Monday, June 30, 2008

Good couple days

Friday morning - I woke up early, 4:30am to be exact. There was already a little light in the sky, next time I will get up earlier. Got in the boat and headed towards Naushon. Second cast on a bone Hogy and it got slammed. A huge bluefish! Next drift I through out a plug and no takers. Drifted again to see if there were some bass in there and again a bone Hogy got nailed by a bluefish. I left and repeated this scenario almost exactly at three other points on the Buzzards Bay side of Naushon. The bluefish were all over 10 lbs. and they would not take any plug or metal I tried to serve to them. I went through Robinson's Hole and fished Naushon on the Vineyard Sound side. Second cast and I nailed a 29" bass. I new it was a bass almost immediately because of the head shakes. I was proud of myself in that I was able to bring in the fish and successfully maneuver the boat away from the rock I was drifting into and the lobster pot behind me. I decided to keep this bass, most likely the only one I will keep this year. I caught 5 or 6 small schoolies and went home. Made fish cakes with the striper and they were amazing. Almost tempts me to keep another, but I feel a little guilty keeping bass for no reason. Perhaps I will try the same recipe with bluefish, but I think it won't be as good.

Saturday - Went out with Mike Earley and we repeated the same steps that I did the day before, but we had different results. It was calm! Super calm! All morning long. Haven't seen anything like it in Buzzards Bay before. We happened upon some birds and caught a handful of small blues around the Weepeckets. We then started hitting all the points that brought large fish and I was only able to get one small bass here. We went around the corner of Robinson's Hole and we did not have any luck other than a couple bumps. We did see another fisherman fighting what looked to be a nice fish. On the way back home we stopped by Woods Hole and fished a rip just at the entrance. Bass were stacked up behind it and we were able to catch a few healthy schoolies in the 24"-26" range.

When I got home the family decided to go out on the boat. We went to a nice sandy spot near Sippewisset marsh ate lunch and went swimming. When we were done here we drove towards Naushon and of course when we got around the Weepeckets we happened upon some birds and some bluefish. Thomas was excited that his Bass Pro Shops popper caught a bunch of bluefish. The best part was that Christine reeled in her first fish. Christine and Thomas each brought in two as well. I am amazed at how well Gwen does at bringing in a fish. She is perfect at reeling at the right time and knowing when to let the fish run. I actually think she could reel in a large bass if the opportunity ever presented itself. Overall an awesome couple of fishing days with great weather.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dave Matthews 6/24

Went to see the Dave Matthews Band at Great Woods, I mean the Tweeter Center, I mean the Comcast Center last night. Great show! As I get older I look at things a lot differently. I found myself thinking about the band and how it was not that long ago they were playing for a few hundred dollars a night, loading a packing their own gear etc. I wonder if musicians like that ever get bored playing for thousands of people.

A few cool things - They added a trumpet player to the mix and he was a very decent player. My favorite part was his flugelhorn solo, but throughout the evening he displayed good solo chops and a range that wouldn't quit. The Dave Matthews Band has a knack for shaping songs dynamically. Every song (and solos within the song) have a definite dynamic arch that keep variety in their music, something that many bands these days are lacking big time. I am impressed at how much better the saxophone player has gotten over the years. When the band first started it was a struggle for him just to play in tune and although I have still heard many a better high school sax player he is getting better and his improvised solos are continually improving. The drummer is still impressive and interesting. The most underrated player in the band is the bass player. He is solid and never takes the spotlight away from soloists or singer. He is constantly in line with the kick drum, but adds appropriate fills that are cool to listen to. Great songs performed were Trippin Billies, Gravedigger, Ants Marching, Rapunzel. My favorite of the night was Crush. Really cool to hear all of the crowd singing along.

A few not good things - Ok, the drummer is good, but two Foot Joy golfing gloves while you play? Somehow I do not recall seeing Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Gene Krupa, or in the rock genre, Neil Peart or Gregg Bisonette wearing gloves. Lame!! Dave played the piano during one song and it was the worst song of the night. There was no chorus or bridge to the song and even though the band still performed their bell curve dynamic arch it still fell flat. The piano riff was elementary at best. Gwen could easily have played it. The viloin player is the worst musician on the stage. The worst improviser I have ever heard make tons of money. I can think of a half dozen high school violinists that I have taught that I could have taught to improvise as well in about an hour. And no I am not exaggerating.

All in all an awesome concert. Dave's music is so happy sounding even when the message is dark. The stage was really cool looking and offered many different views of the players. A word to Comcast Center. More lights and bigger walkways!!! Very uncomfortable exiting the concert.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh Yeah!!

The Celtics Win! The Celtics Win! Theeeeeeeeeeee Celtics Win!!!!

Amazing game last night. So much fun to watch an outstanding team just demolish another team in the most important game of the year. It is definitely fun to be a Boston sports fan. The Patriots, the Red Sox and now the Celtics. Awesome. Now if only the Bruins would get sold to an owner or owners that actually cared about putting together a contending team we would be all set.

I had a big win today too. I just "won" a Penn Captiva 8000 surf casting reel on ebay. I am pretty happy with it. Good price and it was exactly in my "Mr. Cheapo" price range. $62 including shipping. Looking forward to getting in some fishing real soon. As much as possible before the dog days of summer really get here. Here is a picture of my new reel that will be here in a few days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting Ready

School is out on Friday!! You can't see it, but I am doing a tap dance in between each sentence I am writing. Yesterday I took some time to get all of my rods up to speed. Respooled my two light tackle setups and swapped reels. I also got some more braid for the big boy and respooled that too. I have been putting a lot of thought into the big boy recently as well. I think the rod is going to be good for me for a long time. It is sturdy and has enough backbone to horse in a big fish. Eventually I am going to upgrade the reel. I have been doing a little looking and I am hoping to spend less than $100 and hopefully more like $60. Right now I am looking at an Okuma Salina and it also looks like there are a couple lower end Shimano's that may work as well as possibly a Daiwa or two. I am looking hard at some ebay listings and also in the shops. It is not a huge thing, but I do not want to lose a Striper Cup worthy fish because my reel gave out. I have still only been out one time on the boat by myself for a fishing outing. I am looking forward to many early morning starts and getting out to the Elizabeth's with a bucket of eels and/or trying out more of the trolling thing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Woke up early to go fishing with Paul and Mike Kerrigan. We were on the water by 6:30am. Headed towards the Elizabeth's and happened upon a huge school of bluefish that occasionally came up to the surface to bang bait. There was an amazing amount of fish on the fish finder and an incredible amount of bait in the water. It was fun to see Mike catch his first couple blues after relearning how to cast. We each caught a few and headed to Robinson's Hole. We anchored at the Southwestern most point of Robinson's and started chumming. It wasn't long before we started getting fish...dogfish! We pulled up three and then got out of there. The ride back stunk because I thought about swinging by Middle Ground before heading in. Vineyard Sound had the occasional 6-7 foot wave whereas Buzzards Bay was barely 1. Bad choice. In addition, the rain started to fall making it hard to see. I probably burnt an extra $20 in fuel and a full hour of time getting back Vineyard Sound instead of Buzzards Bay. Another lesson learned. Christine set up an awesome cookout and we ate very well and watched a Red Sox 9-0 murder of the Reds. Awaiting the Celts game tonight and hoping they just end it tonight so that I do not have to stay up so late anymore, unless I am fishing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Couple Lessons Learned

Went back to the West End of the canal last night. The fish are still there, but there are more small fish and bluefish now. I did see someone catch one really nice bass, but mostly I saw small fish being caught. I caught one fish on the night, a nice healthy 25-26" fish I would say. I lost one more and had my offering exploded upon on numerous occassions, but with no hookups. There was a boat out in front of me and the other two guys near me and I tried my hardest to cast as close to the boat as possible as to let them know that they were too close. I landed a couple casts within 10 feet I'd say. Not sure they understood the message, but they did not stay too long. The two guys next to me were sporting their $800-$1000 surf casting setups. As a direct descendant of "Mr. Cheapo" i would show them that I could catch fish just as good as them. Well, one of them anyway. The guy immediately to the right of me did not hook up at all while I was there, but the guy on the other jetty probably brought in 10 fish. Wish I was bold enough to ask him what lure/color he was using, but no big deal. This night ended up being one that I will chalk up to learning the ropes. I will be better prepared in the future because of it. I have been doing a lot of reading and feel that I had all my necessary supplies packed in one backpack. Loaded up, but not overdone is what I was shooting for and I am pretty much there. New lessons are:

1. Braid line will mess up your finger when casting hard and often.

2. Close the bail with your hand to make sure that the braid does not spool on loose.

3. Put your light on a lanyard.

1. After fishing on Thursday night when many awesome fish were caught my finger had a small cut on it that I chalked up to nicking on a hook. Don't get me wrong I had heard that casting braid will mess up your finger, but over the years I have not had that happen. In retrospect I have not had this happen because usually I was casting with eels and not trying to cast my plugs the lenghth of a football field out into the middle of the Cape Cod Canal. Anyway, about a half hour in my finger is killing me. I decided to work through the pain and deal with it later.

2. Shortly after repositioning myself on a jetty I notice I have a knot in my spool. I empty out the line to get to it and it is unfixable. I retie the leader and begin fishing again. About a half hour later there is an even bigger knot in the spool and it was obvious that it happened at the very end of a cast because it was deep in the spool. Unfixable again. I had to stop fishing because I no longer had enough line on my rod.

3. While getting the final knot out of my spool I had my mag light flashlight in my mouth so i could see what I was doing. It fell out of my mouth and in to the water. Now it looked like there was a spaceship hovering under the rocks of the jetty in three feet of water. Light coming up between every crack. This made the last few minutes of untangling and cutting the braid very challenging, but eventually I did it.


1. I will wear a bandaid whenever i am going to be casting with braid or tape it up. I am way to cheap to spend $20 on an Aquaskinz casting glove.

2. First I am in need of a new reel that closes as soon as I begin reeling, but in the meantime I think I can avoid the knots by closing the bail myself.

3. Not that I haven't read that I need to keep my light on a lanyard, but now I will definitely do that.

Although last night was not a very successful night in terms of fish caught I did avoid the skunk and manage to catch more fish than one of the $1000 shore fisherman. More importantly i can chalk last night up to a good learning experience that will hopefully allow me to have more success in the future.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Great Weekend

Had three gigs this weekend. Nice to get some extra cash. I am really starting to like playing with Salsa Night Band. Even though I do not understand what the people are saying much of the time they are really nice and we communicate with bare bones English and my limited Spanish.

Saturday morning Mike Earley took his friend Rick back to the West End of the canal and Rick hooked up to a nice 28 lb. bass. Mike also brought home a honking bluefish that had to be at least 12 lbs. I was too tired from the night before to get out in the morning with them. It is a really weird feeling that I feel because before Thursday night if I knew there were huge fish in a particular area I would have been there in a second no matter how little sleep I had. Thursday was so good I almost feel as though I have no need to experience the same fishing at the same spot. At least I am not felling the same desire to prove my fishing expertise or lack thereof because now I have 4 keepers under my belt for the season. Having said that, I had so much fun that I think that I am going to go back there tonight. Apparently the fish are still there from reports that I have received.

Great news!! After Thomas' baseball game and my wedding ceremony on Saturday I was able to get the boat put in and it is now being officially rack stored at Fiddler's Cove. On Sunday morning we went out on a family boat outing with Christine's parents. It was awesome. We went into the west end of the canal and were able to dock up in Onset Harbor and eat lunch at Marc Anthony's. Best pizza in the Cape Cod area. There were a lot of boats fishing, but I did not see a single hookup.

Gwen scored her first goal in lacrosse yesterday. I was so proud of her. There is so much luck involved in girls lacrosse. If a girl gets a pass and it is the second pass they need to pass it again until their team can legally shoot on net. I can't count the amount of times that Gwen was the second girl to receive a pass only to have to make one more pass and have that girl score or get a shot on net. No biggy! She is really starting to understand the game and I am so proud of her newly found athleticism.

Thomas had a game and although he did not score he played outstanding. He was very agressive during ground balls and was able to get a couple shots on net. It was their 2nd and last game of the year and they ended up in a 5-5 tie.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Big wins all around

I got a great report of some nice bass being caught near the West End of the canal. I had to get there. Mike Earley and I went a little before 8pm. Amazing scene. Big bass crashing plugs. Usually I am a light tackle guy, but I knew I would have to be chucking plugs out deep so I let it rip with my 9 foot ugly stick. A cheap surf rod, but it got the job done. Plus, I have it lined with braid which definitely has added a good 20 yards to my cast. After all was said and done I pulled in four bass in the 20lb. range and one nice bluefish. Mike was unable to cast quite as far as me, but he hooked up twice and did bring in a nice 20lb. bass.

Celtics win, Celtics win, theeeeeeeeeee Celtics win!!! Huge win for the Celtics last night. Close game and I think that this could turn out to be a great series. Celtics definitely had the benefit of some hometown calls from the refs so I wonder if that will continue next game. If the Celts can pull off a game two win they are totally in the drivers seat. Knowing that if they can just get one win in LA that they can come home to win it all. Exciting times for Massachusetts sports fans.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Last night it was only a day past a new moon, it ws foggy, it had been dark and rainy all day. Could there be any better fishing conditions? I told Christine that I was going to go fishing at the canal. I changed my mind and decided to watch Top Chef with her instead (which she proceeded to sleep through). I did get a chance before it started to get about a half hour of fishing in at Parker's. A lot of menhaden are still there and I was able to get two small bluefish and two healthy schoolies. Reports came flying in this morning about great action at the canal last night. Of Course!!! I still had fun at Parker's, but this is starting to get a little ridiculous. I need to start maiking a committment to getting out there when the conditions dictate it. I knew and I didn't do it. My fault.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fishing report and a prediction

On Sunday morning Mike Earley went to Middle Ground and released 20 keeper sized striped bass. The squid are coming through and the big fish are following. This is just like the time I went out with Steve Page and we happened upon the same circumstances. It is truly amazing fishing. Monday morning Mike Hogan went out and pulled in 8 keepers with a charter he was running. So, Tuesday i decided it was time to take a day off and get out there. When I got to middle ground nothing was happening. I did not see any squid, fish breaking, or fish being caught. After an hour I look to my left and I see this huge seal. Yes, a seal in Vineyard Sound on June 3. I get out of there and try a bunch of other spots with no luck. I go back to middle ground and start fishing again. I see a couple seagulls diving here and there which at least tell me there is squid in the water again. I manage to catch three stripers on the Double Wide Amber Hogy. With so much weed in the water it was the only way to consistently get good casts in and not bring up a pound of weed every time. The fish were 26", 26" and 27". No keepers, but I felt good that I was the only one that I saw catch any fish. Every now and then you would see a bass come flying up out of the water to attack squid, such a cool sight. Apparently the fishing just kept heating up too because Gene Bourque went back and caught a few nice fish later. It was nice to get out there and catch some decent fish. This was the first time I had gone out on the boat by myself and I was really happy with all aspects of it. I was out for 5 hours and burned hardly any fuel. I continue to shave seconds off of my self proclaimed mastery of loading and unloading of the boat on to the trailer.

Prediction - More seals equals more Great White Sharks. There will be more sightings of Great White Sharks this year than ever. And, within the next two years my horrible prediction is that there will be a shark attack on an outer beach on the Cape.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


This weekend was incredible. Awesome meal and saw Martin Sexton in Portsmouth, NH with Chris, Jill, Mike, Jen and Christine. I was blown away by his amazing singing and guitar playing. Multiple times during the show I was almost brought to tears by his amazing voice. Standout songs to me were Candy, Glory Bound, Gypsy Woman, Purple Rain and his encore Way I Am. His falsetto vocals were breathtaking, but his huge voice in his normal range was equally impressive. I have always enjoyed the recordings I have heard of him when he uses a talk box to alter his voice to sound like a distorted guitar. He does it so appropriately and it reminds me of a tone that Jimi Hendrix used to get on his Fender. Not to be outshined by his voice his guitar playing was outstanding too. Although he never breaks into any amazing runs, he is flawless at playing his low E string in a bass-like manner while playing chords with the higher 4 or 5 strings. His thumbs on both hands are used much more than your typical rhythm guitar player. Often times his two thumbs were working to play the bass line while his other eight fingers concentrated on chordal accompaniments.

Fishing - NOOOOOOOOOO! It happened again. The big blitz of stripers that follow in squid to middle ground. Mike Earley reported to me that he was out early Sunday morning and caught 20 bass and they were all keepers. Unbelievable!! Glad Mike got into some good fish and I feel fortunate that once I happened upon this occurrence about 6 years ago. Also heard that Mike Hogan released his first 50 in Woods Hole. This year is just one that I would like to forget in terms of fishing luck. Admittedly I have not put in the time and I need to start. Early mornings and/or late nights need to happen with a little more frequency in order for me to really have a gripe about my bad luck. I guess when you get right down to it, I am just jealous.