New Tack, a Running Roccus Report

Area: Inshore

Roccus7

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I've been cursing the last couple of days...

Been having a tough time with slot fish the last 2 days. I hook 'em, but they spit out the hook and then I throw a huge temper tantrum.

Yesterday I caught 5 to 27" and dropped 3 large fish, much to my dismay, and this morning started off much the same, with me catching a few smaller fish, but the larger fish would constantly taunt me while fishing in 3' of water over the mudflats. I really lost it when one crashed my plug, tail walked, greyhounded and then took off on an extended run, only to turn around and spit out the hook. I was just about ready to toss my rod over the side and take up golf.

Not too long after, I noticed a few fish breaking a good distance away and headed off at 1200 RPM, only to see a fish, disturbed by me wake, take off parallel to the boat's path. I killed the engine and threw a Hail Mary cast in the direction I thought the fish took off in and after two pops, it was FISH ON!! I had all the water and room in the world for this battle so I backed way off the drag and took my time and pretty soon there was 29" fish in the net, Thank You Baby Poseidon!!

As I was unhooking the fish I heard that "Chalk on the Blackboard" screech of bald eagles, only to look up to see that my fishing was being reviewed by two Federal Officials. I guess they were hoping that when released, they could grab the fish, but she was safely stowed in the cooler...

Ended the day with 5 fish, 20 - 29", bringing the season total to 290 stripers

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Roccus7

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I think asmfc needs to look at all of those bass you're catching:)

They actually since data from the Maine's Volunteer Angler Log program, which I participate in, gets submitted to ASFMC.

In 2019 I had the singular "distinction" to have caught the smallest bass recorded in the Maine, a massive 8" "Monstah". :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

I didn't know that fish that small actually migrated. My thought is that it came from the Kennebec river, a river with a viable reproducing population, that is only 3 rivers west of me...
 

Roccus7

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Today was International Stripers Screw With Roccus Day

Tides finally aligned so I didn't have to leave my dock in the dark, providing the pleasure of extra sleep. Got to the spot around 05:10 and by virtue of seeing fish swimming around, but ignoring or being scared by my offerings, I knew it was not going to be a great morning. The fish were having a great time F-ing with me; I swear I could hear underwater laughing.

Moved to spot #2 and caught 2 fish, a rare small one at 17" and then a 23", but that was it. I knew things were probably over for me, but I couldn't get to my dock so I met up with a buddy who had netted a bunch of bunker and bummed some, along with a circle hook. I figured I'd kill time succumbing to the Dark Side and use bait for a change.

Then proceeded to take multiple drifts, once again affording the fish with ample opportunities to screw with my mind. At least 6 times my bait would frantically swim around on the surface with a bass on it, but even with multiple slurp attempts, none of them actually swallowed the bait.

Finally I was able to leave and get home, but certainly not with my integrity nor self-esteem intact.
 
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Roccus7

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It's August, Stripah Maineiacs fear Pepe LePew and consider taking up, Poseidon forbid, golf...

Like clockwork, the fishing has really dropped off as the calendar went from July to August. I'm lucky to catch 2 fish per outing, and often live in dread fear of getting skunked. Today I had to dig deep to rid myself of an impending skunk, and was seriously considering buying golf clubs!!

Decided to travel a bit, to a spot that has been very good in summer's past. I got there early and hit every spot in that cove, including a "Never Miss" spot in a desperate attempt to keep me from getting skunked. For an hour's fishing I had one tepid follow to show. Almost grabbed the cell phone to order some golf clubs to take the sting out of the looming skunk.

Then, like Mana from Heaven, a buddy texted me about a decent morning at a different, but nearby cove. He said the good bite had stopped and he was heading home, but gave me some intel on that cove's Never Miss spot. It was on my way home so I stopped by.

I was greeted by seals, which is never a good sign, and started hitting the described areas with no results. I was drifting over the last spot and then fully resigned to a skunking, announcing "Last Cast" to the seals. Well that cast did result in a small, but a definitely striped 19" fish; I swear I saw a skunk sulking away into the woods.

Well I had to take some additional casts and ended up with a second fish that went 23", which was very welcomed in that it was #300 for the season. It surprised me in that when I checked last year's records, I found that I was at 330 at this point, so the deficit is only 10%. I would have sworn I was way below last year for a YTD total.

One other interesting note from one of this past week's outings: I would have sworn I had hooked a bluefish, something I never seen in Maine. I was fishing 8' of water and when my plug got crashed, the fish came flying completely out of the water 3 times in quick succession, making me wonder if it was a blue. Bass will occasionally go skyward, usually in shallow water, but the best you get is a single jump clearing the water. That fish the other night has set a new record for bass jumps...
 
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Roccus7

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Stripah Sashimi - It's what's for suppah...

Had a decent morning, 3 fish to 28", but fishing has definitely slumped off to the August Abyss. Brought home the slot fish for a nice tray of Sunday Sashimi.
 

Roccus7

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Shades of Monty Python's Mr. Creosote and the thin mint...

Just filleted the fish and figured it had a pogy (New England for Bunker) in her gut, because of her very full belly. Apparently she had ordered a three course meal and my popper was her "one thin mint", and her undoing...

Besides the pogy, the only other dinner items I could glean from her stomach were grass shrimp, which bass do love. They must have been her appetizers. If you zoom in on the gill plate of the pogy in the photo below, you'll see one of the grass shrimp...

1659892775399.png
 
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Roccus7

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Tube and Worm?? We don't need no stinking Tube and Worm to catch Slot Fish!!

The local word on the street is you need to be trolling Tube and Worm rigs for consistent catches of slot fish. In spite of this, I had a delightful morning of striper fishing this morning, accompanied by a 19th Century American Lit PhD; a total of 10 fish were caught on poppers including 3 slot fish from 28 - 32" with "Dr. Melville's" pool winning 32" fish. Best fishing in a while, first double digit outing in over a month. AAMOF, we were doubled up 3 times, including a boat first, a double on slots!! There was a bit of "musical chairs" going on during that melee, as positions were changed multiple times...

Guess my plans to resurrect a Tube and Worm rig given to me by a local sharpie will have to wait...
 

Roccus7

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So, a dead mouse is a good luck charm???

Not sure if I'm ready to claim that, BUT on this AM's sortie with a friend, fishing was a bit slow until I snagged a dead mouse on my popper. As soon as I snagged it, I said to myself, "Not seaweed, but WTF can it be?" and there it was, something definitely not on my list of 1,000 Things You Might Snag Fishing A Popper. Suddenly fishing picked up, just not sure if it was because of the small move we made or the mojo of the dead rodent, but who am I to argue with Poseidon and the Fates???

Ended the day with 10 fish, 5 slots from 28 - 30" and 5 schoolies from 20 - 27". The 5 slots is a new boat record for most slot fish in a single trip...
 
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Roccus7

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Remember thou art mortal...

Well the striped nemeses had their way with me today, and that Roman saying to conquering heroes, along with my Grandmothers old saying in Neopolitan, Don't spit up into the air because it comes back and hits you in the face, have both rocked me today. Feeling good about slot fish in every trip the past week, I went back to my most recent "Go To" spot only to come up short on slots, with 6 fish, 20 - 22".

No worries, I had no intention of keeping any fish today, and since there was no wind stirring I decided to run outside to check out some numbers that were reported to be good for decent sized pollock. Got out there and did catch pollock, but nothing bigger than 12". Marked the best spots for future reference and started back toward the harbor.

Then the Devil popped up on my shoulder, You know, conditions are PERFECT for your ledge spot???? Nothing the Angel on the other shoulder could dissuade me from the temptations of the Dark Side. Yes, when I nuzzled the boat close to the ledge I saw a decent amount of weed-free white water caused by swells, and the lite offshore breeze gently nudging the boat away from danger, PEFECT!!

I fired off a cast of my Striper Strike armed with a chartreuse siwash hook in place of the normal tail treble into a void that a swell had just gone into. As the wave receded into a rush of white water I started working the plug and a large striper flew out of the wash to crash it, FISH ON!! After a long run and a very concerned me wondering how I was going to keep the fish from getting fouled in the lobster pot next to me, the line went slack and I retrieved my plug minus the tail hook. Looks like somewhere in Maine there's 30+, maybe 40" fish swimming around with a chartreuse mustache.

OK, no matter, I grabbed another rod rigged with a normal Striper Strike and fired it into the wash. After a bunch of furious swirls, another massive strike and FISH ON!! Just when the long initial run was complete, I feel the plug pull out of the fish. Well at least that time there was no equipment failure.

Had to move the boat back into the "Hot Zone" and as soon as I was back there and launched another cast it was FISH ON for the 3rd time, and hopefully the charm. Well that wasn't the case as I dropped yet another fish immediately after the initial run. Now I was spitting bullets, stomping like a spoiled 2 year old and screaming obscenities!!

I made two more drifts, but there was no activity so I put my tail between my legs and headed in. Those damn fish can surely drive one crazy!!
 
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MOJOE

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Remember thou art mortal...

Well the striped nemeses had their way with me today, and that Roman saying to conquering heroes, along with my Grandmothers old saying in Neopolitan, Don't spit up into the air because it comes back and hits you in the face, have both rocked me today. Feeling good about slot fish in every trip the past week, I went back to my most recent "Go To" spot only to come up short on slots, with 6 fish, 20 - 22".

No worries, I had no intention of keeping any fish today, and since there was no wind stirring I decided to run outside to check out some numbers that were reported to be good for decent sized pollock. Got out there and did catch pollock, but nothing bigger than 12". Marked the best spots for future reference and started back toward the harbor.

Then the Devil popped up on my shoulder, You know, conditions are PERFECT for your ledge spot???? Nothing the Angel on the other shoulder could dissuade me from the temptations of the Dark Side. Yes, when I nuzzled the boat close to the ledge I saw a decent amount of weed-free white water caused by swells, and the lite offshore breeze gently nudging the boat away from danger, PEFECT!!

I fired off a cast of my Striper Strike armed with a chartreuse siwash hook in place of the normal tail treble into a void that a swell had just gone into. As the wave receded into a rush of white water I started working the plug and a large striper flew out of the wash to crash it, FISH ON!! After a long run and a very concerned me wondering how I was going to keep the fish from getting fouled in the lobster pot next to me, the line went slack and I retrieved my plug minus the tail hook. Looks like somewhere in Maine there's 30+, maybe 40" fish swimming around with a chartreuse mustache.

OK, no matter, I grabbed another rod rigged with a normal Striper Strike and fired it into the wash. After a bunch of furious swirls, another massive strike and FISH ON!! Just when the long initial run was complete, I feel the plug pull out of the fish. Well at least that time there was no equipment failure.

Had to move the boat back into the "Hot Zone" and as soon as I was back there and launched another cast it was FISH ON for the 3rd time, and hopefully the charm. Well that wasn't the case as I dropped yet another fish immediately after the initial run. Now I was spitting bullets, stomping like a spoiled 2 year old and screaming obscenities!!

I made two more drifts, but there was no activity so I put my tail between my legs and headed in. Those damn fish can surely drive one crazy!!
thanks roccus for sharing all your post//storys,,, mojoe always enjoys reading them,,,,,,,8-),,,,,,,,,,,,,and the old saying your italian grandmother told you,,, i love it!!! (y),,,,have a good afternoon my friend,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ><)))):>
><))):>
 
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Roccus7

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Back in the saddle with a vengeance

Tilt/Trim issues have continued with a hydraulic leak on main ram. O-rink kit for all 3 rams on order, but will take a week or two more to get here so I had the yard fill 'er up with fluid so I could fish while waiting. Was torn about destination for this morning's sortie and at last minute, decided to go with Plan B, which worked out well.

Fishing with a friend, we managed 3, 23" fish and I coaxed this nice 30" fish to come home with me for dinner. Fish a bit bigger than 30", but what's an inch amongst friends? As one can see it just fits across my vintage 96 qt blue Igloo, NFW I'd spend hundreds on a Yeti when I can buy replacement parts for this baby! Also had another large fish crash the plug with no hookup.

It's the boat's 40th "Keepah" of the season, of which 35 have succumbed to me. 2022 has been a banner year for sure!!

1660913001382.png
 

Roccus7

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Reluctant dining...

Went out this AM with now intention of keeping any slot fish caught. Very early on I noticed the subtle change in the wake of my popper that said, "There's a fish following deep!" so I altered retrieve speed and rod twitches and BANG, fish on. Knew it was big as it made a racket on top and then proceeded to turn my 22' boat around twice and take me on a short, 20 yd Nantucket Sleigh Ride.

As I got her into the boat, I noticed that the lure was entirely in the fish's maw and blood coming out of the fish's gills. Got her in quickly and noticed there was a single hook buried in the flesh, right in the location of the heart. I quickly unhooked her and got her over the side, and with my hand in her mouth, trying to revive her. As I shook her 32" body gently and moved her back and forth, I noticed the blood still coming out of her gills. After 5 mins of fruitless "CPR" it was apparent that she wasn't going to make it so I made the difficult decision to keep her. 😥😥😥

One other hit, a dink that came off soon after hitting the plug. Timing of the events sealed the deal that the spot I've been fishing is daylight sensitive. You're good from first light to just after the sun clears the horizon...
 
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Roccus7

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Idle Hands are a Devil's Workshop...

Got fogged out of Plans A & B this AM as they involved "commuting" and even with radar, I'm loathe to travel out of my harbor before it gets light out in the thick fog like we had this AM. Since the bite has been dropping off after the sun rises, I decided not to go out, but as I was awake, I figured I'd try fishing in the backyard.

Had to use my GPS to get to my "Never Fail" spot in very thick fog, and my first cast had a swirl and then the fish unceremoniously tail-flicked my popper back at me. As more casts were like treated like folks in a car lot, "No thanks just looking", I started to panic thinking that the First Cast Curse had the Skunk had locked onto me. Eventually I enticed one of those "lookers" into hitting the plug and quickly released a 22" fish, followed by another 22 & a 21. By then the tide had run its course and it was back to the barn.

Still awake and somewhat bored, I decided to quantitate the size differentials when comparing 2022 to 2021 and my histograms clearly showed that at least in this case, my mind has been functioning properly. Going to run the Mean and Medians later, but it's patently obvious that thangs are shifted far to the bigger fish, especially considering I've only caught 1 16" fish so far this year, my smallest...

2021:
1661172369554.png


2022:
1661172410064.png
 
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Roccus7

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It's possible that the Fat Lady has sung for my 2022 Striper Season...

Looking at my fall travel schedule and may pull the boat tomorrow because I'll be in and out of Maine from now until November.

Well no matter, had a lovely morning, getting 7 up to 28". To get to my spot I had to pass this Panel of Pinnipeds. Fortunately they stayed put and didn't follow me to steal fish off the line.


1661348251215.png
 
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