Weekend Weather (September 29, 2008)
by, 08-28-2011 at 04:20 PM (248 Views)
Thought this one would be appropriate given the current conditions...
The sea was a perfect angry mess Friday morning and in it, the fish came out to play in a big way.
When I arrived that morning at the Gun Mount I'd like to say I thought twice about fishing it. But I didn't. I only thought once and geared up and headed down. There were a couple other brave souls venturing out and the handful of us started working the rocky stretch. The 6-8 foot chop broke over the bar at the point creating a fast moving river of whitewater sliding from east to west toward the wall at the Harbor of Refuge. This broken slop mixed and churned with the breakers that were deflecting around the point reaching into the beach. The wind came in hard over my shoulder, so other than the swell and breaking waves, the water was slick and smooth.
It was one of those mornings when dawn never came. It just went from dark to less dark over the course of an hour or so. Shortly after daylight the birds started to emerge and the rain began to poor. The gulls worked the edges of the whitewater and the cormorants rode and dove in the swift current. I could see bluefish rising in the backs of breakers and small bass working the break on the shore. I worked a big pencil for an hour or so and was rewarded with several rather large bluefish, but no bass.
I was soaked to the core by now, but it wasn't time to quit. I decided to move down the coast to one of the breachways to catch the start of the ebb. I'm glad I did.
The rain had really started to pick up by this point and the wind was blowing a steady 25 to 30kts. When I popped open the door of my truck it swung so hard I thought it might get ripped off. I could hear nothing but the sound of howling wind and raging surf. I grabbed my gear and walked out toward the jetty.
The surf was coming in at a 45 degree angle to the eastern jetty. Every few waves, one would swallow the jetty up halfway back from the end. It wasn't time yet to go all the way out. I'd give it an hour or so before I tried that.
The tide had just started to slack and in the sand stained, green water I could see mullet skipping and schooling along the surface of the entire breach. The cormorants were in there by the dozens, diving and quickly reemerging with something in their mouths. I saw one actually choke down a 16 inch eel. He kept diving with it in his mouth and it took him several attempts at this to swallow it down. It was pretty amusing.
The blues had begun to launch surface attacks on the mullet. One gentleman a little further down the jetty had just put one on the rocks. It was not small. I managed to take one myself on a pencil before the tide began to move. It was not small either. As the ebb started to pick up I switched over to a full sized bomber. The blues were still on the attack but I couldn't manage a take. Also, during each of my swings, I would feel the plug chug through thick schools of bait below the surface clutter of mullet. There was a second dimension of bait in the inlet, of decent size too, that I never got a visual on. Later on I did find half pieces of fish that had been cut by bluefish which almost definitively resembled butterfish. I wonder if?
As the tide dropped, moving out on the jetty appeared to be a little more realistic. So out I went. I got to the area where the breaking swells just reached up the breach and spilled whitewater along the edges. Sand colored backs with stripes began to appear charging up current with every break. The bass were moving in. From this perch I managed only a couple of blues and smaller bass. A man a little further out had just landed a bass of about 20 pounds so I decided it was time to get closer.
There were only 3 or 4 of us now and we were spread out nicely along the jetty. One guy fishing the end, me just inside of him and two others further back. He was fishing a bottleneck swimmer, me the bomber and the other two, rubber shads. I began to target the piece of water just outside of the opposite jetty. The water accelerated at this point and was also the same place the standing breakers would spill up the breach. The waves looked to be breaking in slow motion, but in reality they were stacking and breaking furiously over one another. The place had really started to come alive. Along the face of these waves you could see blues and small bass surfing through and popping out the front. They looked as if they were breaking through panes of glass, shattering baitfish out in front of them. It was wild, but I avoided this activity and focused on the other piece of water I had just found.
I had to cast my lure due south so it could blow over to the west into the place I wanted to fish. When the plug landed I just took up enough slack to feel the plug and let it float through the slot. One cast was all it took. The fish grabbed hold and started charging west. I put the brakes on just before he tried to slide out in front of the jetty and managed to work him up inside just below where I stood. A solid bass of 20 pounds or so now flopped below me in the surging breach. I had no choice but to climb down and get him. I managed to time my decent just so, quickly slid my hand under the gill, and plucked him out.
Sharpen hooks. Repeat. This went on for a while.
Eventually a crowd began to gather and before I knew it I was standing in the middle of a 21 storm shad salute. Guys were firing these things at will over my shoulder and it quickly began to feel like fishing a breachway again. I'd had enough, so decided to call it a day and headed home.