Well, I'm back! Sorry to have been away for so long. Someday I'll explain it all. But for now, what I want to say is that kids are so important to our world and our future. So, here are some stories about the passion for fishing by my good friend Oliver Hoblitzelle. I'm sure you will enjoy them as much as I have.
P.S. If you are a kid and want to send in a story or pictures or art or anything that you created, please do and we might put it on the blog. Ask your parents permission to do this.
Striped Bass Daybook — By Oliver Hoblitzelle
Last weekend I went fishing for stripers with Max in Charlestown. On Saturday afternoon, my mom drove me to his house. When we arrived at 2 o’clock, I sat down with Max, and we made our plan for the weekend. We decided that we were going to wake up at 3:30 am on Sunday morning. Almost immediately, we got bored with sitting around and decided to go fishing right then in the pouring rain. We walked to the bridge and decided to fish off of a small platform right near the locks. We both cast our six-inch storm swim shad into the current.
We let our lures drift in the fast moving water over to a half-submerged wall that was acting as a current break for the bridge. Max and I started reeling in slowly. Max had a bite, but he missed the fish. I was watching his rod when it suddenly dipped. He set the hook as the fish started swimming away. It was moving so fast that line started to sing off the reel. I reeled in my line quickly so that it wouldn’t tangle with his fish. The fish paused his long run, Max took his chance and started reeling. The fish was a bout twenty feet away from us when he took another run toward a pole that was sticking out of the water. Max was pulling as hard as he could, but the fish still swam around the pole and knotted the line, making it impossible to land the fish, forcing Max to cut his line.
I took another cast and let my lure drift to the wall. I started reeling just like max had. I had my lure about ten feet from the wall when I felt some extra weight and my heart started beating really fast and I set the hook. The fish jumped high out of the water and then swam away. I battled the fish for a few minutes and then got it close enough to land. Max lowered our drop-net ten feet down to the water and then hoisted the striper onto the platform. I picked up the fish by the lip and then popped the hook out of its mouth. We measured it. It was 24” and weighed 7 pounds. I dropped the fish off the end of the platform and prepared to catch another.
That same afternoon, we caught fifteen fish. About seven of them were keepers, which means a striped bass over 28 inches. We released all our fish and arrived back at Max’s house at 9 o’clock at night. We fell asleep very late and woke up at 3:30am, to see if we could catch as many fish as we did on Saturday.
Once we got to the bridge, we went down to the platform again. We both started out using the same lures that we had used the day before. In a few minutes, Max caught a fish, a 25 incher. He took another cast and he caught another fish that was 8 pounds. Then we both cast in the same place, and let our flies drift in the fast-moving current, down to the wall. We both began reeling at the same time. Our rods both doubled over at the same time, and we started a long fight with these two frisky line-siders. A few minutes later, Bill, one of the few other people who fishes at the bridge, helped us land our bass. Bill is a gruff, foul-mouthed man in his mid-forties who tells many tall tales. We picked up the two fish and mine was only a tiny bit bigger than Max’s. They were both keeper’s of about 28 and 29 inches. Mine was just exceeding ten pounds and Max’s was a hair under ten pounds. We released them in hope that we could catch them when they got larger. Max caught one more fish that morning, and I caught three more. We released all of our fish
More Striper Fishing with Max
Last weekend I went fishing at the Charlestown Bridge. When I pulled up to Max’s house, he and his friend were standing at the window. I walked in and introduced myself to Max’s friend Joe. We decided to head down to the bridge and see what the stripers were feeding on. A few minutes later, we got to the bridge. I started casting towards the wall in hope that a striped bass would come out and nail my five-inch swim shad, but nothing happened.
Five hours later, we still had not caught anything. Suddenly, I glanced down at the locks and saw the water was starting to boil and move. When this happens, all the baitfish get injured, and the stripers start blitzing.
I tossed out my white swim shad into the commotion. I looked over at Max while I was reeling in my lure and saw Max’s rod bent like he had freight train on the end. Well that train wasn’t making any stops, and it was headed for Timbuktu. A moment later, his rod snapped up erect as if there had never been a fish on the end. The fish was so big that he had snapped Max’s 20 pound test line. I took another cast and started reeling. Almost immediately, a fish came out of nowhere and annihilated my lure. I was using a pretty heavy rod, so it did not bend as much. It was still an exhilarating battle of tug-of-war. We lowered our drop net off the platform and hauled the fish up.
The fish was nearly 28” long and was almost a keeper. I popped the hook out and dropped the fish back in the water. That evening, I caught four fish that were all almost the same size. Max caught one, and Joe didn’t catch any.
The next morning, we woke up at 5:30, and we walked down to the bridge. We had lost all of our swim shad the night before, so I decided to use a 3-inch unrigged shad on a jighead that weighed an ounce and a half. The water was moving, and on my first cast, a large bluefish bit my lure in half.
I reeled in my half-lure and put a slug-o on the end. I tossed my bait into the current and let it drift to the wall. Immediately, I felt a tap, then another, and then I felt dead weight. I set the hook, and the fish sped off to a pole and wrapped me around it. I was annoyed because when this happens you have to cut your line. But miraculously, it swam back around the pole. The fish was 28 inches. That morning, I caught 20 other striped bass. Max caught 1 striper and 2 bluefish, one was 24” and the other was 30”. We took the bluefish home and eat them for dinner.