since 2009

a dead body??!!

i’ve been getting shut out lately. fish popping all around me, but nothing to show for it. i know there are bigger fish moving in, as you can see Tom Pfeiffer’s fish and Ralph’s fish in earlier posts. tonight was full moon and i headed out again on a solo mission. the schoolies were hopping, but i ignored them and headed for deeper waters. i finally caught my first fish in like a week on a white bucktail while other fish jumped all around it, cheering it on to break my line. alas, it was too small to pop a palomar tied with 40lb power pro. it was maybe around 24″, i’m not really sure as i didn’t bother measuring or photographing it. it was released happy and healthy. i switched around with colors and sizes and headed toward the end to face the river in full. i tied on one of those damned 1.5oz Andrus Jetty Casters that never did me any good. i was trying out a technique described to me as “dead drifting” bucktails, which is simply casting into current and letting it take your lure while you maintain only enough tension in the line to stay in contact with the lure as it drifts along the bottom. you don’t reel in while it’s moving through the current. anyhow, i was trying this tonight for the first time. suddenly a bump! another bump! it felt like i was hitting the bottom, which i thought was strange because i’ve found it difficult to actually hit the bottom here because the water moves so fast. i pulled and the lure hit something, something soft and solid. i started reeling and it started pulling out drag. however, it was clearly not alive, this thing. it was something really heavy but mobile; i could pull it through the water and reel up but as soon as i stopped it would sink and pull out line. i kept doing this under the full moon for about 10 minutes. “it’s a body,” i kept saying to myself, praying it wasn’t a body. “it’s going to be my first dead body from the east river.” but dammit after ten minutes of this i needed to know what it was. i got it about 20 feet out from the end when the current kept me from pulling it close enough out of the water to see it. i kept trying in vain as the body or whatever it was kept sinking as soon as i stopped pulling. i eventually broke it off but the weight of the body and the strength of the line destroyed my snap. bent the hell out of it. i should have kept it to show you guys.

bass_31
later on i caught this bass. it was 31″. i have a photo of it next to a measuring tape, but why bother. it was a nice looking, healthy fish, unlike that other one i caught recently with the gross cyst on its tail.

jane_hacklehead
jane borock and matthias showed up later on. this is a blurry picture of jane with her hacklehead fish. she had a really good idea for a cooking contest with hacklehead, but i’ll let her explain it in person. we fished for a while with no hits while bass were jumping about the north side, but it’s a pain to fish because there’s so much rotten wood to get caught on. i tried in vain, lost a white shad and nearly fell in the river trying to get it back off a piling while it hung about 6″ out of the water. bullshit man. matthias has it on video. on my second to last cast of the night i was back dead drifting at the end when i had another bump (not that kind, too windy). this one i’m pretty sure was a decent fish as i was down about 40 feet. i tried it again but no love.

on my way back i saw the schoolies were still feeding voraciously, about halfway through low tide. even though i was starving and tired and cold, i couldn’t resist while they were like this. i hooked up a bomber to play with them, one of my favorites: a 6″ clear silver with an orange belly and black back. actually my favorite one is like this, but gold instead of silver through the clear section, but i also dig the school bus, chicken scratch and the notorious black and purple. anyhow, back on track here. i caught 3 schoolies between 18″ and 22″ and lost a few more. all fish looked very clean and healthy and were released with their tail splashing me in the face with water.
schoolie1
schoolie2

when i finally got home i drank beer instead of eating dinner. fishing should be good this weekend!

—mkl

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