Wednesday, December 7, 2016

12.07.16 That might be a wrap......

     Couldn't pull the trigger on where to head today. Tempted to stay north or go south, so I took a quick drive south. Ended up in Seaside Park. Bassy looking water, bucktail type of water. Saw guys either driving around or on the beach. Tough fly rod water, even at the low tide. Couldn't find them in the shallows so I moved north, checking occasional spots as I went. 

     I had my head set on a spot and as I worked north the water got progressively more dirty. This has to do with all of the beach replenishment. Water wasn't Yoo-Hoo but it was close. I worked some pockets and open beach with a sinking one and a bigger white Snake Fly but didn't have a tap. Pockets were dirty with foam, leaves and debris getting caught up on the line and the fly. The fat lady may be done singing but I am going through what so many anglers do each fall into winter, 'When am I done?". With Christmas, kids coming back from school, me finishing up school, and having to play catch up with so many things I have been letting go astray since September, it might be time for me to call it. But, it only takes a window, or a report from friends to drag stuff out and hit it once again.

     There have been rumblings that the Army Corp will be shutting down sections of beaches from Allenhurst through Deal as the sifting and checking for ordinances from WWII have been found. I know this was a big issue down on LBI, and it seems they have moved equipment in to start those processes soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12.06.16 Very slow and nothing to show.....but I did get lucky today

      Got out late, like 9, catching the mid incoming tide. Stayed local, hit the Hook, didn't see any activity. Yesterday the gannets were diving, today nothing. Fished hard, small and then big without a tap. Few other guys out got blanked too. Trying with those dam sand eels but I'm not sure they are here. Seems like south still is holding fish, but that is slowing too. They came, they ate, they are trying to leave. The bait will hold them but then they have to make a choice, "Should I stay or should I go". I saw a NY guide got a few today, good for him and his clients, glad they got them. Not sure where or on what. 

     Hate to say it again, but I think we can get a better grip on what's going on when the Ocean County action, which has been the same fish for 2-1/2 weeks, peders out. Either that, or a new area gets hot.....then we'll truly know. So, for now, it's just good old fishing if you're still into it. Nothing really to chase, not much for bait, bass, or blues, but it is nice walking the beaches all to yourself hoping for that one straggler. I might see if the outgoing tides are better, and maybe even late afternoon. 

     I did get super lucky today. I had fished and went south to check on a spot. After taking a quick peek I was in my truck and pulling alongside The Bagel Oven on Monmouth Street in Red Bank. I looked and looked but couldn't find my wallet. I know I had it. So I went back to my last stop in Monmouth Beach and as I looked over from Ocean Avenue I could see it standing up on edge. One minute later another guy pulled up, who may have grabbed it, to turn it in or search for it's owner, which could have lessened any chance for a return. Got lucky, its a pain in the ass losing your wallet and replacing the license and cards and whatever else we keep in them.

Monday, December 5, 2016

12.05.16 Back from Newport.....and a quick one before work

     Got out in the dark before work. Got one on a sand eel fly and then it was dead. Went through the box before putting on a Greg Myerson (World Record Holder) big rattle fly. Everything he sells has a rattle in it, and this one has a big loud one. It doesn't cast too well, but I had the 11wt with the 300 gr sinking line so it moved through the air. Things looked good, nice water, overcast, just no bait and no fish. Did check it out after work and found lots of big bunker in close but nothing on them.


     Had a great weekend up in Newport. I think we have really decided that in 6 years we will be relocating, or at least selling the Jersey house and buying up there. Can't wait, done with New Jersey. We did Christmas in Newport and had a a blast with too much food and, for me drink, at least on Friday at Scales-N-Shells. We did the mansion tour at The Elms and the tree lighting at Bowen's Wharf. Thankfully it wasn't fishing season so there was no temptation there. I do love Rhode Island, always have. 


Sunday, December 4, 2016

12.04.16 What's on your Christmas list this year?

     So the kids are asking me what I want for Christmas this year. While I see most boats equipped with the heavy Grunden's bibs I was leaning towards the GAGE Weather Watch Bib Trousers. They are made by Grunden's and are a lighter version. The product description is as follows,

Super versatile, completely comfortable, and extremely durable. The Weather Watch Bib features fully adjustable suspenders, 100% waterproof fabric and taped seams, adjustable leg cuffs, a handy right side cargo pocket and an inside chest pocket to keep valuables safe, dry, and easily accessible.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

12.03.16 A reprint blog post from 2012.....

12.03.12 Days don't get any better than this.......


 I'm 44. Today I had Al in the boat. He's 88, soon to be 89. He's twice as old as me. Today he killed it. We took the 10 am - 6pm shift today and started working the fly rod as soon as we could put a line in the water. We managed to get a few to bite down low on a Slab Fly on each drift we made on the outgoing. It was a great start to a great day.
     Al suggested we break for lunch but I asked if we could find a new spot and then eat. He was down for anything. After 8 miles of swell traveling we joined up with a few several different fleets of boats. Some anchored up looking for the bottom dwellers, others on the move looking for the striped ones. As we hurriedly ate we watched as the birds came to life. They were up for the next four hours picking at bait pushed up or stunned from the stripers below. It was December 3rd- the air temp was around 60, an easy W wind, flat seas, with birds, bait and bass- and a great guy in the boat.


     Soon after lunch we switched up and worked flies in the middle to upper portions of the water column throwing Clousers and Rhody Flatwings that were taken aggressively. Once the big boats left it seemed to pick up a bit and there was plenty of room and fish for everyone to have for their own. We didn't want to leave but luckily things slowed down so that helped us in calling it a day.

One thing about today, we caught a bass with a American Littoral Society tag in it and I will do the paperwork on behalf of Al and turn it and the tag back in.


I look forward to taking out Al and his son. He caught his first striper in 1953 and is a wealth of experience and knowledge and a blast to spend the day with.

Friday, December 2, 2016

12.02.16 The best Jersey Blitz video I have seen in some time.....

    The video was captured and made and shared on various websites by Chris McIntee from Philadelphia, who put down the rod for a bit to capture the madness that happens underneath the surface during an all out peanut bunker blitz from Thanksgiving Day 2016 on Island Beach State Park.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

12.01.16 Time for them sand eels.....maybe

      So we are waiting, and hoping, that we get good sand eels this fall. While it has been a great fall run with the intersection of peanut bunker and bass and blues following the Super Moon, we can only hope that sand eels will keep whatever predator fish around and eating. I hate to be a Danny-downer, but I think it's over. 

     On a positive note I received the below pics from Bob Popovic's and they illustrate how perfectly his Fleye Foils can imitate the naturals. While I have difficulty tying them, search it out on You Tube and you will find an easy tutorial to tie them.

     My sand eel box is full of different sizes and colors. Ones that I use on Block Island and Martha's Vineyard and one's I use during the fall here in New Jersey. Bass, and blues, love them. It can extend a season and even our fishing days as nights, sand eels, and bass are a great combination. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

11.30.16 Fun out there in big bassy water....

     I finished up my 15 page research paper on conscience objection at midnight and came up with a plan for a half days fishing for today. I would jump on the Parkway and get down to Seaside Park before first light. Which I did. Problem is that SE swell and the incoming tide, with a south to north sweep has things unfishable for the flyrodder. I moved north and stopped before landing at Brick beach for first light. The top pic is how looked as the sun came up. Really cool clouds. 

     I realized my only chance was to return to Jetty Country where I could at least pick the pockets on the north sides of the rocks. I had a first stop in mind but kept looking at the waters in the towns north of the Manasquan Inlet. When I got there I felt confident, then I moved into position and nearly got pushed back into Convention Hall by a few sets of rouge waves that crashed over the rocks.It was un-fishable there at that moment, and after getting soaked I thought of a different plan.

     While I was soaked to the bone the thing that bothered me the most was that my new iPhone 7 got moist inside an Otterbox Defender case. I know they claim its waterproof, but they surely are not. Be careful and don't trust yours if you get one. I moved north and hit some rocks and and picked one on a chartreuse and white Deceiver. I made a move and hit another pile that held more water.

     It was here I found a little honey-hole that held a trio of bass that took the same fly. Again, the sweep and the shore break had me walking down and then retreating with each cast. That was done to reach the hole and not get knocked over by the incoming waves. I fished near Andy who when I left hadn't connected, but was reworking his way down the beach as the tide ebbed.

     I had last plan in mind and took the ride north. Again, luckily, I found yet another honey-hole that ran along side some rocks. I caught two on the same Deceiver, but then decided to give a sand eel a try. It was a good call, even though I saw no signs of bait, birds, or swirls.

      I tied on a sand eel fly coupled with a Jim Matson Pulse Disc. If you have never tried one of these they give sick action to your fly, especially sand eel patters. The action is increased more on the outgoing tide, in a rip, or coming out of a trough. You can feel the movement as you retrieve or leave the fly swimming with the current. You can check out more on Jim's website at On my first cast I was hooked up to another little guy, and followed that up with another pair and a hickory shad. Not a bad day after all.

      My last stop as the rains came was at Big Monmouth. Didn't make a cast but did notice how much sand has been pulled back into the ocean. Hopefully, soon enough, that killer pocket will return in all of it's bait and bigger fish holding glory. I'm done until Monday, working tonight, and then off to Newport with my lady for Christmas in Newport. Luckily the fish will be gone from there and I won't have to be distracted and what's going on in the water as I enjoy the weekend, giving back a little to my wife who continues to be frustrated, but supportive, of this striped bass illness of mine.