A New Type of Trip

In the last few years, there’s a good chance you have heard me say “I only like two types of trips, good ones, and great ones.”

To me, a good trip is when we have fairly consistent action throughout and everyone lands at least one fish. Great trips are when we have hot action start to finish with high numbers, or we get into some of the larger fish that will set new personal bests.
After my 2022 season, even those descriptions would not suffice to describe some of the trips. There were a handful of trips that can only be described as EPIC. It didn’t take long into the live bait season to produce the first and second epics back to back.

On trip one for the day, I had a star angler back for his second outing. Ben in his 2021 trip landed a 39″ striper on his first cast. In 2022, Ben and Kevin brought along Ellen.

We got off to a hot start with mackerel practically jumping into the boat. A bunch of stripers in the first few minutes helped keep the action going. As soon as we could access an area, we moved, and Ellen’s line takes off. The fish took well over 100 yards of line, stopping just short of a channel marker. Once landed, we got a few quick pictures and a measure of 40″ with a healthy release.

I was thinking, “Well, wasn’t that nice Ben let his mom catch the big one this time.” We got set back up, and not five minutes later, Ben hooks one up that is just screaming toward the same channel marker. Ben again did a great job of fighting a big fish with great technique, landing a 45″ monster. I say 45″, but the scale on the boat only goes to 40″, and the whole tale was past it.

We finished up with more quality fish for the trip before I picked up my second group for the day.

Round two was another group of regulars. I was hoping to repeat the morning outing, but the mackerel had other plans. We went right to where we had caught them in the morning and the last few weeks prior. They weren’t there at all. I figured, no problem, let’s head to the secret ledges where we always find them.

The ledges were a ghost town, not even the resident pollock were not there in any numbers. One hour into the trip and we have hardly anything in the livewell so we headed back to where we started looking to see if they had shown back up. Nope, nada.

While we drifted along trying to come up with a plan, Patrick starts pulling one or two mackerel every few seconds. I ask him “What the heck are you doing?” No one else is catching anything still. He says he’s letting it down for 8 seconds. Heather asks “How deep is that?” I said, “You heard the man drop it for 8 seconds.”

Everyone starts dropping it for 8 seconds, and we start to fill the livewell. Luckily for us, I knew the best part of the tide was going to be our second half anyways.

While I was expecting to find the bigger fish at our last stop, Patrick and Heather didn’t wait, and both pulled ~40″ fish from our first spot. We had had a fantastic trip before we even got to the last spot. Well, it didn’t disappoint – another pair of 40″ fish, a bunch of overslot, and a load of slot fish finished off the second epic trip of the day.