Sunday, November 7, 2010

Smoke on The Water

I fished the Nassau Sportsfishing Trout Tournament Saturday with two friends, Leon Freeman and Don Hughes.  We arrived at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp early, launching at 6:30 in order to make the check out at the City marina by 7:00am.  Even though the temperature was hovering around 39 degrees with the 17mph wind causing white caps and making it feel more like 30, we had good omens  having drawn the number one (actually number 201) boat, being the first at the boat ramp, and checking out first.  The tide was still coming in, expected to peek at around 9:00am, so we headed back up to Tiger Island to fish over some oyster beds with live shrimp under a float.  The frigid air blowing over the warmer water created a "Sea Smoke", prompting me to break out into the Deep Purple tune, "Smoke on the Water", to my angling companions chagrin!  Our first stop didn't produce any bites, but we made a quick run and another stop where we began to pick up some fish - first a small Redfish, then another, but then we had a good battle with a slot-sized Redfish and had "one in the box".  Leon was picking up some Trout at the front of the boat, then Don got in on the action with a Trout or two, and then he brought a keeper Trout to the boat and into the box; we were one Flounder away from a "Slam Entry"!  Then Don hooked up with something big and we were all pumped!  The fish ripped drag and was soon 50 yards from the boat. Don fought the fish from the bow to the stern, around the stern and back to the bow, and around again.  He eventually worked the fish to the boat before it dived and went under the boat, around the engine and then he began to submit.  As I saw the float and leader come out of the water I leaned over an put the net down in the water to get our trophy and...AAW MAN, a Bonnethead Shark!  I grabbed the leader, held it tight, and the shark broke off with the last laugh.  Leon suggested a move to a nearby spot that he had fished in the past and it paid off quickly.  Fishing over oysters near a grass bed we soon found Trout and had hookup after hookup.  Unfortunately, the fish were all 14 3/4", almost so that we commented that we were catching the same fish over and over!  We moved to behind Tiger Island and fished deep with jigs, then headed around through Bells River to the mouth of Lanceford, again fishing deep with jigs, but no real bites.  Finally, the tide had changed so we headed south, cutting through Horsehead and on to Spanish Drop to fish the runouts.  Here, we picked up another Redfish or two and a couple of Trout, but nothing of any size.  We fished jigs deep along the rocks of Nassauville then headed to Jackstaff to fish the now exposed oyster beds.  Knowing that we were one fish away from a "Slam" entry, I hit a spot or two where we had caught Flounder before and sure enough, Leon picked one up, but it was just shy of 12", and then I had an even littler one.  We did have one more hookup with a Redfish, but he was small and wouldn't have helped our cause.  Luckily, the weather had warmed somewhat so we ended the day enjoying fishing with friends and counted it as another great day to be out on the water!

No comments: