The OC inlet pier shuts down at the end of October. With the Folly family heading out to Missouri for the last two weeks of Oct, we (ok mostly I wanted to go ) wanted one last trip to the pier before it closes for the season. My Betterhalf would be fishing with Livie and I on this trip! Not sure that she will be so willing to go when I want to chase tautog (blackfish) off the jetty in Nov/Dec ! We arrived about an hour and a half prior to high tide. We were armed with bloodworms for spot and other bottom fish and I picked up a couple dozen mummichogs (I know! the Horror ) for bluefish, spotted seatrout, or flounder. I have to thank @Ham for sending me one of his under used Daiwa reels. I have that matched with a Daiwa MH 7' rod rigged with a two hook and 2 or 3 oz. sinker rig. My Betterhalf fished that rig with bloodworms most of the day. I had a similar rig (MH rod/Pflueger president reel, #20 braid) set up that we baited with the minnows. Livie fished a Med weight rod and reel combo with a single hook tied about 4 to 5 inches from the 1/2 oz sinker. She would fish a worm piece right near the pier pilings with that rig. On the last trip we watched a few guys catching snapper blues on cut bait and minnows. I rigged a Med weight rod with my #6 nanofill/fluorocarbon line leader combo with a popping cork and a single hook that was baited with minnows.
We had planned to bring back some fish, mainly spot, for dinner from this trip. My Betterhalf got us going right away in putting the first spot into the cooler while I rigged up the single hook rig for Livie.
Once she began fishing it didn’t take long for Livie to follow suit and land her largest spot to date on a bloodworm with one that stretched the tape at 10.5 inches .
Sue also caught one over 10 inches as I was still fishless . Livie also caught a couple of seabass on the worm while I got the minnow rigged rod set up. I must be pretty slow .
After catching her big spot and a couple seabass, Livie was fishing her single hook rig and watching the double minnow line while I got the popping cork rod rigged up. She was getting a bit frustrated since the minnow line would get hit and she would real in just the heads of the minnows. Those bluefish were just cutting the baits and not getting the hook. We switched it up to hooking the minnows in front of the dorsal instead of the lips and they were still getting bit off short of the hook. I was getting strong bites as well on the popping cork line. I lost a couple right at near the pier, but finally got one hooked solidly to land my first bluefish of this season !As you can see from the photo I am not getting my fingers around its mouth. These guys have seriously sharp teeth.
Too frustrated with the minnow line, she went to the up-current side of the pier, fishing near her mom. They both caught pinfish and more spot for the cooler. Livie caught seabass and or course another northern puffer fish (yes she squealed with delight as it puffed up ).
After a gentleman fishing on the up-current side of the pier landed an 18” flounder and 13” (sublegal) spotted sea trout, I moved to that side and fished the minnow rig. I was also fishing the single hook rig (both Sue and Livie felt bad that I was not catching as many fish as they were ). I made a cast and one of the minnows got crushed. I set the hooks on a nice 15.75” flounder that was just under the 16.5” legal length.
Still was happy with this fish.I followed that up with another flounder on the down current side of the pier that may have hit the bait when on the bottom. That fish or another pounded the bait as I moved it just a couple of feet. This one was just over 13”. I rigged up another rod for Livie to try a carolina type rig to drag a minnow along the bottom for flounder. She got bit off by blues a couple of times, but no flounder.
I did actually catch a spot to contribute to the larder. All in all we had a great time. Both Livie and Sue caught personal best spot and Sue caught her largest pinfish.
I caught a couple of flounder and another different species for the year.