Tuesday, March 28, 2017

03.28.17 Fail and no March bass.....


     With my waders back at Orvis, and not able to be repaired, I decided to break out the boat boots and throw a pair of cut-off waders over, or just at the top, of them. FAIL! Headed down south to a very rich town and gave it a go. Outgoing tide but still enough wave action to run up the beach, up and over the boot, and down inside. Cold sloshy outing.



     Water looked good and there was enough movement that made it look fishy. The water is still chilly and I think it's you just gotta be there at the right time on the right tide. The other day I was at dead high, today dead low. Even though my feet were cold I did give it a good shot and didn't get a bump. Worked it low and slow and in the moving water. Looks like no March bass for me.

 
     On the way back north I stopped in Deal to check out things at the Pump House. Looks horrible. I miss Whitehall and Roosevelt. Lot's of good memories fishing there, and watching my friends north and south of me fishing the beaches and rocks. How long till Whitehall is back? A long time.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

03.26.17 Nice conditions, but more for the fall......




     Going into this weekend the wind and temps were nice. West and 60. Last night after leaving The Bar Room I checked out the surf and the wind had swung  NE. Joe had fished in the morning and did steady and well. Lots of young bass around. That 2014 class may be big and better than what was thought.
      We started down before dark and when on the beach I didn't have a good feeling. Just about top of the tide. NE. Kinda big. Cold. Great fall weather, not so much for early spring. Well actually its okay for spring just wish we could have stayed for the ebb tide. We fished for a bit and jumped one spot and then were done by 8. While there was no fish it was fun to make a few cool images. While I do have two G12's now I just pulled out the iPhone 7s for these. Stupid simple. 



Thursday, March 23, 2017

03.23.17 Glad things aren't going yet.....

       

     Busy, busy, busy. Just like everyone else. If you ever wondered what it would be like returning to school say in your late 40's or 50's I can tell you- it's just not right. We learned differently. We think differently. And we are just differently. This week its another brutal do-or-die exam in Pathophysiology. Nine chapters spread throughout the 40-pound textbook that spans about a thousand pages. Pain. Psychiatry. Female Reproduction. Cardiology. Skin. All in both adult and kid versions.

                                                

My studies and work were disrupted this week for a procedure up at Mt Sinai. Let's just say general anesthesia was involved. Above my mother is escorting me into the room, thank God I wore 2 gowns.
As far as fishing things are still slow and waiting to go. I will say there are bunker in brackish water in my neck of the woods, for those that know where I reside. Not many, but I saw a few dead ones and a few birds choking them down. The blues and bass will arrive soon.

     I'm still watching the temps in the bay. Hopefully the snow has melted and the runoff soon to subside and this weekends rain might just warm it up a bit. Funny how a few weeks ago bay temps were at 50 degrees. My class is done, 83 is passing, April 28th......my final exam is the first day of the One Bug weekend. I hope I'm going into that exam up a few points as my mind will be on the river.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

03.22.17 As we get close we'll be seeing more of this....


      It's almost spring, well it officially started on Monday, and anglers are chomping at the bit. We're all waiting for winter to leave and things to get heated up. Most importantly the water temps. Warmer temps will get those migrating fish moving and the ones that stuck around more active. Warm water temps in the Delaware River will bring the big females and the horny smaller males up beyond the salt line looking to spawn. Hopefully the conservation movement has spread to the river fisherman and that release these fish as they perform their most important task in keeping the species going. Don't hold me to the numbers, but from what I have read, only 1 or 2 striped bass make it to adulthood for every 1,000,000 eggs a breeder releases. And further, I hope the kill tournaments that occur in the spring one day change to C&R. You can still do good, as in for good cause like fundraising for a charity, while you do good for the fish and the sport.

     The back bays and smaller rivers have been and will continue to give up small bass. Use circle hooks and get these fish back in the water as soon as possible. The above pick was up on Facebook, and the poster got killed for it. Those little guys are hungry and will surely swallow an offering that is weighted down and connected to heavy pole. You won't know you're in until the bait is halfway through the fishes digestive tract.

     I was looking at the Maryland Chesapeake Bay striped bass regulations. March 1- April 14 is catch and release only. April 14 - May 15 is one bass 35 inches or longer, and then May 16-31 it's two fish per day 20-28 inches or one in 20-28" and one over 28". After June it's the same as the later part in May. The Delaware River sees a whole mess as NJ, Delaware, Pennsylvania all have different regulations. Confusing for the angler, and mores for the fish depending on which side of the river you swim up.


     And it's that time of year again to see pictures of the striped bass commercial fishery in action. We'll see tons of bass in boats, in all kinds of nets, on the docks, and floating in the ocean as by-catch I don't know what to say about it. I just wish striped bass were a gamefish. Catch and release only. Period. 

     This past weekend I was at my dad's house and we were looking through some old photo albums. When I got to this group of pictures I found one with a net full of striped bass. He remembers the trip and taking the picture. I was out on Eastern Long Island probably 30 years ago. 


     I know gill netting and or siene netting has been around forever, but I am glad that it doesn't take place here in New Jersey. I know our state is a mess when it comes to managing striped bass harvest, even though we have no commercial fishery, but that would be a real demoralizer to pull up and see this going on. I found this Surfcaster's Journal video on You Tube. Thought is was interesting. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

03.20.17 Here's my wader choice for 2017.....


     I'm an Orvis guy. Even though I was last an Orvis Endorsed Guide in 2015 I'm still just straight Orvis. I've flirted with the idea of mixing and matching gear, which works for others, but I'm sticking with Orvis. I love the one stop shopping and the fantastic customer service. I thought that my loyalty and love for the company would have served me better, but, I realized that in the end it doesn't matter.  Everyone gets treated the same, as in life, and everyone loves a winner, and goes with what's hot, then they move on. I always felt I represented the company well, and did it almost everyday on the water, on the blog, and in life. After a lot of thinking I am hoping to return to the Endorsed program for 2018.  I have been too busy these past two years to be able to represent and serve customers as well as I could. 

     That said. After much deliberation, I have decided to go with the Encounter boot foot felt sole wader as my choice this year. I haven't tried a pair on, but they are similar to the other boot foot waders that Orvis has made in the past. These even look a step up. I am planning on doing some preventive seam work before they get wet the first time. And of course I will be drilling in Posi-Grip screw in studs which are fantastic and I have used for years without incident. 

                                                        
     Today I sent back my River Guard Silver Label waders that didn't hold up as planned. I got them in 2013, took them out of the box in April 2016, and then had to practically dip them in Plasti-Dip in October. If I remember this model was short lived due to some flaws, which may have included leakage. I'm looking forward to the Encounters and will have more than one pair on hand just in case.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

03.18.17 Gonna start up soon....


     St Patty's Day is here and gone and hopefully so is winter. Beaches are all kinds of cut up in a good way following out storms during the last few weeks. The water warming trend stopped and the Raritan Bay in the 'Burg is showing just above 35 degrees. This week I sent in my Orvis H2 11wt that I broke the tip on this winter and my H2 10wt, my favorite rod, that started to lose it's finish up and down the rod especially around the guides. I don't think that's on Orvis, like a production flaw, as that rod has seen some hard core service and it's probably normal excessive wear and tear.


     Speaking of rods and waders and warrantees. Just my opinion. There needs to be a change in the "lifetime warranty", well maybe the "for whatever reason". I broke the tip on the 11wt, the repair shouldn't be on them, I have no problem pitching in towards it. The 10wt, again, no ones "fault", lots of good times and use, I'd pay towards a re-due or repair.


     And when it comes to waders. Yes, if they leak on the first day, I want new ones. Even after a season or two they need to be repaired or replaced. But this lifetime beat-to-piss wader exchange isn't good for anyone. It let's the kids not take care of their stuff and it makes manufacturers responsible for a lifetime.

How many cars or trucks have we purchased over our lifetimes? Why should we only have to buy one fly rod and one pair of waders and never replace them if they get banged up or broke because of our actions, or lack thereof, or just time after time of good fun and fishing?


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

03.15.17 Well we hid in Atlantic City....


     Got to the Borgata on Monday and on the way to check-in I asked Theresa if she wanted to sit near the entrance to the elevators for the hotel. If you've been there before you know where I'm talking about. I was gone less than 10 minutes and when I got back she had a voucher in her hand.....$270......game on!




     We kept our money....until last night, when we gave it back plus a few hundred. Instead of leaving we decided we were going to win it all back plus some. We lost the $160 we had left, and then I made the usually fatal decision to grab $200 from the conveniently located ATM located just off the floor. It worked. We stuck to a game plan and were patient. $100 became $200 became $400 then $600 then just shy of $800. When we left the table some four hours later the pit manager comped us an early dinner at Noodles. What a great three days. Free room, $60 bucks in slot money, free comedy tickets, about $50 in comps plus dinner and came home with money, which probably covered out dinner at Angelo's and the dog boarding. Good times. SIGN UP FOR YOUR BORGATA RED CARD!!!!! Those comps will come in the mail.


     As far as the weather, when we got up to the room on Monday the ocean was huge and angry but there was no snow. I saw a picture that JMB had put up on Facebook and I liked it and it shows how big it was in Asbury Park. Surely Mother nAture has again changed things up for us, can't wait to see how it looks. Pallone you are a genius!! Wait till those sunbathers get a load of your dumb ideas and wast of taxpayers money.


     While we didn't get the snow, other's did. My sister up in Saranac Lake got 36" of snow. The Catskill's got a lot also which should bode well for the Upper Delaware, but I wonder how the runoff will treat the spawning stripers downriver.





Monday, March 13, 2017

03.13.17 The only colors I want to hear are red or black.....

                         
                           

     No white, like white-out, like blizzard. Yes, it's Spring Break, even for this Rodney Dangerfield

                                    

Back to School student. Regardless that a blizzard in storm Stella is going to drop 12-18 inches of snow along the Jersey Shore I'm out of here. Bringing the school books down for a few free nights at the Borgata. Hope its not as bad as they say. I'll dig out when I get home.

This will definitely get all things spring striped bass and bluefish back on a normal schedule.


.                                

Sunday, March 12, 2017

03.12.17 Asbury Park Fishing Club Flea Market 2017.....




     Basically I am a fish out of water here. Worked late last night. Lost an hour with the clock. Slept in. Woke up at 745 in a panic. Text Chris Buchta and said I'll be there. Theresa dropped me out front and when I got to Convention Hall at 0855 and they were already letting guys in. I was behind the 8-ball. Quickly the plugs were flying off the tables. I don't know much and whatever I do know it's from the Facebook groups I belong to. I enjoy following the winter "drama" about plug makers, plugs, and the flippers- guys who buy plugs and then flip them online. Glad I am a fly fisherman when it comes to that stuff.

     I know some of the plug makers and their handles from the Asbury Park Fishing Club and they had lines formed and cash flowing by the time I got there. Luna, Cyclone, Sunset, and there's more that I learned about on-line, Black Talon, and I think RB, or RV, or TB......I still can't keep up.






     I feel for the guys that have plugs to sell but their tables get blocked by guys waiting for other, maybe more collectable plugs? They all look fish catchy to me, but I guess there is a difference. It seems like there are more new local makers trying to break into the hobby or the business. It must be like tying your own flies, I know it does make you feel better when you fool a nice bass on something you crafted yourself.    
  








     It was nice to see some familiar faces at the show. Since moving from Ocean to Red Bank and the nursing job and school I haven't been as active in the APFC as I once was. It does seem like whenever I am into fish that Chris Butcha is always either in front of or behind me. Phil Sciortino from The Tackle Box is someone I've known for 30+ years, having hung with him in high school. And there's Joe Ercolino, the leader of the Asbury Park Fishing Club and all around sweetheart of a man.  I still remember asking to join the club maybe 6 years ago and getting the feeling that he thought I was a plant from some green-bass-hugger conservation group. Each year in January when he was ask if there was new business I would raise my hand and ask if we could run a catch-and-release only tournament. The answer was always "no", but I am glad that the tournament mentality across the area has become more C&R, thanks to guys like Chris and Joe, and many others.

  

     Even though I'm a fly fisherman I wanted to win the shadow box of plugs. What a great prize and a good cause as the money goes to a local charity. I waited at 2pm for my phone to ring.......it didn't. I bet this will fetch upwards of $1,000 in a few years if someone wants to part with it. 



     But my favorite part of the day happened on my way out. I saw Shell E. Caris. Legend. Period. I see him on Facebook and this week he starting posting that he was downsizing his collection and


would be making them available at the show. Not only is he just an all around good fisherman, he's also a fly fisherman, so I bet his collections are varied, deep, and very collectable. One guy came up while I was there and said "Do you have any "Skippy's"?". That question didn't mean much to me,


but when I saw Shell reach into a secret wooden box I knew I was going to see something special. I got a picture, still not knowing what I was seeing. When I asked how much would it go for.....Shell just should his head and said....."A lot". I started in increments, "100, 200, 300 500.....600?" He just smiled. I knew then it was something more valuable and worth more in meaning and memory than something on Facebook or Ebay. Maybe these hardcore surf guys have a soft spot like us fly fisherman