Friday, February 19, 2021

02.29.21 What's going on in Texas isn't just affecting humans....



     Theresa and I have been getting daily updates when we check in with our daughter and her boyfriend who. moved to Plano last year. Its cold, there's no heat, pipes are bursting everywhere, but they are safe. While of course our herts got out to anyone suffering during this, we can't forget how this quick wether event can impact the wildlife. Here's some pics from Texas showing fish that dint make it. 

     In Texas they have rescued over 3,000 turtles and are keeping them in doors until it safe to return them to the water. Just imagine how much wildlife will not survive this, wild and domestic. I hear the chickens are taking a beating down there due to the cold and lack of food. This will al have a huge effect on prices in the near future, and the gas, that'll be over $3.00 a gallon very soon. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

02.17.21 Here's a great read.....


     I found this pretty fascinating. Want to know why you might might not be catching fish on the beach these days? Want to know why the boats travel way outside the 3 mile line only to find acres of bass rolling on top? Well, here might be why.


     This a link to an article from Jim Hutchinson from The Fisherman Magazine. He tells how three fish were caught, two off Sandy Hook and one off the East end of Long Island, and implanted with a tracking device and followed from May to August last year. Needless to say not one of these fish saw a surfer or sunbather from the shallow waters off the beach. 

     The link is HERE

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

02.09.21 Funny how you remember your first.....and I still have that hat!


     There a lot of firsts we remember in our lives. First kiss, first time getting laid, first pet, first job, first marriage, first child......and of course your first striped bass. It was 2001 for me, a few months before the World Trade was attacked. My first wife and I had returned for another trip to Newport for a stay at the Marshall Slocum Guest House. While there I was treated to a Father'd Day striped bass charter trip. It was through a place called The Saltwater Edge. The Captain was Corey Pietraszek. 

     I grew up in Millstone learning to fish the lakes and irrigation ponds in what was the country back then. It was all about bass and pickerel back then. My parents divorced and my father moved to Spring Lake Heights, close to the ocean, and my mom moved to Red Bank, closer to the ocean, but I never got the saltwater bug. In fact I really hated the beach. 

     After The River Runs Through It I started fly fishing and cut my teeth on rivers like the Manasquan, which is made for fly fishing....not really, and then the northern Jersey Rivers like the Rockway, Paulkinskill, and Flat Brook. Even after I started helping out at The Fly Hatch in between my shifts at the firehouse in Newark it was all about the Upper Delaware and trout, a place I had started to go and love since the mid 1990's. 

     When I worked at The Fly Hatch it was more saltwater then fresh. Regulars included Fahar, Popovics, Hoblitzell, Eidman, Dennis, Shapiro and all the rest of the Jersey fly anglers. But still I resisted until Dave sold me, with my employee discount, my first saltwater set up. 

     And then in 2001 Captain Corey Pietraszek had me out off of Newport picking along the rocks for schoolie striped bass, and that was my first striped bass. Through the next years I still focused most of my attention to the Upper Delaware. Countless tripes to The West Branch Angler where I aways wade fished never hired a guide for a drift boat trip. It wasn't until 2009, and moving to Ocean Township, that I developed the addiction for striped bass on the fly rod. I was literally 5 minutes from the ocean depending on which I route I took and if I didn't get stopped by the Loch Harbor police officer shooting radar set up on Grassmere Avenue. 


      I really got into striper fishing during the fall of 2009 and didn't catch my second striped bass until June 2010, HERE. When I read that original post I had to laugh how a 22 inch striper "had me into my backing".....loser. And the above is a picture of striped bass number two, 2001 for my first and 2010 for my second. When I compare my "career" in fly fishing for striped bass I realize I am a but a newcomer to my older bestest buds. Some started in the 70's and even the 60's, I was born in 1968, and some even earlier, like in the 1950's. 


     Yep, August 8 1952, that was the day Al got his first striped bass after, if I recall, a year or so of taking the long drive from around the New Brunswick area to fish. He did at night either before or after work. Imagine saying, so Al stopped fishing say five years ago, that you have fished fro striped bass for 75 years. Howe many beautiful mornings, how many storms, and how many bass? I miss my friend Al, dearly, and I will make sure to email him this post. The last time we were together was September 2019 right before he moved down south to North Carolina with his wife Evelyn. I was afraid that would be the last time we got to talk in person although we have stayed in some kinda touch by phone and email since. 


Thursday, February 4, 2021

02.04.21 Quick, someone call Frank Pallone....

     This fall I ventured down to Seaside hitting spots along way, Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Mantoloking, and points south. These beaches have gone through rounds of beach replenishment in recent years. And like we've said before, this is insanity. Throwing billions of dollars into a failed attempt to curb Mother Nature and the normal ebb and flow of the natural coastline, why, to protect those that feel encroaching and setting up shop right on the ocean front is s good idea. They have no worries, as long as vote hungry politicians like Frank Pallone are willing to make them happy and work with the DEP and ACE to pump useless large grain sand up onto the beach. Its makes for a nice, well really not nice, beach for a summer or two, and then its gone. 

     That stretch of beach replenishment probably cost somewhere around 5-10 million dollars. It looks they lost probably 60-80 of beach, from grade in the ocean to over 8 foot at the dunes. Well done, and this wasn't even one of those big fall storms.  

     People are stupid. You can't fuck with Mother Nature. Someone please stop this insanity. 


 Photos came from Surfcaster's Facebook page, photo credit to Suzie and Ed, Realtors, HERE

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

02.03.21 Todays the ASMFC meeting....



   If you are interested and have the time to attend virtually heres the link, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4886491769864000527, the meeting ID is  151-774-483. 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

01.31.21Starting to feel like winter now....

 

     So I know it waaayyyy to early to really start monitoring the river but I couldn't help but notice the ice that has started to form on the river. Haven't really seen that this year. Water temps down at 32 degrees, air temps around 25 degrees, and we're about to get 12-16 inches of snow out here along the river tomorrow. Its good for the system, better than the flooding rain s of the spring. 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

01.30.21 We lost a good local guy.....



     Jeff Dement worked for the American Littoral Society and amongst many things he was in charge of the striped bass tagging program. He had an office out on Sandy Hook and spent hours teaching classes and seine netting the estuaries around Monmouth County.


     Before Jeff started working for the environment he was a Union structural Ironworker, that's him below working at the Union County incinerator. RIP Jeff


 

Friday, January 29, 2021

01.29.21Take a look at this when you're planning this year.....


     Its that about time of year when Cabin Fever sets in. Without the shows this year its setting in a little quicker and deeper than normal. So what do we do? We tie flies, we build rods, we make plans. We make plans to take those days of to make extended weekends, quick runs to our favorite fishing spots, or a vacation to a further destination. Before you go, if its truly a fishing trip, you might want to take a look at the mood calendar and tide schedule. 

    There would be nothing worse than having a dead low moon tide that occurs during the morning and evening when the fishing could be best. While I get it that you go when you can go, taking a look now can help you make the best plans, or lower your expectations knowing now that, in reality, your trip trip will just plain suck because of the moon and tides.

  

Monday, January 25, 2021

01.25.21 Love when memories show up on Facebook...


     So I fired up the computer and this was the image that greeted me when I went onto Facebook, which I do for the Marketplace. Anyway, its from 8 years ago, January 25, 2012. That's me on the third floor of the corner building at Broad and Monmouth and Streets in Red Bank. It was cold and freezing outside and I needed to practice for my upcoming FFF Casting Instructor Exam (CI) at The Fly Fishing Show. 

     Well, I attended the class, passed the written, spit the bit on the performance, mostly instructional  portion, and was told "I was very close". I took it the next year, and failed that time also. No three's a charm here, I'm good. 
 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

01.24.21 No Fly Fishing Show this weekend....

      Yep, would have been a good time, for many reasons, to enjoy the fly fishing show n catch up with old and new friends. While my fly tying room is full, there are a few things I need to get, so I'll reach out to Brad Buzzi and see if I can stock up before the season. 

      Looking at the next year schedule Edison's show is Jan 28-30th. 



     And while this blog is political, it can skirt the fringes of politics, current, events and fly fishing. Memes- I still don't know what that word means, have become a daily occurrence on social media, and now the mainstream media. while I listened to the inauguration on the radio between patients, I guess Bernie Sanders put on a show with his outfit and look while seated and social distancing. Some of them we pretty funny, not mocking the man, just whitty. Here's one to do with fly fishing and the other, just funny. 






Saturday, January 23, 2021

01.23.21 Gonna be a fortune to drive on land or on the water....


      Today, now three days after the inauguration, I went to fuel up at the WaWa in Ewing. The image above was from April 8, 2020, the image below is from today. $1.89 less than a year ago, today $2.55. Not sure if its Covid, politics, or prose fixing- but I think by summer it will be way over $3, maybe over $4. Time stamp. That just sucks





Thursday, January 21, 2021

01.22.21 Let the countdown begin......


       Delaware River stalking begins. Today I passed by, well I do everyday, but this time little south coming from Columbus Market. Saw the boat ramp at Bordentown and watched as the gulls picked up stuff up and down the river. 

     January 21st and it s 37 degrees, that' snot too bad. They say the bass start moving up when the water hits 50 degrees an the spawn occurs when it rises above 60, with 65 the best temperature. While there other components that attribute to a successful spawning year, the water temps, in addition to their natural instincts, put them in or near their natal grounds where they will attempt to spawn. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

01.20.21 President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.....


     Today Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oath of office. While this is a a fly fishing blog, every now and then I like to include some important events and give my two cents. I'm embarrassed the way our politicians act, well let me say the more extremist types on the far right and far left. I'm also embarrassed for the way the citizens of this country act, well let me say the more extremist types on the far right and left. I despise the media, well let me sat the more extremist biased types of the far right and left. 

     We have become, or allowed us to become a nation divided. Divided because we pick sides, and even through the rhetoric and, well bullshit, we, as hypocrites, wave the banner and yell all the while we are holding ourselves in some higher morale character then the people around us. We have become a nation of cowards and followers, like sheep. 

     I prefer to keep myself in the middle of the road, you know kind of Average. Pulse doesn't change either way. I will always support, but may not vote for the current President. I supported Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden. Joe Biden is MY President. If Trump won he would be MY President. I always hated to see people saying "Not My President", well folks thats just not true. If you are a citizen of these United States, then there is only one President, and now, thats Joe Biden.

     You can think that a president isn't your president, just like your parents aren't your parents, your boss isn't your boss, or that you don't have to pay taxes or obey the law, well you do. Now that doesn't mean you have to agree with everything that that person or party believes. Now that's hard to believe when you see how lopsided the votes are in the Senate and the House. Party lines, have to go, as does term limits, and hopefully one day the two-party system. 

     So now I hope, and may God Bless Biden and Harris as they lead us forward. They will do their best, succeed hopefully at most, hopefully be able to make amends when they fail, all the while the people of this great country stop hiding behind the bullshit and look out and care for each other. Stop believing everything the media tells you, stop reading to social media bullshit from strangers, family and friends, and take care of yourself and each other. 

And can we all just go fishing? 

 

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 NY....am 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.