View Full Version : North Shore 6/22 All Day: Did somebody say Pogies?!?

06-23-2005, 09:37 AM
Fished thirteen hours yesterday, leaving the slip at 0400. Gotta love the vacation days. The pogie schools that I had found a few days ago were around, and they made filling the livewell very easy. I was using a 4 lb freshwater rig, as a 5/0 trebble doesn't cast so great on heavy live bait tackle. Suffice it to say that the noble Menhaden is a great fight on light gear when hooked in the tail....leaps and everything. At one point, I was playing the role of 4lb Santiago and bringing a bait to the boat when I saw a very nice striper chase it to the boat. The following is an example of my retardation: I opened the bail and fed the fish. After chasing the bass around the area, I released a nice fat 37 incher...if I took the IGFA seriously I would have applied for a 5:1 certificate...then I could be a REAL fisherman :rolleyes: By 0600, we had over 25 2 lb baits swimming around in the livewell. After landing the nice fish, it just made sense to drift baits around the schools, especially when the smell of cucumber permeated the air and slicks were visable. First bait is deployed, hooked through the nostrils. Get a nice runoff and tighten the fish up...resistance then barely anything. Hmm....prolly took my bait. Reeled up a Pogie head. Looks like the swimming guillitines are around. Rigged up a stinger, and proceeded to have a steady pick of seven to twelve pound Bluefish. This was fun, but the thought of what kind of Bass I could take with baits like the ones I had was too temping, and at 0900 I left in search of bigger quarry.

Bad decision, JJ. The rocks were very slow along magnolia and gloucester. We fished every nice rockpile and island I know, with one 33 incher to show for it. Rain squalls came and passed, and there was good low light, but I think that the moon in June was really screwing things up in the shallow stuff. Eel grass was the same way, scared baits but nothing big enough to get it done. By this time it was 1300 and I was starting to feel useless.

My buddy was getting bored and wanted to head in or catch some bluefish so I went to some nice countours and ledges over a 80-110 dropoff to get some blues. Deployed some baits and stuck the rods in the holders, baitrunners engaged. Nervous baits, but no joy. Half hour later, he is passed out on the bow and the girlfriend demands conversation on the phone...not really paying attention for another 45 minutes, and after I get off of the phone, I begin to think that a real nice fish isn't in the cards. Go to the rods and notice they are both slack, so I reel up thinking the baits are under the boat. One rod: Pogie head, the other: no bait. Interesting. So, just for ish and giggles, I send out another bait. The Pogie rips out away from the boat, and as soon as it is 50 feet from the boat it is zooming around on the surface. I am now happy. BIG boil in back of the bait, then a huge bass comes halfway out of the water trying to get the bait...misses and I brace for the take. The pogie is still zooming around on top, when something smaller comes after it. In fact six smaller things come after it. Now, it was a pack of five pound bluefish. Land the rat blue and re-rig. My buddy is now fully alert and sending out a bait of his own. No more than thirty seconds later we're both tight...I land another five pound blue...but he is still fighting the fish. Big, strong runs, and zipping around on the surface, not a bass. Line angle comes up and the biggest bluefish I have ever seen in my life goes airborne..it's at least three feet long. He fights it to the boat, and I am shaking for this fish...in fact I'm shaking as I write this. The fish shakes it's head as it comes to the surface...no gaff so this is going to be very interesting to land. I grab the leader and pray that the 80 lb flouro on the stinger doesn't part. The fish turns it's head downward and I can see the stinger line precariously drapped across it's mouth, lead hook six inches up from the head, and the six inches between the two was nicked up BAD. CHOMP...God hates me. The fish slowly shakes its head then meanders downward. You know that "I just lost that enormous fish boatside" feeling? Multiply it by ten.

After repeating Stewart Smallie's daily affirmation mantra "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit people like me" I bring myself to re-rig the stinger on his rig and send out two more baits. Slow now, twenty minutes go by and I'm killing myself over this bluefish. Then, I hear "I'm tight" from the bow...nice! Slow, very strong downward run, gotta be a bass. Fish then wallows on the surface and I see a big broad tail and thick shoulders. Certainly not an epic fight, but a big bass. Bring the fish to leader and swing a long, fat fish over the gunwale. Taped her out at 46 inches, a very nice fish and I finally feel redeemed as she swam away...but the quest for the 50 was still ongoing. I send my bait out soonthereafter get a hit...again, a strong, slow run. Short fight and we release a 34 incher. It's getting late and the dollar menu is starting to sound awesome, so I decide to slow-troll for a half-mile or so then run back into port. Baits go in, and after a hundred yards, my rod doubles over and drag starts peeling...I forgot to engage the baitrunner, but it made no difference this fish was TIGHT. Line angle was down and the drag was singing...this was a good fish, whatever it was. The fish slowed, then thump, thump, thump... big headshakes. Line angle came up and there I got my first glimpse of the fish, about 200 feet away on the surface, a big dorsal fin shaped like a bass with the spines and a big broad tail well behind. The fish then comes to the boat fairly easily and I can see her shoulders...very thick fish. I hand the rod to my buddy, leader the bass and swing her aboard. This was the fattest striper I have ever seen. She was only 45 inches, but 40 lbs for sure. If I can figure out how to get pics off of my phone I will attach pics of this fish later on. After releasing her, we headed in at 1500.

This was easily the best single day of fishing I have had in several years, I cannot articulate how unbelievable those last three hours were in sheer size of fish and action. Tide offshore was outgoing and ripping hard, temps were between 56 and 58. The rocks were not fishing well, and I attribute this to the full moon. The fish in the rocks are likely feeding at night and inactive during the day. We did see fish, they were just not as active as I would have liked them to be. Pogie schools were neumerous and dense and were being pushed by blues and nice bass around dawn, but not in the afternoon...probably boat traffic and light conditions. The fish outside were in all likelyhood the big bass there were around Boston early in the week that are pushing north, as well as your normal roaving packs of bluefish terrorizing whatever happened to come along. This was very visual fishing, and very cool to do. I will not be OTW until Sunday with RT's very own Baitshop Boy...so let's hope the bait sticks around.

Tight Lines, SK

06-23-2005, 09:53 AM
Nice post. Epic. One of these days, I'll come to my senses, realize that flies are for trout, and start chasing big fish with serious hardware. Just cashed in some Amex points for a Penn 8500.

06-23-2005, 09:55 AM
check your PM - a bunch of data was sent

06-23-2005, 09:57 AM
Great report SK!

06-23-2005, 11:14 AM
Awesome, let's hope they stick around. I hear those guys from CA are very good livebait fishermen.

06-23-2005, 11:45 AM
SK, Great report. Got the juices flowing.... A buddy and I were over in the rocks on M'head Neck last night. Quite a few pollack in the wash and around the rocks within casting distance of shore. Christened a 9" yellow goo-goo eye. A few bass over the course of the evening. I think I need to go back to this spot at the turn of high tide.

06-23-2005, 02:13 PM
Yes sir...That kinda report has ya making fishing plans. ;)
Good Job SK!

06-23-2005, 04:03 PM
Jesus. Does anyone fly fish anymore??? Not trying to start trouble here but the truth of the matter is that anyone can go out and catch large on live bait all year long in almost any spot from NJ-Maine. Id love to hear about some big fish taken on flies.

06-23-2005, 05:34 PM
Jesus. Does anyone fly fish anymore??? Not trying to start trouble here but the truth of the matter is that anyone can go out and catch large on live bait all year long in almost any spot from NJ-Maine. Id love to hear about some big fish taken on flies.

I caught a bunch of little schoolies and one 20-inch bruiser this morning on a flatwing pattern.

06-23-2005, 05:39 PM
/\ Kidding .. though the report is true. I really did do that this morning from a float tube @ Boar's Head. Actually understated my success ... I caught three 20" fish. I know what you are saying, it seems odd that the "Internet Journal of Saltwater Flyfishing" is loaded with reports from bait fishermen. But I don't mind ... they let me know when the big fish are around so I can go after them in more sporting fashion.

06-23-2005, 05:45 PM

I am a flyfisherman...thats what I'm best at, it's what I prefer to do, and I have caught some very large fish on fly gear. I tie all of my own flies and patterns, and I take great joy in every aspect of the sport. I like casting 2 weights to rising brookies, and I like catching bluefin on 14 weights. But the fact of the matter is I am a fisherman as well. I am relatively young, and I have never seen big schools of large pogies before in my life, but have heard so much about them. Of course I leapt at this opportunity to fish them, wouldn't anyone else given the circumstances? (except for the "purists") Additonally livebaiting is fun; it's easy, and it is an avenue that always leads to very impressive fish. I have a lot of friends who enjoy fishing. However, I am often the only one who can throw and retrieve a fly proficiently. So, when I fish with these guys it's often plugs or livies...they have a ball and I get to be around some slobs. I have a short window in which to fish with the livies and I try to make the best out of it when I can, and when I do fish these baits I have the legitimate chance everytime to catch a 50 pounder or better.

I see fishing as something that has so many different, great things to do, and I want to become one of the best in every aspect...it's been one of my lifelong ambitions and I am going to realize it. The fact of the matter is that by being a purist you are limiting yourself as an angler. We only have a certain number of seasons in our lifetimes to fish, and we might as well make the best out of each one. In my posting on RT I try to help myself and others learn...RT is my logbook, and I re-read all my postings during the winter and try to think about why I did or did not catch fish. Learn something new every time you fish, that's my motto...so please forgive me for trying to figure out livebaiting huge fish on pogies, and god forbid I share with others.

It might not be flyfishing, heck it's not even fair in my opinion, but it is as fun as anything. But, I am going to pull an absolute slob out of these pogies on the fly in the very near future. In fact, tonight I am tying up some very large spreader flies to fish around these schools to get it done. If you have some legit quams with me or my posts, send it to me over PM, and we'll talk like men...don't pollute the board with this BS.

06-23-2005, 06:13 PM

Yer killin' me! I'm stuck on the road, and you're slayin'em! Great post! I hope they stay around for a few weeks: big pogies = Gator Blues!

I'll sync up with you this weekend... I need to catch a few baits for Sharkin' later in the season. Nothing like droppin a few big pogies into the slick.


"...example of my retardation..." Classic!

06-23-2005, 06:34 PM

As I stated in my post, Im not trying to start trouble. Simply wondering if anyone is catching slobs on the fly. We were taking good fish in Boston Harbor up until last Friday on flies and artificial lures. We found good fish keyed on mackeral that would still take offerings that werent alive. It seems from my own (and my clients) experience that since that time, bigger fish have been tougher to come by(on techniques other than live baiting.) Tuesday night my clients found fish with soft plastics up to about 28" bouncing jigs along the bottom over rock/gravel structure but couldnt buy a fish in deeper water or in classic No. Shore whitewater structure.

Im out tomorrow very early to catch the outgoing from 3am-7am with a friend before I have to catch a flight to Chicago for a weekend conference --124-3 but will be looking to put the ol' bass feed hard at night during the full moon to the test. I will report what I find and would love to hear if anyone is tying into big fish on the fly (in places on the No. Shore other than Joppa...)

More via PM...


06-23-2005, 06:43 PM
Hey SK,

Did you say you simply dropped a treble hook down and they were so thick you caufght them on the tail?

06-24-2005, 08:25 AM
BigK- You have to find the schools balled up...look for them either flipping or you can see the clouds of bait subsurface...big brown patch. Try to cast perpendicular to the school and across it...allow the trebble to sink for a five count (if unweighted) then just snap the trebble hard, if no contact allow it to sink for another five count...reel up the slack and hit again. Repeat until you're tight. Throw back anything that is bleeding too bad...Pogies are pretty hardy baits and they can survive after getting snagged but gill hooked baits are going to kick the proverbial bucket.

06-24-2005, 03:19 PM
Thanks SK. I am really looking forward to trying all these new methods. I actually live on lake attitash and tried the fly out front and caught me a little bassy. There are so many ways to spend my money on tackle i think my wife is going to kill me. As it is I throw away the charges and hide the bills.

Have a good weekend and thanks again for all you help.


Youever see that rapala commercial where all the guys get together before they go out and say a prayer more or less worded to the effect blah blah blah "if my wife says its ok" and they end it with "and thanks for the rapalas. I laughed my ass off.