Sunday, August 20, 2017

08.20.17 Came, fished, left....skunk, for me....

Lief Petersen photo
     It wasn't easy getting up this morning and I did hit the snooze button but woke up before it went off and headed out the door, slightly hungover. Had some of the gang from work over with some friends for a BBQ and it was good friends, good food and good drink. Most split early to catch concerts either at PNC or in Asbury. John Mayer was the host ticket for the evening.

     Did get down around 5am and had to catch Leif walking to the beach before he wEnt and caught something. We worked the beach and I started with a black Snake Fly before switching over to a large white Howitzer that didn't move a fish. I thought Lief and I were walking of together but when he

he was staying I knew he would find one, and he did. It took a chartreuse Howitzer. Besides the bass he caught there were snappers and rain fish and after reading SOL I read about the first alibi-off-the-beach sighting. It's starting to feel like fall out there, maybe it'll be sooner than later.

Lief Peterson photo

Friday, August 18, 2017

08.18.17 Had to work hard to get one but at least the storm didn't show......

     First off just want to send a shout-out Happy Birthday to my first born son Ryan who turns 21 today. Always proud to be his Dad, along with the rest of the kids. Wish he was around for a beer.

     When I woke I expected to see the lightning flashes and hear the rain hitting the windows.....nope. Quiet and dry. Got down at 5 am and started with the black Snake, nothing. Popper, nothing. Really, nothing. Walked and walked and walked some more before finding good water that went with the right to left sweep, right to left swell, and south wind. Casting righty sucks in any of those, especially all three. 

     When I did find that spot I new it was fishy and someone would be home. After about 100 over the left shoulder casts this bass hit it just as it was in the top of the last wave that hit the beach. It was a good fight in the bigger water and even bette because one, there was a trough, and two, he tried to hide back in it. Just as I was about to get a quick pic before getting him back in the water that right

 to left sweep suck up behind me and washed the fish away and filled the reel with sand. I can't complain it's my first August bass of the this year, at least I'm on the board.

08.16.17 Plenty of peanuts in the back......

     While Erin and I were looking for crabs at almost dead low tide i guy kind of hurriedly and all-business started to walk the wall. I asked him if he was throwing for snappers and I was surprised when he said, "Peanuts". He was eagle eyed and I watched him like a heron just standing still and staring in the water. I looked over into the brown-end-of-the-tide muck and didn't see anything and then he threw. Really?
    Don't you know he then started to struggle with the throw net. I was like....really. And then it cleared the water and I was like, "Holy shit". One throw, a bucket full of peanut bunker, all the snacks the bluefin would like to find sinking down from the boat.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

08.13.17 Hard to find the water during this quick outing......

     School and work, and sometimes family (kidding!) can really screw up ones fishing. I didn't say mine, I said ones. So can a dead low at 533am. Got down to the water at 5 am before work and gave it one hour. Couldn't really find the water and the fishy spots I did find didn't produce with the popper. I'm thinking Thursday when dead low is in the 9ish range. It's starting to feel like fall. It's cool in the morning. There's bait around. It smells fishy. Just need the fish to move on in. Been watching Montauk and it seems like they may be early there this late summer and fall. Fingers crossed.
     One good thing that I always said about dead-low is the ability to scout. Well after a summer where we had some weather the late summer ho-hum tides and weather has just flattened things out along the beach. Very few fishy spots are showing. Not many troughs, like good deep ones, on the dead low. There's changes in gradient, but not the deep holes, at least around my "home waters". It might be time to spread out a bit and give some other old favorites a look before the fall comes. It's less than a month away before the mullet show, and probably a month and a half before Mother Nature rings in the fall with a mullet-run-killing Nor'Easter.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

08.12.17 Goodies from Fish-Skull arrive.....

     There's definitely some interest out there with Fish-Skull's newer line of poppers. It's taking of in fresh and salt waters. I put an order in and received it today while in the depths of the dreaded final exam. I had no time to play but enough time to go through and see what I ordered. In the end it's    

just more tying stuff that I hopefully will get to sit down and tie into some hopefully usable flies. I'm wondering what the faux bucktail will tie like but I am thinking it'll be great on some Clouser's since they don't flare when you pull them. I haven't used the Fish-Mask yet either and hopefully they'll help with my usual gnarly looking fly heads.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

08.10.17 Dead sea for me......

     Can't shake off the skunk. Down at 5am catching the flood tide as it was just starting to fill in. Worked the popper for a long while up and down the beach without a nothing. Other fly guys didn't have much luck either. With the dead low at sun-up the next few days and me having my pharmacology final exam today through Sunday I'll be off the beach. Hopefully fall comes soon with some bass on the beach and albies from the boat.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

08.09.17 Every (old) man has their (birth)day....

     Alright. I'm not sure if he's just always lucky, or is just fishy and catches a lot, I mean a lot, of fish. For some reason you could fish a spot, or fish right next to him, and he will catch and you will not. Even if you're using the same fly.

Leif in his younger years, maybe 2012
     Well today is his birthday and I guess the fish Gods gave him a gift. Actually his day started off with a gift from his son, Leif, who tied him up a couple of nice looking Howitzers in chartreuse. Well i got down to the beach and was fishing by 4am, mostly casting onto the sand since it was just starting to ebb after a full moon blow out low tide. I did find some water and as it came in the sun came up and it made for some pretty sweet looking popper water. I kept checking the watch as I had to split

from the beach around 615 to get to the hospital by 630 and do my Clark Kent uniform change. Before I left I saw Leif in the distance working his way towards me, at one point I saw him starting to back-up and then look down on the beach......right in a spot that I had worked in the near dark. I knew he got one. Of course he did. That fish turned out to look like a hybrid striped bass due to the blurred lines running its body. As I made my way to work and Leif and Joe and I traded reports, he hit us

with the picture up top, a real nice fish, in water that I covered that gave him a great tear off and run. Hey, its his birthday, and he's getting old, so let him have his fun while he can. I was using a Leif tied Howitzer in white, but only on the way out did I realize that both eyes had peeled off, not in whole, but in half. I wonder if that is a flaw there somewhere, and remember I haven't caught a fish on it yet. 


And lastly, I've been wondering what has been flipping in the suds the last couple of mornings while out. We came up with chub mackerel. Here's a pic of one that I think I highjacked off Facebook but remember who to credit, so I'm sorry for that. They look like perfect August-big-bass scoobie snacks. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

08.06-07.17 Two slow days on the beach......

       Spent yesterday exploring an old haunt. Haven't been here in some time and it felt good to have a different view and different rocks to navigate. Didn't turn a fish and spent most of my time with a variety of poppers that didn't move a fish. I haven't caught a fish up top all summer, and usually August is a great month for early morning poppin'.

     Leif took a picture of me and Joe got freaked out as it looked like I was being pulled up into the heavens. If you look closely there's a double of me just on top of the water line and some weird stuff going up into the clouds. Hopefully that wasn't my silent close call.

Leif Peterson photo
     Just because I haven't been catching doesn't mean there aren't fish around. I saw this photo on Fish Monger's Facebook page. That's what a 30-something inch 14 pound fluke and a 10 pound fluke look like. Would love to get one in the wash! The beach has been slow......real slow......annoying slow.

FishMonger Charters photo
     And it seems me and the guys are going to enter the world of the Fish-Skull Surface Seducer poppers now. I fished one long and hard today and have some early opinions on them. As time goes, and hopefully I get some fish, I'll be able to come up with some pros and cons. Right now it's looking pretty prosey.....especially for Lief who got the below fish in skinny water as the light turned on. Tough week as it's a mix of work and my last week of school for the summer. Finals are Thursday through Sunday and then I am FREE for a month.

Lief Peterson photo

Saturday, August 5, 2017

08.05.17 I cannot tell a lie......

     God I love my wife. She just put in a long week on her orientation as a hospice nurse. I just finished two long 13 hour days on the unit. Both girls are with us and are in that "what are we doing/ eating next mode". And it's 315 am and your dopey husband is up way before his alarm goes off and tries to quietly exit the 100 year old house with creaky floors to go fishing......


......and this is the text that I get. While I appreciate the 514 am check in, it's the 325 am one that makes me smile,"fish or us", and in a way, feel bad for her and other fishing guys or girls spouses.

     So I was out early and was hyped until I got there and as I walked onto the beach the lightning started to put on a show behind and in front of me. I checked the radar and soon was getting updates from Leif who was planning on coming down. Then the heavens opened up. I got back into my truck and slept for a half and hour before Leif pulled up and had me notice it wasn't raining anymore.

    Once out there it wasn't bad except the "new" outflows really empty out everything in the streams and sewers and depending on which way the current rolls can determine how shitted up the water gets  in front of you. I went black Snake Fly, AMC, Banger with a dropper, Clouser and for a bit a Lief-tied Fish-Skull Surface Seducer Howitzer HERE. While I have mostly used a Bob's Banger for my topwater action these are nice. They are foamy, and I don't think would stand up well to bluefish fangs. They come in white and chartruese,  I'd like to see them in black.

      As far as fishing. I fished hard, and long, way to long staying until 930. As I was walking the bright green in the sand stood out, it was a GULP! tail. Since I hadn't had a touch I figured what the hell and hooked it behind an AMC....and got this fluke on it right in the trough. After the fish I took it off and didn't get a touch for


another 1,000 feet of beach before switching flies. As the water ebbed the tight beach water was really looking good. As I was pulling my fly out a nice schoolie hit it but I was all screwed up and missed the hookset. This is where barbed hooks would help....oh well.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

08.03.17 Remembering Roseld from a few years ago......

     Those were the days. Post Sandy and before beach replenishment. It's going to take a long time for  it to return to the way things were, if it ever does. The best part of this place was being there alone many, many times, or just with a few friends and getting into fish. There's not to many of those north-side pockets anymore. Good memories and good times.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

08.02.17 "I don't have your fly........."

......."Open up and out with it !!!!"

......" I'm not........I don't have it.."

......"Okay I'm gonna come in there and get it......"

....." Okay, okay......I have it, I have it......"

     I had the pleasure of sharing the beach this morning with Scott Stryker of Stryker's Custom Flies. We met on the beach before 5am and gave it a good effort on the outgoing tide. Some really good looking water in the town where we met up but we couldn't get ur' done, or there wasn't anyone home to get done. I did manage the above Atlantic Stargazer, which hits like and pulls like a train until you get break the sand-suction. It wouldn't open it's mouth but finally did with a little muscle and pressure, it was safely released unharmed, and the "AMC" lives another day!

     Speaking of the AMC the other day in a fit of frustration I grabbed a mole crab from Rich's bag and crushed it between my fingers. The orange eggs were visible, on both, and wondering if scent mattered. I put them belly to belly and let the juices transfer, and you know what, I still didn't get a striped bass......yet.

     After finishing up with Scott I hit a beach on the way to pick up Erin. Again, good looking water and nothing to hand. She wanted to hit the boat and we did run out and gave the fluke a shot. Big 6 ounce S&S buck tails with GULP! didn't yield us a fluke but we got two sea robins during our drifts on the wind-with-incoming-tide. Our goal is to get a doormat before the September close arrives.

     We got chased in by some real dark looking skies with thunder and lightning in the distance. She didn't get it at first as we were in the sun, and things were calm. But she got it when 3/4 ths of the way through washing the boat the heavens opened up. For dinner we had some more crabs and 

we gave crab cakes a go for the first time. We used Phillip's Signature Crab Cake Recipe after getting some advice from Richie. They turned out really really good. I went a little long on the cook time so next time I may back off a bit.

      It's back to work the next three days so I won't be on the beach, which is just as well, I need a break for a bit. Fall is coming soon, feeling like maybe sooner than later which is always good. Mahi-Mahi on the pots soon and then albies!