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Old 12-18-2002, 02:35 PM
Sentience Sentience is offline
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Best day on the water, 2002?

I thought I'd get a thread going here in the cold, dark days of fishless winter.

What was your best day this past season? By best I mean most enjoyable or memorable. I don't mean "27."

The day I caught a bunch of bonito on crease flies about eight feet from shore was probably mine. Although I had a really great weekend hiking around some streams in vermont alone catching dozens of gorgeous native brookies.

The reason why I think this is a good thread is that just in writing it I thought of several days and I feel like I could list quite a few.
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Old 12-18-2002, 04:11 PM
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Skunk Buster Skunk Buster is offline
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Location: East Sandwich, MA
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There were so many great days! The early september beach blitzes in Sandwich were pretty hard to beat....thousands of fish cruising around in crystal clear water only three feet deep was pretty fantastic to witness. Maybe I'm competitive by nature, but some of my most memorable days occured when I caught fish while those nearby came up empty.

Scorton creek in early October: About 20 guys were working all along the west side and not hooking up much. I made the long trek down the beach from my house to the east jetty at the creek mouth and started casting. Immediately hooked up with some crazy thrashing bluefish one after another, right under the jealous noses of all those stuck on the other side. There was an onshore breeze and I was getting soaked from the incoming breakers, hardcore! The blues were small but tough, shaking their heads and gnashing their teeth while launching into the air. I'm convinced that bluefish try to bite their way out of a problem. I remember walking home tired, soaked, and happy.
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Old 12-18-2002, 04:48 PM
Tuna Tuna is offline
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Yup, writing about it can bring back memories, good stuff while the tundra abounds.

I actually listed a different day in a similar thread elsewhere, but to remember a different day, here is my "other" choice for most memoriable day...

Late Sept, or early Oct, well into the Montauk albie run, there's this day with a good number of albies around, winds not too high, not a weekend so there weren't too many boats, sky sometimes dark, sometimes light.

I'm reeling in this albie and a boat I had seen earlier that day putts over and the guy in the boat feeds my ego by telling me that he's seen me catch more albies than anyone that day, what's my trick?

So we chat a bit, his name is Carl, he obviously has done salt water flyfishing before, but its his first chance with his boat at Montauk and his first consistent chance at albies. I try to tell him what I do right and do wrong, then go off to catch more albies.

Carl never crowds me, but he's in sight distance and I notice he's hooking up consistently. I'm wondering if I should have shut up and asked him for advice.

Meanwhile, the albie pods come up at Shag, go down but come up at the Point, go down but come up at Shag, go down but come up at the Point... 8 hours of the only interruption to pure albie madness is a 5 minute run between two spots. Albie caught here... albie broke off there... caught another... no hookup, but did you see that pod slash thru the water?

Great albie fishing day, but better yet, met a new fisherman to compare notes with on the water. For the next few days out, I see Carl in his boat and he is getting into a zone. Gotta make sure I look for him next fall (I bet he will be back), as this time I'm asking him for advice.

That's my "other' most memoriable day.
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Old 12-18-2002, 05:03 PM
Quicksilver Quicksilver is offline
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This past year was way cool for me, with a lot of special memories. Personal best, (biggest), shad in MA, redfish in FL, striper on MV, and my first trip to Alaska with tons of pink, silver, and chum salmon. Best memory? Gotta be chasing those BFT just west of Provincetown! Casting and hooking up with 30-60 pound tuna on a flyrod on a fly that this dude tied was just the best! Next year work on actually getting one in the boat!
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:32 PM
40fathom 40fathom is offline
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I know it was not caught on a fly but, a 700lb plus Bluefin in late October. This was the thrill of a lifetime for me. I hope I get to do it again! The battle you have to go through is like no other in this world! It is amazing to see a fish that big up close!

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Old 12-18-2002, 08:14 PM
flyslinger flyslinger is offline
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most memorable

my most memorable day was early nov. sunny afternoon. caught my biigest striper so far, & on a fly that i made!
my most memorable night, late august, wading with another guy, surrounded by fish. these fish were breaking within feet of us in 2 1/2 feet of water. the other guy turned on the light on his head to look at what he thought was a fish coming right at him, it was a decent fish that didn't like the light too much & took off with a big splash, soaking him. i went home fishless & tired that night, but amazed at the number of fish that were present.

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Old 12-18-2002, 09:58 PM
Ron Ron is offline
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Best day(s) - fishing with my 10 year old daughter. She got her sea legs this year and she caught too many bass & blues to count. Most were caught trolling but some casting lures. The most memorable were 1. )when she stated "Dad, I don't want to reel anymore in" (we had several of these), and 2.) when a 15-20 lb bass escaped along side the boat.. She was really disappointed that we didn't get a picture (if she only knew how disappointed Dad was) but she stated "we would have let it go anyways so it was OK that it got loose.

I fished less for myself than I have in 20 yers but between my daughter and her friends I probably had the best year I can remember. I pronised to help my daughter catch her first fly rod blue and bass this year and she is already excited about tieing her own flies. It doesn't get any better than this.

Happy Holidays to all!

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Old 12-18-2002, 10:22 PM
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Bob Parsons Bob Parsons is offline
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Location: Barnstable
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While I had plenty of good days and an ample number of great days One of the most memorial days had nothing to do with the number of fish caught or the size.

This was the day I took Sam R. over to the bonito bar. Conditions at the bar were calm. The water was brown with all the sand eels in it. The area was loaded with bonito. They were crashing on the bait all around the boat. It was an impressive sight to see these fish come out of the depths to feed. Sam caught his first bonito ever and I caught my first one on a fly.
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Old 12-19-2002, 07:59 AM
WildmanSpecial WildmanSpecial is offline
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I would say that some of my best evenings were catching stripers up at Pavillon Beach in Ipswich after work. Can't beat those sunsets!

Also catching my first Albie at the Gut on Chappy gave me new insight into the phrase "when all hell breaks loose!"
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Old 12-19-2002, 08:29 AM
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David Churbuck David Churbuck is offline
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Location: Cotuit, Cape Cod
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My best fishing moment of 2002 came while fishing under the June full moon in shirtsleeves, slowly working the cove just inside of the entrance to Cotuit Bay from Riley's Beach to the end of Bluff Point with a floating line and a cinder worm.

It was a totally calm night without any clouds. The moon was huge and I could tie flies to my leader without switching on a light. The bass were sipping on the surface an easy 50 foot cast out into the channel, and every time I fought and caught one, the schools would scatter for ten minutes, giving me some quiet time to wade on a little further and make a few more casts.

I saw a satellite move across the sky. I heard a skunk or a raccoon in the grass. A dog barked on Grand Island and a radio played for a moment out the window of a car that pulled into the parking lot at Loop Beach.

I remember feeling completely comfortable in my own skin. No leaks in the waders, no cuts on the stripping finger, not too cold, not too warm, no other people, nothing but the most meditative two hours I think I've experienced.

All this five minutes from my back door.
David Churbuck
co-founder Reel-time
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Old 12-19-2002, 08:38 AM
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striperman13 striperman13 is offline
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Location: Middleboro
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Final Score Tuna 8 Fishermen 0

By late summer I had landed so many stripers that I had a serious case of tennis elbow in my right arm. I'm not complaning, just stating the facts. In late August coffee and 3 Ibuprofin tabs were my standard breakfast. The striper fishing started early in Boston Harbor and I had been going full tilt. There were many great trips but I was getting tired, I needed a change.

I was fishing with my son when a friend radioed me that there was a big school of something 5 miles east of Minot. We headed over to check it out. We arrived to find acres of schoolie bluefin tuna crashing balls of 2" peanut bunker. I had caught tuna in the past on heavy gear but we only had spinning outfits onboard, the heaviest being a penn 650 with 15lb line. After setting the drag I added a 50 lb leader and a 1 1/2 oz Kastmaster, set up a nice drift and cast into an active pod of fish. After several casts and different retrieves my lure started to attract attention. My retrieve was fast allowing the Kastmaster to almost break the surface of the water. A few smaller tuna a broke away from the school and followed my lure. Suddenly out of the depths a larger fish rocketed up and headed tword the lure. It all happened in slow motion. He looked me right in the eye as he grabbed my lure just a few feet from the bow. The fish did a 180 and began to peel line off my reel at a furious rate. I yelled for my son to quickly start the boat. WHIZZZZZZZ............ The rod bent in half as the fish took line at will . WHIZZZZZZ............. SNAP. Tuna 1 Fishermen 0

We spent the rest of the summer chasing those tuna. I spent 100s of dollars on gas, new gear, different lures, hooks, leaders, gafs, tail ropes ect. Each trip we would find something new that we needed.

By the end of September the score was Tuna 8 Fishermen 0
but I will never forget that first hookup and the look in the eye of that fish as he attacked my lure. I hope they come back next year.
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Old 12-19-2002, 09:52 AM
smallboat4 smallboat4 is offline
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Sometime in Mid-Oct. I made my normal trek down to the south shore of RI. Usually tried to be suited up and fishing in Charlestown by 4:30 AM or so. The course of business for the day was to start at Charlestown and work my way west along the shore until after it was light and the switch modes and put the boat in at Watch Hill and try to find some of the late season Albies people were talking about.

The surf fishing was fine, but nothing special with small blues and schoolie bass co-operating nicely. Finally, I took the waders off and headed to Watch Hill only to spend 45 minuted searching for a launch ramp. Stopped at a marina and the guy told me the nearest one was up the river a ways and it would be about a 2-3 poke out to the ocean. It was getting later now and I felt defeated. An albie or bonito was the target species of not only the day, but the season and it looked like my last shot was botched.

Decided to screw it and go with what I knew and put the boat in at Quoanny and head out for some more blues and bass by boat. Started trolling by throwing out a 5 inch bomber with a wire leader on my baitcasting rod. As I was readying a second rod to go out, the first one started dancing. The fish was putting up a strong fight and took a lot of line. I thought it was a big bluefish. Finally, as it neared the boat, I saw green!! First tunoid!!! The poor guy was put through the wringer as I measured, weighed, photographed etc. but swam away like he was happy to be out of my hands...Mission accomplished.

PS-Next fish was another albie that was about 10 wraps away from spooling my light spinning rod.
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Old 12-19-2002, 11:54 AM
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ruge13 ruge13 is offline
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Ode to a season of good company

This was my first full season in the salt. First season in the salt with a fly rod as well. There are pleny of memorable days but I wil never forget this year. Rather than one day, I thought I would explain what happened to me over the course of a season from a new fishermans perspecive.

I often think of where I was just over 1 year ago. I was a naive bait fisherman cliché, the tackle shop's best friend. I though stripers were in deeper water that required long casts and big weights. There are a series of events that led to the evolution of an obsession. I met some new people and realized how much I need to learn. I think there is a fundamental difference between the small trout streams I grew up on and the brine I now paddle through. The streams I knew had boundaries. Even though the fish may move, you can study and learn the stream and as a result, consistently be successful assuming success is measured by the ability to catch fish. Fishing had become an activity not an experience. In the salt, you can study one rock in one cove for a year and never fish it the same way twice. You can believe you know a small cove and how to fish it but in the wink of an eye that changes. No such boundaries like a freshwater season. Fear of weather is your only foe. I started off thinking I knew even the small stretch of shoreline I fished last fall almost every day. I returned to the same bar many times this spring, summer, and fall, and realized I know absolutely nothing about it. I am now at least a little more observant, a little less ignorant, and a whole lot more naive. Growing up I enjoyed hunting but rarely if ever took a deer. This had nothing to do with ability or success, as most might believe. I was very successful from my point of view and loved observing the woods and being exposed to things that most people would never understand or see. Harvesting a deer is one thing, but sitting at the base of a tree on the ground controlling your breathing and still enough for a squirrel to run down the bark and run across your shoulder, chipmunk run across your boot or a turkey to scrape the ground just 10 feet away, or a faun to come up and sniff at your clothes are memories I will never lose. Fishing was always just fishing, a place I went and caught some fish, a shallow experience with limited reward. It was a competition among friends. I always loved ice fishing and now I know why. I was always on the ice with other people enjoying the experience, not the activity. Fish were just a welcomed byproduct of good company.
There is not one particular day or event that sticks out above all else, but there is a new found admiration for an obsession that I can share from a new fisherman's perspective. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to watch schools of bass rise to isopods under a dock light in dead still water in the middle of the night with the delicate slurp of a trout in Boston Harbor. Listen to the drag sing off the spool of my reel at the West Wall. Locked in a dead standoff with a fish 30 feet below. A quickened heartbeat from a surface eruption 30 yards away in Gloucester. Being close enough to a school of feeding bluefish to see the yellow in their eyes as they leap from the water in Watch Hill. Be close enough to count the spots on an feeding albie in 3 feet of water in Groton. Feel my hands start to tremble from a approaching school of thrashing schoolies in Hull. Watching a rock cod rise from the depths in Rockport. See a group of seals watching me while bobbing in the whitecaps off Straightsmouth island. Seeing a school of Bonito and Kasha take to the air in Lackey's. Having to shout over the noise from a feeding school of Bluefish at Weekapaug. Seeing a striper caught on a fly made from a paper fish and warning label. The light tap from a hand lined smelt. The persistence of mackerel. Feeling your palms sweat from a school of adult bunker and wondering what might be underneath. Watching a keeper ball up and slash through a school of sand eels in the mouth of the Pamet River under a kayak. Seeing more sunrises and sunsets than I have seen in the previous 23 years combined. Seeing the expression on a friends face that had never caught a fish larger than a 12 inch trout haul in a 20# striper off Coast Guard beach in June. What I believe led to the change from a hobby to an obsession was that I always had someone to share the experiences with and learn from. There are some who remember body counts and size as a measure of success. I do to, and I love to hear about the success of other anglers. There is always something to learn from other's stories. I remember the day I caught 60 schoolies in the course of a day, or 7 fish in 2 hours over 20# but what I remember most, and I will always remember, is the bright colors on one fish, or the sound of a blitz, or the expression of a face. That's what I took away from this year so far. I guess the only difference between me bait fishing in one spot all last fall and now is that I use some different rods, but I am even more naive. There is a whole world of fishing that I have never seen and have yet to be a part of. But at least now the season never ends and look forward to knowing that there is so much out there and fishing will never be just an activity again....
Capt. Shaun Ruge
Riptide Charters

Last edited by ruge13; 12-19-2002 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 12-19-2002, 04:51 PM
saltybugger saltybugger is offline
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Location: Uxbridge, MA
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Ok my best day...I got 3....and can't narrow it down beyond that...

Early season cod fishin on the new boat with my buddy Bigcat.... and fond memories of a great day on the water:

Or the biggest, hardest fighting fish of my life that took be to within 20' of the end of my spool at Wasque:

Or the day at N@##$%'s where I had probably 30 BIG blues in my favorite spot, and one came up like THIS:

My wife keeps saying I never listen to her...or something like that.
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Old 12-19-2002, 09:32 PM
bunker bunker is offline
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My best day on the water was in late September. Launched the Yak from White beach in Magnolia and ran into breaking fish almost immediately. Chased them over to Crow Island where they hung tight against the shore. Thousands of birds and fish. Good mix of bass and Blues. With a few large fish mixed in. After that mayhem was done paddled back to White beach where I found a smaller school of big blues had pushed the bunker tight into the corners of the beach. Looking down into the water you could see groups of blues cruising along with one or two large stripers following them.
One memorable occurence in all of this was when I was within 5 feet of the beach the blues started bustin all around me. Water flying, fish flying, getting soaked and trying to keep body parts inside the yak. It was amazing. Although I broke my 9 wt in all of this it was one of the better days.

Mike D.
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