Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Montauk - The End

'Montauk, The End', that is what my t-shirts says.  Montauk is out at the end of Long Island, New York.  It is a neat place to visit.  My buddy from PA, Bill, called me several years ago and suggested a striper fishing trip to Montauk.  His friend, Brian, had lived out there,  fished it and would be our guide!

Excited about striper fishing, I started assembling my gear.  None of my freshwater gear would work out there so it was time to order some new gear.  Bill gave me a list of things and showed me what they looked like.  I needed a surf box, a surf rod and reel, heavy braided line, heavy popper plugs, heavy spoons, heavy-duty pliers, heavy cleats for the waders....are you getting the picture? ............  Heavy - Duty fishing trip!!!

This is the surf tackle box that fits over your shoulder.  It contains lures, spoons, poppers, pliers, heavy leaders and Ibuprofen!  This tackle is heavy and after slinging it all day, you ache!

This is my huge salt water reel.  It is holding 20 # braided line.  The SS-65 is 26.4 oz. and holds 260 yards of 20 # line.

Here is a sample of the plugs I took.  I had about 8-10! The big poppers were my favorite.

 Here we see the spoons and jigs.  They were 1 1/2 to 2 oz. jigs.  Again, I carried 6-8 of each color and type.   Chah chink, chah chink went the cash register!

The wading boots had heavy-duty rock studs in the strap on cleats.  There was no way to get a picture to describe the surf rod.  It is standing beside the freezer.  It is a 12' rod with a 15-40 # line weight capability and up to 8 oz lures.  If you fell in, I could hook you and tow you to shore!

So when my credit card stopped, it was hovering  around $450 so far.  This was going to be a trip!

We loaded up in PA and headed straight across to Long Island.  The Expressways there are not too Express!  It was crowded and packed with vehicles.  Finally we made it out to the end.  We found a campsite on the beach with a large dune between us and the ocean.  Thank goodness!

We are set up!  We do have Annie's car, slight probem.  Think three guys on a 5 day fishing trip in Bill's wife's car.  Augh, we'll deal with that late.  Lets go fishing!

We are at the famous lighhouse on Montauk point.  This is it!  We start looking for a good place to fish.  You are looking for feeding fish, or feeding birds, or fisherman catching fish.

The north side of the lighthouse is tough fishing.  Slippery rocks, pounding waves and scrambling around huge boulders.

Note, we did not fish there on the rocks to the north, we chickened out and went back south to the beach.  It is important to try to find a big rock to stand on.  When you wade out far enough to cast, the waves crash over you.  Finding a rock is hard.  All the good ones are taken.

Brian, to the left, found a small rock, and Bill got a taller rock.  It still is tricky.  The waves can still get you.  Ask me how I now!

I find a rock and start flinging.  You try to cast as far as you can and then you pop the popper hard.  It gets tiring.  Suddenly, you see bait fish schooling and jumping.  All right!  The blue fish or the stripers are surrounding the fish and a feeding frenzy is taking place.  You want to cast right into the middle, but don't do it!  You will have your equipment torn up if you do.  As instructed,  I wanted to cast to the edge but couldn't help myself.  I threw that plug right in the middle of the frenzy.  Wham!  Pop!  Snap!  One $10 lure gone, cut the 20 # line like butter!  Do you know how hard it is to re-tie and get your equipment ready when the fish are feeding fast and you are perched upon a small, wet rock getting waves crashing over you.

OK, that was the first couple of days.  Fun and a real learning curve.

This is the parking lot right at Montauk.  Notice these are serious fishing autos.  These guys know what they are doing.  They fish all the time here.  So what do we immigrants do?  We sneak into the camp to steal some knowledge.

We moved as close as we could.  The first table has Brian on the left and Bill on the right.  Note our attention to what these guys are doing and saying.

These are Brooklyn boys and they talk rough!  This is not exactly what they said, but you will get the drift." Those freakin fish were so freakin hot today. I almost lost my freakin balance when a freakin big one hit my freakin lure.  He hit so freakin hard, I thought I had freakin lost it.  How freakin cool is that. Anybody in their freakin mind would have freakin left here but the freakin fish were hiting  every freakin thing I threw at them"  Somehow, they managed at least 16 "freakin" phrases into every paragraph!  Ok, tomorrow we use the info and get back to those 'freakin' fish'.

Whooee, finally a fish!  It was the thrill of the trip for me.  I managed to find a feeding frenzy, they only last about 15 -20 minutes so you have to cast like you mean it and then sock it to them when they hit.  Sometimes you get a Blue, sometimes you get a Striper.  I was so happy to get a little
15 # Striper.

Back in camp, Brian shows me what a real Striper looks like.

Some of these babies can be over 30-40#s.  Man, do they fight.

We had put in our time and paid our dues!  Tonight we celebrate.

Fresh fish with a cold one!  Man, that is livin!

It is a real gamble going Striper fishing at the ocean.  You never know for sure when the run is on or off.  You take your chances and pay your dues.

It has been a couple of years, my rod and reel are ready waiting in the corner. 

What, you say you want to go there?  Ok, I'll pack up my gear and we're off!

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