Weakfish, whale and wind

Almost every fisherman can agree, you spend your days looking at weather updates. Thinking…watching…. planning.  Your checking the buoy reports days ahead of time, mentally preparing.  Someone whispers wind and you cringe at the thought of another trip mother nature is about to over-ride. Then there are times you just have to look and see because saying “put the gear away” is as bad as saying “Christmas is cancelled”.

With a full on vision of flounder and sea bass we went yesterday (Sunday). Upon arrival at the dock we noticed one boat had left and another on the way out. Everyone else was in. So the Capt made his own observation with calculated information and knowledge. We headed out the inlet to West wind at 10-15 with gust that would get to about 20, sea was a 2-3 ft chop, with water temps of 66-68. To the reef sites we made our way.

Upon arrival it was a little bumpy but it would really calm down nice. The day would heat up and the seas would come alive.

One of the first things we noticed were pots… everywhere we looked on the reef sites. We got our lines in and immediately saw a FIN WHALE,Balaenoptera physalus surface. It took us by surprise as we usually encounter whales more often, much further out. The day would be filled with another visit from the whale, porpoises, and dolphin all working the same water we were fishing.

We had multiple hook-up all day, sea bass, flounder and even quite a few bergals but one fish would capture my attention the most. Not even a keeper, a little guy only about 8″ long but absolutely stunning in color. A weakfish: a legend, a fish I had only ever heard people talk about like a long-lost friend.

That little fish made me feel special, even after hooking up BFT, YFT, Stripers, Mahi, flounder, seabass, etc…. because I thought I would never see one. I believed they were gone long ago.

I am hearing some pretty terrific stories of what it was like to fish for them. Great memories shared between generations of fishermen. I sincerely hope some reports we are hearing means they are making a comeback. I’d love to see a tide-runner.

Some background on weakfish and facst I did not know:

The weakfishCynoscion regalis, is a marine fish of the drum family Sciaenidae.

A large slender marine fish found along the east coast of North America. The largest weakfish was 19 pounds 2 ounces. The head and back of this fish are dark brown in color with a greenish tinge. The sides have a faint silvery hue with dusky specks, and the belly is white. The origin of its name is based on the weakness of the mouth muscles, which often cause a hook to tear free, allowing the fish to escape. The weakfish grows to 1 m (3 feet) in length and 8.7 kg (19 pounds 2 ounces) in weight. It is found along the eastern coast of North America from Nova ScotiaCanada to northern Florida, where it is fished both commercially and recreationally.

In the mid-Atlantic states, the fish is sometimes referred to by the name Sea Trout, though it is not related to the fishes properly called Trout, which are in the family Salmonidae. In New England it is also known as the Squeteague.

The weakfish is the state fish of Delaware.

(*source : wiki online)

So there is my some what limited knowledge, right now it’s a quest to find more, listen to stories and see pictures on the beauties. I did look up the IGFA record and it’s a monster!

Back to the trip the way in winds picked up and we made it in time to watch the storms roll in.

From the sea, through the city to the country I looked at the sky and kept thinking about…. weakfish.


2 thoughts on “Weakfish, whale and wind

  1. I think they still do weakfish charters out of cape may NJ, It’s been a while but I remember them biting at night and on baits rigged on gold hooks. I’ve caught many more of their cousins the speckled or spotted sea trout when I lived in Florida.

    1. The reports have been good this year out of the cape may area. I think most people are hopeful this is a good sign for the weakfish. The limit is 1 fish at 13 inches, season is 1/1- 12/31 for 2012. They are really something to see up close, very beautiful, fragile.

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