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Fall Retreat

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Just got back from annual 'fall retreat' on Cape Cod (Truro) to do some surf fishing, seafood feasting, and re-energizing. Every year something exciting happens that makes each trip memorable, and this year was no exception, which is an understatement as Dougie will never forget his 40th!!!

Friday (Sept 24th) - Mike and I hit PI by 1st light and fished out front of parking lot #2. For ~ 2hrs we had blues (rat size 4-6 lbs) on top water (yellow gibbs reverse polaris poppers) .. not quite every cast but pretty consistent and fun to watch. After a few hours of 'business related work', we headed down to the Cape to meet up with Dougie. Hit Race Point beach just before sunset and each caught a few blues on metal (A-27s). We were foolish to think this week would be epic in terms of numbers of bass and blues ...

Saturday and Sunday (Sept 25-26) - We fished hard from sun up to well into night ... hit Race Point, Herring Cove, Head of Meadow, and Nauset Inlet. Tons of birds diving on bait at each spot, but nothing chasing them. Only ~1hr of action on Sunday at Race Point as we were into blues for ~45 min on topwater and metal .. once seals got a whiff, it was game over. Did manage to pick up a bunch of lures from fish heads (no doubt caused by seals), including Kastmaster, Mackeral Gibbs popper, and a green Atoms plug. Seafood was great (Cooke's and Lobster Pot). Mike had to head home early, so it was up to Dougie and I. Must have walked 14-16 miles each day with not much to show for it. Seals were everywhere!!!

Monday (Sept 27th) - Dougie had to head back to RI for work in early am. With heavy winds and rain, decided to hit Pamet River. Great Choice!!! Not a sole there except for gazillions of our striped friends. For 3.5 hours caught bass nearly every cast from 25" to 36" all on pink FinS jig .. fun, although Dougie now pissed at me. A few others showed up at tail end of blitz and managed a few. Hit Race Point for high tide and managed a few more rat blues but no stripes. Went back to Pamet for last of dropping tide (FYI: always best to fish Pamet on last 1-2 hrs of outgoing/low tide and out front on Corn Hill beach at high tide) ... managed to catch a couple more stripes (~24") but nothing like earlier that morning. Dougie made it back on to Cape for a seafood feast but no fishies.

Tuesday (Sept 28th) - Dougie down for day to fish ... Hit Pamet in early am, but no repeat of Monday (no fish). Headed back to Herring Cove and managed a couple more 'rat blues' but nothing spectacular. Tried Head of Meadow and Race Point again but nothing but seals.

Wednesday (Sept 29th) - Hit Race Point in early am and hit blues for ~25 minutes then nothing. Went back to Pamet River for last of drop and managed a few schoolies. Nothing else rest of day ... fished Herring Cove 6-9pm, but nothing doing. Rob and Dougie made it back that nite for seafood dinner.

Thursday (Sept 30th) - in celebration of Dougie's 40th, decided to take a tuna charter (Capt Bobby Rice, Reel Deal) .. SW winds died down enough to make trip off Race Point. Within 10 min, managed one huge hit on drop with RonZ jig .. fish peeled off tons of line (250+ yards) in short order ... capt asked to tighten drag, which I did about quarter turn, and within 10-15 sec 'pop' ... fish snapped 110# braid!!! No worries, 5-10 min later, 18" pogie gets spooked, Dougie sees huge swirls, and then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Capt thinks may be blue shark, so Rob grabs set-up and holds on tight. Wrong species .. within 10 minutes peeled off 400+ yards. Rob tires and passes off to Dougie ... who then tires and passes off to me ... its a tug of war gaining line and then losing line ... we repeat process 3-4 times over next 45 mins, taking turns fighting stand-up with waist belt harness to support rod ... fortunately, Capt Bobby has friend (Capt Mike) nearby fishing on day off ... he circles around and climbs on board to help out .. Capt Mike has 'hulk hogan like guns' and is sporting a body harness that straps to reel ... I grab his belt from behind with one arm and the boat rail with the other to help prevent our 'moby' from pulling him in ... he regains back lots of line in short order as Capt Bobby manuevers boat ... Rob helps keep rod and line from hitting boat and breaking off ... within 20 min, our 'little fishy' is at the boat and is starting the 'circle of death' only Capt Mike won't let him ... with a couple huge digs, he gets it on top, fish lays over, and Capt Bobby makes perfect harpoon strike ... he's ours!!! Only problem ... we may need a bigger boat ... Capt Bobby opens back gate and can't get 'em in ... Capt Bobby, Capt Mike, and I manage to pull it in over side rail. Now what do we do??? Fished for 10-15 min with one break off and one Giant in the boat ... Capt Bobby decides to head in to drop off fish ... need a lift fish to get fish out of boat ... snap a bunch of photos ... WOW did we just do this or what??? Everyone is pretty excited ... 1st Giant for all of us ... it gets better ... turns out Capt Bobby's dad owns the Whitman House (Truro) and offers to prepare tuna dinner for us that evening ... he prepares belly meat as an appetizer (like eating candy) and then blackened/seared tuna loin steaks as main course ... best seafood meal I've ever had in my life!!! Rob, Dougie, and I are on cloud 9 and 'self medicating' tired bodies with Rum and Cokes and Sam Adams on tap. Best of all, we are in awe at what a wonderful group of people we got to share this experience with ... Capt Bobby and Capt Mike are unbelievable fisherman and outstanding people ... Capt Bobby's family are a loving and caring closeknit group .. we will never forget this day, not so much for the Giant, as much as the whole experience with outstanding people and great food!!! Thanks for the wonderful memory ☺

Friday (Oct 1, 2010) – fish out front at Herring Cove before 1st light … Dougie manages one rat blue, I miss one. Head down to Pamet River … schoolies and rat blues working out front under birds … manage one schoolie and rat blues biting off tails of pink FinS jigs for Rob and Mike, but unable to hook up … give up and head back to P-town for quick bite .. Dougie and I drop off Rob and make trip to Head of Meadow and Hollows searching for fish … final stops at Race Point and Herring Cove but no takes. Have dinner at Moby Dicks (lobstah) that was great … pick up Mike in Barnstable at 1am while Dougie and Rob sleep off Capt Morgan’s!

Saturday (Oct 2, 2010) – Rob, Mike, and I hit Herring Cove and immediately hook up with nice sized blues (10-12 lbs) just before sun up … head over to jetty to see fast moving schools of fish working under gazillions of birds, but too fast to even make a cast … head down to RI to try beaches in afternoon (Deep Hole and Charlestown Breachway) … beautiful day, but no fish.

Sunday (Oct 3, 2010) – We all head over to Deep Hole, but nothing biting … Mike and I decide to head out early with long drive home … Dougie and Rob hit Monotuk Beach, great decision as they hit nice school of stripers and blues and call to let us know what we left behind … perfect way to end an awesome ‘fall retreat’ … already making plans for next year

Summary - lots of fun and good times had by all, but not too much in the ways of fish around ... tons of bait fish all over the place (sand eels, peanuts, pogies, tinkers, etc) as we'd off snag them with jigs or metal, but not much chasing them ... gazillions of seals all over the place ... if lucky enough to hook up, not much fun fighting to get it in before seal gets them ... this may sound awful, but we'd off wait for a seal to grab on to another angler fighting a fish before casting to make sure seal(s) wouldn't come after us ... not sure why this year's 'fall run' somewhat weak ... many blame the seals, but also heard in early September that one of the passing storms dropped water temps into 40s causing huge schools to move off that never returned. Hopefully, those still out there will be able to find the fish. Primarily fished poppers, metals, and FinS jigs, all of which worked well when fish were in. First year in some time that we didn't hit a mega all-out, all-day blitz, but there's always next year.

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Hey great outing, always enjoy your Cape reports - wish we had something to rave about up here on the island. It sounds as if this fall is off no matter where you go this season. Wonder if it has anything to do with the warm summer, lack of bait, overfishing, etc.... Thanks for the report looks like a fun time!

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