I’ll admit right up front that my preparation for the season is drastically different than most of you. How do I know that ? Well, I am friends on FB with many of you and see where your mind is at at any given time. Many of you have already went balls to the wall in pursuit of stripers and yes, few of you are tired of sticking your arms so far out to make those schoolies look a bit more fierce.
I’ve been there. I’ve done it all from small Redfin’s with thick gloves to deal with frost to chunking bunker with big Lami conventional reel for some of the biggest bass of the year in April on north shore of LI. But in last few years I became a late starter. Not sure if its the fact that we spend so much time away from home in winter with our regular jobs and then doing shows on weekend. Plus traveling to visit colleges with my daughter and going to gym six days a week all take a tool. Then you got the crippling pain in shoulder and wrist than makes me almost useless on a construction site after few hours.
I am perfectly content to wait until bluefish show up in force on the south shore. Usually on Long Island that means last week of April or first week of May depending on migration. I’ve seen reports of blues in Carolinas last week and this week I’ve seen plenty reports from South Jersey which means that everything is more of less on schedule.
Why blues and no bass?
Few reasons. Wherever I left my plugs on Thanksgiving weekend, in a jumbled tangled mess in back of my truck, they are still there. I used to change hooks on hundred or more plugs every winter but you know what I found out? That i will only use about dozen plugs a year with regularity. And probably ten of those will be Super Strike. So I only change hooks on about dozen plugs and then change the rest during year as necessary. I have no desire however to use plugs, or I should say trebles on a very angry and often large spring bluefish. But what I do have a desire to do is to throw plugs at them attached to the camera. All I do is snip the rusty hook tips so they don’t get hooked and I can get multiple strikes on the plug IF (and only IF) if you don’t have tension on the line.
Bluefish can be insanely thick as you can see and they will cut your line in short order if you put tension on it. Look at this trying to eat camera twice
When I am actually trying to catch one, I’ll use a bucktail or a West End or A.O.K metal. A single hook makes it a little easier to unhook.(fairly lose drag in this video)
Notice I did not say “easy”. There is nothing easy about bluefish. Not the way they hit your lure, the way they pursue your lure, the way they fight and yes, the way it claps down its choppers when you are trying to remove a hook. Trust me , many of you, yours truly included, will get tired of big blues after a few days days of this bruising battle. They will shred your leaders and chomp on your lures, they will fight you to exhaustion and put your tackle to test. But while its on, its on of the most glorious events of the season