Hit the beach this morning about 30 minutes after it turned from calm to gale force winds. It was low tide so the surf was manageable. I caught a couple of whiting in the first hour and then spotted some bird action a couple hundred yards down the beach. Then fish tearing up the water. I quickly rigged up my big casting outfit with a large spoon. I figured maybe with that size lure I’d be able to cast into the wind but still had my doubts. When I got to where the fish were, it was quiet, as you might expect. I pitched the spoon out, maybe 50-60 yds and wham, a blue nailed it before it had moved 10 feet. Landed it and made another cast. Wham, another fish. But that was it. I cast a few dozen more times with no results so I guess the school had moved on out of range or downshore. But no signs of them. This all reminded me of catching blues when I was a teenager. Then I would have caught quite a few more because I would have run down the beach instead of walking and would have chased after them as far as I could. Now just walking in that soft sand a couple of hundred yards had me huffing. Wait a minute – maybe it’s the soft sand. Back then we had nice hard sand. Also now that I have such nice tackle, I left it all back in my original spot while I chased after the fish with just my trusty casting outfit. So I thought about people stealing my stuff. In the old days I didn’t have any stuff to steal and wouldn’t have worried about it even if I did.
I went back to my original spot and fished for another couple of hours until the surf just got too huge to deal with. I changed weights twice but still, the surf picked up my rig and brought it right into shore. I was getting bites but it was almost impossible to distinguish between a bite and a rolling surf. What a great day!!!!!!!
And once again my sandfleas seemed to be scoring higher than my neighboring fishermen. Clearly we were all using local fleas so maybe there’s something else about my fleas. I watched intently as guys on both sides of me used standard sandflea traps to snag their bait. These are metal baskets on a long handle and catch those fleas that are flowing back from a high wave. My technique, on the other hand, is to dig deep into the sand and catch those that are fairly far under the sand. Is it possible that there is some difference between surface fleas and deep sand fleas? Are my fleas perhaps tougher or tastier? They all look more or less the same but could mine be a subspecies? I have always known that the deep down fleas are larger than those close to the surface. Perhaps they get to be big by digging faster and thereby surviving sand pipers. Boy, there’s a lot to ponder on this whole subject. But I intend to get to the bottom of it.
Today also threw cold water on my afternoon theory. I caught my fish when I first got there and went thru my usual hot time – 12 to 3 pm – more or less fishless. And one other fact, as I was arriving there was a guy leaving with a very large bucket full of nice fish = pompano, whiting, and blues. He said he had been there since 4AM and the fish more or less quit biting when the wind came up about 9:30 AM. You know when a guy is out there before daylight, he is one serious fisherman. He deserved all the ones he caught.