Saturday, August 24, 2019

08.23.19 This skunk hurt.....and fall predictions

     So as usual Leif keeps me in the know with fishing conditions, catches, and the proverbial big one that got away. He, as always, puts the time and and pounds sections until something gives in. We've had a slower summer than past ones, usually early morning poppers and crab flies would be very productive for the bass that decided to hang around the Jersey Shore for the summer. Not so much thus year. There are some fish around, rooting around for crabs and white bait out front, on the worms at night near the dock lights in the Manasquan and Raritan, and even on the Navesink, where the water is dam near 80 degrees. 


     But generally, bass fishing is way down, from south to north, from in (the big rivers) to out front, its just bad, and sad. With fall around the corner we wonder what will this year bring? Mullet, yes. How good? Who knows. Could be just like years past. Good mullet, good bass. Good mullet, almost good bass, Nor'Easter shuts it down. Bad mullet year, good bass. Or now......jut bad bass. 


     So right now we have Spanish Macks, bonito, and even cobia around. Thinking this fall will be more of an albie run than a bass run, no surprise there. Last years albie fishing was off the charts. Not only albies, but good sized ones. Last year I had an "epic" day on the boat with Joe with bass, big bass, 20-30-40 and 50's blitzing big bait that required big flies and strong rods. That may still happen once a fall but its not the norm anymore.

    Sand eels....nope. When I think sand eels I think 2011....yes that year. That makes me sick thinking of the IBSP massacre I saw on many days. It seemed for a while it was on-year off-year with peanut bunker and sand prediction is not this year. 

     Peanut bunker run? Nope, maybe 200 will run down the beach. Not like it was in 2016. What we will see is the 2015 year class of striped bass, those 20"-24" fish we have been catching this spring, 


summer, and this fall that is the only hope of saving the striped bass. Speaking on that, the ASMFC has just released their options to save the bass from extinction. Public comments, not letters, will be heard soon. Just an FYI......its already been decided and the fix, as usual is in. The numbers, the data, have been skewed and the manipulation of those numbers and the reductions for recreational and commercials are a joke. Here's what funny guys.....

     Lets say that for years hunters were allowed to kill two deer each per day. They took them by gun, bow, even falling from trees and stabbing them with Bowie knives. But, over the years the deer got smaller and in less numbers. The hunters and hunting guides kept at it just thinking the deer grow under the trees. So the deer managers did a survey and found that, in this area of the state, there used to be 1,000 deer per mile, now there is only 250. The hunters still hunt with the same bag limits as before.....businesses down and freezers less full. So the managers decide "to do the right thing". No more two deer a day, only one now, and it has to be a buck and it has to have 6 points. Guys, reducing the limits of striped bass in both sectors is a f-ing joke when the bio-mass and YOY surveys show there are less striped bass. YOU MAY BE KILLING MORE BASS EACH YEAR PERCENTAGE WISE!!!!!!! And the end of the story is.....hunters started targeting squirrels. 


     So I went fishing. Got my lines all juiced up and repaired a welded loop gone bad. I even tied up a "special" crab fly that was sure to work. Got down in the dark and started with a popper, dual baitfish fly in black and purple, white popper as light arrived. Then went to the secret weapon. I fished two stretches, twice over the end of the outgoing and incoming tides. Good N wind, nice sized swell, lots of white water....nothing. I was really looking forward to catching a striper, in August, on that fly. I might have one more shot on Monday.

Monday, August 19, 2019

08.18.19 Been a while but had to take the ride down to the beach.....Happy Birthday Ryan!

Ryan was born 23 years ago today. Your children's birth is one of the happiest days of your life, and their death one of the hardest to swallow. Lately I've been missing my boy more than I have since his death almost two years ago. I don't miss the memories, those are good, I miss what could have continued to develop between us, and in him as a man, as he conquers the challenges in life. He surely was such a smart and talented young man. 

     So I made my way down to the beach and to Phillips Ave where I had spread his ashes nearly two falls ago. There is a rock I have named "Ryans Rock" because it was there where I stood and let him be carried by the wind into the ocean as "Blackbird" played on my phone. I remember the first day I went down to the beach after his death and it was a spectacular sunrise, today, not so much, but I enjoyed the moment, and the song. 

     I haven't posted here in a bit because luckily after passing the board exam we took the family on a few trips, one in July to the Adirondacks staying in a house on Lower Saranac Lake and one down this past week to Cape May in the camper. I have been talking with some of my buddies who have fished regularly and its the normal summer bite, mostly short fluke, a bass or two, tiny blues, and then a surprise ray or Spanish mackerel. Yesterday I fished the incoming and had about 10 fluke with the biggest being 17 inches.

     I am looking forward to the fall run and in about a month the mullet run should begin, I just hope the bass follow. Last years mullet was that good, and as always, if it is, it could be interrupted by the fall Nor'Easters, which we definitely need to cut up the shoaled up beaches from the constant south winds and littoral current running south to north. Its a good time to book a walk and wade trip in order to be ready for the good (I hope) fall fishing when tiny baits are moving along the beaches and the bass, blues, and albies are in pursuit.

     I am ready for the albies to start invading and if you haven't fished for them, or caught them on a fly rod, then call me to book a date. Its chasing birds, throwing tiny flies, and reel screaming action taking you into your backing. even if you don't pick an actual date, I can put you on the "albie" list so when they come in I can call and get you and a buddy out there. I will be fishing the beginning of the fall running boat and walk and wade trips until my new office and practice are set-up and ready to start accepting patients, which should be mid-October. Call, text or email me. 732 261 7291

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

07.29.19 New drift boat owners and a cool story.....

     So here it goes. While up in the Adirondacks this week for a family vacation I talked it over with the wife and decided to sell my drift boat. Sad. Hurts. But, time to go. I'm not guiding on the Upper Delaware anymore, probably was delusional that I'd do smallmouth trips down this was on the Delaware, and after seeing anglers zipping around in aluminum boats with a jet engine on it that might be the way to go.

     I posted it two days ago on facebook around 3pm. At 9pm I posted it on Craigslist Syracuse figuring the Salmon River area might get me a bite. By 10pm-ish it was sold. I got a call from Matthew who was eager to buy it, in fact he tells me he wanted to drive down at 10 pm and pick it up. I get it. I've been there. It is nice to see such passion. 

     So here's where it gets funny. In 2010 while up in Saranac Lake visiting my sister I saw a drift boat in the lot of a business near the Adirondack Medical Center. I inquired about it and soon after was the owner of a `1995 RB Boat River Baron, or River Bandit, can't remember the actual model. The boat came from Colorado, bartered by the owner for some tree work from the guy I bought it from. It was in tough shape to say the least, but it was aluminum, and had good bones. 

     Over the winter I broke it down and did a lot of work and put some good money in it. Rebuilt the flooring. Did the bottom over with MarineTech Gluvit. Had it professionally painted and lettered. And put new skins on it. I added a FiveC's cover and in the spring of 2011 I started taking clients on it on the Upper Delaware Rivers. 

     It was funny when I talked to Matthew late Sunday night that he was coming from, of all places, Saranac Lake. So on Monday at 3pm I met Matt and his business partner Ryan at the Bridgewater Commons Mall. They gave it a good once over and after a few pics they were on their way. The boys run Adirondack TrOutfitters offering guided trips in the Lake Placid- Saranac Lake region and will be expanding down on the Salmon River system starting in the fall. This boat will serve them well for the salmon and steelhead fishery. 

     Not only is it ironic that the boat was reincarnated starting in Saranac Lake but will return there to begin its new journey. And even ore ironic is that we just returned from a week up on the Lower Saranac Lake. We rented a family owned house called the Mark Twain Camp,, located right on the lake outside of town. We had about 20 family members up there staying at my sisters, that house, and a rental on Moody Pond. There was boat rides, cliff jumping, a great tour of Pauls Smiths College, where Lauren looked right at home, lots of

good food and drink, nights at Tail-Of-The-Pup, the Waterhole, swimming at the covered bridge in Jay, great pizza at the ADK Pizza and Pasta, too many nights at Donnely's, and hiking Ampersand and Baker mountains. While not a fishing trip, Erin fished almost everyday with the fly rod when ever she could. 

     So now its back to reality as the summers end is in sight. It'll be back to school for the girls. starting a new career path for me, and looking forward to the fall run, or at least being able to chase birds and tiny baits and anything that might be eating them. Before it does end we'll be parking the camper down in Cape May for a few weeks.....that should be another great adventure, only difference is, I won'y come back and putting the Jones Brother's boat on Craigslist. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

07.28.19 Time to sell the drift boat......

     So all good things must come to an end. Ten years ago I purchased this RB Boat,, and put it good use on the Upper Delaware rivers where I had so many good guided trips and memories I can't recall them all. This boat served me well. In a river full off fiberglass boats mine was only of three made of aluminum that regularly floated with sports on board. 
Since I am getting ready to start a new chapter in my life and realizing this boat isn't getting the love it needs or the water it wants to float it is time to pass it on.

So, here's the deal, get it quick. First $3,000 takes it. Very good for the Upper Delaware, better for the Salmon River, and the Lehigh. Here's what you get.....

1995 RB Boat River Baron 16 x 53, high side. (No title for boat. Trailer transferable registration valid NY State) PA launch permit for 2019 & 2020.
Baker Trailer with three newer tires, almost no miles on them
Five C's custom cover
Cataract Oars
Streamside dining table and chairs (clients love them)

Call 732 261 7291 to come and get it!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

07.19.19 Don't know who's more tired......

     So Leif, freshly back from Montana, has been feeding me good reports coming off the full moon. I couldn't wait to get there this morning and was up at 1 am and then 230 am and then out the door. Spent the dark and into light trying to pop up a bass with no avail. Did find the little bluefish that kept taking the smaller trailing fly. 

     I fished hard up and down the beach but couldn't find anything but little blues and little fluke. I outlasted Leif and Rich who them selves had an uneventful morning. It's summertime. South winds have shoaled up the south sides of the groins. Troughs are more in between the groins than along it.

     The north sides are were the water is. So right before leaving I was perched on one of the last best beach end groin rocks looking to find a fluke. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown flash and then watched as the cow nose ray went up and down the trough between the rock and an outflow pipe. I made some casts and didn't spook him and continued to watch. I knew I was going to catch him. 

     With one good leading cast he took the smaller trailing baitfish fly, which surprised me, as the rays are big into mollusks. My AMC "Archer Mole Crab" set deep into its wing so I had it in the mouth and wing. It was about a 20 minute fight with me doing anything I could to keep him in the trough as best as I could. Luckily it was still incoming and I was able to get a few good waves to help me beach it. These things are strong and will test your skills as well as the rod, reel, line and knot, and the hook as well. It swam off strong leaving me a little tired and my arms sore.  

Leif Petersen photo
     So its summer. Could be did, could be good. Could have life, could be dead. Might find a fluke, a bass, a cow nose ray, or some bluefish. Don't let me forget the Spanish mackerel also, saw them today as well. Also saw pods of bunker getting harassed from below and from the air.

Off to the ADK's for a week. Fly rod packed......but its not a fishing trip!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

07.15.19 Thought it would be better....

     Fished from 5 am till about 8. Popped my way down the beach before going to a crab/minnow two-fly set up. Didn't get any action till the tide started to ebb around 7. Got two fluke just under the legal size limit. Had cow nosed rays in close more interested with spawning than chasing flies. 

     Full moon is tonight so maybe after the moon things will get going. Lot of good things happen after a full or new moon.