Launched SI Boat ramp at 4:00am. There was only one boat already getting bait at the Bait Barge so that was a good sign.
We’re getting to know “the kid” at the BB. He opened up a new pen and asked my son to help him Crowd the bait (my son had never helped before, so he was stoked (hell, I was jealous, I’ve never crowded bait before...). We asked him how long it was cured and he said, “6 Days” we knew we were getting “good bait.” We were planning to get a scoop, 3/4 in the tank and 1/4 in the bucket. Let me just say OMG! That was the best scoop of my 34 year offshore experience. My son was buying the bait. I didn’t realize he gave him $60. We always tip $5 so a scoop is a $50 spot......As we pulled away, we were both thinking we got a lot of bait......I was impressed as the Skipper of my voyage said, I gave him an “extra tip.” So, I just assumed when he said “keep the change,” he handed him a $50........I was stoked that my son, recognized we were “well taken care of,” and gave him a $15 tip. I’m thinking, “Damn, my boy is growing up!”
We rounded PL a little before 4:30am, to my surprise, he said he was OK to drive out. This was the first time that’s ever happened. He usually sleeps on the way out.....Another something different about this trip.....We usually get burritos on every trip......This trip I picked up from Sprouts a couple “Chicken Pesto Sandwiches on Ciabatta.” So before my nap, we downed a half a sandwich. Both of us agreed how good this tasted and both of us mentioned we were “burned out on Burritos.”
I couldn’t sleep last night. And the chance to sleep on the way out was welcomed. Ironically, my son gets too “jacked up” and doesn’t sleep before a trip.....last night while getting the boat ready for the trip, my son’s legs got attacked by mosquitoes. So he took two Benedryl and got 5 hours of sleep......Good for me.
I wasn’t sure where we were going as I went to sleep in the Cuddy.....When I awoke in gray-light we were stopped on the 302 and he already was dropping a “flat-fall.” He said we were metering fish...... so I dropped a flylined Dine in the water.....We couldn’t get a bite so by sunrise we started to troll. He told me to tie on a Red/Pink Feather. He said, “I don’t care if we catch Skippies, I wanna catch fish.” So I tied on two.
So without telling me or telling me why, he was following a temperature break. It wasn’t until we were heading for home did I realize we headed SE from the 302......
We saw the “Old Glory.” Trolled by at a distance. Then within sight of the “Intrepid,” our starboard outside troller goes off.......boom skunk off as he bounced a 15lb Yellowfin. As I reeled in the trollers, I threw a lot of whole and chunk sardines. Bendo, his bait stick goes off. #2......then he sees a boil and casts out his “Coltsniper” on his “Pinhead” with a “500 Tranx.” I’m thinking , “Dang....that kid is on fire.” He lands #3 YFT.
So, I’m getting “a clinic” on Yellowfin Catching. All of the sudden he’s got 5 on ice!!!!!! I farm 2 bites and I haven’t landed a fish yet......He exclaims, “I GOT MY LIMIT!” I’m feeling like I just got my ass kicked by my son.......
Finally, my bait stick goes off. I get a small measure of my “manhood/fatherhood” back. Finally, I get my “Mojo Back.” I get some points on the board.......Now it’s 5-3......
We’re on 8 fish. We call out out the numbers twice.....Boom.....I’m hooked up.... nice, #9......Then BAM we’ve got a “double,”....#10......He’s on the Starboard rail, bent.....I’m on the Port rail......I kind of with a smart ass tone say loudly, “does that mean I have to gaff my own fish?” I gaff #9, pop his gills and drop him headfirst in a HD bucket 1/2 filled....
Up to this point, we have zero pictures and zero video, so while I’m waiting to gaff his fish, I’m filming with my IPhone in my left hand......My son, of course says “don’t drop your IPhone.” I get some footage and because I’m trying not to lose my phone in one hand and gaff with the other....I make a horrendous “gutt-gaff” in the belly.....Boom-chaka-lakka, we have limits for 2......We look at the time.....10:11am as we count the haul making sure we only have 10......
So, in summary. I got a beatdown.
21 year old- 6
54 year old- 4
1 on a Jig-stop - Red/Pink feather
1 on a Colt Sniper
8 on bait
#2 Owner Mutu Circle Hooks
All bait rods had either #15 or #20 Seaguar Fluoro leaders
All bait were nose-hooked
The numbers: 22/30
Water temp: 72.1
We decided not to try for Skippies or Yellowtail and headed for home......
A very awesome Parker Skipper(with limits) was blasting over the radio 22/30 too.....As we left the area it looked like 20 Private Boaters made it there at high speed. And about 4 Sporties.....
We entered The Shelter Island Boat Ramp at 11:57am! Oh, and yes....He drove the boat in! Home by 12:45pm!
My son was retelling the story to his Mama.....All I could say was “I was only a Deckhand on this trip.” And that he outfished me 6-4....and at one point it was 5-0.....My wife asks, “aren’t you proud of your boy?” Humbled, I say, “I don’t want his head to get too big.” .....a 30 second pause.....and I say, “yeah, I’m proud of him.”
I decided to write this recap (sorry for the novel) because I am proud of my boy. I told him on the way in that he could take the boat out without me.....He gave me the short list of only 2 friends he would ever consider and the reasons why.....I also was inspired to write this because after looking where 22/30 is I had to ask......”Why did you decide to troll SE of the 302? His reply, “I was following the temperature break.” I asked, “did you follow your gut?” He said, “Yup!”
At that I immediately told him how proud I was and how impressed I was of him.......
So sorry for the long read but......I’M PROUD OF MY SON! So I wrote this to let YOU know how proud of him I am.....
Tight Lines all!