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Plug

The one great place

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The one great place.

 

I'm a fisherman. I'd like to think a good one at that. Well, at least decent. But by my own admission the geographic scope of my experience is pretty limited. Oh, I've trout fished in PA, NY, MD, VA, and NC. I've done a fair amount of SW stuff in Florida. However the only place I've caught a rock is right here on Delmarva.

 

I'm ready to catch some stripers in another area. Along about the middle of next July after one of my busy work seasons ends I think I'll take a little trip. The problem is where? I've read so much about the storied places, which should be the first? Montauk, Block, MV? The Ditch, Outer Cape, Nantucket?

 

So here's my question. Where in your mind is the one great place? Please keep in mind that this will be to suit me (after all, I'm the one taking the trip) so I list the following desires in descending order of importance.

 

1. A relative abundance of big fish (naturally)

2. Walkable let's say within 2 miles of the vehicle.

3. Aesthetically pleasing in that its:

- Pretty country

- Surf fishable

- Fishable with artificials

- Bassy (rocky, heavy current)

- Fairly uncrowded, at least at night

4. Fairly small in scope (I'll only have a couple of days)

5. Short learning curve (Again, only a couple of days)

 

What say ye? Please abstain from colloquial bias as much as possible. smile.gif

 

Plug

 

 

[This message has been edited by Plug (edited 01-06-2000).]

 

[This message has been edited by Plug (edited 01-06-2000).]

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Plug, except for the Block and Nantucket, I've fished all of those places over the years, and after due consideration, weighing all the criteria you supplied, and taking into account that you're looking at July, I would vote for the Outer Cape. It has everything you want except rocky structure and/or current, but what it does have to make up for it is deep water right at your feet and some great bar structure. Plus, in summer, it is a good big fish prospect because of water temps that stay in the high 50 to low 60 degree range. The aesthetics are good, especially in the National Seashore--high dunes with plenty of vegetation, no development, even the bathing beaches have no glitz or glitter, just basic amenities like restrooms and a snack bar. Prevailing SW winds usually lead to calm surf for plugging or tossing live or rigged eels, but also give some movement to the water. You get a nice back-eddy, usually it moves left to right. You'd be surprised how uncrowded the beaches can be at night, given what a tourist Mecca the Cape is. All you need to find some solitude is a parking permit from the Seashore authorities, and the willingness to walk a few hundred yards away from the parking lot. Learning curve, if you know how to read bars and holes you can catch fish. There are plenty of parking lots between Highland Light in Truro and Nauset Beach in Orleans, just make sure you have the Seashore night parking permit, which is free from the ranger station at Race Point. North to south, there's Head of the Meadow and Balston, then the 3 Hollows (Newcombs, Lecounts and Cahoons but not necessarily in that order smile.gif ) Nauset Light and Coast Guard. Nauset town beach in Orleans is jointly operated by the towns of Orleans and Chatham, but they allow parking after dark until at least midnight--possibly all night if you are fishing--with no special permit. Some of the other beaches I mentioned might also be town-operated with special regs, I'm not sure. Nauset also allows oversand access, but the permit is $140 and not cost-effective for a two or three day stay.

 

If you want a little bit of current, you can try the Lighthouse beach at the new Chatham Inlet. Parking is free on the street near Chatham Light, and there's a staircase down to the beach. Race Point itself has some current, but there you'll have the crowd factor to contend with, and also, it has become popular for guys who fish fresh sand eels on the bottom.

 

Of the other places, I would rate the Ditch (much as it pains me) to be a second choice to the Backside in July. It has the rocks and currents, and holds big fish, but it's a steeper learning curve. Jigging bucktails, eel skins or plastics at night is a good tactic and you'll run into less crowds that way. Throwing big popping plugs to breaking fish is also a Ditch feature, but by July this sort of action can get very hit or miss. They'll either be a good run of Boston mackerel and then you can have dynamite action, or, as has been more the case in recent years since big baits have been scarce, you'll have smaller fish hitting the new herring fry, butterfish or other smaller baits.

 

Getting to Montauk can be half the battle in summer. Best done during the week. Normally, in the spring and fall, it takes me an hour and a half to get there, from 90 miles away. On a summer weekend, figure at least double that. There are fish there in July, no question about it. But it can, depending on weather, be just hitting the doldrums, too.

 

I would not advise my worst enemy to visit the Vineyard in July. The natives will be particularly unfriendly (not that a lot of them ever greet off-Islanders with open arms, but your chances of a warm reception are better in May/June and Sept/Oct), traffic is a nightmare, and without a "resident" sticker in your window, fishing access can be very tough even at night. It's a beautiful place, the aesthetics are outstanding and there's such a variety of fishable water that you can have your pick from calm or rough surf, inlets, rocks and what have you. But it's best to experience its beauty when you can appreciate it, in the off season. You gotta get there once in your life, but try to make that in May or late September/late October.

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Steve, you got big stripers there? redface.gif!! (and not the marlin!)

 

Man, if you had stripers there...between them, the kangaroos, and the topless beaches...I might just take me a walkabout...

 

I might need some practice....uh uhm (throat clearing) G'day mates! Throw anotha shrimp on the barbie, will ya?

 

Yea, yea....I still need some practice redface.gif I gotta watch some more "Crocodile Hunter" and maybe see the "Dundee" movies again...then I'll be ready. Heck, I see the Subaru commercials enough!! Funny, now that I think of it, I bet they don't show those commercials over there. Hey Steve, does Subaru constantly play the crocodile Dundee Subaru Outback commercials over there? I'll bet they don't, the accent would be lost on you guys!!

 

Other than "down under" I'd hit the Ditch, those fish still got some 'splainin to do, 2 whole trips up there..5 fishing days total, and a meager 427 stripers outta that place...I think there's more to it than Charlie and I guessed! wink.gif

 

TimS

 

[This message has been edited by TimS (edited 01-06-2000).]

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Tim you suprised me, now I know that the beauty of the place is subjective but July is a very good month to fish in Jersey. My most consistent fishing in terms of quality fish is always the last week of June and all of July. This is not to say I don't get fish in the spring and fall as I do but during that period time I have caught the most of my fish over 20#.

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Come to Fairfield, CT! Its not a hotspot but where else can you hone your skills? Think about it. I hear the reports of the Ocean goers and people say I caught 5 keepers last night and 30 shorts the night before. Either you have a lot more big fish then we western sounders have or you are just really really really good. So if you could come up here and catch big fish then you will know you are a good fisherman because we don't have too many big ones here. Please, I would love to meet some of you. I think we could get a long nicely.

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Plug:

 

Taking into consideration your time frame of mid July and trying to maintain the small scope thing I would highly recommend 2 places on outer Cape Cod.

 

Chatham Inlet and Light is very easy to get to and parking is readily available directly across the street from the lighthouse itself. Access to the inlet is via steps down to the beach. I have only fished this place since the early 90s, but the striper action there has been good to outstanding the times I gave it a whirl. One very memoriable night came when I took 3 Linesides in the 30# class along with a dozen smaller fish - all on plugs.

 

The other place I like for mid July is Newcomb Hollow Beach which is towards the middle/upper part of the Cape. Again easy parking w/ stairs right down to the beach. The water here is deep close in and the sandy bottom can have some subtle structure to it at times. This place I have fished for 30 years and the stories I can tell you about the adbundance of big Stripers there would make you drool. Last July 11 (of the last century) I nailed 4 Stripers off the beach in the early morning hours... Not impressive number-wise, but the largest was 35#+... Didn't weigh her, just slipped her back into the suds. Check on the parking... Generally during the tourist season parking is free from sunset to sunrise.

 

Cape Cod is beautiful in its own right... In the summer, no matter where you go on the Cape, lodging generally will be expensive. Traffic during the day and especially on weekends in the towns could be unbearable... But if you want a shot at a LARGE ROCK FISH, the Cape is one good place!

 

Rumble Fish aka Poppy

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Plug, one thing both Poppy and I forgot to mention, which can be the only complication to fishing the Outer Cape--if there has been a period of easterly winds, the water can get mighty dirty with a nasty little weed the locals call "mung". It has a wiry, texture, sticks to just about anything it touches, can be hellish to remove from hooks, and it has a special affinity for braided line. It's just one of those roll of the dice things in fishing. The nice part is, if you are on the Cape and the beaches get a dose of this gunk, you're only about an hour from the Ditch, which isn't affected by it.

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G'day Tim (mate)

 

Well I have to admit there are no Stripers down here, and having never caught one, obviously I cannot comment on how they fight etc. One day when I get across the Pacific, you will have to show me how it's done.

 

Here are a few species that might compare which we target over here. Please take note that these are all from landbased locations, either beach, estuary, rock or jetty (pier)

 

Australian Salmon. Imagine one of these up to 12lb tail dancing in the surf.

 

Mulloway. One of the most sought after species. If an angler keeps one of these under 40lb, he is classified as a baby killer. The record for one of these stands at 114lb caught in the surf. The largest one so far this season is 84lb.

 

Yellowtail Kingfish. From the rocks these are awesome creatures. They hit like freight trains, and don't stop. Many a reel has been destroyed from a single run. At a place named Pt Augusta, 70lb fish are hooked regularly.

 

Sharks. Well what can be said about these that you already don't know. So far this season from the local jetty just down the road, the largest is an 11ft Bronze Whaler, caught in the shallows. BTW. Where people swim.

 

Is that enough to wet your appetite.

 

I think you have been watching too many "Crocodile Dundee" movies, the accent is starting to rub off smile.gif

 

Topless beaches, nah, not us. Nude beaches maybe. There is one 10 minutes south of the shop and would you believe, one of the best surf beaches in this area.

 

Subaru commercial, I can't say that I have seen it.

 

Steve.

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SteveS, you know what I'm gonna say about your June/July fishing, so I won't! wink.gif

 

Steve Barratt, cool, 70-100# fish from the rocks, I am certainly envious of such opportunities! While there have been 70# bass caught from shore, it's about 1 per decade...not real good odds but I'm out there trying every chance I get! biggrin.gif

 

That's a deal on the crossing the Pacific thing. When I get to Australia, you can then show me how to get to the nude, er, I mean that great surf beach eek.gif

 

Thanks for the fishing report from down under, it's nice to know what it is our fishing brethren on the other side of the world are after! cool.gif

 

I called it on the Subaru commercial, it's got Crocodile Dundee cruising around his Outback...it's a good commercial but I didn't think they'd show it in Australia...around here, it's on every time I'm lookin' at the tellie! (huh, pretty good on the Aussy verbage...I'm practicing for my trip!)

 

TimS

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Tim, funny you should mention 70s from the shore. This week's edition of the LI Fisherman has an article where they tried to research every 60 and 70 caught from the shore. They were able to document 3 in the 70s, McReynolds and Stetzko's, of course, and one from Block Island back around 1984--one of the 'Dozer's Ghost Fish--caught by a guy named Szabo or something like that. But they conceded that there may be some unreported ones. They tried to document every 60, seems there were a couple in the very high 60s caught from places like the Hook and some other Jersey sites. The two biggest from my area recently were a couple of 64s but they reported some 68s back in the 60s. Personally, I think there are many more 60s that have been caught than they reported. There's a rod and reel commercial on LI who is rumored to have at least one under his belt and many 50s to go with it, and his name didn't appear.

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Mike I saw the picture Of that 70# on BLock Island this past year. It was in a luncheonette. Anyway sad thing is he has this 70# hanging up and another one at his feet in a burlap sack. the one in the sack looks like it went 50# anyway, a runt compared to the 70#.

 

If I went anywhere I would check out the outer cape. I have heard good things about it and i intend on poking around up there some this summer.

 

[This message has been edited by John M (edited 01-07-2000).]

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I am lucky in that my wife's cousins just moved to a town about half an hour away from where Steve Barratt is. That means either later this year or early next year I intend to pay Steve a visit and experience first hand some of that fishing he has told me about. I am particularly interested in the Mulloway fishing. Steve sent me the following picture but would only let me post it on condition that I tell you these Mulloway are about forty two to forty five pounds and are only "babies" of which he is not proud. However, they are superb table fare. Steve took the picture of his friend with the fish.

http://www.outdoorsshow.com/photos/Mulloway-01.jpg

 

[This message has been edited by hawk (edited 01-07-2000).]

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Did I say boat?!? tongue.gif

 

I hear ya, the ones from shore we'll count, even if they were caught on bait...hey, best way to catch a big fish is to feed 'em what they're eatin'! biggrin.gif I did see you fishing from the beach in the spring...you can't be all bad... Not to mention the serious hours you're putting in now from land...alright, I'll take back all the bad things I was thinking about your boat fishing habits! wink.gif

 

Bring yer glove tonight!

 

TimS

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