Monday, September 7, 2009

6 More days - Wish Me Luck Or Buy A Ticket Yourself

The title of this post refers to the fact that Greybeard by way of this post at Greybeard's Gripes was good enough, not all that long ago, to remind me that: On Sunday, September 13, 2009 the Eastern Arenac Sportsmens Club will be holding its annual raffle for 2009. More info on the raffle can be found here. You safely can bet I purchased a few tickets, and you also can bet I was quite surprised because Greybeard threw a couple of freebies my way this year. I have not had any luck on the past couple or three raffles for which I have bought tickets from this club so I guess he was feeling sorry for me which is okay by me! Nice guy.

If you went to the link above for more info on the raffle, you can see there are some really good prizes being offered - all firearms. In all, there are 10 prizes and as per the site only 700 tickets at most will be sold. Odds of 1 out of 70 seem pretty decent to me - if it does to you why not see if they still have any tickets for sale. If you are not going to buy a ticket or a few, then please wish me luck. If you are buying a ticket, now that I told you about this raffle, well then I wish you luck. Of course I want to win, but with 10 prizes there is a lot of winning to go around. I have got to say, that 1st prize sure sounds extra nice since Brendan and I have been hoping to get a bolt action rifle in .308; then again all of them sound nice.

All the best,
Glenn B

Not Quite A Bad Night Fishing - Even If I Was Looking Green

This post should have come before the last one 'Not Quite A Bad Day At The Range' but then I have never had great timing. I went out fishing on Saturday night - despite the shoulder, neck and back pain. The fishing actually made it worse by at least a bit but then went I went to the range yesterday the knocking about my shoulder took may have made it better just a bit. Maybe it knocked something back into place. For sure it bruised my right shoulder like I have not seen in a long time.

Oh well, back to the fishing trip. Since it was a night trip I did not have much choice of that for which to fish. It was bluefish and striped bass or nothing. It really was bluefish or nothing. I say that because while the Captain Al out of Point lookout, NY advertises they will be fishing for both, the truth came out when a mate told me that stripers rarely if ever go for cut mackerel baits in our neck of the briny deep. That was okay with me. I boarded the Captain Al at about 1815 (6:15PM) and there were already a few souls aboard awaiting the trip. By 1900 (7:00 PM) there were about 25 to 30 people aboard. We shoved off from the pier at about 1910. I am guessing it was about an hour before we got to the fishing grounds. Any other boat in the area would likely have been there in 1/2 to 3/4 that time - the Captain Al is a slow boat. Slow or not I choose her more often than not when I go fishing on a Party Boat because the crew has a reputation for remembering that the paying fares are the customers who put the money in their pockets both by way of the $45 fare and tips.

Once we started fishing, calls of fish on came within seconds. People all around the boat were hooking and reeling in 4 to 12 pound bluefish. The action was frantic, yet I had not even a bite. This went on for hours and the tide was slack for most of that time. Not a good thing a slack tide when you are hoping to reel em in. A moving tide, often the beginning of the outgoing seems to really spur their appetites. Saturday night was no exception because at about 2230 (10:30PM) fish started to bite again and the action picked up as the tide moved faster. The sad thing about that was that it was all too soon time to leave. Nonetheless, I hooked into what I thought was a fish, then thought was the bottom, then knew was a monster blue. The guy next to me kept yelling "you got the pool fish" and I was sure I did until I realized my line and another guys were tangled. I thought he had the fish, then he said nope it was on my line. Then we saw the fish, it was only a few pounds. So why did it feel like a monster blue - not because of the lines being tangled but because my blue had wrapped my line around an anchor line. I was pulling up a small amount of fish and a lot of anchor line. Oh well. After about another 1/2 hour I hooked a pretty good sized one, my guess is about 10 pounds which is pretty big though not huge. It really looked as if it could be the poolfish. Then soon after that they tooted the horn three times and we were headed back to the dock. Me with only two fish, the guy to my left with one, the guy to my right with three (he only caught his after I got my first one). We were back at the dock by about midnight. The trip went from 1900 to 2400 - not that long being not everyone had done to well. Some though had up to about 7 or 8 blues aboard. Others had a mixed bag with mostly blues and maybe a seabass or two. One guy caught a pretty big eel.

I was a bit disappointed because they did not stay out longer. One of the reasons I choose the Captain Al again and again over the years is because they usually stay out an hour or two later if people are not really catching a lot of fish. ) I suppose this was the exception, I hope it is not a new trend. Oh well, on the way back in, I had my two filleted, and another guy gave me a smaller one and a huge one. That could not be beat since it would make for two good meals for my family. While they were filleting them I had the mate pause and throw mine on the pool fish scale. Wow it was the best so far. Then they weighed a few others and mine held out, though I was pretty sure the guy who gave me the two fish had a bigger one. Not longer but fatter. He had two that beat mine, and his heaviest stayed on the scale. Both of his fish barely beat mine so I was not too disappointed, I had a good one beaten probably only by an ounce or two of weight. About 15 minutes later into the filleting of the fish for other people, an older gentleman had his weighed and it won out handily. It was a real monster blue, my guess is 12 pounds or more and yes they do get quite a bit bigger than that but that is around the starting size for monster bluefish. So as it turned out, I had the fifth biggest fish on the boat.

I also should point out something about the picture of me I have included in this post. I took it of myself with my camera phone while on the boat under whatever type of light the boat had shining. The little red streak over my left shoulder is the moon just above the horizon a bit and streaked from the movement of the boat (click it to make the pic bigger). The overly greenish pallor of my appearance was not due to my becoming seasick; I have never had that pleasure -close, very queasy and sick feeling, but never spewed forth chum. Instead the sickly hue of my complexion was due only to a trick of the boat's lights. There was a young lass who did get ill and obliged her fellow fishermen by chumming a bit and I have to say I just don't get it. The seas were almost a smooth as ice on a lake. I suppose for some folks all it takes is the suggestion to get them going. Her side of the boat benefited from the chum though, I kept hearing yells of fish on from near where she let loose.

All in all, it was for me a good trip, and as you have heard me and others say before it beat working because 'a bad day fishing is better than a good day working'. My friends this was not a bad day (night) at all. More fish would have been better, a little longer fishing would have been nicer, but it was a good crew, the company from the other fishermen nearby to my spot at the rail was excellent, and I had just an out and out fun time.

Besides that, I grilled the bluefish a couple of hours ago and it was absolutely delicious. I also sauteed some in a pan along with a special marinade I use just for oily fish and that too was excellent. My wife and daughter both liked it too (which was a real surprise since bluefish does have a strong flavor to it). When Brendan gets home my bet is he will gobble up the leftovers to which I was looking forward.

All the best,
Glenn B