It’s getting there, although I’m sporting some pretty bad sunburn from hanging out dead sticking for most of the day yesterday at Breezy Point. Most of you know that I’m a plug guy primarily, but sometimes you just gotta throw some bait, hang out on the beach, and get drunk—and lately I’ve been a much better alcoholic than fisherman. Even though the temperature has been really mild for the last couple weeks, I still got some nice burn from when I decided to remove my shirt and get the full beach experience. It was the first one this year that didn’t involve doing pushups or flutter kicks in the surf with 44 other gluttons for punishment. Here’s a shirtless Mr. Genoski battling a monster from the sea.
Sorry, ladies. He’s married. However, I’m available and, in between beers, I also caught the only striper of the day: a fat one that ended up about a half-inch short. So back in the water it went. More on that later. Here’s Mr. Genoski with the first monster of the day:
It’s a cow-nosed ray. The ocean seemed full of them and they’re a hell of a fight, but it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. These are like gentle creatures: we wanted bass, fluke, maybe kingfish. Me, trying to take full advantage of the laziness of deadsticking and drinking, opted for these 6/0 Gamakatsu octopus circle hooks. I rigged them with a uni-snell on 50# mono leader, figured the circle hook would do the hook setting for me, and proceeded to take a nap. Crabs did a number on our bait pretty often, and I missed one good hit, but shortly into the incoming tide, both Mr. Genoski and myself were getting solid hits. I hooked up with a nice fish, bass at midday in August must be appreciated. The circle hook has gained some popularity among the more conservation-minded fishermen as it’s much more likely to hook in the lip than gut-hook when the fish takes the bait. My initial excitement at finally nabbing my first bass of the year (yeah, on bait, too) gave way to dismay when I peered into its mouth to see the hook set deep in the gullet. It was a fat fish for being slightly short and I grabbed my pliers and set out to do my duty as a responsible guy. I managed to pull the hook out eventually, but it was with a lot of effort and several minutes of the fish out of water. Still, it gave me a good smack of the tail when I released it back into the surf. I don’t have a picture, but Paige says she has video of it, so I swear I’m not lying about catching the fish.
We got a couple more strong hits and another ray. I hooked up with something big and heavy and it spooled half my line before snapping it right at the line roller.
D’oh. Probably another ray. Whatever it was, it left me with barely enough line to make another cast, and we were packing it in at that point anyway. Some good times.
Fish have been in the news a bunch lately, from that dogfish someone left in the subway to that pseudo-documentary on the return of Megalodon on Shark Week. I was reminded of this picture some guy got off his GoPro in June out in the Rockaways.
Supposedly this happens way more often than people are comfortable with happening. Yikes!
The fall run is coming up soon. Ben and I have some figuring out to do concerning the derby this year, but I’ll keep everyone updated as soon as we figure shit out. For now, check out this video of Vladamir Putin catching a big northern pike.