Crozzbow

North of Portland (2019)

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Thanks for the mention Crozzbow. This was a combined trip. Catch a few and give my GF some time on the water. She likes to ride around rather than drift and fish. She was ready to bail as the no see us

were all over her. Bugs weren't bad this morning.  Had 7 this morning from the yak after a slow start at low tide. A few thirties. All on sluggos and poppers. Dropped a bunch as they were boiling or short strikes. Nothing on tube and worm.A soft rain was welcomed keeping the heat down. 

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1 hour ago, Crozzbow said:

LOL...  As with I, however I have to work a little harder on the SOB part.

Tight Lines My Friend.

If they had colleges devoted to it, I'd be the dean.  

 

Tight lines to you as well.  

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3 hours ago, Chalkdust said:

Had 7 this morning from the yak after a slow start at low tide. A few thirties. All on sluggos and poppers. Dropped a bunch as they were boiling or short strikes. Nothing on tube and worm.

Okay, keep it up but just be sure you are leaving some for me.  I'll have to start watching a"slugger/popper from a kayak" show every now and then. 

Believe it or not my tube and worm shows are starting to wear on me a bit. I have reached a point where catching striped bass from a kayak with the T&W rigs has become way too easy.

Edited by Crozzbow

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I meant a sluggo or a popper. Single hook in the sluggo makes them easy to remove. I crush the barbs on plugs, so dropping a fish from time to time is no biggie. 

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1 hour ago, Chalkdust said:

I meant a sluggo or a popper. Single hook in the sluggo makes them easy to remove. I crush the barbs on plugs, so dropping a fish from time to time is no biggie. 

Yeah, I knew that much. 

If my sluggo / popper notiation was a bit confusing, I apologize. It's just my way of indicating an "either / or situation".

 

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Well, I lucked out this morning (sort of) when I checked my activity coordinator’s (wife) schedule and discovered that none of today’s activities included me. I quickly announced that the free time I was seeing on the schedule would be used for another round of sea trials on my yellow Hobie. Then, when the trials were complete, I would follow up with a few hours chasing striped bass.

I was preparing to take some strong negative push back from the activity coordinator but all she did was roll her eyes and tell me to have fun. I was so stunned that when she asked me where I intended to hold this sea trial / fishing event my mind went blank. I ended up telling her that I was going to fish one of the secluded coves that I successfully fished in the past. It was a cove that she had kayaked with me several times so I new what was coming next. The first thing that came out of her mouth was “Isn’t that the cove with the rough launch that tore you’re back up the last time you launched your kayak there??”

As somebody who is in their mid-sixties, just the mere mention of the term “rough launch” sent painful tremors up and down my spine. I just blew it off and told her that “I planned on being a lot more careful this time”

After single handedly taking the Hobie down off my truck rack, dragging it on a set of wheels across a real busy road, removing the wheels and man handling the kayak down a set of stairs and across a section of mud flats that were more slippery than whale snot, I decided to can the sea trials and just launch.

Fifteen minutes after launch I caught and released the first fish of the day. A quick measurement showed it to be 24 inches long, plus or minus an inch. Over the next thirty minutes I picked up a handful of more fish in that same length bracket.

Overall, there were a lot of free-floating weeds in that cove that made the trolling of my tube and worm rigs extremely difficult. When I finally called it quits, I had caught and released a little more fish than a dozen. All but two of those fish fell into the same length bracket as the first fish I caught today. The two other fish were a little bit longer. One was 26 inches long and the other was 27 inches long.

Using the same steps (pun not even funny) in reverse order got my kayak back on the truck racks and I got home a little earlier than planned. My activity coordinator wasn’t home, so I used the time to clean up an try a little preventive care on my back.

An hour later, my activity coordinator walked through the door and the first words out of her mouth were (Is that Ben Gay I’m smelling?”)

 

Hey, does anybody out there in SOL land think I'm getting a little too far off the reservation with some of these North of Portland Postings ??

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Crozz, I probably echo MANY others but speaking for myself I absolutely love your posts.  You've got a technique down pat and I'm sure there are lots of guys and gals that have learned from your info.  

 

In short, don't quit and keep your eyes peeled for a PM from me in the not too distant future.

Edited by harlycarly

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I woke up early enough this morning to finish most of today’s to-do list ahead of schedule. This in turn earned me enough points on the activity coordinator’s (wife) bean count board to buy a few hours on the water chasing striped bass.

 

 I launched the kayak at approximately 10:30 am just as the sun was peeking out from an overcast sky. Aside from the currents provided by the incoming tide flows the waters in front of the launch were calm. However, it didn’t take very long before I spotted several schools of very agitated silvery bait fish breaking the surface of the water with a striped bass or two in pursuit. I couldn’t be sure but, the baitfish looked like silverside minnows.

 

It didn’t really matter much at the time because all I had on board at the time were my trusty tube rigs and a bag and a half of bloodworms. I decided to leave bait fish schools alone for a bit and concentrate on some underwater structure that I was aware about in the area and how the currents were flowing around them.

 

The largest aggravation of the day was the free-floating sea grass and weeds that made trolling tube and worm rigs difficult. However, during my first hour and a half of fishing the rigs and with a little patience on my part, I managed to catch and release a large bunch of striped bass.  On average these fish measured somewhere between 18 inches to 25 inches in length. 

 

For the next hour and a half, I started to pay a lot more attention to the schools of bait fish that were still hanging around in large numbers. After a little experimentation I found that by trolling my tube and worm rigs just aft of an active school of bait I could usually pick up several striped bass before I’d have to move on to another school of bait fish. 

 

For my efforts I was able to catch another large batch of striped bass to add to the first tally. The lengths of the second batch of fish mostly matched the first batch with the exception that there were a couple of 28-inch-long striped bass that I caught, measured twice, then released.

 

I called it a day at 1:30 pm with an overall tally of 37 fish caught and released with none of them measuring over 28 inches long.

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Okay, It has been a while since my last posting and for those that actually look forward to these postings I sincerely apologize.

 

Last year when the season ended and the cold weather set in all I could think of was getting on the water again.  For days on end I would binge watch the striped bass and kayak videos posted on YouTube late into the evening hours.  I tied some flies and constructed several more tube and worm rigs. I bought new saltwater lures  from Cabela's and kayak accessories from Amazon some of which I will probably never use.

 

When I retired five years ago I wanted to spend the majority of my retirement time on the water. However, it didn't take long to find out my home and family wasn't going to let that happen. My home needed some tender loving care and so did the grand kids. This was. especially so when their parents were out working or playing parental hide and seek with their kids. Then comes the annual visit to my other son who lives far out of state. All of this activity was eating into my fishing time but, family and home came first All I could do was make the most of the time I had.

 

So this year I vowed to put more time on water whenever I could. I hounded the doctors and specialists who were treating my chronic leg pain issue insisting they fix me before the striped bass season started.  It was the same story when I tripped over my own two feet and fractured my elbow.  I was so worried that I would not be ready for the start of the season, one of my physical therapist made it her sole mission to make me better.

 

All of that and I still wasn't ready when the time came to start wetting my line. The legs still hurt and the fractured elbow wasn't completely healed. I had to tuff it out for a couple of weeks before The doc's and therapists released me for any action on the water. The first few weeks were relatively good but, then reality set in. 

 

The home still need some interior work and the number of local grand kids grew by one and the older one thinks he is old enough to set his own agenda. My activity coordinator's (Wife) remaining parent passed away. The resulting wakes, funeral and final internment required my presence. My son and his family came home so they could also participate in the formalities. 

 

Needless to say that all this activity pretty much ate up most of the time I would of had available for the type of fishing that I prefer.

 

I know this is an overly long  apology but, what the heck I had the time.

 

 

 
Edited by Crozzbow

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Okay

Apology out of the way, time for an update.

I spent a few hours on the water yesterday but it ended up being a waste of time. The fish were still in the areas I expected them to be and they were still interested in my tube and worm rigs as I ended up catching and releasing four fish for my efforts.

 

The sole reason there weren't anymore fish taken was that it took more effort than it was worth to get my tube and worm rigs down to the fish with all the free floating vegetation that the rigs were snagging on the way down. I was clearing eel grass out of the hooks on an average of every three minutes. My search for open areas in all this floating grunge wasn't fruitful enough to continue looking. 

 

Looks like I will be spending some time on the beach during the last hurrah. 

Edited by Crozzbow

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I took the kayak out for another spin this morning. I launched the kayak at approximately 9:30 am expecting to find the area that I intended to fish heavily fouled with free floating seaweed and eel grass like it had been earlier in week. I was somewhat pleasantly pleased to find that quite a bit of the floating vegetation had disappeared over the last three days. 

 

However there was still enough left behind to foul my tube and worm rigs more than I was willing to tolerate. In a way that was a good thing because I wanted to test an anti-fouling set up using my rod holders.  Some where along the line I remembered  a video I had seen on you tube showed how some muskey fishermen avoided the weeds in their lake when trolling by pushing the tips of their rods underwater. The rod tips intercepted the weeds and rod guides prevented the captured weeds from sliding down the fishing line to foul the lure.

 

After three hours of testing my own interpretation of how to troll rod tips under water (see pics) I'm happy with the results. I caught and released a little over twenty fish (and one crab) with most of them measuring in the mid twenties. And I did it with minimal fouling of my tube and worm rigs. The set up looks awkward but I didn't find it any harder than my regular trolling set up. Needless to say, in the absence of free floating weeds I would still prefer My regular trolling setup.

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Crozzbow

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When I stepped out of the house this morning at 4:30 am, I immediately saw my breath and a cold chill swept over my entire body. I stood out on the porch for a few minutes debating with myself as to whether I should just turn around, go back into the house, then crawl back into a warm bed.

There was no way that was going to happen. I was just too committed to getting out on the water this morning. The striped bass season was growing shorter by the minute, the truck was fully loaded out with all the gear I could possibly need for a few hours on the water, the blood worms I bought last were close to reaching their shelf life, and I was ready for combat.

When I left the driveway the outdoor temperature gauge in my 10-year-old F-150 registered 48 degrees Fahrenheit. This promptly sent another chill running up and down my spine and I turned up the heat in the truck’s cab another notch or two.

It was still dark on the water and there wasn’t another person in site when I reached the kayak launch point. I pulled the kayak off from the truck’s overhead racks and outfitted the kayak with what I thought would be needed to stay safe and still catch striped bass in a honey hole which has treated me well for me over the years.

As soon as I finished outfitting the kayak and threading blood worms on the tube and worm rigs, I strolled down to the edge of the water to see what was going on.

The sky had brightened up enough that I could see a lot of surface activity starting to take place over much of the water I planned on fishing this morning.

I immediately launched the kayak and peddled out towards the closest zone of activity where I promptly hooked up with a feisty 26-inch striped bass. This was a bass that just wouldn’t quit the fight, When I lifted it from the water to remove the hook it decided it was going to do things its own way.  It did a few fancy gyrations that helped it slip the hook and fall back in the water. From the it quickly headed to deeper water, but not before it slapped its tail on the water to drench me with a face full of cold seawater.

It wasn’t long after that when one of my tube and worn rigs were hit by another very heavy fish that was stripping line of the reel at a fast pace. I tightened the drag up a much as I dared then drew back and set the hook a couple of more times to ensure that whatever was at the end of that line was going to stay there until I managed to reel it back to the kayak. It took some time, but I finally coaxed it back to the kayak where a quick picture was taken then I spent the next 15 minutes trying to convince it that it was free to go as soon as it was ready. I finally got it moving by giving it a little tap on the backside, and it returned the favor by slapping that enormous tail hard enough on the surface of the water to drench me with a face full of cold seawater. 

 

After that the fish hit my tube and worm rigs enough to maintain my attention long enough to meet my intended take out time. The average lengths for most of the 23 striped bass I caught and released were in the mid-twenties with the exception of two 90ish inch fish which were caught and released during the first hour of fishing.

 

This 30-inch beauty was the second fish of the 23 that I caught and released this morning. A nice way to start off my day.

30 inch striper.jpg

Edited by Crozzbow

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When I left the house at 4:30 am this morning (Sunday) I looked forward to having one of our out of state SOL members, “l.i.fish.in.vt” (A.K.A. John), joining me on the water for a few hours of striped bass fishing. John and other members of his family spent the weekend in Maine living out of a tent that they had pitched at one of the local campgrounds.

 

 Aside from the standard tourist activities, John expressed a desire to take his kayak out on the water to observe how tube and worms were used to catch striped bass in mid coast Maine. I volunteered to show him what little I know and invited him to spend some time at one of my more productive striped bass “honey hoes” and troll one of my tube and worm rigs then planned the outing on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Weather and time constraints pushed the outing to this morning for a shorter length of time at one my less productive “honey holes”.

 

When we got to the launch site the sky was starting to get brighter so we took a good look around then launched our kayaks at 6:00 am and started trolling.

 

The good news: There was plenty of bait fish and striped bass activity on the surface of the water. In addition, almost all the free-floating vegetation that frustrated the heck out of me, during my last visit to this area, appeared to have completely left the area.

 

The bad news:  Enticing striped bass to latch onto tube and worms in this area can be bit more difficult than hooking up with them in the area I first recommended.

 

Long story short, we fished for three hours and between the two of us we caught and released enough fish to call it a successful morning. From my perspective, it was nice to have a real person, to talk to on the water, who has some of the same interests as me.

 

FYI: Most of the fish we caught and released would probably measure somewhere between 18 inches to 24 inches in length.

 

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