This guy absolutely hammered a pencil popper.
What a morning!
Just a few years ago getting out of bed at 4AM on a Saturday was absolutely unheard of. Today I’m actually enjoying not burning the candle at both ends, and actually feeling energetic on weekend mornings. Having a nice morning on the beach beats going out and staying up late in my book…at least some of the time!
With some serious rain and high winds predicted yesterday I figured my best bet for squeezing in a fish trip was between 5AM – 7AM. So I hopped out of bed, grabbed the lucky iced coffee and blueberry muffin combo and began driving down Cape.
The wind was howling when I stepped out of my car and onto the beach. SE around 20mph without a doubt. It wasn’t raining yet but I could see purple/gray clouds looming just on the horizon. Time was of the essence if I wanted to avoid getting soaked to the bone.
I was fishing a long sandy beach with a rocky point on its northernmost end. The plan was to cast along the beach and wade down towards the boulders. There were some birds working the area which was a good sign. The area looked pretty fishy and I had a pretty good feeling about the trip.
The old reliable pencil popper got a good workout along the sandy beach, however nothing was showing as far as stripers were concerned. I picked up the pace towards the rock, knowing that my best shot would probably come around the boulders.
The wind was howling but it still wasn’t raining as I launched the plug out amongst the compact car size boulders. It only took a couple “pops” and then WHACK! a nice size bass crushed the plug. Fish on!
My light setup doubled over immediately as the fish began to pull line from the reel. Low and behold this bass had a little size to him! Of course he ran straight at the biggest boulder in the area, and successfully caught the braid up somewhere in the rocky mess.
We were at a standstill and I could feel the braid rubbing up against the rock. Braided line parts very easily when under tension, so you have to be super careful when a bass gets you tangled in the rocks.
I moved to the left and to the right but couldn’t get the fish unlodged from the rock. The bass was stuck in water well above my waders so physically removing the fish from the snag was not an option. I made a decision to just open the bail and let the bass run – hoping he would do the dirty work himself and free the line from the rock.
Fortunately it worked!
After a few tries the bass was free and swimming hard yet again. I set up shop on a small rocky outcropping and eased him in towards shore. At this point the fish was exhausted and he easily came in towards the jetty with the next wave.
He was a nice, healthy looking 32-34 incher. Not a monster but he put up a great fight and absolutely crushed the plug on the initial hit. I decided that this guy was going to be dinner, so I bled him out and continued casting around the rocks.
The area still smelled very fishy but after 30 more minutes of casting I failed to register any more bites. Satisfied I picked up the bass and made the walk back to the car.
As luck would have it the skies opened up and began dumping rain just as I began unloading my gear. Good timing!
All in all a fantastic pre-monsoon trip.
There’s been a lot of bass around the boulders so far this spring on Cape Cod. Lots of schoolies but a few fish in the low to mid 30 inch range have been mixed in.
Click here for more information on the areas fished and your best bet at finding big bass in the rocks.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and good luck fishing!