I was 15 years old when I first began hearing stories about guys catching big bass on the tube and worm at night.
I was working part-time at a bait shop in my town, and heard many fish tales and exaggerated stories on an almost daily basis. However I knew these stories about catching big bass at night on the tube were true. They were told by credible sources, plus everyone knew that big bass fed more aggressively during the night.
To say I was intrigued would be a severe understatement. Obsessed is probably a more appropriate term. To my mother’s dismay, these stories fueled my passion for fishing at night.
In the beginning my efforts went, for the most part, unrewarded. I came to grips with the fact that there is a ton of water out there, and that bass could pretty much be anywhere. The vastness of the night time ocean can be an overwhelming opponent.
For the first few years my father and I fished “blind,” with no sonar and nothing more than a hand held GPS to guide our way. We logged some seriously cold, wet and uncomfortable hours out there in my father’s 19 foot Carolina Skiff.
I give my Dad a lot of credit for sticking it out. I’d imagine most fathers would not be willing to spend their summers in nocturnal fashion, led into the night time abyss by a 15 year old’s hunch that big fish loomed out there, somewhere. We spent many fruitless, uneventful hours trolling aimlessly into the night.
Then, finally, it happened.
The trip occurred during a hot and humid mid-August night, sometime during the early 2000′s. The sky was lit up with meteors and stars. It was a perfect Cape Cod night.
Out on the horizon was a lone set of navigational lights. We trudged our way westward towards the lights-hoping that we may have found one of the sharpies I had heard about at the bait shop. We gave the boat plenty of room, and began trolling the area.
It could not have been more than five minutes until the port side rod doubled over! I could not believe it! Here we were, in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, with a big bass on the line.
We boated that fish, which measured all of 45 inches. Tubes went back in the water and within another minute we were tight again with another 30 pounder. As soon as we set the tubes the drags began screaming under the strain of heavy striped bass. We continued in this fashion until the sun poked it’s bright head over the horizon. Final tally was 9 bass between 20 and 35 pounds.
As a 15 year old I was absolutely ecstatic. I had received my first hit of what night trolling the tube and worm is all about, and I was instantly addicted.
For me, the experience proved that big bass really do crush the tube and worm at night. However that trip also spurred many more questions that would fuel my passion for years to come.
11 years later I still find myself spending more than 50 nights a season on my boat, in the pitch black, trolling tubes for big fish.