Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea

Ocean City, Maryland
September 12, 2011

The following photos were taken of my father and I fishing early one morning during our family beach trip to Ocean City.  Normally we cast live bait into the surf using various rigs but we heard that due to the recent hurricanes plaguing the Atlantic we might have some luck with blitzing Bluefish in the surf.
Dawn breaks in Ocean City, MD
A "blitz" is when predator fish ball up a pod of baitfish and gorge on the biomass.  Bluefish tend to travel in large schools along the coast following vast schools of Finger Mullet.  When the moving mass of Blue Fish surround and ball up the mullet biomass they then attack it and feed - almost in a frenzied state.  A tell-tale sign of a bait ball is when you see a lot of birds on the water diving and gorging the unlucky fish on top of the bait biomass.  This scenario tends to happen at sun up and sun down - morning like September 12th.
Dad using a department store standard Shakespeare Ugly Stick bass rod with 10lb mono and a silver Gotcha Plug.
First Fish of the trip.  It was a smalley but at least he did not get skunked.
The Old Man back at it.  In New York and New Jersey, where Fall blitzes are legendary, fisherman will go as far as donning wet suits to get out farther in the crashing surf to get longer casts for the big boys.
Dad with a Striped Bass.  This one is a baby, in about a month you'll see Stripers in these same waters that are in the 40lb class that are as long as Dad's leg.
My turn.  Caught a few this size on Gotchas and Atom plugs.  They are small but fun to catch with light tackle.
View of a small "chopper" Blue and the type of Gotcha lure that worked best for us.
The three lures that produced in the surf.  L to R: Silver Gotcha, Spotted Gotcha and Atoms top water plug.
After taking a break and getting breakfast, hanging out with the family and spending a little beach time with the kids we were back at it in the evening with the big guns and live bait... but I'll save that for another entry.

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