What a fantastic solo trip I had today. Just about everything you can imagine! I literally could not get myself to leave the water today as I fished from 7 AM - 4 PM! A little chilly in the morning, but never the less a gorgeous day on the water! This is going to be a long a report, but so many cool things happened today the fishing geeks out there will enjoy it....
I guess I will spit out the story chronologically. Left the docks at 7 AM to catch the last hour of the incoming. Pretty confident of the fishing upriver for schoolies, but my goals for today included Joppa, Mackerel, and Keeper Stripers. As soon as I crossed the Ice Breaker, I saw birds working on the Salisbury flat. I swung over and saw fish busting! Yes! I throw out the light green RonZ and come tight to a nice 24 inch striper. With no wind and fish breaking at the boat, I switched to my lighter set up and went 9 for 9 on my next casts with fish ranging from very 12 - 23 inches. A blast on light tackle - Joppa fishing! I ended up with a bakers dozen when in the blink of an eye when the OFF switch flipped.
The tide was slacking out so I went on a hunting mission. I checked all the usual suspect inside and then ventured out to the beach front in front of Plum Island to check the bottom changes from the winter. To be honest, I was just cruising around looking for something to set up on, but I just kind of drove around and got intimate with the new boat and electronics. Felt so good to be out there and hanging out while still getting used to it...but man is she great!
From there, I shot out and started drifting for mackerel. After what felt like a long 10 minutes, I started to load up on fish of all sizes. Some very large, some nice medium ones, but mostly tinkers! We didn't get many tinkers last year so this was sweet! They are striper candy. Got around 35 or so then the tide line I was fishing dispersed and the bite died, but I still tried for another 30 minutes waiting for the tide to get moving in the river.
With bait in hand, I wanted to try my luck at Joppa. Never made to where I wanted to fish as I encountered yet another blitz by the Toothpick. Smaller class schoolies this time, but I had to stop and get on the action and I'm glad I did. They were very aggressive on top and wanted nothing to do with my trusty green RonZ, so I switched to white. No takes. "Ok I'll go smaller" switch to a small Savage Sand Eel the killed it for me in the AM. The wind had picked up and the current was moving, which made it difficult to cast and retrieve and still no bite yet. Hmm...bucktail..One cast and I decided that was a stupid idea. Ohhh ok my favorite topwater is perfect for this situation: A white Rebel Jumpin Minnow! First cast ...Tight! Successive casts I learned they were only hitting if I gave them a super fast retrieve, but they kept swinging and missing it! So now I am thinking I need something small, but casts far, can't be reeled in quick, and preferably subsurface....Shimano Wax Wing in Pink! THAT was the ticket...picked 6 for 6 my next set of casting. People were anchored and chumming, trolling umbrellas/tube and worm, casting, and I was even drifting a livie the whole time, but no one was catching until that Wax Wing hit the water. (This was a long blitz...seriously)
It was starting to get claustrophobic and took my macs to the river. A couple drifts and a couple sings and misses! I had to get my timing back, but the first are there so I stick with it. I catch a couple fish in the 24 - 26 range, while Capt. Scott of Summer Job Charters and Capt. Pete of Obsessed Charters start busting my balls that they just caught keepers. I see some bird activity yet again a little more inside the Jetties. I sneak in there and again fish everywhere! I wanted a keeper so I stuck to the bait as opposed to casting. Picked up and dropped a couple fish (damn was I googan today), but no keepers yet. I had one at the boat that probably would have kept, but it spit the hook boat side and those don't count!
Finally, I was able to connect on three keepers to finish off the day! Nice fish in the 28" - 29.5''. Happened a little later in the tide that I thought it would be, but I'm not complaining!
So in summary...everything is here...on schedule.