since 2009

Fishing in MTK and the Rockaways

MTK_2
Montauk at 6AM, the end of the night.

I went to Montauk again last night to fish with Jason Puris from The Fin during the post-new moon tide. We met up in the parking lot at 2AM and walked down the beach. It was crazy to see how far out the tide was in the early incoming, it was like a rock graveyard out there, boulders that would be completely covered by the sea in six more hours. One could really see how the fish would drive bait in these areas, but checking the water along our way to the spot we didn’t see any bait in the water. We saw a bunch of lights going on and off in the distance as we settled up on a couple rocks. The water was much more quiet than it was last week. We threw Bombers and needles and within a few casts I saw Jason’s shadow hauling in a fish. Another auspicious start like last week, but then it went quiet again. We moved spots and Jason took the time to point out more landmarks in the dark, other spots and rocks that can be productive spots, but we came up empty. While I was out on one of those rocks I kept hearing a weird clicking on my reel when I would put the line back on the roller, kind of like sand was in it or something. I turned on my light and saw one of the screws fell out of the line roller bracket and the thing was so loose the whole part was rattling. The water looked so perfect for fishing as the sun started to rise to our left, but I had to bring it in because I didn’t want to lose the bracket and the roller. Hey, Dave Cole had the same problem on the reel he bought… more on that later.

We walked back the way we came and passed a 8-point buck hanging in the yard of the formerly famous person’s house. We walked past the three guys in wetsuits in the picture above. What you can’t see in this picture is the bunker getting chased out of the water by a bunch of bass just to my right. Those guys didn’t see it either. We were walking and Jason said, “I never catch any fish in this part of the cove during the day,” (right after he half-jokingly told me he couldn’t tell me any more landmarks now that it was daylight) when he spied something jumping just ahead of us in the same area. One cast and Jason pulled in a nice fat fish around 34″. I guess he was wrong about that, and he gladly admitted as much. I threw out Bombers, bucktails, metals, sinking poppers, but to no avail. The bunker were literally jumping out of the water 20 feet in front of us but we couldn’t catch another. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Even if I hooked up, my reel probably would have fallen apart to keep me from that first Montauk fish. I think I may have some bad juju going on. Maybe I need to appease the fish gods. Maybe I haven’t lost enough lures yet this season, haha. Jason had to leave as I made a few more final casts. Birds showed up and began diving to pick up scraps while my popper popped happily along in the water in the midst of it all unmolested and carefree. Nobody else noticed. It was a beautiful morning.

I took my time breaking my gear down and went to Mr. John’s Pancake House to catch the early morning breakfast. Corned beef hash and eggs over easy. Three cups of coffee, which I never drink because it makes me too anxious, but I was starting to crash and I had to drive home still. I also wanted to hit Paulie’s Tackle to get my reel fixed before I headed out too, so I drank away. I tried waking up my friends who were staying in Montauk but they wouldn’t answer. I paid the bill and went to Paulie’s but was told he wouldn’t be in for another hour so I wandered around town and found the public restroom by the police station. I took a picture of a police car with a flat tire, which I thought was funny in my early morning stupor. I went to Johnny’s to see if he had that stupid tiny screw and the guy pretty much told me to get lost, which I also thought was pretty funny. I got another coffee and was starting to feel pretty buzzed from the caffeine and sugar. I bought a shitty pack of gum that I kept chewing and spitting out on the way back to Paulie’s. In fact, I’m chewing a piece right now and it’s still just as bad as the first piece. I met Paulie and he hooked it up for 51 cents, and gave my reel a quick clean to boot. Nice guy. I also met Jack Yee as I was leaving. He said to me, “Oh great, you found my reel.” I want to be like that guy one day, some old ass Chinese guy chainsmoking cigarettes, fishing, and hanging out making fun of people. I’m three-quarters of the way there already. I saw something funny in the bin on the table at Paulie’s and took a picture of it too.

*****
Earlier this week Dave Cole of BK Derby fame and I hit up the Rockaways a couple times. The water sucked this week. It was full of cabbage, as Dave says. Still, we toughed it out and waited out the last of the incoming. Here’s Dave taking the smoke break that would briefly turn the tide.
149_dave
Which, ten minutes later, gave us this:
149_davefish
Sorry for the shitty iPhone picture, but that’s a fish. That’s two fish for Dave at this spot and zero for me. Nice fish, Dave! Unfortunately for Dave he was so stoked about the fish he tossed his rod and reel into the wash and his reel got full of sand. He went back to the car to get his other reel, which is also kind of full of sand and salt. Jon Capobianco (also from the BK Derby) showed up and it was great to see him again. Dave came back with his other reel which was also making weird noises. Good for him he bought a Van Staal a few weeks ago seeing how he likes to treat his reels (haha, just joking with you, Dave). Coincidentally he sent it to Paulie’s to get serviced and to get the line roller replaced on it. Where the reel is now is a topic of conversation every time we drive out. Me: “Hey, Dave. Where’s your reel?” Dave: “I don’t know, man. That guy Paulie is pissing me off. It’s been weeks.” Yesterday Dave texted me he’d be getting the reel back today (Saturday). Well, Dave. I found your reel. It’s right where Paulie said it was. In pieces.
davesreel
Maybe you should send him a box of doughnuts. Hopefully you get it back soon, haha. (By the way I can see he put the line roller on at least).

—mkl

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