it's just the steamer clam necks sauteed in some butter. Did I mention how happy I am about the butter yet? I think I deserve it after a week of bland chewy clams.
So I bet you want to know why this is "The day of the Striped Bass" huh? Well - remember all of the previous talk about how I suck at fishing, yadda yadda yadda. Not today!
I went out with dad and we certainly had an adventure. It started out very questionable though. Should we go? It's windy, should we stay? Where should we go? What are we gonna do? Etc. We bundled up expecting some foul wind and weather - we were very prepared. Luckily, the weather threw us a pleasant curve ball. The wind came from the west and ocean currents were with us. We had about a 25 mile ride ahead so in a small boat you have to really pick your days wisely.
My boat, "JAWS"
Well, it took some time to get to our spot. In reality this is about 2 miles right off the beach near my home. But to get there by boat you have to travel 12 miles north, around Sandy Hook, then 12 miles south. It's a pain in the ass and I hardly ever make the trip because I hate the ride to get there. I am going to find a way to get my kayak to the beach so I can do a 2 mile paddle rather than a 25 mile boat ride.
Ok, so we located a few party boats and figured we would travel close to them to try to see if anyone is catching. We saw a few fish readings on my sonar but nothing overly impressive. Then we start to see several boats all around us start to hook up with fish and we thought it was about to turn on. Dad had one on for about a minute but then it came loose. Crap! Then, all of a sudden they were gone. I didn't have a bite at all. We were using metal jigs because the reports said they were catching most of the fish that way.
Then we hit a lul and it lasted for a couple of hours. All of the other boats left. We were alone out there and it was getting late. We talked about going home but I NEEDED to catch at least one striper. We continued just driving around searching for some sign of life by looking at the sonar/fishfinder. Our moods were very low and we were so close to giving up. Then all of a sudden we started seeing some marks on the fishfinder. This is what we were waiting and searching and hoping for all day!
We started dropping our jigs down again and suddenly, it was ON! It was one of the most exciting displays of fishing you would ever want to be part of. We were sitting smack dab in the middle of a school of striped bass that were all about 20 pounds. They were chasing anything we threw at them and within 5 minuted we boated our 4 fish limit. Then it was just fishing for fun. One after the other, 20+ pound stripers! It was truly amazing and exciting and it was a fantastic experience to share with my dad.
We've had a lot of unlucky fishing trips and this one started to look like we would add another skunk to the list. But it all turned around and we were in striped bass central for about a half hour. Great time - I'm so glad we persevered and kept searching and searching.
I never thought I would be throwing back 20 pound fish during my Survivor Diet Challenge but the limit is two per man so we kept our first four and must have released another six during this frenzy. Dad took one home, I'm planning on giving one of them to my friendly neighborhood sushi chef (to see if he'll hook me up with some free sushi in exchange), and the other two will be filleted tomorrow night after sitting on ice for a day. It's tempting to cut right into one for dinner but I know from experience that the meat is much better if it's chilled for 24 hours on ice. So it's clams and rice and beans for another night.
"Whatever the mind can believe and conceive, it can achieve."