Monday, July 4, 2022

07.04.22 Happy July 4th

     Beautiful day this July 4th. It is the birthday of America, formally becoming a nation on July 4th, 1776. Sadly, today was marred by violence in Illinois, another mass shooting, this at a small town July 4th parade, several dead, dozens wounded. This is becoming too much. 

     I've made the switch, officially, from striped bass to snakeheads. The problem is, its a lot of watching and waiting and not casting, and not catching. The big reward will be when I get one in the 

tank. This morning I went upriver as their are reports from river rats that snakeheads have been seen in these parts. Not this morning. What is weird is casting into still water, and, realizing that I'm not all that and a bag of chips. Intermediate line with the above fly. If my goal is to get a fishes attention then I'm good at it. I need to get a full floating line, lengthen the leader, and practice a bit. 

      And for those that know or have partied at Tice's Shoal on the bay side of Island Beach State Park the above shot is how we do it out here on the Delaware River. Low tide, river running summer levels, and a holiday beautiful day mens boasts lined up on the shoal. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

07.03.22 Here we go with the Snakeheads...

      Had a great few days down at the Cape leaving just as the crowds started to build. By early Saturday morning there were pedestrians, golf carts, bicyclists, cars, motorcycles, and the horses that were getting ready for the holiday weekend. Glad to split and head home yesterday before the madness. Hate to say it, but someone is getting run over in Cape May this weekend. And don't you know it while writing this I did a quick search on Cape May news. A bicyclist was airlifted to a trauma center after being struck by a car in Cape May yesterday. Sad news. 

     Back home is was time to fish. On the water by 5am and I just couldn't pass up trying for a striped bass. Popped, nothing, big fly, nothing, smaller fly nothing. So at 730 I decided to hit the bayou and look for a snakehead. It was Jurassic Park conditions out there. Zero wind, 1,000 % humidity, biting flies all over the place, and sweat that filled my underwear in a matter of minutes. 

I walked and stopped and watched, then did it again, and again. Turtles everywhere swimming in the water that got my heart pumping when I would see a swirl on top, only to be disappointed when I would see their head pop up in the area. I jumped a few more spots before setting in to some fishy looking water on the outgoing tide. I was just panning from left to right and right to left when some 

slow movement caught my eye. I focused in and saw a nice sized snakehead in the shallow water. I tried to entice a strike but he just looked at it and eventually moved along. That was the only shot I had this morning. You can see the scene above and a little tighter view of what hunting snakeheadslook like in the water. I'm carrying the tank, although it's a pain. Time to view something else besides the striped bass for a while. One thing is for sure, these are shots, like sight fishing for striped bass. Lots of time hunting, little time blind casting, more days ahead without a fish in the tank.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

07.02.22 Great Wildwood Crest beach read.....

     I'm not really a beach person so planting myself under a large umbrella with a beer and book does it for me. Theresa had her childhood friends from Long Island down and it was a nice day to take them to the beach. Stiff SE made for a nice breeze and bug free day. So I picked up this book, "Successful Striped Bass Fishing" written by Frank Moss and published in 1974. It was cool from the start of the book, with the first line reading, "The first time stripers really got under my skin was on an October afternoon back in 1938". 1938? That's almost 100 years ago. Imagine how many people have got bit by the striped bass fishing bug over those 84 years. 

     It was allow interesting to read selections written by pioneers in fishing at that time including Mark Sosin, who passed away a few days ago. He was a legend in the fishing and fly fishing industry 

since the 1960's. He was one of the founding members of the Salt Water Fly Rodder's of America and used to be a regular in print and on early Saturday morning fishing shows like The Saltwater Jounral which he started. RIP Mark. 

     So after reading about striped bass and catching them with bait, plugs, trolling, netting, harpooning, ect, the final Chapter 25 was a surprise. "Fly Rod Stripers are the Greatest" and as I read the author stated his favorite rod was a Orvis Battenkill impregnated bamboo eight-footer designed with slow action to handle weight-8 line". It was funny how he described in detail how smaller

schoolie striped bass can be taken on the fly, while you would need conventional gear to catch bigger bass. Can you imagine breaking out, and breaking, the above mentioned fly rod targeting striped bass in the spring in the Delaware River? These old books are a hoot, and full of cool information and tips on how to catch bass, and where your best chances to catch them are. In this book Sandy Hook is the only New Jersey mention, I wonder if we would get more play if this book were written today, since we have the best striped bass fishery on the East Coast. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

06.29.22 No bass for you!

     Funny how it goes when you guarantee yourself fish. With high tide around 4 am it was an early start because as soon as the tide flips the water is all but gone in a few hours. Started with a popper and did nothing and fished two spots before settling in for no doubt a multi-fish morning. Why do I say that? Because I planned it that way, and my buddy landed 22 last evening out in his boat. 

     So there was no surprise when I moved a fish on my first cast. No worries, it'll be game on soon I thought. Well that never happened. Not a swipe, a hit, a nothing. By the end I was just about dragging my fly across the rocks in desperation. I have to say, although I have said it before, I'm 

all good out here, and have nothing but good things to say about the Delaware River 2022 striped bass "season". With the salt a long drive and spotty catches I won't be doing that much, it'll be local, as I've said before, trying to get some snakeheads on the fly. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

06.28.22 A bass a day....

     I thought I timed it right getting down to the river at 530, a few hours on the drop. Well, someone opened the drain plug because the water was low and there was only a few spots to get them. I found that spot and had a bunch of chances during a short window. I went to the few remaining plastic envelopes I had left and tied on the below fly only to have it broken off after my first cast. 

     Always an excuse, but today's was I think due to excitement and wanting to get a fly in the water before the water left. There's some challenges here, and one of the biggest is the backcast and direction you can throw and land a fly. I kept trying to get it into the deeper water but it was tough.  

    The Orvis Recon rod is slow, which is good, as you can bend and load the rod quickly and kind of direct your cast better than a fast rod. When I did it right I hooked a nice bass which was the only one that made it into the viewing tank. One thing is for sure, you can't fish from an elevated perch 

and think you can hook, fight, land and just release the fish back into the water, they need that time to recover and get their strength back. The tank does just that. Tomorrow the tide will be just about an hour and I will get there an hour earlier and hopefully find some fish. As I was wrapping up I 

noticed my hook had snapped, probably done on a backcast that hit the metal or concrete behind me. I need to bang out a few flies if I am going to continue to pick away at the fish when the tides, temps, and time of day are right. 

      Well, I had a minute before work so I hit the dungeon and tied up some bait for tomorrow. Just one that should work. I'll be sure to tie up a new leader and tippet. The below fly hasn't been through a bath yet and some time in the water for the fibers to figure out where they below will help. I love the Squimpish material, but I find myself putting a touch of Softex on the fly just to keep in it some type of shape so it doesn';t foul. And when they do do foul, or after you catch a bass, the fibers are all over the place and you have to comb them back or it won't swim as it did before it got eaten. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

06.27.22 Never gets old....

     Even the little guys are fun in the tank. Had a break today so fished for about 45 minutes at dead low with just one swipe which peaked my interest and got me wanting to go back on the flood tide. Water temps up from the last few days but will enter a little slide down with the quick deluge of rain we got today, the cloud cover, and the 60 agree air temps at night. That should set up for a good first light in the morning. And I need to stay local, this new truck ain't no Prius, she loves to drink.

     This little guy was fired up and didn't need any time in the tank to recoup. He was a quick drop and go after being lowered back into the water. The tank, especially during this time of year, is a must have and not only good for me as far as entertainment is concerned but good for the fish as they get a few minutes to catch their breath before going back into the river. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

06.26.22 One and done....

     I won't be able to make the journey down to the beach this week so this morning was my morning. Up at 315 am, on the beach and getting hit with the incoming swelly waves at 420. Tried to pop my way down the beach and on the rocks and it was hard with the quick sets and waves breaking up on the beach scarp. 

     When the waves did break the water would run up the beach nearly sending me head over heels depending on the force of the wave. The water was clean and green and looked fishy, which it was,

just tough with the fly rod on the high incoming tide. There were mussels galore and it was tough trying to get the fly down in the trough without coming up with junk on each fly during each retrieve. After light came I met up with Leif and we made a quick spot switch as I was having no

luck. There was a guy fishing a bucktail/squid combo and he must have landed 20 fluke, including a few keepers, which we shared a bowl. Now, bowl meaning structure, not bowl meaning cannabis (pot). I walked down the beach and up onto the rocks and after 10 minutes I had my first hit and fish of the day. It grabbed the Ugly Ass Fly just as I was taking it out of the water and soon he was making his way into the still swell waves. I haven't landed a fish on the groins lately but luckily this one had a nice carved out section I could get down and land the ocean run fish. I had to call it an 

early day because Lauren had listed her Subaru and she had a lineup of customers starting at 9. It only took three people looking at it before she had the asking price in 20's in her hand. That's some

vehicle weekend we're having out here. I swapped a truck for a truck, she sold her car and now we're off to look at a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 for her, and it's a stick. 


Saturday, June 25, 2022

06.25.22 Here we go again....

     So, here we go. After a few week listing on Facebook Marketplace and looking at a bunch of used trucks I decided that a truck swap was going to be the best I could do. I had my 2003 Chevy Silverado Duramax with 138,000 miles, I know, 'That's just breaking in", "It's worth a fortune", and "You can't get trucks anymore", well with all that no one came and looked, I was back and forth 4,000 times with a handful of buyers......later. 

     I found a local guy that moves cars, does the whole towing/junkyard thing and had this 2002 Chevy Silverado (Gas!) crew cab. Tons of miles, probably around 200,000 maybe even 230,000, but you know what, I did it. He switched out the cluster so the miles aren't actually that high, who knows. Brought it home last night after switching titles and spent the night and this morning cleaning her up. She's got the AVANGLR plates on and it blows cold air. 

      I gave him a super clean truck and I think it was a fair trade. Lauren, the technician, thinks he got over on me, we'll see. 


Thursday, June 23, 2022

06.23.22 "Wipers" in the rain....

     A little lunchtime outing before the rains moved in. End of the incoming and the start of the ebb. Flat and boring looking water. No much for action until I saw a nice keeper sized bass grab my fly and he'd for the current. Fought it nicely, had the net ready, and snap!. There goes the leader. There must be something to be said about proper care of your gear. You can't fish fish and then salt and then leave your rod outside in Africa like heat and then rain and then heat again and assume it will not be affected. Good fly, good fish, good bye.

     But after that it was slow and I moved a bit in the hour or so I was there. When I went tight I thought it was another bigger bass, only to find it was a hybrid striped bass on the other end of my line. This are feisty, and strong pullers for their size. Hybrids are a cross between striped bass and white bass, either female to male or male to female. Not sure where these came from but maybe 

from Lake Wallenpaupack or one of the other lakes New Jersey or Pa stocks them in. Something different, kinda cool, glad to have got out. And for TBT, Throw Back Thursday, the below popped up on my Facebook page. It was a pic from an outing I had out front with Andrew Hamilton, where the big bass were all over and on bunker. That was a good day also.