We had a mission. We had a game plan. We went out and executed. Nothing feels better than that. The weekend was put on the calendar a few weeks back. I invited out a number of friends to close out the season; on the agenda was bonfires, sweatshirts, fishing, and relaxing. After a painful few weeks of anticipation and constantly checking fish reports the weekend had arrived. (You know its getting bad when you want to send a email to the editors of “On The Water” Wednesday night when their fishing report isn’t out as scheduled.) The reports spoke of a growing bass bite and Albies everywhere. While the prospect of albies got us fired up, we knew we had to bring home dinner. We got out to East Hampton Friday night and geared up. We had a scheduled departure of 6am. Everything went as planned Saturday morning. As the sun cracked above the horizon in the Eastern sky, we pulled out of Hogs Creek. 5-10 knot winds were out of the North-East but there was very little swell. We stopped in Montauk Harbor for fuel and live eels. We had made enough mistakes on prior trips to know what we did and didnt want to do: get out early, don’t run out of eels, use heavier weights, and don’t linger- if it isnt working MOVE. We we would check these off one by one leading up to the first bass of the day. We were out of the harbor by 7am, just in time to catch the last hour and half of the outgoing tide. The first spot we hit was just off the point a little north east of The Elbow. We started drifting eels and had a number of boats around us doing the same or jigging diamond jigs. After about 10 min and 2 drifts, we called it. No one was catching anything, we were losing the tide, and there were grounds east of us worth exploring. We got out into some deeper water where a number of boats were running up tide and drifting down. We fell into line. Around us we started seeing bass taken. Not many but just enough to let us know that we had found the spot. After a few drifts Matt hooked up. The fish hit hard and started taking line. After a good fight it rose to the surface, turned on its side flashing its stripes, and drifted into our net. Once the fish was on the deck we were a combination of euphoric, confused, and in total disbelief. We kept drifting. We didn’t know what to do. It was 8am, should we go home? Was it really a 36 inch bass? When they are that big do you still have to measure them? Should we high five again? We continued to drift mentally and physically……and then we realized there were more fish to catch! We had learned from the mistakes, we had done our research, we had finally brought home dinner.