Thursday, January 14, 2021

01.14.21 "Here's your mail....".

     It was nice to look up and see something in writing anything other than psych. Theresa handed me the On the Water 2021 Anglers Almanac, which reads "Your Guide to Fishing New Jersey". 

Mmmmm...I like to read about fishing New Jersey, because that where I fish

    I was eager to get into this issue while I had some time between patients. Now last year someone I know graced the cover of one of the issues. It was the New Jersey edition, nut the image was shot up in Massachusetts. I know stripers move, but I think, that issues that are titled by state, should have images from that state and fishery, otherwise I call "Fake News". 

     This years cover, as always great cover art work done by OTW editors, is well, shot somewhere. Could be Jersey, could be Montauk or Block, we'll never know, and most people don't care.

     Now inside, the usual great layouts and mix of art and words. Pete Barret does the fly article, which isn't Jersey, per se. And then the articles go on, wind farms, clamming, boulder fields, ice fishing, striped bass, brown trout in I missing something? 

     Jimmy Fee, the editor, does a great job. Its nice to see magazines still out there and some, making a profit or a living. Its nice that they pay for content, and I have been lucky to both provide images, inside and cover, and articles, for print. That said, hopefully next year 'the guide" will be more of that. Maybe all the articles for that state written by Captains and anglers who spend round the calendar year fishing for striped bass. I'm in. 

702 PM update.....sent from a friend- maybe it was caught in New Jersey, or not


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

01.12.21 Found this from 9 years ago.....

     This popped up on my Memories on Facebook. It was from the winter that never came and the fall that never ended. Can you name the spot?

     Here's what the caption read "Found fly anglers working the outgoing tide. While scouting saw a kayaker launch and then catch a keper sized striper while working the rocks".

Monday, January 11, 2021

01.11.21 Gettin' her ready.....

     So my wife asked what I wanted to do for my birthday. We, I said, "I want to take my boat and get some gas". I dragged my mom along for the ride, and she too thought, local gas station, get gas, be home in 30 minutes. However, the gas I wanted was ethanol-free and it was from WaWa which was located in Allentown, PA, about and hour and 10 minutes away. 

     Well I got to get the trailer out and about and some heat on the tires and axle. Found out that the drivers side lights are out and need to be redone. When I got the boat home I gave her a once over, emptied the compartments and fired her up. After a quick charge on the battery and some water to keep her cool she purred like a kitten. 

     March 1st the Delaware River opens and so does the Rarity Bay. I'll be out early this year, and the boat will meet the Delaware for the first time. No sense in winterizing her now, and forget the shrink wrap, I'm praying for a mild winter. 

     And for dinner on this 53rd birthday? A great meal with a trio of great ladies at Tony Da Caneca in Newarks' Ironbound section. We had cataplana a "algarvia, paella Valencia. and skirt steak followed by some delicious desserts. It was a Nic e change of scenery from the usual haunts in Mercer and Hunterdon Counties. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

01.07.21 God Bless America....

     Was working yesterday so I didn't see what was going on in Washington. Doesn't surprise me. The events of this past year didn't surprise me. My pulse doesn't really change about these things. I stay in the middle, on just about everything. My knowledge and opinions aren't strong enough, or correct enough, to try and engage others or have them see my middle of the road views. 

     Now my pulse may not change, but that doesn't mean that I don't get saddened when I see people put their own beliefs and agendas into action, usually at the harm of others, either physically or psychologically, or both. I can have a conversation on just about nothing, and never feel the need to be right or change someones mind, unless its about something I do or about someone I love. 

     I always say, put other people first, stop to help others, and do the right thing when no one else is watching. I am sure I have harmed others before, and that is the part of each of us we have to improve and make amends for. 

     During the last year I have done just that. Share the peace and the love. Stay in my own lane. Understand that the actions of a few cannot be blanketed over an entire population, culture, even fanatic. I do believe that social media and the media has jumped the shark and is doing more negative than positive, that is why I don't watch or engage. My only social media I used is Facebook, to share some fishing and personal stuff with friends and family, but I am questioning if that is even a negative thing these days. This blog, never gonna stop, because its almost 100% fishing related. 

Take care of yourself, and each other. 


Monday, January 4, 2021

01.04.20 First shot 2021...

      Had to be down that way so I threw my stuff in the truck and gave it a go with just an hour or so on the ebb tide. Nearly 50 degree air temp and 47 in the water. Water was stained and the last of the swell was breaking off the beach. Mostly tried off the rocks but didn't manage a tap. 

    When I was walking down to the next groin met up with a guy who had just hooked a 14 inch bass. It was nice to get out, see you on the mid-Delaware in March.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

01.03.21 So here's the best of 2020....

     So the kid will always win. Looking back on 2020, and through the mess, mess of Covid, mess of the way we acted as human beings, the mess of politics, there was some good fishing times. I could say I had a good year, really started to get dialed in, just get dialed in, not dialed in, to the Delaware River striped bass fishery, good times, but that f'in drive, along the Jersey Shore, the much anticipated Martha's Vineyard week, and a shot on the Upper Delawareduring the summer. And the winner is.....

     ....May 13th and fishing a higher tide at the Trenton Makes Bridge with Erin. Why? Because it was time together, and yes, because she caught a fish. While we know its not about catching, sometimes you need to catch some fish in order to get the disorder brewing. You can recap that night HERE

      Erin's first fish on a fly rod, well officially, was May 21, 2009, you can recap that HERE. I know enough with the kid already, but the early one, from 12 years ago is a fun read. You all know my 

kids, made or borrowed, have never followed my footsteps with fly fishing. They may pick it up to appease me, but never on their own, and for never more than five minutes. I have given up all hope, but then every now and then my last true hope, Erin, says or does something to hang on. In 2017, she showed an interest in tying flies, that lasted, well about a night, but the seed was planted. And this


year she landed a few striped bass on the fly, now the seed is starting to grow some roots. Hopefully 2021 will have her see all the wonderful things fly fishing can bring into her life, time with dad, time outdoors, meeting new people, and beginning a life long passion, and addiction, that we all enjoy. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

01.01.21.....Happy 2021

     Happy New Years to you and yours! Hope its healthy and Covid free, quarantine ending, financially rewarding, and if revenant to your life, very fishy. I got fishy plans this year, some old, some new, some group, some solo. This year will be very fishy for me...I just need it. I see a drift boat back in my life sometime, not sure just when. I love to have one, even if I'm not guiding. Sadly my aluminum boat would have suited me well bouncing off the boulders down here in my parts of the Delaware while on the hunt for stripers, but it is was what is was and is what it is. 

     Before my truck took a salt bath in December I had ordered historic and personalized plates. After completing the application and "proof" process" I waited, and in the meantime dam near sank her, but just before the new year the plates arrived. 

     If you know me then you know I am huge Grateful Dead fan. In 2009 I introduced BERTHA, a conversion van that served my family well since the mid 1990's. In good time she was sold but I still have the plates. So when it came to naming my 1995 GMC pick up it would have to be a different name

 as there will only ever be one BERTHA. So I took a shot, figuring all the Dead related names would be going, but I was wrong. So I introduce, well you've seen her before, ALTHEA. Below is a little jingle sung by Jerry in 1991, enjoy!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

12.26.20 That's all folks.....

     So that'll do it for me. Down there around 530, waited for a bit, fished for 30 minutes until it felt like fingers would pop off. I gave int a try, when I could, and now its over, for me. 

     There's really not much to say. It was a good year, and I'll recap it in the next few days. Lots of adventure, some new places, fish in places I never caught before., and driving, or winding up places I never thought. The new boat, new plans for next year, really going to dig in, and I might revisit Montauk as a place I guide for a few weeks during the 2021 fall run, last time I did that was 2014 and it was fun, hard work, but fun. So enjoy the next few days and the New Year and I'll see you in 2021. 


Friday, December 25, 2020

12.25.20 Merry Christmas!

     I remember some 8 years ago dragging that Elf on the Shelf down to the beach to make a Christmas image. That day I even took the boat out after the festivities with the family. I got some nice gifts and cards from the kids, below is what Erin wrote me in hers,

     As the kids get older Christmas routines have changed a bit, hardly any real shopping, most stuff  ordered online, they all places to go, and this year with Covid, forget it, no chance of any normalcy at the holidays.

    So this Christmas morning it will be Theresa and I exchanging gifts alone by the tree, starting to understand and feel what empty nesting is like. While Thanksgiving is my holiday, I did enjoy so many years when the kids were kids and Christmas mornings were just the best. But I always remember what Christmas, to me, is really about. The birth of Jesus, I have celebrated 52 of his birthdays an hope for a whole lot more, and some more normalcy next year in 2021. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

12.22.20 Little Orvis delivery before Christmas....

     Well just few days before Christmas and the UPs delivered some good cheer. He took of the piece of firewood I had the snowman holding and put the Orvis box in its place.   


     Inside? My Access 9 ft 12 wt, that was broken during that day a few years ago when Joe and I found 30's 40's and 50's blowing up on mackerel at Romer. We were the only boat there, as the weather prediction for that day was a blowing S wind and an incoming tide from the Atlantic Ocean. Well, it never materialized and we hit payday, that was November 2 2018, you can reread it HERE

Sunday, December 20, 2020

12.20.20 Quit day #2, I'm done....

     I had some Christmas shopping and a daughter pick up to do in Monmouth County so I figured I would give it a shot. Leif has repaired my Helios s 11wt tip that I busted when putting my truck window up so he met me on the beach. Two hours on the ebb, warmest part of the day......nada.

     So this is it for me, I'm done, its official. The only thing that might change that is a flurry of late herring chasing bass. There's a lot of fish down near IBSP, and what do they do? Well they are the growing up Hudson fish that return to those waters for the winter and hunker down in those big massive deep holes up near West Point, New York. 

     We always think of the fish hiding north to south in the fall, I believe they do go north to south, then go back north, at times really north into the Hudson. We do resident fish, as all major ports and Bight's do. Check out Boston Harbor, there's a strong resident winter-over population there, and as well as some of the bigger rivers in Connecticut. I bet if Mike Laptew did some scuba diving near the Statue of Liberty you'd be amazed with the bass that stay in the New York Bay and Ambrose Channel. 

     An so its time to go through the gear and get repaired what I messed up and throw away all those shit flies that aren't catching because they foul or the hooks are rusted up. I am going to look into donating these flies overseas to anglers that could use them in the bowels of the Amazon or other prehistoric kind of fishery. If I find something I'll pass it along. 

     There's no Fly Fishing Show this year, so outside of some warm weather quick trip, it'll be a wait and hold until March and April when the fish start migrating up the Delaware, where this year I'll meet them in the middle of the river in my boat, and yes, pulled by my pick up. 


Saturday, December 19, 2020

12.19.20 Okay, where's the bite along the Jersey Shore?

     The last time I saw the Island Beach State Park area like this was in 2011. It was a sand eel bite then, and is now. It also reminds me of the early staging days on the Salmon River, which I witnessed one time in the early 1990's. 

     While IBSp can be great for the fly rodder, just look at the points and bowls in the above picture, setting up some space for a backcast on days like this is dam near impossible. If you're like me you'd rather fish alone where there are no fish then be out with 1,000 strangers with fish in front of you. Its no anti-social, well maybe it is. 

     The above photo was taken by Tom Lynch, of Anger Fish Gallery, in Point Pleasant, you can see his website HERE. He has great gift ideas for the angler in your life. 


Friday, December 18, 2020

12.18.20 Wow, thats why they commercially fish for striped bass....


     Towards the end of each week we look forward to hitting one of the local markets that has a Amish store attached to it. Trenton and Columbus are two of them. They're open Thursday through Saturday, off for the Holy Day in Sunday. Yesterday we hit the one in Doylestown as the other two hd delayed opening or the Amish didn't make the trip due to the snow they got out in Lancaster PA. 

     As we walked around I stopped at the fish market and saw some striped bass for sale. "Wild caught $21.99 a pound". I compared that to other offerings, "Fresh salmon....$14.99 a pound, tuna $27.99 and Halibut $28.99 a pound". So if someone catches a 40 pound fish and fillets it up to say 30 pounds, that would cost you, at this market, $659.70. Now I know why guys cast nets in Long Island and ride their bikes upon and down the Cape Cod Canal. 

It's amazing these fish can survive the constant predation....

Monday, December 14, 2020

12.14.20 Fat Lady is warming up her pipes....

     With Christmas and some nasty weather coming and being busy with work and home I wanted to run down for a shot, maybe the last shot. Lots of water out there this morning and it was clean and green. Started at 530 and fished two groins for a while before going tight for a while being being broke off on a bad knot. I was pissed because I figured it would be a one and done morning. 

     When light arrived I could see Leif off in the distance doing his thing and he found one to bite. It was a slow morning and I stuck around after he left trying another groin that has been chiseled away

nicely after all the weather we've had lately. Its a sand eel bite, like I predicated a few months ago. The last time we had a good snd eel bite we had a herring bite that followed. However, than was then. You'll see some, you'll see the gannets diving on them, but the fish that usually chase them are gone this year. We haven't the micro bass invasion which arrive when the Fat Lady sings, so now its a pick of school bass if you're lucky enough to be in front of them as them swim by. 

    When I lived close I would quit about 6 times as winter arrived, and usually the last was in frigid water in Ajn wary, trying for that first of the year bass. Well, maybe for me not this year, mid December might have been it, but, "just when I thought I was out they pull me back in". 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

12.13.20 Looks like we'll be getting our first taste of winter....

     So when I lived in Red Bank a few snow shovels and then a Toro snowblower were all I needed. I enjoyed getting myself free and clean of the snow and helping my neighbors out up and down the block. I always like the people that do themselves and then retreat inside. I could help others for hours.

     Then when I moved out to the country I had to get a tractor. The above I found on Facebook Marketplace and Theresa, I and the girls drove out to Amish Country to pick her up. Mowed the grass one time and then the engine blew. Recently I found another Kohler engine and purchased it and the guy who's mechanic and small engine tinkerer rebuilt my old one. She runs real good now. 

      This Case 224 comes with a large mowing deck, a plow, a grass and leaf picker upper and the above snow blower. Today Jim took a look at my truck and helped me get the snow blower hooked up for Wednesday night, when it looks like we might get a foot or more along the Delaware River corridor. 

     Besides Jim I had a little help from one of the girls today. I love chickens, don't tell my dogs but they are the best pets. This one hung around today for about an hour as I worked, and was nice enough to hold her bowels until she joined the flock. 

     I was hoping to have her running today. So far so good, she turns over, and all the fluids and filters are changed along with the plugs and distributor and rotor. I'm having a problem with the fuel, which if you look at it doesn't look good for engine consumption. I removed the fuel filter and tried to siphon the gas from the fill, but it doesn't want to come out. when I put the ignition on the fuel pump shoots out some fuel, but I need to get the tank bone dry, and don't yet want to have to drop the tank. We're still moving forward, slowly, but we're moving, this will run again!

     As far as fishing, get it in while you can. Smaller fish around on the beaches, better in Ocean County than Monmouth but just go where you can. We'll see if the fronts affect the bite. 

     And lastly I got tested for Covid on Thursday. asymptomatic but had been around someone who tested positive. CVS did mine, in fact I did it in the drive through. Just went and made an appointment a few days before. If you don't to swift, or around someone who has tested positive its good to have a test of your own. No cash, no insurance needed, I didn't give them anything.