New Tack, a Running Roccus Report

Area: Inshore

Roccus7

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Vindication, but a Pyrrhic Victory...

A second visit from Pepe was NOT an option so I "commuted" today to an adjoining body of water. The only kicker was an extreme Full Moon Low Tide meaning I had to shove off from my dock by 04:00, lest I wait until almost 08:00. Sleep was not easy over last night, in that I was afraid that I might had left my engine down, so I was at the dock at 03:50, all set to shove off, even though the engine had been raised and I could have gone back to sleep.

Crawled out of the harbor trying to avoid moorings and lobster pots, only to creep over to the next estuary, having to avoid lobster pots. Got at "the spot" at first light and was delighted when my second cast elicited interest. After a few more casts that were hounded, but not struck at, by some nice middle 20" bass, I finally tied into a feisty 25" fish so no skunking today. Continued to pick at them for the next 45 minutes, ending up with 6 fish.

Just as I was considering packing it in my plug got sucked into a massive surface explosion of one very pissed off striper. The fish ran right up to the beach instead of away, getting dangerously close to a lobster pot. I got her away from that and soon the battle had turned in my favor. As the fish approached the boat for the first time I saw her, a 30+" fish that was destined for my dinner table tonight. Regrettably Poseidon had other ideas and as the fish turned away from the boat, I felt the hook pull out of her.

Oh well, fished for another 20 min and dropped a mid20" fish, telling me it was time to head back to the barn. Morning's tally was half a dozen fish from 21 - 25", all in all a good reason not to sleep in...

First light at "The Spot"...


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captmike28

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Vindication, but a Pyrrhic Victory...

A second visit from Pepe was NOT an option so I "commuted" today to an adjoining body of water. The only kicker was an extreme Full Moon Low Tide meaning I had to shove off from my dock by 04:00, lest I wait until almost 08:00. Sleep was not easy over last night, in that I was afraid that I might had left my engine down, so I was at the dock at 03:50, all set to shove off, even though the engine had been raised and I could have gone back to sleep.

Crawled out of the harbor trying to avoid moorings and lobster pots, only to creep over to the next estuary, having to avoid lobster pots. Got at "the spot" at first light and was delighted when my second cast elicited interest. After a few more casts that were hounded, but not struck at, by some nice middle 20" bass, I finally tied into a feisty 25" fish so no skunking today. Continued to pick at them for the next 45 minutes, ending up with 6 fish.

Just as I was considering packing it in my plug got sucked into a massive surface explosion of one very pissed off striper. The fish ran right up to the beach instead of away, getting dangerously close to a lobster pot. I got her away from that and soon the battle had turned in my favor. As the fish approached the boat for the first time I saw her, a 30+" fish that was destined for my dinner table tonight. Regrettably Poseidon had other ideas and as the fish turned away from the boat, I felt the hook pull out of her.

Oh well, fished for another 20 min and dropped a mid20" fish, telling me it was time to head back to the barn. Morning's tally was half a dozen fish from 21 - 25", all in all a good reason not to sleep in...

First light at "The Spot"...


View attachment 49957
Sorry to hear you lost a nice dinner, Roccus, but at least you enjoyed the battle. Plus, you easily have some of the best scenery around!!!
 
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Roccus7

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Never quite sure when my "Across the River Neighbor's House" has this reflection on the water...

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Talk about shades of The Amityville Horror!! When their house catches the predawn light just right, it reminds me of that movie. Regardless, when I got out to "The Spot" this morning I was greeted with a magnificent light show:

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The photo also shows the bane of late tide fishing in this spot, sea weed. Since it's been blowing pretty well during the day, lots of rockweed has been torn loose, and I had to pick and choose where to start fishing based on the weed. The first drift was a bust, but when I could fine tune my drift away from the weeds, things perked up and I had 30 minutes of great fishing. This is consistent with last year at this location, when I found myself heading home while others were just getting out.

Roccus Striper Rule #1 - Striper and Sleep are two mutually exclusive "S" words...

The fish were on the large size, for Maine, and feisty, which meant a prolonged battle, but low numbers, something I'm starting to really enjoy and embrace. That being said the paucity of small fish has me concerned for the future...

I caught 4 fish from 23 - 28", and the great part was none of them toyed with the popper, they just slammed it and were hooked. Even better, I didn't even drop anybody so last night's postponed "Stripah Suppah" will be tonight.
 

Roccus7

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Live Performance of Pogy and Bass, along with reruns of Weeds...

The start of the morning was quite promising with this beautiful sunrise upon arrival to "The Spot":
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Don't let those ripples fool you into thinking there was any breeze, it's all Pogy!! So I moved away from them as it's very rare to pull Bass from concentrated bunker schools on poppers, only to find few casting lanes that weren't choked with Weeds. Eventually I got things sorted and had a slow pick of stripahs, 5 fish from 19 - 25", bringing the YTD Totals to 182 bass, including 16 slot fish, of which 4 came home for dinner...
 

Roccus7

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There's no place like home, there's no place like home...

Wind finally started to lay down this evening and I was off to the new morning spot, over on the next river. Hit my morning spot for an hour with NOTHING. I was furious and failure was NOT an option. Looked at my watch & tide chart and even though I thought my home river was done, a primo tide and one of my old standards seemed to be calling me.

I got there just as the sun was down below the horizon, magic time!!
1655777873220.jpeg

I vowed I'd take one drift and if there was no action, I'd succumb to Pepe LePew's siren song.

Well Poseidon intervened and on my second cast of the first drift I boated a 20" fish and my next cast was followed by a 30+" fish that calmly turned away as I picked up the lure. Took a second drift and hooked up, and dropped the anchor to hook up the boat. Spent 30 fun filled minutes have some sort of action on every other cast, but typical bass MO in that as the light receded, the strength and sincerity of the strikes abated too.

Ended the evening with 5 fish, 19 - 27" and a broad grin...
 

Roccus7

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Been fishing, but the combination of meh tides and preparing for, along with the arrival of the Munchkins for their yearly visit has limited my fishing of late. Did get out with my son this morning and we got 4 stripahs to 25". Tough fishing, especially since a couple of bigger girls came up to visit his popper, frustrating him no end...
 
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longcast

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Been fishing, but the combination of meh tides and preparing for, along with the arrival of the Munchkins for their yearly visit has limited my fishing of late. Did get out with my son this morning and we got 4 stripahs to 25". Tough fishing, especially since a couple of bigger girls came up to visit his popper, frustrating him no end...
And that frustration brings you back! :)
 
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Roccus7

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Fish and Fireworks

The Grandpa, Daddy, and Wind Tunnel Schedules finally abated and aligned last night, and my son and I got out for a quick jaunt into the harbor. We hit a blitz a few hundred yards from the dock and put a dozen 21 - 23" "swimming Blunt" stripahs over the rail, and were back on the dock in less than an hour just as a neighbor started a nice firework show for our viewing pleasure.

As many have mentioned in Maine this season, the fish were extremely fat and very healthy; no swimming heads around here.

Boat season to date total is now over 200.
 
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Roccus7

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A Slot Fish Hat Trick 4th of July!!

My son has been chomping at the bit as I've been pulling in many slot fish the past 2 years, and he's had yet to get a fish once the minimum was raised to 28". Until last year, it was an extreme rarity for me also, my average being around 3-4 per year. Last year he just missed out with a 27" fish, and I was bound and determined to put him on a "Keepah" this year.

Regrettably, weather and parenting, along with the predilection of the bass to be on a first light to sun up feed at "The Spot", has made this task quite onerous to date. Last night I decided that today would be the day, and screw the sleep. We headed out the door at 04:05 and my son started casting about 04:20, as I played guide more than fishing buddy. Within 10 minutes he was onto a fish that surprised both of us, as it never really went on any long runs, but it kept up with the classic mongo headshakes and bulldog tendencies consistent with a decent bass. Five minutes later, I slipped a net under a nice 28.5" fish so mission accomplished and the question of what was for dinner also solved!

Now that that was out of the way I decided to toss a few casts and was rocked by a decent fish, a nice fat 28" one that was quickly released. The fish gave us some cardiac irregularities when it approached the boat with 2 of its larger sisters alongside, but they did not try to hit the plug in my fish's mouth, and my son couldn't entice either one. I also watched as the fish spit up a pretty decent sized Rock Crab, which may have finally answered why this particular, rocky area is so prolific. My son kept fishing and landed another 4 fish, from 20 - 26". As the sun popped over the horizon, things died and we decided to head back to the barn.

As we entered the harbor we found a few Whack A Mole tourney's underway and played twice, pulling in a fish apiece, with "the old man" getting a decisive win when the boat's third 28" fish on the morning, another one that was allowed to swim away. All in all, a wonderful way to celebrate our country's 246th birthday!!
 

Roccus7

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Another Slot Stripah Spectacular...

After being used and abused by the local bass last evening, I decided to "commute" today. The fish last night were toying with the plug, only hooked 2 out of a dozen fish that slapped and/or swirled at the popper, and dropped both of those, one of which being a definite slot fish. Not wanting to repeat that debacle today, I dragged my azz out of bed at 04:00 and headed over to the next river.

Got there just as dawn was breaking, and was disconcerted when the first drift was fruitless. Things turned around quickly as the next drift yielded a 28" fish on the first cast, which was quickly released. The bite continued well with an additional 6 fish, one a 30" beauty, also released.

Per SOP at this spot, as soon as the sun came over the horizon, the fish started with tepid and insincere strikes, along with the most frustrating tail slapping of the plug back at me. Not wanting to further my abuse at the fins of the stripers, I headed back home, only to see a Whack A Mole blitz 100 yds from my dock. I figured "WTF" and dropped a quarter into the machine, and was dutifully abused by my striped nemeses with a few disinterested swirls and a couple of plug tail slaps.

Gave it up, but a couple of breaks 50 yds from the dock made the Devil pop up on my shoulder, "Aren't you going to try???" I yielded and this time the plug was rocked, and I notched another 28" fish for the day's tally of 3 keepahs and 5 schoolies, a good reason for sleep deprivation.
 

Roccus7

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Stripers wouldn't let me get home!!

As I walked down to the dock in the pre-dawn darkness, the silence was broken by the rustling in the woods of Bambi scurrying away. To me that deer was a harbinger of a great day of fishing, as just about every time I get startled by a deer, it's a good morning's fishing.

Got to the spot and had action on the second cast. Fished till just after sunrise and had 9 fish from 19 -29 ", with lots of action and interest in my lures, but far fewer solid hits. Just as I said to myself "One more cast after this one" the water exploded as a very large, and none too pleased, fish crashed my lure and took off on a good 40 yd sprint. Since I was in the very rare situation of drifting away from the shore in deep water, with no lobster traps nor obstacles in sight, I had the luxury of allowing the fish to tire herself out, and 5 min later I slipped the net under another Maine personal best striper, a 34 3/4" beauty. She weighed 18 lbs on the Boga, and was one gorgeous fish, contender for the centerfold in next month's Playstripah.

As it took some time to get her unhooked, I was sorely tempted to keep her, or at least take a photo, but I decided the right thing to do was to quickly weigh her and then mount an all-out effort to revive her for release with no further delays. It took a good 5 minutes of work, but she suddenly shook her head, freeing her from my grip on her jaw, and quickly turned to swim away.

Took a few more casts, but the Weekend Warriors were starting to buzz around and I didn't want anyone to see where I had been fishing so I took off for home, excited, but pretty tired. Although "the best part of waking up are stripers on your rod", there was a definite need for some Folger's at this point...

As I entered the Harbor, I noticed some fish breaking in a spot notorious for rats, so I passed on that. A bit further up the river, I saw a small pod of feeding fish, some of reasonable size, but the need for caffeine continued to push me homeward.

When I came around the point just down river from my dock the entire width of the river was covered with feeding stripers. The way to the dock was blocked by feeding fish!!!

Well, the burning desire for caffeine suddenly disappeared and I grabbed the rod and tossed my popper into the melee. The first cast was totally ignored by the fish, which had me thinking, "Good, they're playing hard to get so why not get that coffee after this cast?" any you can guess what happened then - just no rest for the weary around here. I spent the next 20 minutes slowly working my way towards my dock, picking up an additional 5 fish from 19 - 23" for the morning's tally of 15 fish from 19 - 34.5" with 2 keepahs, that are both out there swimming. And yes, that cup of coffee tasted excellent!!
 

Roccus7

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Damn, the Professor of American Literature from Tufts schooled me this AM on the fishing grounds.
I fished with a fellow PhD, and he got 7 stripers, 20 - 27.5", to my single fish!!

At least I maintained some dignity in the fact that my single fish was 31", and upheld the "Science Rules! banner by telling him I was only interested in large fish. If he had believed that I was ready to sell him a bridge to Brooklyn spanning the East River in NY.

It was a great morning to be on the water!!
 

captmike28

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Damn, the Professor of American Literature from Tufts schooled me this AM on the fishing grounds.
I fished with a fellow PhD, and he got 7 stripers, 20 - 27.5", to my single fish!!

At least I maintained some dignity in the fact that my single fish was 31", and upheld the "Science Rules! banner by telling him I was only interested in large fish. If he had believed that I was ready to sell him a bridge to Brooklyn spanning the East River in NY.

It was a great morning to be on the water!!
Well done, once again, Roccus. You are definitely Mr. "Old Reliable" when it comes to Maine Bassing!
 
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Roccus7

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Shades of First Cast Curse!!

Been beached for 10 days now, as engine's tilt/trim motor is shot, along with some houseguests that would have also disrupted my fishing. DTs got the best of me today, and even though it was high noon, I grabbed a rod and my kayak gear to paddle over to my favorite mid-ebb island.

Way too clumsy to fish out of the kayak so I beached her and tossed a cast into "the" rip, which immediately had interest by a fish swirling around the popper 4 times, but no hit. I started to panic, in fear of that dreaded "First Cast Curse" where I swear one striper says to his schoolmates, "Let's yank this guy's crank!! I'll swirl at his plug and then we can laugh for the next hour watching him keep trying to catch one of us."

After a good 20 minutes of fruitless casting I was becoming resigned to a visit from Pepe LePew, but I was bound and determined NOT to take the skunk. 15 min later I unhooked and released a feisty 22" fish.

Didn't stay much longer, another fruitless couple of dozen casts convinced me it was Miller time. Hopefully the boat will be ready tomorrow so I can get back to some serious striper fishing...
 

Roccus7

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Back in the saddle...

Finally got the boat back yesterday after my replacement tilt/trim motor arrived, probably via slow boat from China, but I digress...

Went out bright and early this AM at first light with a "Keepah Virgin", someone I taught how to catch bass 3 years ago, but had yet to catch a nice striper dinner. Today's Mission - get him onto a keeper.

Hit a few places and there were keepers around, but difficult to hook. I dropped one definite and one probably, but both got away, he kept catching smaller fish. As the sun got high in the east, but more importantly, the tide had risen enough for me to comfortably get up on some mud flats, we headed to the flats in a last gasp effort.

Upon arrival we were greeted with sporadic tailing fish. My hypothesis is that the larger fish, tired of dining on pogies (bunker), come to the mud to change things up with worms, clams and crabs, and things looked up for us. The "Virgin" hooked up with a feisty and non too happy bass, and proceeded to do everything in his power to lose the fish: stopping to reel when the fish charged the boat saying "I lost it", cranking while the fish was running, and not preventing the fish to swim under the boat and get the line under the motor. If there was a list of "Rookie Mistakes", he would have checked them all off. I actually started laughing over things.

In spite of these faux pas, luck prevailed and we boated the fish, making for a very excited and proud fisherman, along with a relieved captain. Relief came on 2 fronts, accomplishing the mission objective and the Admiral's dinner request for Striped Bass Ceviche; I dropped an additional keeper on the flats so getting a filet off of this fish was my last hope...
 
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Roccus7

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Caught, but nothing to write home about...

Got out this AM and found some large bass cruising the flats. Caught and released a 28" fish, and hooked into a very pissed off, larger fish in 3' of water. She was able to toss the hook after about a minute of fun. After that, the cruising fish pretty much ignored my offerings...
 

george

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Caught, but nothing to write home about...

Got out this AM and found some large bass cruising the flats. Caught and released a 28" fish, and hooked into a very pissed off, larger fish in 3' of water. She was able to toss the hook after about a minute of fun. After that, the cruising fish pretty much ignored my offerings...
You sure have a lot of slot fish up there this year. It's good to see.
 
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