Blackfish Going Light in October
Let me start off by saying, after fishing for 40 plus years I rarely get excited when it comes to fishing techniques. This all changed when the great State of New York decided to change our regulations one more time, only allowing us to keep 4 fish at 14 inches. I knew my charters customers were not going to be happy. I would undoubtedly loose more than half my fall business like we already did with the fluke in the mid-summer. It was then that I heard the voice from within of someone who for 15 years trying to get me to change the way I black fished.
Light Tackle? Really?
For 15 years I had a friend asking me to try to use a jig for blackfish fishing with light spinning gear. Anyone that knows me can tell you the response I gave this friend for 15 years; the words definitely could not be printed here.
On My Own
Well, light bulb went on, and I decided to give this technique a try. I mustered up the courage, swallowed my pride, and made the phone call to which I received a shocking answer. “Me teach you how to fish? You are an expert ,you sure do not need me to show you how to catch these fish, find a jig you think will do the trick bait it with a crab and you will figure it out in no time. Just stay light “Some friend I thought to my self as I hung up the phone. Pump me up me and tell me to go figure it out for myself. There was absolutely no time for self pity here I had only two day before the season opened. I needed a plan, so I pick out some light gear and a variety jigs I thought might work and on opening day off i went. Just to make sure I did not wander from my course of trying to conquer this method of fishing, I vowed not to take heavy rod setups or even put sinkers on the boat for the season.
So off I went, to shallow piece of bottom that had always been productive over the years. I baited my jig off to the bottom it went .it was not on the bottom for more than a second when felt a tiny bump and with a lift of the rod I was into my first fish, this fish did not fight like a blackfish to pulled straight away from me like a freight train with a totally bent rod and taking line when this so called monster was boated it was only 5 pounds but the battle was that of double digit fish. This is a small fish thought to myself what can an eight of ten pound fish fight like on this gear. I had a great day of fishing even though initially I was missing more fish than hooking. There was a rekindling of what started me fishing in the first place a challenge of mastering a new technique, along with this came the powerful rush of my addiction .At first I was all consumed with learning how to set up on these master bait stealers, Once hooked these fish headed for the next bay and it was all about getting the fish to the boat . All I could think was ,what a blast , I am hooked like a newbie who can I share this with . Which of course is another story?
Let the Fun Begin
After a few days of this type of fishing, I had my first charter regular customers who were extremely set in their ways. I can tell you this there was a lot of noise when I told them to put their rods back in their cars as they would not be using them today.” We are still going black fishing right “said one guy with a light hesitation in his voice. I assured them they were going to have a great day. For me the best part was watching the expressions on these veterans faces as they hooked fish after fish cajoling like school kids on the playground, the word fun was not even close to describing it .The next trip was no different except I had a nine year old girl and her aunt who had never fished before they put over 25 fish in the boat. It was then the haunting thought came to me, that my lack of open mindedness, foolishness, really cost me big time. Not only was this method fun but anyone could do it! The last three black fish seasons have been the best and most fun in all my years of fishing. So if you are looking to add excitement your fall fishing, that is incredibly productive and most of all fun ,go light this fall you will not be disappointed.
Special note from Capt Andy: I have know and have fished with Capt John nearly 30 years and he was the person who taught me how to fish in the western Long Island Sound. He has appearred in many shows and even after countless years on the water he continues to innovate. Good fishermen can catch lots of fish, great fishermen know when to shut up and let someone else show them how to catch fish!
Captain John is now booking light tackle blackfish on jigs. These trips start October 1. Call him at 516-457-8715 to reserve now. If you only do one charter trip this year, this should be the one!
Click here for our recommended gear for Light Tackle Blackfish.Captain John Marino - American Sportfishing Charters - Port Washington, NY & Huntington, NY