Saturday, December 31, 2022

I'm Back!

Yesterday, Pete told me he had a seat on a walk-on trip for this morning. Of course I said yes. The trip was out of Buzz's Marina down in Ridge, and the departure time was a reasonable 8 AM, as winter fishing is not quite so dependent on sunrise. The weather was foggy, and about 45 F, and almost calm.
Our first destination was a channel marker buoy on the other side of the Bay, Red 72A, where a bend in the bay creates a reliable current, and fish are often found. Today was no exception. Almost immediately we caught a few fish. But compared to other winter days this was pretty slow. This was the clearest it was all day; the fog came back in shortly, Pete navigated by radar and GPS, and depended on the sonar to find fish.
Here's the kind of thing we were dealing with, a few fish on the bottom (the red and yellow arches and "wormy" things on the bottom), and a jig (mostly blue and green) being jigged up and down hoping to attract a fish. Sometimes it worked (the picture might depict one showing interest, but not biting.
Craig, who instigated the trip. After the Red 72A region, we moved a short distance to a place Pete calls the "Butterbean" because of its appearance on the charts. We had a pretty good run there, with several large Stripers each.

The fish were teeming with hitchhiking isopods, often called fish lice, and they fell off all over the deck. Some think this proves the fish are fresh from the ocean, but Pete and I doubt this; these are mostly likely the Stripers from the Bay further north, following the bait down as it migrates out of tributaries, and down into the main bay where the water tends to be warmer in winter. 

They don't seem to harm the fish, though I suppose they're probably feeding off the fish slime. All the fish we caught were fat a healthy.

The star of the day, Bobby the Kid, who actually sold Pete on a new lure, a giant jigging spoon that seemed to outshine the rest in today's conditions.

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