ARCTEKJim (Jim), Roy, and myself headed out yesterday morning for Coxes Ledge, from Mystic, for a day of Cod Fishing out at a few numbers ol' Jim had lying around from his years on the water.
Well, to start off the day, I apparently don't know how to wake up to an alarm clock (which has never happened for a fishing trip, ever). I was supposed to be up @ 3:00 AM, on the road @ 3:30 AM, and at the dock by 5:00 AM. Well....
...that didn't quite happen as planned. I woke up @ 4:55 AM to my wife being less than pleased with me, since the alarm woke her up. Apparently, I had been hitting snooze for 2 hours. AARRRGH. Got up, call Roy and Jim and asked what they wanted to do, since I live 90 minutes from Mystic. Roy said F-It, some on down. They were feeling well anyway, since they were out until 1:00 AM carousing in downtown Mystic.
Anyhow, I got there @ 7:30 AM, and we were on our way shortly thereafter. Headed down the river, got fuel, BS'd with Chris @ Nyman's and got a gallon if clams and we were off. BTW, we were on Roy's 26' Sea Swirl Striper with a Yammie OX 250.
The ride out was VERY nice and smooth. We cruised @ around 25-26 MPH the whole way out, all 45-50 miles, from Mystic. As we were passing the Mud Hole, you would have thought someone opened a Marina out thereThere were probably 60-70+ boats, all tightly packed, mostly trolling for Tuna (Giants, since a 700+# fish was caught there last week), with some out sharking as well.
Mud Hole in the morning:
Anyhow, we were off to different things. Another 15 miles and we were at our first set of numbers, only to find a boat literally right on the numbers, to the foot. We set up some drifts, Jim & Roy with the clams, and me throwing a 16 Oz LavJig with a teaser. We managed to haul up a couple of Spiny Dogfish, and figured it was time to bolt after about 20-30 minutes. Off to the second set of numbers, 6 miles away. Setup on the first drift and, BAM, a big Ocean Perch for Roy, a small Cod for Jim, and for me...I hung a nice 10-12# Codfish on the jig. Things were looking up, or so we thought. The second drift produced a another small Cod, another Cunner or 2....then, Roy and Jim both hang nice Codfish on the clams, at the same time. 2 more in the box around 10-12#. Then, the onslaught began. Damn Spiny Dogfish, and freaking big ones at that. Stayed there for a while and only Doggies (Wuff Wuff became the call of the day).
Off to the 3rd set of numbers, with stops along the way. Each time the clam hit the bottom, it was hit near instantly by Dogfish. I was snagging them with the jig, that's how thick they were.
We eventually came back to the send stop, and I managed to hang another on the Jig, again around 10-12# or so. Out second number set was the good set. There were 3 other boats out at that spot, and one of them was there most of the day. The Doggies were thinner on a certain drift so we tried that for a while and made the call to head back towards Block Island to try for some humpbacks (Sea Bass).
During all this time, the seas went form the forecasted 2's, up to rolling 4's, and on the way back to Block, turned to 4-6's with solid 7's mixed in, tightly packed at that. Made for a beating of a ride. We did stop off Block for the Sea Bass, however, it was simply too rough to fish effectively. Oh well, time to attempt and head for the barn. It was a fair pounding until we rounded the West side of Block Island, where it smoothed out to 2-3's for most of the rest of the ride.
On the way back in, we passed much closer to the Mud Hole, and it was still a parking lot of trolling madmen. This picture doesn't do the size of the seas justice, at all:
Got back to the barn...and the day was history.
Oh yeah, on the Dogfish. We caught a butt load, probably 60+ of them. I only noted one male out of the bunch, the rest were females. Of the females, nearly half were pregnant. Some of these dogfish were right near the 4' mark as well, big, nasty, sea rats. A shortage of breeding age females was not evident at all.
Tally for the day:
- 4 keeper Cod : 10-12# range. 3 Dark Brown and 1 almost Bronze.
- 4-6 short Cod
- 4-6 Cunners/Ocean Perch
- Spiny Dogfish chaos : Easily 60+, probably more.
A tired Possum holding the day's catch:
It was a hell of good time, with much ball busting, laughs, and good company. Hey, we actually caught Cod, leaving from CT. That in itself is a HUGE feat these days.