I had the opportunity to get out with my buddies, Lee and Joe (hookedup1.blogspot.com), on the Friday before Labor Day. I knew I probably wouldn’t make it out that weekend — not with all the crazy boat traffic — but with the predicted light winds and currents, we made the trip to the island for some striped fish fun.
There were sheepshead about forty feet down, chewing on fiddlers and mole crabs. There were spades all along the pilings, and you could find them by looking into the water.
Once you find a school, drop a clam down, wait for the tap and swing away. For the sheepshead, I used a dropper loop and a 40-pound mono paired with a 2/0 Gamakatsu live bait hook, while for the spades, I used a ¾-ounce egg sinker before a swivel 20-pound leader and a #2 live bait hook.
Boat traffic was actually quite light for a Friday, but it seemed as if the entire fleet were coming in for the weekend.
I turned around just in time to see an enormous swell. I told Joe that he might want to turn into this one to get away from the pilings. If you don’t spot such a swell in time, it can quickly turn your day from good to bad.
After we had cleared the set, Joe looked at me and yelled, “I couldn’t see you when you dropped into the wave!”
It was a great day to spend with some great people. Water conditions were good, but for the first mile or so from the beach, there was a slight red tide. Since temperatures are decreasing, this shouldn’t be as bad as last year. Be careful out there, and tight lines everyone!