by Jon Waldstein

The summer doldrums can occasionally get to your head. Coming from freshwater, I had always fished during the day, but the early days of surf casting were slow for a long time. I always wanted to catch some daytime stripers off the coast but rarely had any luck. That was until I gave live Eel’ing a shot. I had read about how to set up and fish them, so I headed down to the local bait shop and grabbed a few big ones. The golden standard to live eel’ing is that they are meant to be fished at night.

Well, in broad daylight, while people were outside swimming and splashing around a few yards from me, I through a live eel out. Without much to expect, I decided to sit down and do kind of a chunking stance with the steady slow retrieve of a lure. I read that you will pretty much know right away if you have a bit by the feeling of a punch to your rod.

After an hour or so of catching a tan, I glanced in the clear water and saw the silhouette of a nice sized fish swimming around the rocks in front of me. I had this sixth sense feeling of that same fish going after my eel 20 yards away. Right before I started to overthink things WACK! – I felt the bump! From what I read, once you feel that hit you drop your rod immediately and wait until you feel weight then set the hook as hard as you can. So that’s exactly what I did! That hook was set with the assurance of my braided line, sharp hook, and tight knots.

The fight was intense and the landing was rough. Nonetheless, I got the 30-inch striper in. It was my first summer daytime striper and was the one that got me hooked on surfcasting and of course live Eel’ing.

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