Sunday, November 19, 2017

11.19.17 No fish but found some neat things....

     Got out a few times this weekend. Today at first light with the wind and rain. The rain passed but the winds honked the whole time I was out. Made stops and casts from Asbury to the Hook. Saw some birds out a bit at Monmouth Beach but they never came inside the surfers. 

    Found the above fishy spot down south yesterday and went back today but it was un-fly-rod fishable at least on the incoming. Its nice to find fishy spots and then go back and hook up in the same spot. It really is a different year than last year. Last year we were digging all the peanut bunker on the beach but not so much this year. I'm thinking that window has passed, I think the bait has emptied out of the bay for the most part. Last temps I had a Keansburg was 49 on the outgoing. 

    Some cool things I found were the two Leifs yesterday out enjoying some father and son time on the beach. It was nice to see, but it did leave me thinking of Ryan and all the missed opportunities we would have had in the future. That just sucks. It was dead low and I guess we were thinking  it would be a good time to walk out onto the bar and finding some bait and feeding fish. The wind went hard S and I didn't see anything. 

      After moving north yesterday I found some crew of future sharpies. It wasn't the first time I met them. Funny to see who has gear, who needs gear, and who needs to make out a list for Santa. One thing is these guys need some waders!! A mix of waders, Die-Hards, LL Beans, and Vans! Good to see the kids fishing.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

11.16.17 Quick window with the long rod......


     Clinical was over by 1245 today so I was on the beach near the hospital by 1. Had Daddy duty starting at 230 so there was a window. Stopped in a spot where I was all alone and it looked and was dead. Incoming with bigger waves breaking on the bar that was just close enough to physically avoid, but far away where you couldn't reach it with ease. I could have done it with the 13'6" spey rod I had but I wasn't looking to blind cast. The water was off color and it didn't look inviting to swim in or fish.

    I moved up the beach a bit where there some birds and a few boats. By time I left there the boats had sniffed the bunker out and were almost on the beach which was lined with surfcasters. At my second stop I didn't even cast, met a blog follower Bob, and waited for someone on the beach to catch. It may have happened later but not while I was there. I saw a boat fish caught, mostly anglers from boat and beach were sang and dropping.


     It is that time of year again where guys are waiting for something to happen. Its not fishing, but waiting. When you're in this mode you could be out for hours and never make a cast, kinda like waiting for the hatch on a trout river. I find that you do have to look and move this time of year, which I kind of enjoy. Its like being in a boat and drifting or motoring around rather than being anchored up.

     Seems to be more of these smaller fish along the beach and wash this past week. Leif got a handful today and Joe the same yesterday. You know what small fish mean? It's coming to an end, or are there more good fish heading south? We're all saying it's late this year, which it is. We'll recap in mid-December. One things for sure, I miss the sand eel bite. 

Leif Peterson photo

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

11.15.17 Got tossed around a bunch today....

     Had Leif on the boat for the first time today. We were watching the forecast looking at the winds and tides, but really it didn't matter we were going regardless. Theresa and I got in late last night after having a great show, even from our nosebleed seats, with the Dead & Company at MSG.

For you Dead fans, and there's a bunch that visit here, I think John Maher is doing a great job and fitting in nicely with the band. Some really cool surprises last night that didn't disappoint. We loved, Brown-eyed Woman, Man Smart-Woman Smarter, Tennesee Jed, St. Stephen and we split before a great U.S. Blues encore. For them it's off to Philly for a Thursday show. One thing that is ridiculous is two adult round-trip tickets to MSG from Red Bank is $64.00. That was early evening bummer.

     Back to today. It wasn't too bad out until you got to the corner and made the turn. Wind against tide had things a tad sloppy and washing machine like out there. Throw in some nice swells and rollers on the Knoll and it was bumpy and chilly late fall striper fishing at its best. The only thing that could have made it better is if I put Leif on some bigger fish.


     So when we got out the birds were there, as were about 30 boats, from ones that maybe shouldn't have been, like two kayakers (not judging-but nuts), and the fleet of party boats that mostly hugged the Rip through most of the outgoing tide, and other sized crafts mixed in. We took a ride down the beach, didn't see or mark much early and decided to go find some birds and fish which we did. Great marks, great birds and bait, the only problem was that all we could find were those feisty 20-25" dark green and black backed schoolies.

     After playing with them for a while and at times doubled up, we went looking for bigger fish. I know those bigger bass can't resist those big Mojo's or those swim shads, but we couldn't find one to eat a fly. As noon arrived and the tide was slowing down wee snuck inside and Leif caught the only keeper of the day. Pulled up, two boils, one cast, that fish.

     It's that decision making time again, when to pull the boat. Thinking this just might be it. I prefer the beach. I have dreams of catching big bass on big bunker flies thrown from my spey rod. The marina has shut off all water so I have to drive to Long Branch to give her a good flush and wash each time. We'll see, you know I can never pull the plug. Well, sometimes I forget to put it in!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

11.14.17 20's, 30's and 40's in front of me......

  I'm putting myself between a rock and a hard place. I have this big project due at school. Tonight is an evening with the Dead & Company at the Garden. The girls have to be driven to school. What to do? Ask the wife for permission and some help, get a yes, and then hit the beach.

    I started taking a look and meeting two nice guys that were just coming off the beach. They were ready. They had found good fish yesterday and we talked a little about striped bass, the stock and releasing them, and the ridiculous boat traffic as of late. They had a plan, I didn't, and we went our separate ways.

    I stopped by a spot I have come to like and as soon as I made the turn the trucks and cars were lined up. As I crested the dune they were lined up on the beach. Later. I didn't care if there were fish in front of them or not. I want to find my own fish.

    So I got back in the truck and found a plethora of birds off the beach diving on bait. I made my way down to the water and gave it a go but in my mind I was trying figure out which way they might head. I got back in my truck and made the decision to not chase, but settle into a spot and just fish. When I parked there was one truck parked. It was perfect.

    When I got to the water it was game on. The truck owner was hooked up. The birds had done what I thought they might, and they were over bait and bass. The bunker was spraying in the waves and where bass, some big bass, were blowing up on them. They were in range and my first cast had me go tight, on an 20" fish. Not that I don't like the schoolies, but really?

     The bait, birds and fish were inside the bar and the action came and went, over and over again. Lasted maybe a good near 2 hours. Soon, we were joined by others, in the end maybe a dozen guys on my left and right. All spin fishing and most throwing big poppa-ma-jiggers that caught the really big ones. There were teens, 20's, 30's and 40's in the mix and all, but one keeper, were released. As the water ebbed the bite was over the bar and it was time for me to go get to schoolwork. Those two guys I met earlier arrived when things had slowed.

    One reason I like fishing alone is because when you catch you think that's it. They were there, I got them, I'm happy. But when you're catching the smaller fish, for me it was a good day of 10 to 32 inches, you don't want to see what is really out there in front of you that you just can't reach.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

11.12.17 Hit it for a bit in the afternoon too...

     Couldn't take homework anymore and I hoped that the Jets and Giants fans had left to watch the games. Sweet conditions down there and not to many folks around but I couldn't get a bite. Watched some birds gathering and the boats move in but that was it. I didn't see a fish caught today, from beach or boat, but I'm sure they were. Luckily tomorrow's Monday and they'll get a much needed break and be able to do a head count on who survived the weekend's slaughter.

11.12.17 Just a nice walk and some casts.....

     Not too bad out there this morning but as I get old it doesn't take much to get my fingers numb and painful. It was 29 and then 31 by the time I left. Had s stretch to myself before sunrise but soon the boats made their way north and south and kind of met along the stretch I fish. Didn't see much for bait  or birds. They must be there because why would 200 boats be all on top of each other. Thinking there's a lot of snag and dropping or live-lining going on but I'm sure there's some topwater action at times.
Shore Catch Guide Service
     The above photo was taken by Cast Jim Freda of Shore Catch Guide Service with an example of some of the fish that are now passing by and seem to be concentrated from Long Branch to IBSP, give to take a few towns.

     The water was flat and skinny at towards the end of the outgoing so I picked up and took a ride to see the boat show. I have no interest fishing with then boats in front of me or anglers beside me. It's just not for me. I don't care if others or catching or not catching. I like finding my own quiet spot and hoping for something to go down.

     I made my way north and found just that. A long stretch of beach with hardly anyone around and no boast in front of me. Peacefully. Therapeutic. Relaxing. And just as good of a stretch of water as anywhere else. There was no one home, and I didn't see any bait or birds. That was fine by me.

Leif Petersen photo
     This is the time of year where you either just walk on and time it just right, fish hard and get rewarded or not, or do more chasing reports and standing around and watching others fish and waiting for something to happen. Yesterday the guys were out on the beach and they had good action with each getting a dozen fish to 26 inches. They say they didn't see any bait just blind casting into fishy water. Love the schoolies but a dozen of 26-34 inch fish would be just a tad better. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

11.11.17 Happy Veteran's Day.....

     Thanks to all Veterans past, present and future who serve to protect our freedoms and lives. It looked like a re-enactment of the Normandy invasion on the beach when I stopped by around 130. Air temps were up to 38 degrees and the water looked great. Only saw a few anglers actually fishing from the beach but more were standing and watching and waiting from the road.

     Didn't see much for birds and no bait along the beach. Someone out there must have been catching. Heard it was the same thing near some southern inlets. Maybe the post moon and cool temps got the bait and some kind of body of fish moving. I'll pass on the hysteria but will time my outings when the water is around and moving.

Friday, November 10, 2017

11.10.17 What a difference 13 hours makes.....

     Hit it before work for a solid hour but had a hard time finding water during the dead low tide. It was nice though 46 degrees out. Still no signs of birds or bait, although I did see the whales breaching in the distance. Tonight 13 hours later I was back at it, this time for 30 minutes. Air temps were 28 degrees and there was still hardly any water on the near dead low tide. I did find some water though and I thought I might get lucky and pull something out. I tip my hat to guys hitting the beach in the morning, gonna be like high teens with a wind chill in the single digits. Not me. Good luck!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

11.09.17 Worked today but a friend got one.....

Joe Pheifer photo
     Had to work today but I stopped by the water before and after work. Things starting to look good and the anglers that are going to brave the upcoming colder weather should find some fish on the beach. Hate the dead low at first light so finding fishy water is key. While at work Joe text me that he found one to eat a fly. I like his picture above. 

     When I got home I was happy to see a quick turn around from Orvis and I'm back ready for the boat. My favorite H2 11wt was there as was a Depth Charge 350 gr line. I wrapped the other line around the prop the other day so I'm back in boat business whenever I get back out. Probably and hopefully next week, but I have a big project due so well see how that goes.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

11.08.17 Disappointing......

     I finished up at clinical with a noon luncheon sponsored by the antipsychotic Artistada and didn't have to be in Red Bank to meet my son Sean for a bite until to the beach it was. I changed from my suit into my fishing garb and caught the outgoing. Wish it was as clean as it was yesterday but it was off color.....not Yoo-Hoo but getting there. We need a wind change and a tide or two to clean it up.

     Fished the rocks and the beach before making a move to a spot. It was the kind iOS spot when you knew it was coming, the fish that it, and not if, but when. On every retrieve I waited to go tight. I had the perfect tide, the perfect amount of water, although a bit off color, and a dampened wind. All I needed was some bass, and more importantly some bait.....

Well, neither came, but I had fun for a few hours. Gonna get cold this weekend....get ready.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

11.07.17 Took a beating to get two.....

     My thought was to get out there early with the NE wind pushing the incoming in. Thought maybe it wouldn't be too sporty out there, forget it. Got bumped around and saturated for the first two hours. Checked out front and marked some fish but either I wasn't getting my fly down far enough or the fish were on the move with the ripping wind with tide. Today wasn't a dry fly day as the fish weren't up. Just a quick picture from a Facebook post showing a nice fish, and I think what was used to catch it. I think its called a MoJo. Looks like it weighs about three pounds must really get down in front of those big fish.

     Finally found the birds over the bait that was on the move. Saw an occasionally blow up and peanut spray but nothing you could set up on or even run and gun to, although the other boats that joined tried to. The feds came and chased those that were getting to close and that sudden gunning of everyone's engines had things come to a halt.

     I stuck through everyone leaving and did find fish in less than 10 feet of water. Got two, a mini and a nice fish that pulled much bigger than its length. I was back in at 1 pm and had a window so I hit the beach. Gorgeous conditions with clean and green white water but no signs of birds or bait. Fished for an hour before scouting a new spot that I am definitely going to call second home. Wind was cranking' in the boat and the same thing on the beach.

     Glad I went. I am thinking that after the next three days of work, along with the cold front and terrible wind the days after that that might have been my last boat trip. I don't see things improving in the Bay, and not sure about out front, but I do see things getting better on the beach, where I prefer to be.