Monday, July 2, 2012

CBBT Critterpalooza

After waiting out a storm, and launching over an hour later than expected, the first thing I saw was a cobia thrashing on some bait.  I quickly grabbed the bucktail rod that I specifically brought just in case that scenario presented itself, but by the time I turned back around it was gone.  After searching a while, I switched to dropping mole crabs.

First up, a nice hard fighting 22" sheepshead.  

Next, a not-so-good looking schoolie striper.

Then, after a few croakers, I switched over to clams and tried for spades.  I didn't see any or get any bites at the usual spot and the current was brutal, so I took refuge on the down current side of the island.    It was a good opportunity to look for big black drum that sometimes hang out in the rocks near the surface, but that was also fruitless.  Next, I turned my efforts towards triggerfish and quickly hooked up to a bunch of baby black sea bass.  Normally, I'd be pretty irritated but after remembering that they were on the list, I got to tagging.  Eventually, I got a slightly different kind of hit and slowly reeled in to find a triggerfish chasing the empty jig head.  I rebaited and caught the aggressive little guy.  Sorry no pic.  He was only 11".  Tagged and released.

I kept at it and after a while, noticed an itty bitty little thing just under the surface... something I've never seen before.  

After doing some homework, I'm pretty sure it's a juvenile Banded Rudderfish.  It stayed under my kayak for quite some time, darting out every once in a while.

I love finding new species!

After eating a snack while watching my little buddy peek out from under me, I switched back to mole crabs and brought up something I've never caught before.

Bergall aka Cunner

Like tautog, it's a member of the wrasse family.   

I braved the current again to try jigging for flounder, but only became frustrated.  The water was just too fast.  After losing a few 2oz jigs and not getting any bites, I went back to the island.  Eventually the current slowed down, but only for a little while.  The incoming was also predicted to be very fast, so my window of opportunity was short.  I went back to find the spades.  They were little, but at least I got some.

Even the little ones put a bend in the rod
Wee lil' 8" spade
One right after another

Like predicted, the slack current didn't last long.  And after tagging several of the baby spades, and getting a serious work out from all the one arm paddling, I had to call it a day.

The paddle back seemed to take forever... giving me a chance to think about the tough but interesting day.


  1. Definitely a banded rudderfish if I've ever seen one. Sounds like an awesome trip!

  2. 2 new species - awesome!! Wish I could have found time to get out but recovering from 7 hours of chainsaw duty at my parents Sunday has wiped my arms and my back out for the foreseeable future.

  3. Dude I love the underwater video! Keep shootin' n fishin' man!

  4. Good stuff. That looks like a fun day for sure.

    1. Much appreciated. Thanks for checking out the blog!

  5. Those Bergall are a common pest from Jersey up through New England. They are close companions of 'Tog and are adept at getting to your bait first. Usually 6"-9", or so, I've seen a few 15"-18" offshore on wrecks. If they get big enough to fillet they're ok eating, but the little guys are pretty bony. I've also cut them into strips and caught fluke on them.

    Good trip, thanks for documenting it. Love those multi-species days. Too often a tight focus on a single target makes us miss a lot of fun stuff. Nice to be open to whatever shows up.

    1. Thanks for the insight Mike. As I was looking up more info on them, I found a lot of encounters with them up in that area.

      Glad you liked the post. :)

  6. Awesome stuff Rob! What is your GoPro mounted on for the behind the back view?


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