Friday, June 23, 2006

The Best Time Getting Skunked

I was late getting out last evening and only had about an hour's time to spend on the bay. My thoughts were that the blues would be around and so I decided upon a few spots where I've found them in the past and set out for the boat. But at the dock was Dave Sullivan and his son, Ben. They were just returning with a nice bass. They'd been chunking not far off and said the action was so hot that they ran out of bait. Dave was running up to get more frozen mackerel and implored me to join up with them in a little bit. So, I decided to check my lobster pots, look for a few blues, and then see if Dave would be in his spot.

No lobsters, no blues -- nothing. The SW wind was firm enough to stir the bottom a bit on this incoming tide. Conditions were not good for the head of the bay. I joined up with Dave and Ben. He was smiling: Seth (a boy back at the dock) had given them a live hickory shad which he had jigged up off the marshes. Ben put the shad on a hook and dropped it over. And as Dave and I fumbled mackerel over from his boat to mine, the shad performed and really, within one minute, the Sullivan chunk stick was screaming. Reeeeeeeereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnggg!

A thirty-six incher with half the shad hanging out of its mouth. They were quite happy as they had entered into a local evening tournament and sure to win now. The shad was still alive and went back out on the hook. But after a few minutes, the Sullivans stated that they had to head in and asked if I wanted the shad (my mackerel chunks were just attracting crabs on the bottom). "Sure," I said.

I put the shad on my hook, and......nothing happened. The sun set and I pulled up anchor and motored in. The headline we were hoping for was:

Two Boats, One Shad, and Two Keeper Bass

But it was not to be.

Ben Sullivan holding his 36" Striper (photo by D. Bitters)


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