On Tuesday May 31st, we launched early and headed out into cloudy, drizzly and breezy conditions. Not the ideal recipe for a half day charter. The big Contender ate up the sloppy seas and the radar did a great job helping me dodge the rain squalls while hunting the birds.
The crew I had was a long time coming. It’s been over 2 years since I’ve had Big Mike and Junior on the boat. And they even brought their friend Joe along to join in on the day’s action.
We hit a few spots and found good numbers of school size fish. Each time we stopped we would get a half dozen fish, then move on to try to upgrade the size class. After several stops, we found a nice striper blind casting bite in about 70’ of water. I just happened to mark a pile of fish while running and spun around and ran back to it. The guys got decent numbers of fish early, up to 15-20# on the go-to Hogy Epoxy Jigs.
Always one to leave a bite to better our position, I made the call to leave what most would call an excellent drift and continued on our quest. Soon enough the Raymarine radar lit up with the big piles of birds I was hoping to see. I pushed hard and raced to the marks.
We slid into the Nat Geo surface feed of 20-40# bass smashing big baits on the surface. The huge broom tails left massive holes in the water as they slapped the big baits clear out of the water. The go-to bait on this feed has been the new Hogy Pro Tail Shad. This is EXACTLY what the lure was made for. Full on blitz conditions with BIG fish. The guys could not get the Pro Tails back to the boat without having a dozen big bass chasing, swiping and then piling onto the lure. Doubles and triples were the rule. The sound was music to my ears, birds and drags screaming and happy anglers yelling and cheering as they got tight cast after cast in the chaos surrounding us.
Big Mike loves to jig and he decided to get below the good fish and try for a slob. He sent a tuna-sized Epoxy Jig to the bottom and within a few cranks he hooked the fish of the day.
After several hours of chasing around the feed we had to leave the blitz while it was still in full swing. The guys had a short window and we damn sure made the most out of it.
Final tally: 50 or so NICE bass and a couple dozen smaller fish early. Overall just a great trip that was long overdue! It’s always great to fish with Big Mike and Jr. It’s nice to see none of us have lost a step during our hiatus.
Looking for your next epic day of striped bass fishing? Get in touch with Capt. Terry and Capt. Shaun Ruge of Riptide Charters at firstname.lastname@example.org.