Last Bass?

November 9 – Thursday – Northport

Mike came along as well.  I went to pick them both up at the town dock but it wasn’t there.  Neither was Seymour’s.  Both floating docks have been pulled for the season. The tide is low so when I pull up to the main dock the guys have to climb down a ladder to get on board.  Not too much trouble once I adjusted to the idea.

We say hi to Nick and Dave working on the mooring barge on the way out. Nice guys. Nick will be adjusting my mooring once he finishes with the harbor work. This morning the pontoon boat seemed closer than yesterday but I didn’t want to discuss business as we were passing by.

Trolling out of the harbor can be productive but as I watch the screen there was nothing in the water; no bait, no fish, no hits on the troll.  We pull in the lines and head outside to look for birds, bait and Albies. The ride is smooth until we clear the point by the Coast Guard. That’s when the Long Island Sound’s rolling waves from the North-Northeast wind hit us.  I slow down to a crawl. As we cross the Triangle below Buoy 13 the guys put out there trolls. “You never know what might pop up out here” I tell them.

We make a wide arc and head west and south.  Once turned the rocking and pounding stopped, making for a more pleasant ride. With no action on the lures and no birds in sight we reel in and punch the 250 up to 30 mph.

At Hobart we swing in toward shore and continue the troll for a bit, but nothing looks promising.  We see some bird action at the Sand City point and run to it but they are all sitting and there is nothing on the screen.  In fact most of the birds are loons;  there must have been a dozen or more.  I guess the north country has turned cold and driven them all south at once as they usually are in small groups of 2 or 3.

Around the point and heading toward Price’s Bend I see some bait, not much, but some.  I tell Jas to take the bow leaving Mike the stern and they chuck their poppers, but no one is home. False alarm.

We cross to Winkle Point and set up off the Yellow House, as I always do.  “Cast towards shore” was my suggestion even though there were some birds sitting to the outside. Before long Jas had a nice schoolie on.

Mike is using a rig that I found on the beach and it is clumsy.  I give him a lighter one that is also not working well and almost out of line.  I apologize and reassure him that the lure he has on is a good one. I need to re outfit the boat next year.  Too much old gear and cheap stuff I have collected over the years. In spite of the handicap he hits a nice fish that frees himself early in the fight.  I explain that I crush all my barbs and pressure needs to be smooth and consistent. 

A black hulled skiff shows up in shore of us and drives right through the water we are fishing.  I look but don’t say anything. Two guys hunched over, not acknowledging our presence. They stop and fish some, just past where we are drifting.  I adjust the boat to regain the shore line; Jas catches another fish and Mike has another hit. Our neighbors decide to motor back to where they were before we saw them, right in front of us.  Jason’s cast almost hit them (was he aiming?) This time I had to say something and the guy gets defensive right away and hollers “We have been here since 11:30″ as if that gives him the right to be rude. Then he adds “There is plenty of water.”

I responded that they should go around us.  He hollered something about “Why can’t you be nice?” Jas gave them a few words and then we calmed ourselves down.  I told Mike that they were wrong and rude but I personally can’t get involved with arguments with such people as I don’t have the gene that allows men to control their anger.  Mine escalates all too quickly.  I show him the 10 oz. sinker I was thinking of giving them, grenade style. I put it down.

Jas has really developed a feel for using the popper and is popping and stopping, casting well and catching fish.  Makes me one proud Dad. Mike gets his third hit and when we look up Jas is walking toward us saying “This one is not small.” The bozzo’s didn’t scare the fish after all.

I get the net and when we put the ruler on him he is a healthy 24 inches – a big fish by this season’s standards in the Bay. Most have been in the 14 to 20 inch range.

A quick photo and a few more casts.  Mike has company coming to the house so we want to get him to the dock by 2.  A quick trip to the Centerport wall with no response and we head in.  It was a great day, especially because we caught fish, nice fish… well Jason did anyway.

Tomorrow I am a volunteer guide for the West Point Fly Fishing Club at Connetquot, a Project Healing Waters event. Temperatures are supposed to go below freezing with winds gusting to 50 mph.  It should calm down by Monday – but who knows the effect the combined chill and wind will have on the fish. Jason’s bass just may be the “Last Bass” for the boat this season.

When I get to the mooring the pontoon boat has been pulled as has its mooring.  I have the place to myself after squeezing into an all-too-small spot all season. 

We were lucky to get this day in before the freeze and blow that is coming. Could be a season ending event. I am still wondering about pulling the boat this weekend.  May be one more week?

May be.