Thursday, January 16, 2020

01.15.20 Quick break before the winter comes....

     I had some time between morning and evening patients so I took some mental health time and headed to the river. With my new NJ Fishing License on board I hit the PA side, where, I think its legal to still fish. According to the PA Fish and Game website the regulations allow fishing from the State line up river until and past the Calhoun Street bridge. Thats the line of different regulations as far as keeping striped bass are concerned.

     Two hours left on the falling tide and 42 degree water temps had me thinking maybe a holdover bass, or walleye, or muskie might be lurking around. The wind was honking but I made the best of my hour and didn't get blow over into the water. Didn't get a tap but it was fun to explore a bit. This spring I'll be mostly on the Delaware with a few beach trips mixed in.

     I'm still hoping to make it to Marthas Vineyard sometime in June. While my old fishing partners have moved away from that trip, and I did last year also, the thought of sight fishing gets my juices flowing.

Now, thats my last trip til spring, or at least February when the walleyes really start to bite, or so I am told.

01.15.20 Look to New Jersey to screw things up....

     This post surmises a recent post made by Tony Frederich the VP of the American Saltwater Guides Association.

     Basically it appear that most states, well some, are trying to do the right thing in protecting the striped bass before the moratorium sets in in 2024, my prediction. Thirty years after the Atlantic Striped Bass Conversation Act was passed October 31, 1984. Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island are working to reduce the killing of bass while attempting to balance a fishery for anglers and meeting the 18% conservation equivalency (CE) as set both by the ASMFC. Basically the spineless folks at the ASMFC acknowledge that overfishing is occurring and that "science" is showing poor numbers in both YOY and older bass. 

     Leave it to New Jersey to be assholes. Connecticut abolished their Bonus Tag system in order to help out. Here in Jersey, a State without a commercial fishery, we've "allotted" ourselves, 215,000 pounds per year to anglers who want that "Bonus Tag Fish". You know the one that you are supposed to apply for, pay, and then return...... According to Frederich NJ "sold" 5000 bonus tags in 2018. And 1100 were returned!! That means between the boasts and the beach only 1100 fish were harvested. Now thats a joke. 

     As we wait for New Jersey to complete their submission for an 18% CE, here's what they are proposing. 24-28" minimum, which would decimate the 2015 year class of fish, a Bonus Tag for a big fish either 35 or 43", and then another tag for the Sept-Dec 31 season for another 24-28" fish, a program that was in place in 2019, if you didn't know and take that schoolie home to eat. That was on top of the 2019 regs stating you could harvest from boat or beach one fish 28-43" and then the other, not in order, had to be over 43".

    Also remember, the Bonus Tag Bonus was in something extra, doesn't mean you have to catch legal sized fish and then get the "Bonus" fish, order doesn't matter. 

This my friends, weather dead-on accurate, or slightly off, shows New Jersey doesn't care about sustaining a striped bass fishery at all.  

Thursday, January 9, 2020

01.08.19 Have to catch the right day.....

     I'm have pretty much found all of the resources I need out here in Mercer County except a place to get my hair cut. I cant beat the Red Bank House of Fades so after getting whats left of my hair tightened up I went home via the beach. 

     Last two hours of the outgoing from the Hook down a town or two. At the end of the ebb tide the birds were very active on the bar picking, which I believe was at sand eels. Started with a Deciever but went to a Bard Buzzi sand eel fly that both didn't get me a touch. Wind was starting to honk with a threat of a squall during the day. 

     Besides the birds the only other thing I saw was a seal cruising the trough but going up empty. Nice looking water. Gin clear. Would have been able to sight cast to them if they were there. 

     Leif and I fished last Saturday with one fish each. The next day, in the same neighborhood, Jack, Charlie and Hugh put on a clinic with each having a multiple double-digit day of really nice bass to 25". This time of year they are here one day, not the next, and then gone till the spring. 

Jack Denny photo from Facebook
Ok, thats it for me till the spring. I think.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

01.04.20 On the board for 2020....

     Went to bed last night with no intention of going fishing today. Did get some texts last evening for Joe stating he had a handful of fish in the afternoon. Well woke up at 5am and startled Theresa who said, 'What's up?". I said I had a dream I went fishing and she said, "So go."

     I picked Leif up at 630 and we headed north. Settled into a spot and on the fourth cast I got 'On the board" for 2020. I had a feeling it would be. double-digit day of micro bass but it was one-and -done for both of us. Great looking water both north and south. The water temps were somewhere above 40,  probably 45 at the Hook and 42-43 in Deal. You could feel the difference.

     That will probably do it for me until March when I start looking out here in the Delaware River for those early spring stripers. I might give the walleye fishing a shot as I have seen boast in the river in February, and not to far of the shore. The Fly Fishing Show is January 24, 25, 26th and after missing a few years I might take a ride up.

     Go through your gear. Send the roads in for repair. Tie some flies. Get ready for another year.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

12.01.19 Happy New Year!

Just to time stamp we end the decade with 568,951 different user views.