Friday, July 21, 2017

07.21.17 "I'll just throw these in......"

    "Thank You!" Theresa and I hit an estate sale today and cleaned up. As the guy was going through our stuff he picked up two package of black ostrich plumes, about 30 of them, and "I'll just throw these in". Why is that so cool, because on my way home from the ADK's I stopped at Ramsey Outdoor and pain $6.99, plus tax, for one.

     This morning I stayed north and fished some water I haven't hit in a while. Maybe I shouldn't have. My first stop was a beach without rocks, and it fished that way. Not much for structure and hard to get a handle on. The second was real fishy, with good moving water, and didn't get a tap. Threw

everything I had from Banger's, to Clousers, to the AMC, and everything in between. Some good things though, tiny boats swimming in the wash and dolphins just outside the bar. I won't even tell you about the peanuts at the marina I saw yesterday.

    Yesterday, when it was 40,000 degrees out I took the girls for "a nice day on the water". Thanks for the bimini top or else we would have melted into the Jones Brothers deck. We drifted over and over again, for miles, without getting tap outside of a sea robin. Seeing the Anthem of the Seas unclose was cool, otherwise it was just hot.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

07.20.17 Back from the ADK's and on the beach...."Ha, ha, ha.....Vat, are going to catch a trout?"


  Nice to be home. Had a great time with family up on Lower Saranac Lake in the Adirondack's. Fished a few times with Erin but most of the time it was just relaxing. I did miss the salt, and have come to realize I have become a saltwater fisherman, by passion, with freshwater in a close second. I was on the lake and just couldn't get motivated. I need moving water, and water I can stand in. It was great with Erin catching a  variety of fish on the fly rod. Glad to be home after a week.

     Had a sweet welcome home this morning . Getting out at on the beach at 5am about an hour left on the incoming. No waders, just the bathing suit and a home-made pair of jetty shoes that work well,

until they get loaded with sand, rocks, and mussels. Walked the beach with the "Archer's Mole Crab" fly determined to catch a bass on it. Walked and made casts and really worked the trough over 1/2 mile of beach, landing three fluke, one just shy of a keeper.

     As I got close to my truck, and with about 300 feet until the groin where I was calling it quits I switched  up and took off the "AMC" and put on a Joe Pheiffer electric chartreuse fly. I had doubts because the amount of mussels getting washed up and down the scarp and into the water was a lot and I didn't think a fluke would hang in that.......

........but that bass up there did. 27 inches of angry muscle. Funniest part was as I worked till the end a guy was getting his rod ready when I hooked up. He missed the fight, the photo, and the release. He came up to me as I stayed for another twenty minutes sayingin a foreign voice that I still can't figure out what it was ......."Ha, ha, ha.....Vat, are going to catch a trout?". This is the guy below. Perched high on the rock, and with no-disrespect, with a set-up and skill set that surely won't get it done on any given day. I'm glad he didn't see the fish on the trout rod.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

07.11.17 Work, home, eat, pack, go......

     Stopped by before work to see the beach one last time before a week in the Adirondacks. Looking forward to a week with the family. While I gonna miss the beach it will be nice to return to it when I get back home. When I got home I fried up the fluke I caught the other day and it hit the spot. There's a lot of meat on a 19" fluke and I have to remember that before I keep every fish I keep. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

07.09.17 CANNIBALS!!!!!......


    A few years back while we were in Martha's Vineyard Steve Farrar gave me a few of his "Farrar Flounder" flies. I fished them a few times up there but as you know we've really not had the the good sight fishing opportunities so I haven't landed one on it. This morning I was in between flies and saw it in my fly wallet and gave it a go. It goes to show that fluke are just nasty and cannibals, truly a species that will eat it's own young.....or it just thought it was a crab. 

If you'd like to see how Steve ties this baby flounder flies check out the video.


     Started out in the dark figuring I could get a bass as the water came over the bar on the start of the incoming but, not. I had a two-fly rig set up working....which didn't work but I thought it was a good call. When I saw conditions I thought a Banger/Dropper might work but when I looked in bag there was no poppers there. Thinking it wouldn't have mattered, or at least that's my excuse. Today I landed the baby flounder eater and another short. Today was a quicker outing as the flood tide with the west wind approached like watching paint dry. You couldn't get knocked over in the surf if you wanted to.

      I was looking on-line and found the below pic with a post from JohnnyK with his local beach report. Keeper bass on the mole crabs. We think alike as my fly rod is marked the same way during the summer, 28" for the bass (just to know) and 18" for the fluke (just for dinner). There seems to be a lot of internet fodder about reddened sores, areas, lesions on the bass as of late. Many guys see red and go straight to mycobacteriosis, the dreaded Chesapeake Bay striped bass disease. While

mycobacteriosis can cause external lesions, the disease kills the fish from the internal lesions and the damage it does to the spleen. There are many bacteria and parasites, and maybe even reactions, that can affect striped bass and give them the red spots and lesions anglers are seeing on the beaches now. Imagine if I stripped all of you guys down and did a skin assessment, besides not being pretty I am sure there are spots, bumps and bruises that are just benign. Below is a photo from the Virginia Institute of Maine Science.....that's mycobacteriosis. If you catch it shoot it. Actually if it looks like that freeze it and take it to a local tackle shop or get it to your local DEP or marine science lab.

    Well after todays outing, well, yep, more drama. This seems, I hope, related to the problem I had in MV, and hopefully covered by the part warranty or my mechanic. Theresa and I still go back and forth about keeping the truck and one day, maybe sooner than later, getting a new one. Used around $30,000 and new up to $55,000. Lease payments about $500 a month for 230 months or whatever they're offering these days. No thanks, with $55,000 in school loans for nurse practitioner I'll limp around.

     Today will be my last day on the salt water for a while as after two days of work to start the week we're off to the Adirondack's and Saranac Lake. Most of the kids are making the trip, one's going to Spain with her friends family, and it'll be a nice week as always. I just banged out a 90 on my Pharmacology mid-term exam so some things are going well. Speaking of going well, for some 

reason I decided to have my back waxed again. They tell me to come back in 4-6 weeks but I never have the guts. This my third time in 4 years. It is torture, no matter how good my cerologist (person that applies wax and then rips it off) is. While the treatment isn't pleasant, it sure feels nice to have no hair on my back. I hate back hair. Funny as how we age the hair on own heads stops growing or falls out but hair in our nose, eyebrows, ears, and back starts to flourish. I got mine done at Waxing the City in Red Bank, check it out HERE if you like pain, but then nice smooth hair-free skin. 

See you back on the beach after the 20th. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

07.08.17 A morning of 1,000 last casts.........


     My text to the boys at 0803 was "South- nothing- not a tap". But then at 0958 it was, "Scratch that report- two bass and two fluke - one keeper. A day of 1000 casts". It was a long hard, get knocked down, kind of day but it was worth it.

     Started south and was in the water at 5am and did nothing until I left. Always nice to bump into Bill Massey and hear his stories, his insight, and his rants. He got a small bass and a bluefish before I had met up with him. The surprise thing of the day was watching the dolphins push bait over the bar and dam near onto the beach. Bunker? My buddy asked me if it was mullet? On guy thought it was herring. It looked longer and skinnier than short and fat when the left the water.

     A few if us were standing there kind of joking about a guy in boots that went up just past his calfs. "Ha, ha, ha......oh wait he's got one on". Yep it was the below 36" bluefish caught just on the other side of the trough kind of in the direction of the bait.

      I worked my way back to my truck and it was about 8 o'clock, time to go. But as I drove the sun turned to clouds and I knew the tide was really starting to ebb even though it was the day before the full moon tide. I figured with the cloud cover it was extended play on the beach. One note, if you fish inn the dark be careful as the groins change as the sand gets pulled back into the ocean...this would kinda hurt.

     So I found a new spot and gave it a whirl. Worked hard for an hour without a tap. Then it came in bunches. A few taps and then a keeper fluke followed by a short fluke, and not by much. I pulled out my new handy-dandy portable freezer bag and put it to work. Just two things if you give this a try,   

flipping fish in a bag will cause the bag to move off the rock and off the groin and into the water, and when you throw it up on the beach, make sure the waves can't touch it. I had both happen to me today

    Then it was time for the bass. One good pull and then the below fish hit near the rocks where I was hoping for another keeper fluke. It was about 945 and the sun started to show again and I worked my way back up the beach. It was the ebb tide and I knew I could stand over the trough and almost high stick it if I wanted to......then the wave came. Total knockdown, water and rocks up and in every crack and crevasse I have. Phone wet, but protected. Soaked. Waders full of rocks and water. But

 I stayed with it and landed the second below bass. Why I'm happy with myself is that I knew it was fishy out there and stayed with it and it paid off. Sometimes that just doe's happen.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

07.06.17 Got beat up and wet on the outgoing......

     Headed down after work to catch the hour past high. We're two days away from the July Full Buck Moon and the surf shows it. Its called that because it's the month the bucks antlers start to poke through in velvet. High highs and low lows. Got beat up and wet trying to get my fly past the breakers and down in the trough. 30 grain and a Clouser only yielded me a sundial that I think took my fly behind me as the surf brought it up the beach scarp. One positive thing was to see birds working over boils just out over the breakers. They weren't bluefish type splashes more bass like. Maybe the tiny white bait is starting to show.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

07.05.17 Want bass? Then target fluke I guess.....

     Last night I tried and put my striped bass obsession on hold. After seeing all the good fluke caught yesterday on a variety of flies I decided to switch it up and spend the rest of the summer targeting fluke using a mix of Clousers and crab flies. Didn't think drumming up a keeper this morning would be hard, but it was.

     Since I wasn't looking for bass I decided to spare my wife and not get up and out at 345am. I slept in and got to the water at 5. It was still incoming and flat. Perfect popper conditions. So, since I was there I gave the popper a shot, just in case. Worked the beach and two sets of rocks without a swirl or a touch. I switched over to one of the Clousers I tied up last night and went to work. Slow, meticulous  trough covering work.

     The coolest sight of the day was watching the above sea robin fully extended grab the fly as it came out of the trough. It ate and then turned. I was a good fight and, at least until that point, I wouldn't be skunked for the day. I went on to catch a sundial but the fluke were elusive. Nice conditions as the tide ebbed but I just couldn't locate them.

     I jumped in my truck and did a spot change and after a few casts felt a good pull on the Clouser. It wasn't a fluke, or a stargazer, or a sea robin, It was a bass. Really? I released the fish and then went on a fly changing spree, going from the Clouser to Joe's Crab Fly to the Archer's Mole Crab and got no attention. I went back to the electric chartreuse over white Clouser and at 830 in the sun I got another striper. So now what? Back to bass?


     If you haven't been fishing the Jersey Shore then you are in for a visual treat. The south winds with the south east swells of last week really changed things up a bit. South sides of groins are shoaled up and the north sides have been hallowed out and pockets have formed. The drops off on the beach scarp are severe, with sections of the beach overhead behind you as you fishing in front of you. Sometimes that makes for difficult casting as your fly can pick up debris laying on the beach behind you. Soon enough things will be looking good and ready for the fall, when Jersey striper fishing is at its best.