I leave for Costa Rica in less than a week. During my stay, I will be fishing for two days, so what better way to prepare for some staunch fishing than to go fishing? Wednesday’s trip was for bluefish, which was my first time hunting this fish.
We woke up at the crack of dawn to head out to the ocean by six in the morning. The best part about waking up this early was seeing the sun slowly creeping into the air, illuminating the pale sky with vivid oranges and yellows. We fished out of the Barnegat Inlet, which is right off New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park.
My dad was stoked to get my sister and I out on the water before we hit Central America and he promised a great day to get a base tan for the trip (Dad was really trying to get us to come). Between the the clear skies and calm waters, low temperature system and westerly breeze, it was bound to be a good day. However, it did not quite pan out to be a busy day on the water.
We chased the blues a few different ways. First, we used a type of fishing called “trolling.” This involves dragging lines behind the boat at a slow speed to get a fish to hop on the hook. While our 23 foot Chaparral motor boat was not in motion, we would cast our lines and reel them in at a moderate pace, while bopping our poles up and down. Attached to the lines were a type of rig called “bunker spoons” which bring the rig downward into the water and resemble a fish swimming. While trolling, we also used an umbrella rig which is made to look like a school of fish. For every one foot of depth, it is necessary to let out about ten feet of line. The deepest we fished was up to 40 feet.
Without much luck outside the inlet, we headed towards the inside of it, where we saw some birds preying on bait fish. We knew that since there was a lot of bait fish in the area, there must be some blues underneath. Our luck changed once we moved to the inside of the inlet, because my sister caught an impressive bluefish. It was no easy fish to land. Just to get the magnificent creature in the boat, I had to stable the pole as my sister reeled the line in. We definitely made Dad proud when we won that battle.
Being in the sea opens up a new appreciation for nature’s beauty within me. I am surrounded by an ocean so large and so deep, I can only skim the surface of the majestic mysteries it has to offer.
That fish was our only keeper of the day, but we did not mind one bit. Something I have really thought about lately is how important it is to have good company. Today I had the best company, I learned a few things and I spent the day soaking up the sun and breathing in the salty air. The best part of the day, however, was the reward we had for dinner-our own fresh fish.