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Crying the Blues – by Jerome Seid

Jerome shares his fishing adventure from the summer, thank you Jerome. If anybody in the Mangled Fly community would like to share there fishing adventures just let me know.

Crying the Blues? Singing the Blues!

Had the opportunity to book a half-day trip during my vacation, with Captain Ken Rafferty out of East Hampton yesterday. A native New Yorker, Ken has been guiding on the east end of Long Island for 35 years, after careers in the music industry in Manhattan and construction business on the Island. I figured a half day would be enough. With a warm day in store for us and bluebird skies, and warm water temps, I had no idea how things would go, in the waters between the north and south forks of Long Island. After a short run to a sand bar, I hooked into a bluefish that was following a surface plug Ken threw out into the rough water on the edge of the bar. Lost that one quickly with a less than stellar strip set due to the early “jitters”. With few fish showing willingness to strike at the plug, we decided to hit “The Ruins”, a bombed out remnant of an historic lighthouse and Fort Tyler that was used by the military for target practice during World War II. We switched to a 450 grain sink-tip, and tied on an epoxy head yellow streamer. Within two casts at about 9 feet depth, I had hooked into what was definitely a good sized fish. Several minutes playing the fish was all that toothy bastard needed to bite thru the leader, leaving nothing but the frayed end as my proof. Several more drifts through the run produced no repeat, so it was off to several other sites off Gardiners Island, a large (5-plus square miles) privately owned piece of real estate in the same family and descendants for nearly 400 years, part of a British Royal Grant of the 1600’s. Trying to bring fish to the surface to provide target was the method for a few hours. The fish were sparse all the way out to Montauk harbor and not cooperating despite my single and double-haul casts. By this time we had travelled 20 miles or so, and had to gas up. I was tempted to grab a lobster roll from Gosman’s on the way back out but thought better of it. So, it was back out to the bay, working our way westward , watching for birds to point out the baitfish schools. A couple of hours of frustration later and I was considering calling it a day, when a flock of terns swirled in the distance, swooping to feast. We quickly made our way over and wouldn’t you know it, a tern tangled in my line! After Ken released it uninjured (no picture, sorry), the onslaught began, with blues in the 4-5 pound range hitting my chartreuse Cockroach pattern left and right. I learned that long quick strips without a pause got the best results. The runs were not that of the hundred yard, reel screaming, bonefish variety, but thrilling, nonetheless. Following the birds kept me in fish for the next hour or so, and a half-day soon, became a full day, and I had landed nearly a dozen nice-sized fish, all released successfully and I had my fill. Alas, no striper to show for my efforts, but I got that bluefish on the fly off my bucket list, and I ‘sang’ the blues all the way back to the dock. Next up, the September/October Striper Blitz – maybe even the Striper Derby!

Jerome Seid