOD NEWS: The weather is fair, mild and dry. Perfect for wading in the surf in a bathing suit or light waders.

BAD NEWS: The weather is fair, mild and dry; Stripers like it tumultuous.  We need a snotty storm to perk up the bite.

GOOD NEWS: Plenty of bait in the waters, bayside and in the ocean.

BAD NEWS: So far, not much on that bait except big ass seals, dolphins, sharks and blue whales.

GOOD NEWS:  Hurricane Dorian didn’t cause much beach erosion.

BAD NEWS: Hurricane Dorian didn’t lower the water temperature much, delaying the bite.

GOOD NEWS: Getting lots and lots of “fish reports” to chase.

BAD NEWS: Most of those chases turn out to be fools’ errands.

GOOD NEWS: At least we haven’t missed the bite yet.

BAD NEWS: The bite hasn’t started yet.

GOOD NEWS: Montauk is not that crowded with fishermen so far.

BAD NEWS: There’s a season opener Surfcasting Tournament this weekend, which means combat fishing conditions if the bite breaks loose.

GOOD NEWS: Amazing Randy and I got into an “old time religion” bass blitz under the bluffs at Montauk Point at dusk this evening. 

BAD NEWS:  There ain’t no bad news in this case.

VC and Billy the Priest searched mostly in vain for the fish—including elusive albes—all weekend long.  Big Brother Frank is out of the game this year, nursing a busted wing back to health on the West Coast by charting LA Dodgers pitch counts. He’ll be missed.

GOOD NEWS FOR BBF: Big Brother Frank teaching bluefish the meaning of life in the surf at Shagwong, before his busted wing took him out for the season.

Amazing Randy, who sat out most of the weekend follies dining on porterhouse medium rare, responded early on Monday to the fish reports touting hard hitting bass at Turtle Cove.  The morning was a disappointment, but the afternoon shined.  Randy got a head start on me arriving at the Sewer Pipe around 430pm. He scored about a half dozen blues and bass there, reporting: “All the fish you want at Camp Hero.” He had one striper to 30 inches. Meanwhile, I was en route, fielding and retweeting fish reports from LeeBob, who was first at home on the UWS, but continued to relay and receive reports while onstage on Broadway.  Talk about multitasking. 

I arrived at Turtle Cove—the gates are finally open to the approach road—at 530pm, only to watch the blitzing bass pass me by. Around the Lighthouse Jetty they went.  So did we. Randy and I intercepted the blitz under the bluff near Scott’s Hole

It was old time religion: fish busting in the rolling waves, finning in the rocks as the tide began to build. We each brought in a half dozen schoolies and had many many more strikes and drops. A rock jockey swam out to a boulder right in front of us. We had to cast left and right of him, so the fish we nailed played us into and around the rock piles, which didn’t do our braid line much good. Randy had one quality fish. My biggest was only about 25 inches. All our fish were over 22 inches. I had some on a green teaser fly—and one “duble!!!” All the rest, to my visual delight, exploded on top, hitting a blue Super Strike. We left them biting at dusk.

The Red Hill Capos are due here in a few days and they will appreciate the Good News about the weather. Most are not here for the fishing, anyway. But for those who are, hopefully, the Good News about the bite will continue to improve.

Bad News? LeeBob! Where are you?

LET IT BE WRITTEN: Move over Alabama. Time for the Montauk “sharpie” fishing forecast.

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