Put a fork in it.....I'm done. Striper fishing continues to be disappointing or non-existent along the Jersey Shore. This morning the coffin got nailed shut. Here's why....
High tide was at 148 am. There was a west wind and the temperatures have been moderate. By 330 am I was in the water two hours into the outgoing tide. The water was flat and perfect for popping a bass up, or so I thought. I started in one town throwing a popper up and down two groins and two beaches over two hours. No a swirl, not a tail slap, not a nothing.
As the sun rose I jumped to a different town and two more groins....more of the same....nothing. Didn't see any bait, didn't see any birds, not a bluefish...nothing. The only thing I saw was a calf deep collection of mussels that had washed up on the beach. At least that was something to notice and take a picture of.
No one, well that's not fair, well I, really enjoy first light and the sunrise and the chance of catching a fish. Love the experience and the environment and all that.....but I have zero belief that there a bass in the surf, in any numbers, or with any consistency. This time last year I had a steady stream of clients out doing the 5-9 am shift on the beaches and groins. Each trip produced at least a bass and a fluke or two. Below is a video of Guy holding a sweet July 20th bass we found around 830 am during a hot stretch of weather. I have to admit I was as surprised as he, and the fish, was.
So now I can't paint the entire Jersey Shore fishery as done and dead. Die hards putting in their time are still finding a bass or two in the rivers and bays, mostly in the dead of night. Backwater guides like Dan Schafer of Insomniac Guide Service down in Stone Harbor continue to ply the backwaters for summer bass. If you're in Stone Harbor this summer look Dan up HERE. Below is a recent pic of one of Dan's clients with a nice summer bass.
So as I want to rush through summer and await the arrival of fall, and the bait and stripers I have to move in a different direction. This week I will be switching over to offering trips on the lakes and ponds of western Monmouth County looking for the other bass, largemouth bass, and pickerel on the fly rod. We will be popping the pads in my pontoon boat which is set up perfectly for the single fly rodder with a built in stripping basket and casting platform and leaning post. This week i'll be scouting out some of the waters that I fished when I was a kid 35 years ago. Talk about circle of life, or life's full circle, or whatever it is.
If you'd like to try the freshwater we can do a four hour float, or do a full day. Give me a call to set something up 732.261.291