KING OF THE DOCK INTERVIEW
2020 King of the Dock
As with each One Tide Challenge, the winner and now “King of the Dock” is required to spend an hour with the interviewer and a lie detector specialist to share his day on the water including but not limited to, tactics, locations, lures, and any special secrets he has learned and applied which help him overthrow our former “King of the Dock.”
Randy, Laurie, and their son Brian captured their crown on the very last day of the tournament. Randy and Laurie are retired but Brian (Randy & Laurie’s Son) had to fish around his work schedule. As it worked out, the tide was absolutely perfect for where they targeted to fish (will share more later in story) and only after a couple of hours at “The Spot” with the perfect tide, they were basically done fishing.
From all of us at Boats Incorporated and our outgoing King (Tom Clapsadle), we are thrilled to see Randy take over the throne. Randy and Laurie have an incredible passion for the water and fishing and over the years have quietly learned the water and fish movement like few others have. He and Laurie have been on our dock for 18 years and are on their Grady-White. As a captain, Randy knows his spots, what fish are in town, and if you tell him the tide, he will tell you if you are going to catch…or not. On Day 2 of the 8-day tournament, Tommy Clapsadle was holding on to 1st Place and it certainly appeared he was going to go “Back to Back” but the door was open just enough for Randy to sneak in. The classy thing is Tommy and Bobbette were OK with losing the crown to such a true gentleman, a great husband, father, and friend to many on the dock.
(Q) – Tell Us about you. How long have you been fishing? What got you hooked? As a kid, what gave you the bug?
(A) – Randy is a true New Yorker……born and raised in the Bronx. His father is a World War II Veteran and after taking so many military water transports had his fill of the water. However, there was an uncle in Stonington Connecticut that loved to fish for winter flounder and Randy would come to Stonington beginning at the age of 5 to fish with his uncle. This was the type of vacation we all have fond memories of as kids. Randy was “Hooked” and so looked forward to coming to Stonington each year to go fishing. At the age of 15, Randy’s family felt it was time to leave NYC and moved to Connecticut.
(Q) – Well we all know your 1st mate Laurie as we seldom see the boat leave the dock without her on it. Can you share how you met and a little about your first date.
(A) – We both worked at Northeast Utilities and our first date was spent flounder fishing. Fortunately, we caught, I cooked a flounder dinner for her, and then I was hooked. We have loved the water together, have two great kids, and now both retired from the same company we worked for when we met.
(Q) – OK, let me take another pull on the lie detector band and ask you about your fishing that day. Tell us your plan, where you went, what made you choose there?
(A) – I have fished this area as one of “My Spots” since the 70’s so I have learned it well. We had a few options as to where to fish but again, the tides dictated our destination. So, we knew what day we could fish due to Brian’s schedule, so we looked at the tides. Tides are the number one priority for me. Not necessarily when high or low tide is but is it incoming or outgoing and what will the currents be like while we are at that spot. We knew what day, we knew our window of time allowed to fish, so the solution as to where to go was easy, Plum Gut. We left the dock at 7:30, had a 30-minute boat ride and a perfect incoming tide. Since the stripers were regulated as to what size we could catch (Min 28” – Max – 35”) we needed to get a decent one in the box and then find a bluefish that would make me get my feet under the toe rails while grunting, “Here We Go!” Anyway, the entire school where we fished were thoroughbreds. We knew the school was big as they were chomping right through 80# leaders! We finally got a Blue we knew would put us on the board. It was 10:30 and we were done fishing. The tide was already beginning to shift out of favor, and it was like a sign went up in The Gut that said, “We are currently out of the office and will return in 5-6 hours.” Now we had time to scout more waters and for future spots. Our work was done.
(Q) – So, we now know you were in “The Gut” and we know to look for an incoming tide. So, were you jigging or trolling? How deep was the water? And what did you have aboard for baits or lures?
(A) – At this spot, we have found the best method during this tide was drifting and jigging. The water depth went from 55’ to 130’ and for bait we had Bunker, Eels, 3-Way Bucktails, Diamond Jigs and we were prepared to troll, if needed. We also used a “Circle Hook” which is a little tougher to fish, but it does protect the fish you need to release. The big bluefish we caught was on an eel.
Randy, Laurie, and Brian we congratulate you. Yes, we know Randy Saitta is our new King of the Dock however as with any sport, the key is preparation and teamwork. As Dr. Miko used to say, “You really catch the fish the day before you go fishing.” You have tried from the beginning to win this tournament and now the Red Carpet is yours. Randy, you have had tougher battles and I can tell you everyone on the staff here and so many of your friends on the dock love you for winning that one. That was a longer fight and a bit tougher to corral than a 15.1-pound bluefish. You are a true gentleman, a wonderful husband and father, and by landing Laurie you must have a good recipe for flounder!