Tuesday, June 21, 2016

06.21.16 Back on the Jersey Shore....none with stripes but some with spots




     Nice to be back on the beach at home. Thought I might have woke up to T-storms but it was a nice morning at 445 when I hit the beach. SW wind, incoming tide, surfers paradise with the quick big wave sets. Started down south and fished for a bit before bumping into Bill who, because of the decline of fishing along the Jersey Shore since he started in the early 1990's, said "It's dead out here". It was nice talking with him and he was using a sand flea fly in the trough trying to pick a bass or a fluke. 
     I decided to head up north and fish a spot that was looking fishy the last time I was there. Now, I know thing s change, but there's no way groins get almost covered and 25 feet of sand just appear on the beach. Either the city or the county is using machinery to "maintain" the beach replenishment. If they continue to do this "PEOPLE WILL DIE". The beach scarp is sharp and the water coming back down the beach will sweep kids and the train out to sea. It is really criminal. 
     There were no bass home but I did pick up a few sun dials before getting a nice hit almost right on the beach. As I brought it up I said to myself "that's a nice keeper fluke", but then went back and forth in my head thinking that it just might be short. Well, I kept it, hoping, and after a lot of deliberation, that it was legal at 18". Back at home on the tailgate and with a tape measure it came out just at 18", not a millimeter under or over. 
     I forgot how much I liked fluke fishing from the beach. It's a great reward to the new surf fly rodder and a nice by catch when your heart is set on a striper. Morning trips run first light to 9ish- just before the beach invasion occurs. Give me a call 732 261-7291



Saturday, June 18, 2016

06.17-18.16 Great wrap up at the Vineyard


      Last two days have been the best, for me, during the trip. The sun came out and the wind died down so the sight fishing was better. We'll the sight-seeing was better. Last night I took a solo trip to "The Brickyard" as it's called and hit it just as the sun set. In two hours the fish, all small micro to school size, erupted up and down the beach on sand eels. I estimated that I caught over 25 bass. I wish I had a six weight set-up with me. I spoke with a guy who stayed after I left and he caught two nicer fish at 33" and 28". Around 10 pm I went down island to a pond were I had caught two nice fish the night before, but just as the tide started to ebb good, the lightning started. I wanted to stay, but the fish Gods were telling it was time to go. 
     Today was our last day and we didn't waste it. Even though I got in late I heard the boys up early and rolled out. We were out there around 8 o'clock and it was blue bird skies and little wind. I picked up a small fish with a sinking line but then went sight fishing. Over the next few hours I saw good numbers of fish, and big fish and got a few follows and one to eat, without me knowing or setting the hook. The boys were dredging the channels and did well, seeing big fish move into the pond. Arond 1230 it was time to make a call, go home and pack and relax, or fish. I decided to stay and wait for the 1 o'blockish turn of the flood tide. I waited but got tired of waiting so I started walking the skinny water pond. In the distance I saw a big blow up, then another, then a mini blitz. I got on the phone and Jerry and Joe took the ride and by the time they got there, it wasn't over, it just wasn't close. Before they got there I had shots, but they didn't take my Steve Farrar MV Baitfish or bunny fly. 
     At night we hit the same place I had them last night. Again, small fish, landing 16 bass, 6 hickory shad, a scup and a fluke. As long as a week is to be away from home, I wish I was staying as this week, post big Strawberry moon, is going to be real good. Just when you think you're getting a handle on things, it's time to go. Have to thank Joe Carey who really does the heavy lifting in putting this trip together, and the other guys for their experience and knowledge of striper fishing and of Martha's Vineyard. Hoping to be back next year, as it's something I really look forward too. 





Friday, June 17, 2016

06.16.16 Night time is the right time.....


     Started out today at the local pond but found lots of activity as far as the dredgers in tight to where I wanted to fish. Did manage a few handfuls of small bass but quit before I got locked in and the boys headed down island. Today we traveled a bit and found another salt pond that showed better signs of life as far as bait and bass we concerned. Jerry was prospecting with a spinning rod and got a nice bass so I took the later shift there starting at 7 o'clock till 1 am. At dusk the pond erupted and I landed 5 small bass. I hung in waiting for hours for something to show but it never did. I decided to go "out front" and catch the outgoing and landed two nice into-your-backing bass throwing a black Kinky Muddler into the moving current. On fish inhaled the fly and luckily the barbless hook came out easy after I inserted my hand down into his esophagus. The tide started to die and the wind started to crank once again. Looking forward to see what Mother Nature has in store for us tomorrow. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

06.15.16 Things getting better and tomorrow with no wind should be great.....




     Jerry had a good day dredging up some nice bass and Steve's fish hit the 30" mark. Sight fishing for me was tough as the wind, tide and sun didn't meet at the right intersection. I did manage a few YOY fish and there's seems to be keeper sized or better fish or micro or small school bass. We hit Lobsterville again tonight and things looked good with an outgoing tide and a west wind but the only fish caught was Joe and a 16" bass. Back at it tomorrow and it looks like the wind drops off which should make for good sight fishing.




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

06.14.16 Nice sight fishing shots at nice fish......


     Things got better wether wise, at least for a few hours, and I tried to make the best of it. Jumped out on the flats and quickly found fish as the sun was up and the wind not to bad. Hooked a nice fish, one in a pair, that came and took a crab fly danced along the bottom. Had a good hook set, but I watched as the fish did a few head shakes and throw the barbless hook. Soon the wind picked up and it was over as far as sight fishing. As I walked along the bar the dredger showed up and pumped sand along the pipe out onto the beach, I thought I left this at home. "Public Point" as it is known is getting gnawed away each day.
     In the evening we hit Lobsterville and found textbook conditions. West wind, nice sunset, only thing that was missing was bait and big predator fish. I landed three small bass and a hickory shad, and Joe (above) got bit off by a bluefish. We left at dark and look to fish in high bright sun with no wind tomorrow.


Monday, June 13, 2016

06.13.16 Windy during the day....but stunning at night



      Well day one started out shaky but it got much better. We drove around the island looking for a place sheltered from the wind but it continued to blow and the clouds covered any chance of sight fishing. Steve side see a couple of bass on the flats that I was venturing out onto. Later in the day I took the walk inside the pond but came up empty. a few of the boys hit the sod bank on the outgoing and did well, one dropping a nice fish that went +/- 35 inches. 
     The wind did die and go west which set up a nice evening on Lobsterville. For me it was mostly baby tarpon, i.e.. hickory shad, some of the biggest I have ever caught. As I had one dancing in the cut trying to avoid the fly line picking up mung, a large, large bass came up out of the shadows and took a swipe. I did manage 3 bass to 26 inches, and met a guy who landed one on a floating sand eel fly that went 36". He had bass rolling and slurping in front of him before we met met and he took good advantage of it. Tomorrow is another day, and I hope to find some bass cruising the flats. 


Sunday, June 12, 2016

06.12.16 With what happened in Florida today, who cares about fishing....



     I woke up around 330 am this morning getting ready to be picked to head up to Martha's Vineyard. A quick look at the web and the news was just breaking about a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As the day went on the horrific news continued to be updated, with the last news saying that 50 people had been shot dead, and 53 were injured.

     While this is a fishing blog, I can't help but offer my condolences to those involved, from the victims to the first responders. In my opinion, this is not political. this is not about sexual preference, this is not about religion, this is about good versus evil, and evil has struck American soil once again. Throughout the day I watched the media display headlines about the shooting at a "gay club". Doe's it really matter? Is the business listed in city hall as a gay club or just a nightclub? The victims were people, fellow human beings, who met an horrific fate at the hands of a murderer, a madman.

     As while I won't comment about fishing conditions today on the island, I will say that the wind blew all day, up to 35, I felt it God's way of telling us how angry he was with us, that we would treat each other, strangers, in such a way. It is a another sad day in the history of this great country, and the world.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

06.11.16 Getting ready for the annual trip to Martha's Vineyard



     It's 1114 pm and I'll be getting picked up by some of the boys around 4 am for another great week in the Vineyard. There have been years where I have guilt about going, but not this year. "What a long strange trip it's been."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

06.05.16 Our first time to Block Island



     Last week it was the Delaware for trout this week is was a few days in Block Island for stripers. I got a call from friends Joe and Suzanne who had a bedroom open for a few days during their week at BI. We were able to re-organize our work and kid schedules and jumped at the chance. Our 72 hour trip felt like a week. Day one we were on the first ferry over from Pt. Judith at 9am and took the 3 o'clock ferry home on Tuesday. In between we had good times, good drink, good food, and one night of good fishing.



     Day one was overcast and then it monsooned when we were just getting into dusk fishing on Charlestown Beach. Day two the wether was beautiful but the wind honked on day, in fact I think it did so all week. Joe and Suzanne had a boat trip scheduled but it had to be changed due to conditions. On day two we settled in at the Coast Guard Station and hit the channel.


     Theresa did nicely on a few casts and the above shows promise. We did "share" a fish in the dark that hit a sand eel pattern, I hooked it, she brought it in, but balked at holding her first striper. We left before the tide started to ebb because our guests were going out on the boat at 430. I decided to return and fished from 1130 till 230, landing 7 one that was just under 30" and one just over. It was a great night and is got my juices flowing for my Vineyard trip coming next Sunday.



     This is what the bass were eating while I preferred the hot lobster roll sandwich from Deadly Dicks.



05.22.16 Nice few days at the West Branch Angler's Resort



     For a few days I introduced my wife to fly fishing. We stayed at the West Branch Anglers Resort and had a riverfront cabin that gave us the opportunity to either fish or sit by the water sharing a beer and making memories. Since it was a short trip we floated the main stem on day two. WE PUT IN AT Shehawken and took out at Buckingham. The water was low(er) and the bugs and fish slow so we took out at 5 and hit the WBA to catch a spinner fall before heading to the restaurant for dinner. 



     On day three we met up with my friend Bunky who is back up on the river guiding and working for Dream Catcher Lodge. We decided to hit Sam's for some sandwiches and then hit the Beaverkill where the fish might haver been a little easier for Theresa to get a chance at. She hooked two fishing the tiny water above the bridge. We had a late lunch at the Cemetery Pool waiting to see if the March Browns or Drakes might come off but they didn't. It was a quick ride home without traffic and a nice introduction to a newbie to the Upper Delaware.





Sunday, April 24, 2016

04.24.16 Started out front, finished in the river




     Started our early but didn't last long with the crankin' NE chilly wind which froze my ear holes and brain. Water looked great but left to jump on my buddies Paul's boat to check things out on the inside. Lots of racer and gator blues mostly taking subsurface offerings but every now and then blew up to stuff on top. I had a few unbutton, bite off, and landed one on the fly. Below is Jason holding a typical specimen that was out and about today.

                        



     I decided to take a look again at duck and had a good bass swirl behind a Banger. Interestingly the last two days I haven't seen the birds or the bunker like I did a few days ago. Either it's down low or has moved along. They were in thick si it'll be interesting to see over the next few days.












Friday, April 22, 2016

04.22.16 Great day walking the bay.....


     Beautiful day. Great tide. Great wind (almost none). Great fish. It was nice to actually get into some fish and have me immediate area basically to myself and another fly rodder early on. When I arrived the plug guys were crushing them and after about 150 casts I got my first follows and misses and then connected. Had a few come unbuttoned but in the end landed three, which is really fun on the fly rod and from the flat. It's takes a spin fisher awhile to get them in, well it takes flyrodders even longer. The go to was a Bob's Banger with about 6 inches of a wire leader in front of it. Of course it wasn't easy because they weren't at your feet so the stripping baskets were basically submerged the whole morning. Best part of the day was sight casting to fins as they moved up and over the flat I was on, so much better than blind casting. Lots of guys must love the big blues because it was hard not to trip over them when walking off the beach. 

 






Monday, April 18, 2016

04.18.16 Things are about to get good for the fly rodders


     Gettin's gonna be good real soon on the fly rod. The warm air and water temperatures will set the table this week for some good action. When? Where? On what? That's for each individual angler to find out....for themselves. That more than half the fun. You just gotta get out there and put your time in. Now that's not to say a little help from a friend or two doesn't help.
     Water temps in the shallows of the bay are over 50, and even higher with the midday sun. You know what they say about the benchmark of 50 right? Topwater offerings start getting attention. Today I fished some creek mouths on the outgoing. First walking the sedges and then walking the flats. Absolutely gorgeous out there even though my first stop didn't produce.





          I stopped at a place where catching a sand bar can you put you out nice and far and into deeper water. I was greeted by the waft of burning wood which came from the remnants of a beach fire that either kids or anglers had fired up during the night. I had to position myself away from the debris and foam line that was created as the creek emptied out during the ebb tide. I didn't see any bait, except for a peanut washed up on the beach. I was hoping mummichogs, peanuts, or silversides would be at my feet but I think for now the fish are on the shrimp or the bigger bunker. Look for the bluefish to arrive any day, hopefully they'll hold off a bit and let the bass come and graze before they make their spawning runs up the Hudson.