One of the greatest biters in the sea is rarely seen on T.V. Rarely do we ever witness the carnage of this....or these great ocean "biters". They don't call these great warriors, "choppers" for nothing.......THEY is an important pronoun. Bluefish travel in packs. Normally this is called schooling in the fish world, but for these gladiators....the term I use is "packs". They rampage the seas like the great hordes of warriors that plagued the human race. They rule the ocean and plunder their bounty like Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan did as they slayed a path through mankind.........the bluefish motto seems the same- Hide or Die !!!
The world would be in awe if more were documented on the Bluefish. Just a chance to see the fury and savageness of the great bluefish. A chance to witness them plunder the existence of varied baitfish. They bite continuously and a pack of hundreds can close beaches...bite people...and leave an eerie oil slick indicating the previous presence of smaller aquatic victims. NOTHING delivers impact like a pack of monster blues.................NOTHING!...no sharks.......no NOTHING. Their numbers , speed and power deem them the real top of the predator scale. If you're a school fish and a shark arrives, he might not choose you.....If the "pack " arrives your future has no options! But as mentioned their awesome attack remains, for the most part, below the surface of the sea and not for our viewing pleasure on the discovery channel documentaries......except for the time that the "BLUEFISH were on TV"
When bluefish hit the shores they are very unlike our regal striper . T hey are an open ocean fish....used to open ocean conditions. Their life is one of swimming thousands of miles and in the process, avoiding the attack of the ocean speedster called the mako shark. Feeding in the shallow water is no different than a killer whale beaching itself in a seal attack. They do not hesitate. I have had 38-40" bluefish ripping past my waders in 18 inches of water!!! They kill everything in their path. Last year I decided to keep a 19 lb blue that was bleeding badly. When I looked at its stomach remains I found one third of an approximate 25" striped bass. THEY EAT EVERYTHING....and that includes the appropriate plug being hurled out into the crashing breakers by hoping surfcasters.........Bluefish are good for HOPE. They make it reality very quickly..
39" bluefish..had the striper in it!!!
And so it was that day. The seas boiled. The carnage was brutal. The huge blues were knocking big pogies right out of the water and chopping them into pieces......non-stop....right up to the foamy remains of the days 5 foot waves. There did not appear to be hundreds in this school...there appeared to be thousands, and those numbers increased the frenzy, so on this day...THE BITE WAS ON.
Nothing crashes a surface plug like a real big bluefish. Maybe a giant blue fin coming up behind a squidder bar is more breath taking.....but , with rod in hand, I would take a monster chopper on a Gibbs any day.
These blues were all huge. It was a hook up on every cast and the fights were BICEP BREAKING. Once I knew that this school was locked on the ever decreasing school of bait, I began to "toy" with them in their attempts to crush my fleeing plug. The faster I worked the plug, the faster and more furiously they attacked it. It seemed like I could not get it away from them. How ironic when we spend hours hoping for a bite and now I am seeing what it takes for this lure to escape them...............there was NO ESCAPE!
One of the teasing methods I chose was to ride the plug on the top of the five footers of this days tide. When fish are biting in the day light hours....many people enjoy stopping on the beach and watching this show. Today was no different and a small group of "fans" began to cluster. They were amused at my efforts because for the first time in their lives...and mine......BLUE FISH WERE ON TV!
As my Gibbs danced atop the foamed crest of the days waves, the frenzied 18 lb choppers were racing through the middle of the waves as they chopped at my elusive plug. The fish were swimming HORIZONTAL to our vision!! We could see them right before our eyes. Watching them became more exciting than catching them. They were entering the wave from below and staying horizontally visual for as long as I kept the plug out of reach.. The waves/TV set gave myself and beach fans a chance to witness something un-recorded in our lives. Bluefish in action.....from under the water. Even as hard as I tried to keep the plug away, they still out raced my 704's reeling ratio and would still hook up, resulting in another 15 minute arm wrestling session. The people seemed disappointed with the traditional angler/fish confrontation and so to maintain the stimulus of watching these great predators, I did something that few anglers would ever consider...............I pulled the treble hooks off the lure and hence assured no further hook-us!!!!! I used a cast able teaser. "The BLUEFISH ON TV" show continued for nearly another hour. Every cast brought a new STAR to the waves" Silver Screen".
How could I do such a wasted maneuver? How could I fish and not want to catch fish? How could I cast the heavy equipment over and over again with no chance of a hook-up? The reason is clear. The spirit and sport of surfcasting offer more than" a keeper". It offers you witnessed moments with the oceans denizens....and in this case, in their own domain and not flopping desperately on a sandy beach. I have evolved from a FISHERMAN to a FISH MAN.
Fish with ALL your senses, not just with your taste buds. GET A FEELING FROM THE FISH.....NOT JUST A FILLET!!!!!