Sunday, September 23, 2018

09.23.18 Okay, here we go.....


     Hey whoever still comes and visits. I know my postings have been sporadic, and, well, that's just because that's the way it is. We're getting used to living "out west" and we absolutely love it. It means less opportunities on the beach but I am figuring out how to work it into my schedule. I have left Monmouth Medical to concentrate on my last year at Monmouth University. Balancing school and the clinical component is challenging.

Good news is I am guiding full time this fall, walk and wade or boat trips. If you are interested in getting out, for the first time or not, give me a call 732 261 7291 or email me at colin@theaverageangler.com


    Speaking of the boat. It's all ready to go. Had it out for a run the other day and will be back out this week looking for albies and bass. 


     With Florence here and gone and the Harvest Moon about to pass Monday night the mullet and other baits should be starting to move. I have been out a handful of times the past week or so and have done well each time, except once, where I had the mid-morning skunk. They are smaller fish, 18-26 inches mostly. I expect bigger fish to start moving in when they get a wiff of the bait. The rain bait is around and the albies love that, along with the spearing and tiny peanuts, so we will start targeting them in the boat. I have been making some stops at the inlet but usually only find blues ripping through bait on the moving tides. 



     On Friday I joined Leif and put in a full four hour session from 4am -8. I only landed two fish but it was fun none-the-less. There was mullet around just not those classic v-patterns as the bait swims in the upper 1/3 of the water column. That's when you see those bass swirls or tail slaps. 

Leif Petersen photo

     As you know Snake Fly's are one of my favorites to tie and fish. It's been a combo of black and blue and chartreuse that have been catching for me. I'll be at it this week and hope to find the bigger siblings of the fish that I have been finding.




Wednesday, September 5, 2018

09.05.18 Great cover this month in OTW

                 

     Just before I left for Ireland I got an email from the editor of On The Water magazine staying they would like to run my picture on the cover. It was a mad dash trying to find my external hard drives and locate the image but it all worked out just before the issue went to press.

     Special thanks to Andrew Hamilton for being a great stick and a handsome lad that made making this image so easy. That’s Montauk lighthouse in the back. Its albie time and it looks like they are staring to show earlier than usual. I’ll be back at it this fall so if you’d like to join me on the boat or beach give me a call or text 732 261 7291

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

08.07.18 Ryan Archer Scholarship Fund event - Saturday Aug 18th



Come join us Sat. August 18 from 5-9 at The Downtown in Red Bank as we strive to reach our fundraising goal for The Ryan Archer Scholarship Fund at Rowan University. We're halfway to our $25,000 goal where the scholarship becomes an endowment, which means it continues for life. The 18th is Ryan's birthday and besides good food, entertainment, friends and fun we'll have raffles and baskets. We will be presenting our first award to a lucky student next week at the event. Let me know if you can make it (732 261 7291) and if you'd like to donate you can look on the flyer for the address. Thanks all and be well.

Monday, July 2, 2018

07.02.18 Some pics from the other day......


     My iMac is Kentucky fried so I am trying to adjust to an older Dell laptop for school and the blog. No editing tools and the workflow is confusing. I am going to try and bring in into the Apple store for either emergency surgery or a pronouncement.

     I fished the other night. Full moon just about high made it tough with the waves breaking a your feet and rushing water up and down the scarp spinning me around.  Going to be hanging out west as much as possible this summer which means I will miss my favorite 5-8am shift on the beach. I mght give it a go before work though.






Friday, June 29, 2018

06.28.18 Nice welcome back to the Jersey Shore.....

Well, problems with my Mac desktop. When I powered it on I got the white screen of death. I can't figure out how to fix it so we'll see how that develops. I don't use the iCloud so I might be screwed.

I started out at 6 am and fished until noon. A good six hour session. Had the end of the incoming and then four hour of the ebbing tide. Danced around the lightning and the waves breaking right on the beach. Landed about 8 bass and a few fluke. These are the really healthy 22-28 inch fish. Fat, feisty, and hungry. Most took Leif's-ugly-ass-fly and a few on the crab.

I recently went to a flip phone leaving the instant access world of the iPhone behind which is taking some getting used to. I don't know if I can survive without the Mac desktop though.....I hope I can get it going again.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

06.23.18 Bottom of the ninth, two outs, three-two count.....


     After waking up from a nap from the early outing I got a call that my Dad was in the hospital. I was scheduled to head home Sunday with a 7am ferry but re-sceduled it for Saturday at 520 out of Oak Bluffs. Monday is his birthday and we had planned to throw him a birthday party Sunday, but that was looking like it wasn't going to happen. 

     The guys were tying up some flies trying to replicate the fly Gerry had stayed them with the afternoon before. I packed up, showered up, did some kind of pitching it to clean up, and decided to give it one last go with Gerry and Steve at Dogfish. 


     It was incoming, windy, drizzly, but I was able to get one bass between cleaning off my fly from kelp and mung. I am glad I went, in fact every time I went this trip I was glad I did, catch or not.



     I took a mostly ferry back to the mainland getting ashore around 6 pm and pulling into Titusville at 1am. I hope the guys had a easy ride home, and better yet hope they caught after I left tomorrow afternoon.



Saturday, June 23, 2018

06.23.18 My last shot....


     So during dinner Joe and I had delusions that this morning in the same spot we ended up with would be good, real good. We were up at 3 am and on the beach soon after in the dark. As light arrived the shad fest, with a few porgies mixed in, was on. Joe had two small bass and as the tide ebbed and the wind kicked up and the mung moved in we called it a morning. Back at 6 and cup of coffee and we were ready for a nap.

     It was a great trip. Great guys. Better weather than past years although the wind kept us dancing around the island. Tough tide times, real tough. But with fishing it is what it is. If it was perfect every time it would be boring. Till next year MV.

06.22.18 Wind changed the plans as did fish in a different spot.....


       After a few hour nap I was up and ready to give it a go. With the wind too steady from the SE coupled with an incoming tide I knew it would be too tough to sight fish. I decided to go just as the tide started to flood hoping that I could catch an early traveler across the bar. That never happened so I relocated to another flat that is harder to spot fish but seems to have had more fish on it earlier in the tide. I stood on that ladder for a few hours and just before the muscles in calves locked up Gerry called......."Steve found fish". 


     It was the 3/4 incoming tide when I got there and had the place to myself. Quickly I spotted two fish than three patrolling the outside of the grass. I threw the crab fly but it was more in desperation that a true sight fish lead and set up. A few bass came in close feeding in the clouds of sand eels but they were dialed in to that snack.

     As the tide came higher Joe and Gerry, now nicknamed 'The Porgy Master" joined me and we each had a point to fish. I used a white bunny strip fly and had a handful of bass and a few shad.


 Every time I looked up I saw Gerry hooked up to either one of his dozen porgies, his dozen shad, or his dozen small bass. As the sun started to go deeper west I dreamed of sight fishing one more time in the pond. With the guys set with a ride out I looked at my watch and it was 415 pm.....maybe just enough time to see one more. I took the ride and when I got there I saw the water way, way up and I knew my shots were going to be just about till. I set up the ladder and the shallows looked like the deep end of a pool. I did see three fish but had no shots so the The Average Crab will have to wait till next year to be tested and proven or tested and failed.


     While I was on my mission Gerry found a nice fish taking a sand eel fly. It was the last supper night and Joe cooked up some nice steaks and it was a meal filled with fish stories and reflections from the week. Gerry had the numbers, I had the big fish, and Dave, well, he was spin fishing so it doesn't count.....


06.21-22 (early).18 "The Average Crab" is born...


     With having dealt with a ton of refusals of various crab and crabby type flies the past few days I thought maybe more realistic may be better than not. I remembered a few years ago while at The Fly Fishing show I was walking the back row and someone was selling plastic crab bodies with a shell sticker for the top. I hadn't touched it since then and found them when I was digging through my stuff while the guys sat around tying at dinner. 


     Here's what I came up with. I tied them several different ways and with different weights. They look great in the water. I gave each one of the guys one and an early critique was that it spins on a faster retrieve. Steve suggested putting the tungsten on the bottom into a teardrop, kind of a keel that would keep the fly flat. Also, I wonder if the combo of weight on the bottom with the barbel eyes adds to the negative action. 


     This trip starts with a daily strategy and tactics meeting at the table with all the guys surrounding the MV map. Where's the wind? Is there sun? What's the tide? Where are the fish? So I decided that early Friday morning, 230 am, I would hit the pond hoping to see the big fish exploding in the dark on the same flats I see them on during the day. Same tide, different time.


     I went into the pond and walked up to the flat. No wind, flat, dead calm...the hour or so I was there. I decided around 430 am to hit Lobsterville and see if anything was popping. Soon the light arrived and so did the shad. I fished for about two more hours before I headed into town, well three 



towns to find a cup of coffee and a bite . The below pic is Lobsterville as I let it. You can imagine what it might look like if bass were on sand eels or some either bait.





Thursday, June 21, 2018

06.21.18 Tough day with quality over quantity....


     My early plan was to hit a new spot but I found out a resident parking pass is required. With the rental we are good for one pass....and we have four cars. So I had Gerry drop me off and I took a walk out onto the flats. It was mid incoming tide and it took about another hour until the fish came up onto the flat. The fish were there in good numbers but I couldn't get them to eat. As the water became too high to sight fish I pulled out and headed down beach to where I thought I'd see more fish in the shallows but no one was home.



     I grabbed my ladder and made a position change one of about a dozen I did this afternoon. Saw a few more fish but with the clouds dancing in and out I couldn't see them in enough time to set up. After an hour balancing on the second to the top rung of the ladder I followed Gerry out and we headed down beach. Here's where the fish story starts. I was ahead of Gerry and my fly line had grabbed a horseshoe crab shell and empties out of my basket. I walked back and just threw it in figuring I'd take a minute to gather myself when we got to our spot.

     Gerry was carrying my cooler and I the ladder which I wanted to set in my spot where the day before I had seen good numbers. As I planted the legs I look into the water and a good fish is moving left to right. I got up on the first rung, made a 15 foot cast, saw him eat, and then take off......until the line stopped.



     When I "threw" it in the basket it found its way into a know and stopped two eyes short of my fly tip. Gerry had just turned to walk to another spot and I called him back. I headlined the fish while Gerry undid the know and handed me the rod back. I was lucky he was there and glad he was able to get a few shots of me and the fish as single fish pics get boring.


     The water was still coming in, even after the tide charts said it shouldn't and between the wind, clouds and fog front seeing the fish was hard, but they were there. We had an east wind that picked up as the day went on and it dumped all kinds of eelgrass and stuff right at our feet. Gerry went to work the channel as the tide ebbed and I walked waist high along the spit as the tide ebbed planting the ladder to see the picking fish. In total I probably saw 50 fish today, had a bunch of looks and refusals



and two eats both on this below fly I tied up on day one after catching the first few fish on a Leif Peterson crab fly. It just feels better when you get them on your own fly....not that much better but a little. The second and last fish was really cool because he was a long cast and a long follow and he finally ate after I stop retrieving. There's nothing like sight fishing for striped bass. I'm hearing from the guys that back in the day Dogfish and Lobsterville would give up 15-20 pound bass during the day while sight fishing. I hope one day to see that.



06.20.18 Day 4 A long and tough day.....



     I'll start from the midday 12-5 shift. Joe and Gerry dropped me off at the pond and I went in 3/4 of the way on the incoming. I set up my ladder where there were a plethora of fish passing by the day before and waited, and waited, and waited, and then waited. In between waiting I ate lunch and took a nap waiting for the drop of the tide. When I woke up the water was even higher. I can't figure out how high the tides are, and low, being one week off the full moon. 
     When it did finally drop I moved my ladder to where the bottom is sandy hoping to see some fish. In the end I saw about two dozen fish that were passing by, some stopped on my fly, one ate it, but didn't hook. 



     In the morning I joined Joe and Gerry for the crosstown ride to fish were the tide was better. Wind was up and I only saw two fish when I first walked in. Gerry had a few micros from the sedge bank. I went fishes and couldn't wait to get back to slay them in the afternoon, which you have already read I didn't. 

     So at 6 pm, dead tired, I contemplating taking a shower and joining the boys for dinner but I had visions of those bass rising on the outgoing tide. So I loaded up and headed for the long ride east. When I got there it looked different, no pretty sunrise, lots of wind, and waves coming into me. It was


a bust. I packed it in and took a ride to the drawbridge in Tisbury and it was well into the outgoing. I fish the pilings and then the wall leading out without a tap. Frustrated and tired I was done. As I way my way across the Big Bridge I looked back and saw a beautiful evening sunrise that I just had to 


take a photo of. I stopped by Lobsterville, for my last time, and didn't find any life. There's just no bait around, nor fish, at least there. Looks like it's rain and clouds in the morning, and of course some wind, so we'll see how it goes. 






06.19.18 Day 3 evening- one and done


     Took a lone ride across the island to try the outgoing. One thing we've learned is that we are here for tough tides. Dead low has been 7- 9 am and high 2-4'ish and then night tides high after midnight. The last few days we've had more wind and less sun. To sight fish you need both or at best just one. 

     So on Day 3 night I waded into the pond to see if I could see anything popping. Nothing. The bugs started getting the best of me as the wind died so I decided to back out. Once in the truck I approached a packed Big Bridge and saw the back-up lights light up as someone was pulling out. I pulled in and sat looking out as the sun set. Most of the anglers were on the jettys on the outside of the pond and no one was inside.

     Just when I thought I was done I saw fished started to rise in the moving water in the channel which was in casting range. Funny thing was they looked like trout rises, and I saw heads. I jumped out, threw my waders on, and loaded a black floating sand eel fly. As I stood waist deep I still didn't know what kind of fish I was throwing too, then I saw the dorsal fins.....bass!

     First cast was dead on and let it float from right to left without a tap. The fish were still up and the second cast was just as good but this time I twitched and BAM! Explosive strike and the fish went straight out from me in a line and had me quickly into my backing. With the current I thought it was a 20 pound fish. 

     So now the question is....where's the picture. Well I got the fish to hand, thumbed it with my left as I used my right hand to pop the fly from his thick and big upper law. As it popped the fish bit down and wriggled in a way that turned my wrist. My thumb is raw and some pain sensor, coupled with then twisting action, made me release the fish. It was as big as my 33 inch from Day 1 on maybe even a touch bigger. I wish I had a picture but the memory is just as good.