The parking lot was pitch-black and deserted when I pulled in at the early hour of 10pm. New MFCC member Kris Magnotti would be arriving shortly, and then our adventure would begin.
Kris is the lucky new member who won the surfcasting trip Ryan posted about last week. Kris had been on the Cape for the last few days, but was heading back to New York in the morning, so the pressure was on to at least get him into some fish before the long drive home.
A Dark & Crystal Clear Night
Once everyone arrived we set out. The lack of a moon made the night darker than usual. It certainly helps to know the area ahead of time, especially when you can barely see 10 feet in front of you!
Ryan led the way down a winding trail, through the dunes and onto the sand. After a 10 minute walk, we hit the beach, quickly spread out and began to fan-cast the area.
The air was dead calm, with almost no wind, and the water looked like glass. The only sound was the light splash of small waves on the beach.
It only took about 5 minutes of casting before I felt a slight bump, set the hook, and was on. At about 20 inches the fish was no world record, but it was the first fish of the trip and a good sign of things to come.
We continued walking and casting, moving slowly down the beach, covering all potential areas. As I was making my first cast in a new spot I heard a muffled ‘woohoo’ come from my left and the low sound of a drag.
Ryan’s headlamp went on, signaling he was hooked up, followed by the splashes of a decent fish on the surface. He landed what turned out to be a 27-28 inch striper, the biggest of the trip so far.
This slightly larger fish gave us added motivation as we slowly worked our way down the beach.
I think we all had a bit more "pep in out step" knowing there was a chance we might catch a "keeper."
Lots Of Stripers, In Very Close To Shore
Finally, a little after midnight, we stumbled upon a good school of fish.
Ryan started it off, hooking into a small schoolie. Kris and I proceeded to hook up almost immediately. For the next 3 hours we would continue fishing the same area, hooking up every 3-4 casts.
We had stumbled upon a large school of possibly hundreds of bass "sitting" just off the beach in 3-8 feet of water. Most of the fish were small schoolies, but there were larger fish mixed in.
Kris was the first to hook up with a good fish from this school. In the darkness I heard his drag begin to scream, so I quickly reeled in my line to get out of his way.
The non-stop action ensued for a total of 3 hours.
At about 4am the sun began to rise and the action finally dwindled.
With about 60 fish landed, we packed it in and made the long walk back to the car.
In the light I realized just how special the place was that we had been fishing. I could see the bar, trough and point which we had been fishing in the dark.
The birds had become active and small fish were still occasionally breaking on the surface.
It had certainly been a night I will remember for a very long time!
MFCC members can click the orange download buttons below to view additional information about the area fished and techniques used.
Additional information about the area fished
Additional information about the techniques used
What do you think? Let me know by commenting below.
Ryan joined MFCC back in June of 2013 . Ryan’s always willing to help, and you may notice his many posts and threads in our forum. This season Ryan will be primarily fishing from shore and sometimes via boat. We’re happy to have him contributing!