It was a glorious day, the kind you dream about with bright blue
skies, gentle winds and crystal waters. We boarded the Celtic Horizon
charter boat captained by Dave Lawrence at his berth in the Orient by the Sea Marina. Out
destination today was the Race, this legendary bass hole where the tide and rips are super
strong and the bass and blues just as tough. We were filming an episode of my television
show to air this Saturday at 9 a.m.
While many of our readers here in the west drift eels or clam bellies for stripers on
three way rigs, on the North Fork they use the same rigs and system, but instead of live
eels they use 1-1/4-ounce white, yellow or chartreuse bucktails tipped with pork rind as
they drift the edge of the rips. Another key ingredient of bassing success in Orient is
the very, deep water they fish. We were fishing in anywhere from 95 to 140-foot of water.
The strength of bass and bluefish in such deep water was incredible.
This is no place for anything less than powerful tackle to do the job as Capt. Dave
drifts the strong rip currents where 20-ounce sinkers are not uncommon to hold bottom.
Capt. Dave explained we need to maintain some contact with the bottom, so after dropping
our rigs to the bottom we crank the reel handle a few times to bring the bait a couple of
feet off the bottom into the feeding zone where big bass and outsized bluefish prowl the
depths for an easy meal. In this situation, anything you feel different, or any bump in
the line is to be treated as a fish and you must set the hook hard and strong to penetrate
the jaw of these large game fish.
I found my best tackle to be an Ambassaduer 7000 spooled with a minimum of 40-pound test Berkley Big Game line and on my reel I used 50-pound test. My
rod was a Seeker BA30-7 which handles line weights to 50 pound. Braided lines in the same
pound test offers anglers a distinct advantage in this type of heavy duty, deep waters
fishing. First, sensitivity of such lines increase the feel of slight bumps from bass. Not
every fish hits like a freight train and some the largest bass only "sip" their
meals. Secondly, braided lines allow you to use less sinker weights which also translates
to greater feel below the surface. Where I needed 16 to 20 ounces of lead to hold with
50-pound test, the same pound test in braided line only has the diameter of 20 or 30-pound
test and I was able to hold bottom with as little at 10 or 12 ounces. It may not sound
like much, but believe me it is.
All in all we tallied over 20 bass to 22 pounds and several bluefish to 10 pounds. Not
a bad days fishing. You can see for yourself this Saturday morning all the great
action, tackle tips and rigging aboard the Celtic Horizon charter boat. You can reach
Capt. Dave at 631-734-4295 or on the web at www.celtichorizon.com.
If our readers have any questions, you can reach me through my office at 516-889-6895 or
my website at www.thefishingline.com.