Wednesday, February 21, 2018

02.21.18 Seventy degrees today- but not when I was there.....

     At 120 pm in Red Bank it was 74 degrees. This morning around 9 down on the beach it was 46 and felt just about freezing. Figured I would give it a go and I did. Incoming tide, supposed to be warm, was warm yesterday, figured maybe a few smaller early birds (bass) might be looking for a meal. Well I didn't. Found a buddy who's been hitting it on and off and he hasn't got his first 2108 bass just yet. 

     Glad its the slow season as I've been busier than ever. Our Red Bank house is under contract, we're out of attorney review for our purchase out near Lambertville, and work, school, and clinical keep my schedule tight. We have stuff in storage and can't find things, I wear the same clothes more often than I should, and we are starting to hoard boxes and begin to pack what's not in storage. And then there's moving day......that'll be a hoot. Like mama always said though, don't count your chickens before they hatch. I am also looking for a small apartment rental in Red Bank if anyone knows of one drop me a text 732 261 7291. We would be bringing our house dog with us. 

     I've been missing tying night with friends since they started a month ago. Work and school keep me unavailable for most Tuesdays and I couldn't find my vice and fly tying stuff if my life depended on it. The picture below is from a Tuesday night session at Roe's house. I was able to pop in as the guys were tying albie flies. 

      I bought a little somethin-somethin for those Tuesday night that I can make. It's the FishSkull fly tester. I remember when these came out a few years ago and were the cat's meow. It'll be neat to tie one up and swim it at the table. Great for finding what and what doesn't work.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

01.28.18 Wow.....only two posts this month !!!

     Yep, little bit of a late entry here this week. I gave it a go this past Monday when the air temps were about 50 and the water somewhere around 40. I didn't get a bump but it was nice to just get out and air out some casts. I ran into Andy whose been at it on and off since the New Year and he hasn't got his first 2018 bass just yet. That cold spell really shut things down. 

     This past weekend was The Fly Fishing Show at its new location in Edison. I heard some good things and some things that need to be worked out. Weird flow, maybe less crowds, food and drinks not the same as the other place, more boats and less vendors. Also heard the soundproof partitions between the seminars were like talking next to a screen door. But friends saw friends and guys picked up gear and supplies and hopefully the local shops and tyers made it worth their effort and time. I didn't get there. Work Friday, clinical Saturday, and a big open house on Sunday. Its okay. I was okay with missing a year. Lot going one, and maybe lots of changes coming. 

     Looking forward to a good 2018.......

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

01.03.17 For Sale by Owner- 41 Leroy Place Red Bank

    Happy New Year! Hope 2018 is a great year for you and yours. We are starting off the year putting our home at 41 Leroy Place in downtown Red Bank up for sale. Work and school are taking me to the western part of New Jersey so it'll be catching the striped bass when they're in the Delaware River more than when they're going up or down the Jersey Shore beaches. 

     It's a great house, super location, a few hundred feet to downtown Red Bank. 3/4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, finished basement, and a sweet man cave in the back. Sale price will be $495,000. Texting is best for anyone that is or knows anyone looking in Red Bank...732 261 7291. We're heading to Florida tomorrow and will be starting to show it after January 16th. 

     And yesterday I took a drive down to the beach. Of course it's cold with the arctic blast just freezing us out. Didn't see any birds working. Water temps probably 42-44 depending on the tide. I'm done till the spring. Time to organize and pack up. Time to move. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

12.31.17 Sad news before the end of the year.....

     On the last day of this tough year I got up to have a cup of coffee and watch the news. My heart sank when I learned of a Newark fireman in grave condition following a multi-alarm fire in the cities North Ward. It happened last night in a tire joint on Park Ave right near Summer and Bloomfield Avenues. It's a building I know, and may have a fire in myself when I was on the job. 

     Paul Leber is from 7 Engine and has been on the job 10 years. It sounds like evacuation tones were sounded and was separated from his men briefly and was found by his company and Rescue 1. He was brought to UMDNJ and transferred to Jacobi in the Bronx, I'm thinking for the hyperbaric chamber treatment. Godspeed Brother. 

    Each year has its highs and lows. This year we got hit hard a big low. The holidays have ben tough since Ryan's death. I miss my son greatly. Since he went to school and lived away from home I still catch myself thinking he's just away and will be returning soon. I hope 2018 brings health and happiness, and better striped bass fishing, to you and yours. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

12.19.17 Been awhile and it'll be awhile......

     It's been about 10 days since I was last out. Anglers up and down the coast have been having fun with the micro and schoolie bass as of late. They're chasing small bait and herring. Funny thing is the herring chasers are usually those fat footballs from 20" to keeper sized bass.

     I was excited to go but then got bored real quick. Incoming. Flat. Gin clear. Not signs of bait or birds. I started on the beach and then moved to Ryan's Rock. It's interesting when you spread a loved ones ashes somewhere and the connection you have with them and that spot. Ryan was never on that rock, nor on Phillips, but for me it is a place where I feel a connection. It was worth getting up from bed early for that.

     I fished for about an hour and managed two little guys. That's it for me. Lot going on. Tough holidays this year. Wrapping up school. Maybe a move in our near future. You never know where life is going to take you.

Friday, December 8, 2017

12.08.17 A few before the first snow.....

      Busy week and not much fishing. Seems like guys are chomping at the bit for things to change. There's more bait around and herring and maybe sand eels are close and keeping the little guys busy. I headed down tonight on the start of the incoming and landed seven in the near dark. There was just enough light around from the cloud hidden moon to feel like I wasn't fishing at night. Water was flat and I didn't see any sign of life so it was finding some spots with water and blind casting. 

     Sad news this week along the Jersey Shore as bigger water and wind claimed the life of Ronald Moore, 69. of Union, who was fishing Fisherman's Beach on Sandy Hook. Allegedly a wave had taken his gear off the beach and into the water and he went in to get it. A fellow fisherman witnessed it and alerted authorities who were able to locate his body but he was pronounced dead at Monmouth Medical hours later. RIP Ron. It could happen to any one of us. Very sad. 

Joe Pheiffer photo
     And Joe sent me this photo from a morning outing in real fishy looking water. Looks like he was using a sand eel imitation. I just wish there were fish the next size up to keep things interesting. A December fish thats bigger than 26" will probably be the pool winner. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

12.04.17 Back from the North Country....

     This past weekend we decided to have a change of scenery and headed up to my sisters house in Saranac Lake. The cool country air does the body, mind and soul good. Although it was quick it was nice to see my sister and her family and spend some time outdoors. Above is the view from one of the high peaks, well, not really, its Baker Mountain in Saranac lake.

     It was back to clinical and cramming in to meet the requirement for hours for this semester. After I went down to the ocean. It was just about dead low and it looked like the dead sea. Not sure what the large structure on pillars is off Deal but I am sure its up to no good. I gave it a go walking out on the bar but didn't get a tap. I planned on heading back out this evening in the dark.

     I got down around 5 o'clock and it was just past the mid-flood tide. The big moon and the E-SE wind had some bigger water and waves rolling in. I found a perch on the rocks and used a black and purple sand eel fly which I got eight to eat. The biggest was 24" which is this falls keeper-sized-prize. I have heard of some bigger fish, the 26-32", being caught down south. And I still am reading about 6-800 fish days on the Captree boats in New York. If that bait and those fish don't move then they will all be caught and kept, or gaffed and released.

    Rain and cold on the way so who knows what will happen. Seems like less and less anglers out until word hits when someone starts catching consistently, or a keeper is caught and posted online. Would be nice to have some bigger fish hit the beaches, at least up this way. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

11.30.17 Thought they'd chew....

     I thought I was done with the boat the other day. Work and clinical the last few days and off to Lake Placid to my sisters on Friday. Boat had to be out of the marina by tomorrow so I'd figure why not give it a shot. There's been good reports across the pond, and even over here.......

Well that stopped maybe yesterday. 

     Headed out wind against tide NE versus the outgoing. Sloppy ride through the rip and once out it got a bit better. Didn't see any birds working and not much for bait on top, but did mark a bunch. So I went from Sandy Hook to Highlands bridge to out about 2 miles to Breezy to Gravesend to Hoffman to West Bank to Keansburg....... not a touch. 

     So with that the boat season is over. I dropped it off at Gateway for winterization. In a way I am glad its over. I know longer have to think which way to go, beach or boat. While I think its over, like over, except for a straggler here or there, I will still give it a go from time to time. It makes me laugh to hear "of a ton of fish in Massachusetts" and "there's herring here now". Well I'm saying "it's over"- as far as the fall run is concerned. I hope you got at least one keeper sized bass this fall. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

11.27.17 This little guy was special.....

     So about 1 o'clock I got to the beach. I'll explain where I came from later, but when I got there it was a whole different planet. The water was flat, the sun was out, and it wasn't fishy looking at all. So I walked the beach, a lot of beach, throwing sand eel flies and Deciever's trying to get something to bite.

     It was getting time to get Erin from a school but as I reeled in I looked up and saw Phillips in the distance. Yep, Phillips Ave. Had a bunch of tough moments on those rocks. Shortly after Ryan's service I spread some of his ashes on one particular rock. It had been weeks since I stood on it and, even though I was tight on time, I decided to pay him a visit.

     It was the same flat boring water there also, and I spent some minutes thinking about him and playing Blackbird by Paul McCartney on my iPhone. After about a dozen casts I went tight after a long cast. It wasn't a big fish, but it was a fine fish, and the first fish I had caught standing on his rock since his death. It was a nice moment.

     So, I have been waiting to have one last boat trip. Due to scheduling this morning was it. The wind predictions were horrible, especially coming out of Raritan Bay. NW to 25 with an incoming tide. Well, I got wet as soon as I left the breakers. It was a slow ride out and I finally found the birds between Romer and West Bank. Tons of birds. I made my way near them and found the bunker, but didn't see a splash or mark a fish. Conditions were similar across the pond but, from what I hear, they had better results.

     Thinking they must be out, like three miles out I took the wet, shitty, sloppy, ride and marked some fish in tens of feet of water but between the wind against tide and the quick sets I didn't last long. As bad as it was, it got worse when I turned around and pointed myself to the dredge at The Rip. It took a long time to get there, and then even worse passing through and then turning the corner inside. When I got there the Coast Guard was waiting. I guess they figured one of us idiots was gonna need help.

     while I knew the afternoon would be great with the same wind and outgoing tide, I just couldn't do the later session. I would have loved to been out there, I bet it was good. The new ride is sweet, handles the boat great. Handles the ramp at near dead-low tide, okay.....thank God I'm a multi-chock kinda guy. wouldn't it just be my luck to sink my new truck?


Sunday, November 26, 2017

11.26.17 Guessin' somebody is hanging it up....

     Well, not sure if that angler forgot their waders or just hung it up for the season. People just waiting for something to happen. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I was surrounded by family and we did as good as we could. Not an easy first holiday for the gang. 

     It was work on Friday and clinical at the hospital on Saturday but I did get out for a bit after, right before high tide. It was cranking S wide and the swell and right to left sweep, well, sucked. I fished in two towns plus the hook for 2 hours and didn't get a tap. I'm thinking the little guys like the troughy low water. I switched up and went with a Brad Buzzi sand eel fly but got no takers as well. 

    There's been a constant, like guaranteed, schoolie bite that seems to happen at lower water or at first or last light mostly. Fly anglers have been breaking out the 6 or 7 weights and having loads of fun. Remember, especially with these smaller fish, to pinch down the barbs. Little guys taking bigger flies have the hook more into heads than lips. 

Leif Peterson photos

Thursday, November 23, 2017

11.23.17 Happy Thanksgiving.........

    Thanksgiving 2017. Mixed one for me. Ryan's passing has me bummed, but yet I am thankful for many things. Thankful to have had 21 years with him, although I wish there were more. I am thankful for my other children who challenge me and make me proud each day. I am thankful for things that matter, and leave the little stuff behind. To me, there is nothing bigger than your children, followed by family, and then friends. My job, house, truck, college, even fly fishing, doesn't matter in the end. However, for some reason, striped bass always seem to matter., lol. 

I wish all the readers here a very thankful Thanksgiving. 

    Back to fishing for a moment. I didn't go today, and won't go tomorrow , but I did go after work last night for 40 minutes. Birds working off the beach in the dark illuminated by the street signs. I got one, maybe 20 inches, that I didn't need to photograph as proof.

    My friend Suzanne had a nice outing during the light hours connecting on several nice fat fish that took sand eel patterns, I keep wondering if were gonna see that sand eel bite, which is usually best in low light, or from a boat. Got some friends that say the true fall run is over, I might agree. Yes, we may crush the schoolies and micros into December, but is anyone from the beach gonna get one that goes better than 30 inches??

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11.21.17 Schoolie invasion.....

     Started at first light in a spot that wasn't looking promising so I took a short drive and settled in. Soon the bunker was just off the beach and the birds were working. A few boats stopped but I didn't see anyone hook up. Incoming tide, southish wind, right to left hard sweep. Landed five to 24 inches. 

     Well I switched teams. after having Dodges since I was 17 today I bought a Ford. My Ram 1500 needed a new owner, one willing to sink another thousand into it. Lately it was starting to make some funny front end noises, it was just time to bite the bullet. I found a 2014 F-150 that is SWEET!!! Now the payments begin. It rides like a luxury car. Big shout out to my wife who supported this all the way.

     After the hours at the dealership the sun was starting to set but I was really into fishing in the dark. Buddies had a real good day as the schoolies invaded up and down the county beaches. In the dark was no different. Since I emptied my truck I didn't have all of my stuff and I found a large black Snake Fly that I went to work with.

     I had a few tugs and when I hooked one it pulled my poorly tied know. I switched to a smaller black and green Deciever that got me a couple. Luckily Leif was in the area with one of his big-eyed flies in the right color combo for the dark. I landed eight fish to around that 24" mark. Would have loved to have stayed as I know it could have been a banner night. But it's back to work Wednesday and then turkey day and work Friday, so I'll miss out on the schoolie fun. One thing though, with no peanuts around, I wonder if these fish are on sand eels?