My friend Kierran Broatch of The Connecticut Yankee blog recently posted on his fishing firsts in 2016, and it inspired me to take a look back at my season to do the same.
Though 2016 wasn’t my best striper season in terms of size or numbers, I did have a few memorable catches, including my biggest ever striper on a fly rod. I was fishing a good run of bass off the back side of Cape Cod in mid-June, and the bass were cruising right on the surface sipping small bait. After a few refusals from cruising fish, I had one eat the fly next to the boat and almost immediately take me into the backing. It was a long fight, but the fish eventually came close enough for Chris Megan to leader.
I caught my biggest ever yellowfin tuna this year, a fish that probably weighed in the neighborhood of 75 pounds. I caught it aboard the Gambler on an October overnighter chronicled in the January Issue of On The Water Magazine.
This year, I checked a fish off my list that I’ve been hunting for two decades—a double-digit fluke. The doormat fell to a popcorn rig while fishing aboard the Helen-H. Just a couple minutes before, I’d caught an 8- to 9-pound fluke, which was, at the time, my personal best.
I also caught my first ever black drum. It was on the small side, but it was a drum nonetheless. My co-worker Anthony Deicicchi said it looked more like “a scup in a drum suit,” but I’ll take the high road and not say anything about how his first-ever muskie, caught this year, was smaller than most pickerel.
Happy New Year, and I hope we all have some fishing firsts and bests to look back on at this time next year.