In my continued effort to get current with the reports, I am reporting on a day of fishing that took place almost a week to the day before Sandy. From the pictures I’ve seen from where I grew up (in Norwalk, Connecticut, within sight of NYC) a lot of damage was done. The Angling Company wants to wish all of our friends and family in the Northeast the very best and we hope to see you down here soon.
Of the two days I had booked with Captain Paul Dixon, I was unfortunately only able to fish one of them. Joining me was David Nelson (one of the best fly tyers, especially for stripers) and Scott Bennett (one of the owners and operator of the Compleat Angler in Darien, CT–the shop I frequented growing up). Between these two and Paul Dixon, there was no shortage of experience and talent on board.
Our plan was to look for bluefin tuna off of Block Island–Paul had heard a few reports of an area that might hold fish. We decided to make the run, though not before catching a few of the many small bluefish that were hanging around the point.
We arrived full of hope, four pairs of eyes eagerly scanning the horizon for birds or busting tuna. Our routine was simple: stop, scan, then run for a few miles, repeating as necessary. We continued this restless program for hours, painfully burning 5 USD/gallon gas, though ever hopeful that the next stop would be the one. Our tuna excursion culminated in the sighting of three giant leatherback turtles, each one apparently bigger than the last. The fish were nowhere to be found, and we put our tail between our legs and returned to the Point for a chance at some stripers and bluefish larger than the 2-3 pound fish we saw on the way out.
We picked our way through some small bluefish, though as we continued down the shore they got bigger. Within an hour we were in some decent fish: Scott caught a 10 pound bluefish, and followed that with a striper that would have weighed about the same. I became focused on catching one of the large bluefish, mostly because I have such fond memories of catching the big ones growing up, and it took about a half an hour of sorting through the smaller fish until I hooked a gator. The fish put me into my backing, and after a decent fight we called its weight at an easy 10 pounds–not the fish of a lifetime, but one that I would have traded (secretly) for any bluefin or striper I could have caught instead.
We left after the clouds and rain moved in, calling it a day. As always, fishing with a few of my very favorite people was worth the price of admission alone, and I look forward to Scott and David visiting in the Keys this coming year. Paul I will see when he returns to the Keys in the winter, and maybe we’ll even have a rematch with the fish we lost two years ago on 6.
Following Montauk, I drove to Vermont and spent the weekend with my parents in Weston, where the peak of my angling was a 7 inch brook trout in the spring creek that runs through their property. Thank God for 4 weights.
Monday I’m headed out with Bruce, and I have heard that the permit fishing is great at the moment. More to follow after my day with Bruce.