A Striper Blitz Adventure

Posted 5/22/06
Capt. Ray Szulczewski

The wind was blowing hard. With close to full moon tides and the wind honking I was heading out to the inlet, taking spray in the face. About half way I saw a cloud of birds and they were working.

Getting closer I began to see fish splashing on the surface. On my first cast I hooked up with a super chunky bass. He was so fat I don't think his belly could have held one more bay anchovy.

On my second cast I got a nice sea herring. I noticed now that fish were feeding all around me. Just about every cast I was hooking up.

I had the whole inlet to myself. My boat was the only one on the water, except for the Coast Guard towing it's inflatable in from the ocean.

The problems started because I arrived as the outgoing tide was starting to really pick up and the incoming wind was creating some nasty conditions for my flats boat.

By the time I had my fourth fish I had taken one wave over the bow and one over the stern and had wet feet and a wet butt.

That’s when it got really hairy. My next bass was a really nice one. As I was trying to stay in the boat and fight the fish, I was also trying to keep the boat from blowing onto the rocks.

Just when I was about to net the fish it went under the boat and hung my line in the lower engine unit. I didn’t dare put it in gear. Instead, I shut off the engine.

That bass was my first keeper on the fly for the year. I proceeded to land another keeper (28 ½ inches), which I released.

As it was getting darker, the seas were getting worse.

Thinking about leaving, I hooked into another good fish. While trying to net this guy my engine stalls out or at least that is what I thought.

As I frantically tried to start the engine, I notice I pulled the kill switch off. Got it started and moved away from the rocks again so that I could net that fish - a 31 1/2 inch bass, which I also released.

Believing that three strikes and you're out, I decided it was getting too dangerous to play this game any more, especially with no boats around. I left the fish biting.

Total 7 stripers, 3 of which were keepers and 3 sea herring.

Any normal person would have called it quits in the cold and wet. Not me. I wondered if the fishing in the quite back bays would be ok, so I went to a spot where there is usually a small rip current.

First cast there I caught a 22 inch bass and a couple of casts later I have another hookup, but lose it. My last fish was a 24 inch bass, after which I whipped the water for about an hour without a hit.

It was just nasty and the water was getting dirty with the extra high tidal flow. I ended the night with 9 bass and 3 sea herring on a roller coaster emotional night.

Sometimes nasty nights can really produce. I still can feel the rush from both the ocean, wind, and bass.

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