With darkness just beginning to give in to the pre-dawn light, I found myself tucked away, along with a crew of 11 others in the warm cabin of The Midnight Sun. We were all headed out with high hopes for a fun day of deep dropping with friends and some new acquaintances. Coming out of the inlet, we were met with rough seas that prevailed for most of the morning. These conditions made some of the crew slightly queasy, but still well able to keep the sea bass and possibility of other fish in mind for the near future. After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the first wreck, nearly 60 miles out of Rudee inlet.
Everyone was rigged, baited up, and at their post, anxiously awaiting the captain’s first order to drop the lines. Only moments after the first lines were on the bottom there was the cry of “fish on” which was quickly followed by another. There were several large “black willies” landed on the first drift alone, some approaching citation size, and the second produced a couple more quality fish along with more than enough small sharks. As we continued to drift the small wreck, the fishing slowed and we began to pick up to go to another.
After another brief run, we found ourselves at another wreck and ready to get some more of the action, our bait or jigs were once again racing to the ocean floor instantly upon arriving. We found that, on this particular day, the Seabass were holding extremely tight to the structure and the fast drifts due to the strong wind were making it difficult to stay on top of the wrecks. Even under somewhat difficult conditions, Captain Ryan was able to keep us on fish nearly the entire time that we had lines on the bottom. Almost all of the Seabass that we caught were large, and we only had to throw back about 3 all day, the mate, Doug was able to land a 5.25 pound citation . That afternoon, after landing plenty of sea bass, the Captain decided to move out a little deeper and see what was hanging around a few of the deeper wrecks.
The first one we stopped at yielded no results and without a fish to hand after about 10 minutes we moved on to another. Arriving at another deeper wreck, our baits could barely make the bottom before being engulfed by ravenous big bluefish, one of the fishermen brought two bluefish over 10 pounds to hand on a bottom rig. I was fishing jigs all day, and this was my favorite part of the day, jigging up quality bluefish on light tackle was a blast. Although that was the only species that we found in the area, there was never a dull moment around this wreck.
As the sun began to show signs of creeping toward the west, and everyone had their fill dealing with the toothy, tackle busting brutes, we decided to try one last wreck on the way in. After a short run, we found ourselves re-rigged from the bluefish bonanza and ready to catch a few more Seabass before we called it a day. This last wreck proved to be one of the best all day, and my wife boated the second citation Seabass of the day there on a Daiwa jig, the fish weighed in at just a hair over 5 pounds. The Bass didn’t seem to be overly picky at any of the wrecks, and eagerly grabbed everything from squid and cut bait to butterfly jigs by Shimano and speed jigs from Offshore Tackle, even a good old fashion bucktail worked well at times. After 2 or 3 more successful drifts over the wreck, we called it a day and began the long run back to Rudee inlet. There was plenty of time on the way home to enjoy stories and memories of a day, which I will not soon forget. From the brilliant blue of the offshore water to the beautiful pearlescent colors of the sun reflecting on the back and sides of the Seabass it was a great day spent with nothing in sight, no cell phone service, and nothing to worry about but the next fish.