New Tack, a Running Roccus Report

Area: Inshore

Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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Instead of separate reports, I'll just keep updating this thread when the "muse is upon me". Would certainly bore the crap out of everyone if I posted every time I went fishing as it's just about an everyday event. I'm friggin spoiled rotten and almost feel guilty that I'm having so much fun...

Nice sunset soiree this evening, 3 22" fish and 3 26" ones. I like the larger fish, BUT extremely concerned of the lack of smaller fish which should be around this time of year; I've yet to catch anything less than 21".

That does not bode well for our future. We need a couple of good spawns and quick! I do hope this spring turns out very successful for both the Chesapeake & Hudson...
 

Roccus7

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This AM was an example in extremes. Caught my first sub-21" fish, a 19" one, and my first slot fish, 28", along with 7 others from 21 - 26".

Now for today's "Popping for Bass in Skinny Water Lecture". Early in the season, when water temps are hovering at around 50°F, it is CRITICAL to fish in glassine water conditions. The calm water is key to your success for the following because it enables you to be one with The Force:

  • Where I fish it is rare to find blitzing bass this time of year. Sometimes the only hint of a fish in my estuarine river is the slightest disturbance in the surface of the water, just like what happened this AM with the 28" fish.

  • More often than not, the bass don't outright hit the popper. They will follow for long distances and unless you entice them properly, they will lose interest. Their follows are often total stealth, with no changes in current or swirls, just a pronounced bow wave of your popper! This is when YOU have to act to entice them. More often than not a quick pop followed by a DEAD STOP will get them, but this tactic is only useful with a popper that SINKS. If you try this with a floating popper, they usually just turn away. If they're still screwing with you, time for another POP and STOP, and again, and again... 6 of the fish I caught this AM, including the slot fish, were reluctant followers that had to be goaded into striking the popper.

  • It's tough to properly work a popper in choppy water, and they're useless when they're popping from wave top to wave top. Those are days I stay home.
Catch 'em up folks!!
R7

Blackened Stripah - It's what's for dinner at Chez Roccus tonight!!

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Roccus7

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Keepah #5 on the Season and a serious loss today

Hellacious SSW this AM over "the spot" that was in synch with a running tide, making anchoring up tough, taking me 4 tries to get secured in an "OK" spot, not the optimal. No worries, within 10 min I was into a probable keeper, but dropped it.

Was duly upset, but 10 min later I was into another good fish that forced me to hop onto the bow, no easy feat for me and my large feet, in order to fight the fish who immediately ran under the boat to the other side. As I was dancing around the cabin, the sacred fishing hat of 10 years was nearly blown off my head, so I took it off and tossed it into the cabin. At least that was my intention, but a huge gust of wind popped up and caught the hat, sending it out to sea, much to my dismay. Immediately my brain, "You have to win this one for the hat!" and after a very respectable tussle, a beautiful and fat 30" bass was in my net.

Unhooked, revived, and let the bass go, she was a real cover girl, but I figured I needed to get her into the water ASAP so no photo. Soon after that landed another "blunt", a fat, healthy 23" fish.

All in all a decent morning, but more of a pyrrhic victory considering the loss of the hat. I can rationalize things a bit in that it was starting to fall apart and was going to need to be replaced. At least it was lost "under fire", giving it's life for a good fish...
 

Roccus7

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Almost a carbon copy of yesterday, and no lost hat...

Another morning of high SSW winds with the added je ne sais quoi of rain, but I still couldn't sit in front of a computer when the bass are calling, so out I went at 06:00. Got to "the spot", and was successful in anchoring up right away; figured I'd open my one operable cockpit windows wide to "spill" some wind and it did help.

Started to pour and I was wondering WTF I was doing out there, but within 5 casts a very nice bass crashed my plug, splashed violently on top and was gone, so even though she wasn't well-hooked, I certainly was. About 5 min later a cast into the exact same spot yielded another violent strike, and I was latched onto to a very angry bass. At least it didn't run to the other side of the boat, so there was no need run across the bow this morning, and after a spirited fight, the 28" beauty was on the deck, to be quickly unhooked, photographed, and returned to the water. I still have striper fillets in the fridge so no reason for retaining her. Caught 2 others and things slowed down so I called it quits for the morning.

My hat selection was successful and although the old one will be missed, its replacement seems to have good ju-ju. Enjoy the Holiday Weekend!!

1653741116032.png
 

OVERBORED

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Jan 6, 2021
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Pre-2021 Season Average: 200 Shorts to 1 Keepah
2021 Final Average: 24 Shorts to 1 Keepah
2022 YTD: 6 Shorts to 1 Keepah!!!

First time getting Keepahs in May, and before mid-June...
All those bunker around along the coast, bass got fat!
 

Roccus7

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In a rare, and unusual circumstance, I decided to "Adult" this AM when I woke up at 03:30. I looked at my watch and the tide calendar and realized it was NOW or LATER in terms of ability to get off my dock due to the moon low tide. Since incoming has been good right now, I decided on LATER, and rolled over until 06:00, when I had an hour to read emails and surf. Part of my angst was that today was the first day in WEEKS that was dead calm, optimal conditions for my popper fishing.

Hopped onto the boat at 07:00 with the intention of hitting my "Go To" early incoming spot. As I got there, I realized there were sporadic fish breaking all around the area, cut the engine, turned off the sounder/GPS and proceeded to have a nice bite for around 20 min, catching 6 including a slot fish that was sent back for another day.

The first time the slot fish approached the boat, I looked down to watch another fish the same size as it grab the top hook on my popper and actually get hooked!!! There I was with 2 "Keepahs" on the same lure at the same time!!! That only lasted for a second as the new fish got off the lure. Can't decided which feeling I had more of, a sense of loss because I missed a shot at a double keepah, or relief, knowing at least I'll catch one keeper.

All in all, a delightful AM.
 

Roccus7

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Today was another evening ebb event, a taxing one in that the water was quite choppy, which is not the best for working a popper in. Managed 3 decent fish and was about to call it quits on the slack, but decided to take a few more casts.

Glad I did, as one cast got absolutely CRASHED by one large, and very pissed off fish, that took off on a screaming, greyhounding run. Since this is behavior is very atypical of striped bass, I wondered if I had hooked into my first Maine bluefish, and a gator at that. The constant long runs, and lack of head shakes, kept me wondering if there was a yellow-eyed demon on the other end of the line. Eventually the fish tired, and I found myself netting a very fat, 31" striper, the best of the season to date. To honor her valiant performance, she was quickly released to fight another day.

Maine - Life as it should be!!
 

Roccus7

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June 1 - More eddies and swirls than Norway's Maelstrom!!

One of those "interesting" mornings. Started the day at "the spot" at "the tide" and caught one fish after a multitude of fish swirling around my popper with no hits. Went to the "next spot" at "the tide" and was once again rewarded with a single fish, and a multitude of swirls. Got disgusted and pulled the anchor, deciding to drift down to my next "spot".

First cast on the drift was absolutely rocked by a freight train of a fish. After a spirited fight that involved making sure I didn't get snagged on a lobster buoy and a couple of moorings, a beautiful 32" fish was aboard, another victim of my "Chartreuse Caboose", thank you Capt. N Bob Skinner.

Drifted down to an area where there were some fish breaking, but they didn't seem very interested in my popper, once again getting lots of whirlpools, but few hits. Finally realized that they were large fish slurping down alewives!! So I took out my "elephant gun" armed with a large X-Rap Sub Walker, the closest thing I had on board to an "Alewife Slurpee". There were still swirls and Godzilla-like wakes following that plug with no hits, getting me more frustrated until I got slammed by a second 32" fish. Regrettably, she swallowed the plug and the hook pierced her heart, so I kept her.

As per usual, I was fishing all by my lonesome, not another fisherman to be seen, but a truly enjoyable morning with a total of 10 bass from 19 - 32". June is busting out all over!!

Keepah #1 and the Chartreuse Caboose

SOL.jpg


Big fish #2 and the Alewife Slurpee
june1bass.jpg
 

captmike28

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Dec 21, 2018
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Today was another evening ebb event, a taxing one in that the water was quite choppy, which is not the best for working a popper in. Managed 3 decent fish and was about to call it quits on the slack, but decided to take a few more casts.

Glad I did, as one cast got absolutely CRASHED by one large, and very pissed off fish, that took off on a screaming, greyhounding run. Since this is behavior is very atypical of striped bass, I wondered if I had hooked into my first Maine bluefish, and a gator at that. The constant long runs, and lack of head shakes, kept me wondering if there was a yellow-eyed demon on the other end of the line. Eventually the fish tired, and I found myself netting a very fat, 31" striper, the best of the season to date. To honor her valiant performance, she was quickly released to fight another day.

Maine - Life as it should be!!
You are on a great roll, Roccus!
I'm sure that over the years most fisherman have discovered the nearly all fish have their own "personality". Sometimes the big ones almost swim right up tot he boat with no fight at all while a smaller but more energetic fish will really put yo to the test. One of the great things about fishing!
Keep up the good work.
 
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george

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@Roccus7 . You better watch out. You've probably surpassed the total number of fish that NOAA counted last year :) I think you guys are way over the target :)

That's what happens to us every year. Congrats on all of those keepers. Just be sure to follow FDA on consumption :)
 

Roccus7

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Posted too early, at 08:00 I decided to run out again because it looked so nice and calm out there. Got 10 fish, 19 - 28" so another potential keeper that I let go back to fight another day.
 
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