Birds were lined up along a large stretch of sand, watching the small breakers intently. They knew better then we did that something was about to go down on that lonely beach. As we approached we saw what we thought were fish breaking very close to shore. Mark cut the engine and we made our first casts. Five minutes later Mark got a big eat from what could be nothing other than a gorilla blue. That fish went right under the boat, right under the prop and trolling motor and yet Mark managed to keep his rod in one piece. Around that time my popper got eaten too, but by a schoolie striper. As small bass tend not to fight as hard as massive blues I made quick work of that fish. Mark had to do a risky dance to keep the boat out of the rocks and maintain pressure on the fish. I managed to net the beast and we made the quick decision to beach the boat and fish from shore. We did it very quickly so as to get some photos of the big blue and get it back in the water.
For a little while it was pretty much just stripers, and there were a few real beasts. Mark hooked and lost one that was probably mid thirties and I had a take from a real cow. I got a good look at the fish and it was definitely over 40 inches.
Then the blues came in. Big ones. They were absolutely hammering peanut bunker, in some cases throwing them high into the air on the hit. A small blitz started to my right and I got my popper just on the outside of it. I didn't even need to do anything, a gorilla bluefish came over and destroyed my fly. I strip set and started what at first seemed like it would be a short battle. Then the fish figured out something needed to be done and took off, and fast. At around the same time Mark was into another monster blue as well, and for a while our fish were sticking fairly close together. Mine jumped maybe 70 yards out, shaking its head like a tarpon. What amazed me most was to see the fish's tale out of the water so far away, and my line coming out a few feet in front of that. Mark and my fish then decided to go separate ways and we followed. Mark landed his fish without much trouble. Make no mistake, his was a beast of a fish, over thirty inches. Mine was just that little bit bigger and that made it a pain to fight in the breakers close to shore.
|Photo Courtesy Mark Alpert|
After Mark had released his fish I was still in the heat of battle. He came down the beach to give me a hand. Soon the battle was won. I was able to admire what is truly one of the greatest fish I have ever caught. I mean WOW. What a beast. Measuring the rod at home gives a good estimate at 36 inches. That is a three foot long bluefish.... I was over the moon.
Mark noticed our rods, laying next to each other on the sand after being worked hard on big fish. That blue was my last fish of the day, and I wouldn't have it any other way. What a fish.
Someday soon I'll go back to that beach and see if I can re-live that couple of hours of mayhem.