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Johnsfolly

One Man's Trash....

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It's a holiday weekend, time to do some fishing! I have been reading reports of kingfish still on the beaches of Delaware and Maryland. Also maybe some sharks, bluefish, etc. on the beaches as well. I was planning of trying a couple of techniques. One would be a double high/lo rig for kingfish, spot, etc. using bloodworms. The other set-up would be a fish finder rig with a float near the circle hook to keep the bait just off the bottom, aka a modified Santee Cooper rig used for catfish. this one would have a wire leader for some toothy critters. Well we need bait. Friday evening Livie and I went out to the Choptank river to try to secure some spot or small white perch for bait. Pretty simple fishing. just a small weight( 1/4 to 3/8 oz) with two #10 bait hooks each with some nightcrawler pieces. We would drop those down next to the pilings and wait for the bite. It didn't take too long to have 8 to 10 spot for bait and a few perch and more spot that were released.

One of Livie's spot - this one was a bit big and got released.

Livie Spot - Bill Burton - 05Jul19.jpg

My only double of the night a white perch (top) and a spot (bottom). Just to show what sizes we were keeping. The spot went in the cooler and the perch got released.

Dad's Double - Bill Burton - 05Jul19.jpg

After securing bait we tried for some catfish, but only caught more spot and perch. I ended the evening with 21 fish and Livie with only 11.

Sat morning there was a lot of grumbling getting everyone moving to leave by 6 am to head to the beach. Well we were mostly prepared. Had rods, bait, sun protection, towels, knives, cooler, tackle, but left the chairs and my homemade rod holders :huh:. Well we made do. I cut the spot in half on a diagonal so that the head and tail pieces both had some guts. Put a head on the circle hook and cast it out. I gave the rod to my wife Sue and told here that if a fish picks up the bait and pulls to open the bail and let it have a little line and drop the rod tip. Then close the bail and reel which should set the circle hook. The reel in the fish. I got Livie set up with the bloodworm rod and I was fishing a jig with a pearl ribbon tail trailer. Next thing I see Sue's rod out of the corner of my eye. She had a fish on! It was pretty good fight and she landed her first ever clearnose skate :D!

Sue - Clearnose Skate - Cape Henelopen - 06Jul19.jpg

We got the hook loose and after a couple of tries got the fish back out beyond the surf line. I took the rod next and used the tail section of the spot. Several minutes went by before I could feel something messing with the bait. I had the bail open and the lines in my fingers. I gave the fish some line as it began to pull then set the hook by reeling it in. I could tell that I also had a ray or a skate because it often would get to the bottom and stick to the bottom creating a vacuum with its wings. I would have to give it some line and begin reeling again when I felt it swimming again. I finally got in my first ever clearnose skate. Folks were wondering why we were so excited about a trash fish. Hey we caught fish and they made the life list :D for us Folly's (even though no smile).

Clearnose Skate - Cape Henelopen - 06Jul19.jpeg

By 10 am the beach was really crowded and Livie was not getting any bites but did get tangled with a guy that budged between ourselves and folks fishing next to us. We headed for a pier nearby. Livie did catch a couple of spot. I lucked into a menhaden or bunker as they are called locally.

Menhaden - Cape Henelopen - 06Jul19.jpg

The fishing slowed and the heat drove us back home. Not many fish but some family memories and a couple new fish added to the list!

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20 minutes ago, MoCarp said:

Spot? Looks like a croaker?

Spot and Croaker are closely related. Croaker do not have the spot above the pectoral fin.

Sue Croaker - 17Aug18 close up.jpg

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Interesting...

In my youth gulf croakers were a fun catch ran from 1 1/2 to 5 # considered a less desirable food fish because they were boney...at least till the huge influx of Vietnamese in the mid to late 70s , they would cook the croakers and flake the meat off the bones and prepared a fish cake that was a close match for blue crab cakes... size and numbers of croakers crashed... back then most gulf states had no license or limits fishing salt water... that and the devastation of red fish populations brought about changes   

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14 minutes ago, MoCarp said:

I think it’s more interesting to catch alot of different things

I Agree :D. Currently up to 160 different freshwater and saltwater species to-date. I love the challenge as well as the research and taxonomy process.

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Sounds like an excellent day.  I would be excited to catch a skate or ray.  I really thought it was a ray, have to look up skate.  Never heard of that.  How did you release the hook? Needle nose I guess.  I wouldn't know how to handle such a thing.  

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2 minutes ago, Gavin said:

Have never had skate, but rays are pretty tasty. Similar to scallops.

 

My wife and I were talking about whether we should have kept them as we were heading home. At their size seemed like a lot of work for little gain.

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