It was an ideal fall fishing setting.
The ocean outside my homeport of Freeport, New York, featured a slight chop on top. The salt air felt cool on my skin and refreshing in my lungs. As our boat exited the inlet and hit open water, I breathed deep and pondered the endless piscatorial possibilities.
Steam from topped-off coffee cups drifted about the boat’s bridge deck as our crew talked about the area’s recent catches. The striped bass fishing had been very good with tasty and sizable linesiders hitting on bait, trolled bunker spoons and deep-diving plugs. We had the gear, an experienced crew and willing fish. How could we lose?
| |I didn’t catch a fish this big.|
Within 30 seconds of putting our trolling plugs down we had a fish on. It was about an eight-pound bluefish. She wasn’t our targeted species, but it was a great start. We quickly released the toothy critter and slowed up on our vessel’s trolling speed to entice the preferred quarry.
And then it was eight hours later. We trolled. We drifted with hook bait. We anchored and chummed. Not a touch.
As the sun set on this too-short day, I could feel the windburn on my face and the twinge of an over-sunkissed nose. Winter was nearing.
It wasn’t exactly the fishing season swan song our group had planned on, but everyone was smiling as we washed down the boat in the fading light. My friend quipped, “I was just happy to get out here one more time before it ended.”