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Island Current Reports Cod bite is "ON" Feb 1st
 
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snapper
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:36 pm    Post subject: Island Current Reports Cod bite is "ON" Feb 1st Reply with quote

Been comparing Island Current to Eastmans over the past couple of weeks..rates, weather, fish reports...finally Chris, owner of Island current reports good bite activity after a long stretch of sub freezing temps. Checked out the forecast for today in RI which showed temps in the mid 40s and Monday dropping into a freeze with snow. Made the decision to take advantage of the "good" weather during a free weekend. I was impressed by Chris because he took it upon himself to text me last night to let me know there were plenty of open spots available for today and specifics on the High hooks and keepers for that day. Yes, he owns the business and its been a hard year, but he texted quite a bit.

I layered a thick wool outer "breaker" with two sweaters and a T shirt all sealed up in a Carhartt Arctic Coat. A pair of good rubber soled "boat shoes" and a pair of very thick and baggy blue jeans. I thought I might have been overdoing it, but to be on the safe side I thought I'd like to be on the "safer" side.

Check in is at 4:30 A.M. which means I had to depart at 2:00 to make for a safety gap. C.J., a mate aboard the "Island Current" polite and welcoming was cooking up a storm and it smelled amazing. I found a spot near the port of the bow and placed my cheap pleather duffel bag under the seating. The site reads "please do not bring a cooler larger then .... we have bags for the fish on board...apparently I was the only one to follow this rule today.

Very anxious wait from 4AM to 5..seemed to take forever as this was my first ever cod trip. Five A.M. finally rolls around and there are only fifteens anglers along for the ride today. It took about 3 minutes of movement through the water out of Snug Harbor for me to realize it was cold! Very cold. A lot colder then I imagined even though temps were in the high 30s. And I began to notice, every single person on that boat had Gortex gear covering every inch of their bodies. I sat outside a bit and the chill came right into my jeans, up my legs and "Ice Mizered" my innocent "cojones." Holy nuggets!!!, THIS SHEET is freaking cold! I sat inside the cabin while we steamed. It took a while, maybe an hour and we went from site to site striking out. A ling maybe. This lasted hours though darkness and fog and rolling waves had people bobbing left and right like they were sh!tfaced and ready to pop like a cork at any moment. For my first time, I was able to experience the unpleasant feeling of involuntary belching and dizziness along with the reborn memory of cheap amusement park rides as a child where I thought, "Mommy, let it be over."

Interesting , as I looked around and found every single person on that boat appeared to be older then me (43) all except for one. It's interesting to me to imagine some people can go to the store for fresh Cod and Pollock for a small sum of money, yet they choose instead of the store, to put themselves into this type of situation. On Superbowl Sunday...and no complainers. I will think back and admire these people for a long time.

I'm going to make the assumption that the poor fishing and disheartened expressions on our faces were communicated to the owner. After about four hours of fruitless fishing, the boat took off, full speed ahead, crashing through waves and sending spray all over everyone near the bow. People were scurrying inside the cabin. Finally someone said we were going 33 miles offshore to Jeffreys Ledge off of a wreck.

I was trying to plan how I was going to barf. I had a stew Leonards bag handy.....that would work and I don't know anyone so I'll heave right in the warm cabin. And that poor kid, dad brought along was right there with me. He wouldn't answer anyone's questions or say a single word. I tried to comfort him a little by telling him I was an "adult" and I was "feeling unwell too"..this brought him no relief, but probably added a little joy for the other passengers to giggle about.

Took forever to anchor to the wreck and once we finally did, everyone was pulling in Cod, Pollock, all types of eels, I picked up a keeper sea bass, small pollock and small cod. Lots of Ling. "Ling a ding ding" people were chanting.

Seemed everyone got at least a few fish. Instead of jigging, we were using skimmer clam which was a new technique for me and difficult to get the feel for the tightness of the line....you know you are on bottom but.....that fine line between bottom and slack I suffered some frustration with. Lots of other experienced people pulled some freaking beauty green fat ass cod over the rail. I don't recall the weight on the pool winner but lots of good fish.

We had to cut it short for the 33 mile trip back to snug harbor. I'm thankful to Chris for having a backup plan and spending a lot of cost on fuel so we all had something to show for the day.

I'm now sitting by a warm fire, thankful to be home wondering why I chose to do that to myself for a little fish. I guess it's like a gambling rush and the more you play the higher the chances of success.

In summary, good learning experience, good mates on the boat and the ocean is really scary in the winter...and ugly...makes the fish look better...and apparently I need to learn some new languages because most spoken were not in English today.

I have a new found appreciation for Cod and Pollock. Glad to be home again.

It was Lung who turned me onto some of the best fresh tasting fish I've ever tasted last year. I will be searching for some fantastic basil, tomato and olive oil chutney to garnish my prized, self caught winter deliciousness.
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snapper
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tipped mates 25 percent.
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carp13
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report Snapper!
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bigbiscuit2
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to here of some cod came over the rail.

Bibs and a heavy duty raincoat are a must this time of year. I wouldn't head out without them.
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quassy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story,thanks for taking time to share your experience!
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snapper
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carp13 wrote:
Excellent report Snapper!


Glad you enjoyed
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snapper
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigbiscuit2 wrote:
Good to here of some cod came over the rail.

Bibs and a heavy duty raincoat are a must this time of year. I wouldn't head out without them.


Yes, you are right. Apparently this incoming cold front contributed to the rough waves. It would have been helpful to list this gear in the "what to bring" (during winter season) explaining the harshness and unpredictability of marine forecast conditions at sea even hours before departure. "Exposed skin could result in frost bite," etc.
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snapper
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

quassy wrote:
Great story,thanks for taking time to share your experience!


You are very welcome!
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aqualung
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well look at you Snapper, turning into the real "Party Boat Pirate"
Way to go... no question winter fishing is a bit different than summer fishing out there. You have a lot to learn about winter ground fishing but with every trip you will learn plenty. There will be days you crush them and days you can't buy a bite, that's fishin.
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redneckangler
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report. Thanks! Most of the cod reports out of RI I've gotten (up to this weekend), have basically sucked with mostly hit or miss shorts. Why would you puke in a Stew Leonard's bag when you've got rails 360 degrees? Laughing I might take a trip out over our winter break in a few weeks.
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snapper
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aqualung wrote:
Well look at you Snapper, turning into the real "Party Boat Pirate"
Way to go... no question winter fishing is a bit different than summer fishing out there. You have a lot to learn about winter ground fishing but with every trip you will learn plenty. There will be days you crush them and days you can't buy a bite, that's fishin.


Thanks Mahn!
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snapper
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redneckangler wrote:
Why would you puke in a Stew Leonard's bag when you've got rails 360 degrees? Laughing I might take a trip out over our winter break in a few weeks.


Good question. It was because no one could stand up straight including the mates...and once I stood up, I knew I would lose it before I got outside of the cabin...probably on someone near the hatch....everything was spinning.
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snapper
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:14 pm    Post subject: Pan Fried Cod Fillet with Sauce Vierge Recipe Reply with quote

My daughter insisted on me making her this dish and explained in detail how she loved the tomatoes which absorbed the lemon, basil, and olive oil..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytfEbN7a53w

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snapper
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fresh pasta under it all..as it was a large plate we split it...She had the sea bass and I left the cod section for myself.
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