Monday, June 18, 2012

Island Beach New Jersey Bluefish, Rough Surf, Fluke, Hoping for Stripers

 Surf was rough.

"Maybe we'll get one blue!" I said to Matt when we set our place on the beach. 

Soon I thought--nothing. But I felt surprised five or ten minutes later fighting a blue that popped the line--bad knot. Hit right in the froth.

With a seven-ounce frog-mouth sinker, I couldn't hold bottom with bunker heads. I persisted, using two heads, letting them slowly drift aside and back towards me, recasting. But bunker chunks held place in the surf fine, and missing hits from apparently smaller tailor blues felt thrilling with anticipations of fighting and catching fish. They socked the chunks and set rod tips flinging back and forth rapid fire, but when I reeled the rigs in, the chunks still clung to the hooks. I put clam out as sunset neared, but at Betty & Nicks heard of scarce stripers. Eventually, we got a couple of blues, 17 and 21 inches.

I also tried casting a two-ounce bank sinker to navigate the rough with live killies, left my hookless Hopkins back home. I hooked a fluke that had to be close to keeper size, using a huge killie. "Keep coming, keep coming," I told the fish, because I felt the hunch that it would come off. It did.

Wading very rough water to above my waist, I minded that left knee I got surgery for in December. Think I've never frozen my ass off this close to summer before! It was almost cold out. I kept whipping killies out as far as possible, finding occasional passages through whitewater when for 5 or 10 seconds these bluewater portals invited them through.

I had the hunch, hooked up, and experienced another take besides, the latter which happened unexpectedly.

Really wild in that rough surf, white water splashing my chest, tearing by my legs--loud--sensations of the breeze a vital presence accentuating water thrown about as helpless mass gathered by greater mass. The moon is a pretty big object, and the wind that rallies the waves riding over tides brought on by that lunar presence is a more formidable power--episodically--as all surf fishermen ultimately put more trust in the stable turns of high water and low. Ironically, they come and go by the same object from which we derive the word lunacy.

It was fun. My body and mind yielded to it all, becoming part of it, if to forever so remain.

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