These fish were actually in quite shallow water, ambushing a school of silversides that as holding over a patch of eel grass. We could see the grass patch, which was excellent because it afforded us the opportunity to stick to that spot and just wait for the hardtails to come blasting into the bait again. Noah hooked up next, and it was a Spanish mackerel. Of course the guy who has already caught the species is the one that gets the first one of the day!
I wasn't too worried though as the short chaotic blitzes kept erupting over our little grass patch. Often, these fish were less than five feet from us. It was wild and beautiful.
I hooked up next and of course it was another bonito. I was starting to worry. Little did I know, by day's end I'd have more of that species than I'd ever have thought I'd get a shot at in CT waters.
Our grass patch bite kind of fizzled out eventually, and we moved out into deeper water where we'd seen fish before. As we did so I glanced southwest and saw a cloud of birds. We hurried in that direction and in a short time I could see the fish breaking. We got there just in time for the action to fizzle out, of course. I decided to hang around there for a bit though as I'd encountered clouds of bait in the same area every year, seemingly for no reason at all but always in the same small patch of deep water. Noah decided he wanted to go check out another spot. I decided to stay. It wasn't that long after we'd parted ways when the fish came back up again. I got into them fairly quickly and hooked up to the third bonito of the day. As I fought that fish the school basically followed me, blowing up at arms reach all around my kayak. I boated and released that bonito as quick as I could and was hooked up again on the very next cast.
Noah got back over just in time for one brief shot at the bonito, and then they didn't come up heavy again for a while though there were stray boils and leaps. We blind cast, and both got takes from what were almost certainly Spanish, then again I looked Southwest and saw birds. Again Noah and I headed different directions, but by this time things didn't really get going hard until he caught back up to me and now it was all Spanish. I finally added this wacky, beautiful species to my lifelist.
|Lifelist fish #141, Atlantic Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus, Rank: Species|
|Fortunately these buggers weren't super abundant, they do more damage than the mackerel.|
This time, a few went in the cooler. I botched the 2nd fillets a bit on the first and second fish. The fist fish especially. But the meat was remarkably white for a hardtail. These fish have got Bonito beat in terms of food quality, at least by my tastes. Broiled they were delicious. I might try some pan seared next time.
There's about two more weeks during which encounters with crazy exotic fish are possible. I'm hoping to run into at least a few more new species in the coming month.
Until next time.
Fish for the love of fish.
Fish for the love of places fish live.
Fish for you.
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