Saturday, October 30, 2010

10.30.10 Out first light...caught a fluke in the wash

First things...check camera battery before you go. Needless to say mine was dead. Got out before 6 am in Deal, several other guys out. Fished short because the loaner rod my friend gave me is split in the tip section. So my casts were close and cautious. Never had time to set up the spey rod, but I'll be doing that today. Saw several fish up and out of the water chasing bait. I caught a 10" fluke in the wash on a clouser. Will be back out tomorrow first light, even though it's around low tide.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10.28.10 Checked things out in the morning and the evening...nothing

I went down to Allenhurst this morning so I could look right and left, to Deal and Asbury Park. Nothing going on. Waves still on the big sides in quick sets. More surfers out than fisherman. It was low tide both times I went down to check. Word is things will cool down starting tomorrow and that come Monday November 1 we'll be in full swing. I got my spew reel, backing and line today...hopefully the rod comes tomorrow, just in time for the bite.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10.27.10 Delivery of eggs for Trout in the Classroom


Today was delivery day of thousands of trout eggs to participating schools throughout New Jersey for TIC, Trout in the Classroom. It's a program co-run by the state out of the Pequest Trout Hatchery and several groups, including the Jersey Shore Chapter of Trout Unlimited, of which I am the new TIC Coordinator. Duane and Ken made the trip up to the Pequest Trout Hatchery to pick up the eggs and then several volunteers met them on the Parkway where we picked up our eggs. I went to four schools delivered the eggs, food, and filters to get the teachers and kids going. This past May I went with several schools to do their fish release in Allaire State Park into the Manasquan River.


At night I stopped by Allenhurst around 6 pm , low tide S-SW wind, a few guys catching nothing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10.26.10 How low can you go...

 So I took a short while and headed down to 8th Ave to see what was going on. I pulled up to find more surfers than fisherman. The tide was out and the lowest I have ever seen it. The surfers were almost walking to end of the jetty and then paddling out to catch waves. I concentrated my clouser around the slightly deeper water around the flume for about 15 minutes and then left. Yesterdays SE wind seems to be blowing more from the S today. Nasty day tomorrow, maybe that'll shake things up. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

10.25.10 No fly rods, no problem, check this set up out

So if you follow this blog, you know 1) my buddy closed his door on my first line rod, and then 2) while using my back up rod, I over muscled it and snapped it in half. So I have no rod to use. So get this, I found and old surf rod in the garage and set my fly reel in the seat and tried to cast it, forget it. I can remember being at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show and watching Lefty Kreh cast with the tip section of a fly rod, they you go. So here's what I did. I drove a PVS rod holder into the sand and placed the surf rod in it. I remove the tip section of the rod and used that as
my fly rod. I would strip off enough fly line so I could "shoot" it. Believe it or not, it worked. I was getting 25 foot casts into the wash. The SE winds didn't make it easy, especially when the high water came in. But what it did was, it made me concentrate on the wash. My buddy Al got two shorts and a regular, Bob, had a nice keeper. It seems to be an early bite, just as the moon goes, and before the true sunrise happens. Guys are finding bass loaded with sand eels. Lucky for me while I was there I met up with Nesmond who let me borrow his TFO, until my spey rod gets here this week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10.24.10 Search for flies down south and catching up with Bob Popovics

So my oldest girl had a football game to cheer at in Toms River this afternoon so I though it would be a nice idea to sneak down (she has to be at the game an hour early)to the beach with Cindy and take a romantic walk, ie- see what was going on. So I headed down to Betty and Nicks in Seaside Park to see if they had any good flies. When I got there Bob Popovics had just stocked the shelves with some he had tied. I grabbed some clousers, and decievers, and some half and halfs, and a few big bunker flies. On my way out I met up with him and asked about the bite down south, it's the same thing we're going through up north, just waiting, any day. I did buy one of his flies called, Bob's Banger, a popper that hopefully gets taken by a striper, and not shredded by a big bluefish. I'll be going out tomorrow, with an interesting set up, wait till you see it.

10.24.10 Great morning..until I snapped another rod

What a good day. Instead of getting up at 510 am, I slept "in" and set my alarm to 545, 35 more minutes of sleep. I stopped by the 7-11 in Asbury, got a coffee and the NYT before stopping at 8th Ave to see what was up there, nothing. I decided to head up to Deal and give that a shot. While getting ready my Biddy Al came into the lot and he was telling me where he was fishing. I started out along the jetty and with every cast tons of bait would splash out of the water. I moved to another jetty to the south and settled into the water where the jetty meets the beach. The sun was just breaking the horizon when I saw fish breaking the water near the end of the jetty. I looked to my right and Al and two guys were a beach over from where I was and they didn't see what was going on. I made sure the fly line wasn't wrapped around my legs and my fly had a point and good know. I started casting into some swirls behind the bait. After a bit I saw a fish jump out of the water and I made a good cast and shortly had a heavy fish on, for a minute. And then the fish were gone. Maybe 10 mins from the time I saw the first fish until it was quiet. I tried to make some extra long casts with my 8wt backup rod, an old Orvis Streamline....SNAP goes the weasel. That's another one I have to send back, that's two in a week, and four this year. After that I stopped in Allenhurst and Asbury Park, nothing going on there. Tomorrow morning I will have to cast my 9 foot 5 wt if I want to fish, I have no more fly rods. But good news, they're shipping my SPEY rod tomorrow morning!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10.23.10 One thing to say about today...SPEY, SPEY, SPEY, SPEY

So since yesterday was a bust, today must be a good day, right, wrong. Up at um' at 515 am, which is late for most guys, but I had a strategy. I'll get there when I get there and catch a fish. There were several cars at 8th Ave when I went by, so I moved down to DEal. There were more guys there so I suited up and walked down. I started my usual work near the jetty and moved along the beach. I just didn't feel it. So I got back in my truck and started the hunt. I stopped at Seven Presidents in Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, and eventually North Beach on the Hook. Once there I met another fly rodder and we walked out to the beach and starting talking about business, and fishing, and life. He is also in the arts, and you can check out his work at I think we were both resigned to the fact that blind casting for stripers just wasn't a good use of time. That was until we saw this guy north of us hook into one with a SPEY (I gotta get one) rod. I always saw the guys using them for salmon and steelhead, two fisheries I'm just not in to. I grew up in New Jersey, where a 7'6 fly rod is more than enough. Then I make the big jump to a 9 foot rod for the Delaware, only after trying to fish that river system with my Fran Betters custom 7'6" 5 weight. Now, I have found something special. My fly casting coach, Jim Valle, has talked of his use of his spey rod in the salt but I never gave it much mind. Today I was sold. What a beautiful thing to cast. The angler pictured in the video was nice enough to let me try it. 12 foot 6, shooting head, running line- cast about 1.2 miles. Fantastic. After that I stopped along the way back home only to hear of one big bluefish caught and weighed in at Scott's in Bradley Beach.

If I get my order in soon, I'll have my spey rod in time when the stripers really come in.

SPEY casting on Sandy Hook

10.22.10 Early morning fishing....later snapped my rod

So I started out hopeful that the fish would be on the beach in Deal. I got out to Phillips Ave about 545 am, and there were a few regulars out since dark. I fish the jetty end on the north side and had one on briefly. I fished the cut along that beach up to the pilings with lots of promise but no strikes. Then I dropped down below the jetty where tons of bait was up in the wash and an occasional swirl came up behind. I fished for about an hour before heading back down to Allenhurst and Asbury to see what was up.

I had to shoot down in Atlantic City so I took along my rod, waders, and stripping basket in case something broke down there. I had my buddy with me, and loose fly rod with friend in the jumpseat= eventual broken rod tip. I found that out after dropping him off and sneaking down to the Shark River Inlet to make some blind casts.

So, looks like it's back to Orvis for that rod- that's three in 6 months. I switched over to my 9 foot 8 weight Clearwater.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10.21.10 Hit it again....

I can see it's hard being a striper fisherman, especially if you work from home or work locally. If you take a train into the city or commute far all you can do is wonder several times a day, " I wonder if they're in?". For me, I work and on and off again schedule that includes several days a week in my home office in front of the computer. And that just doesn't go well with being a striper fisherman. I am also shooting down to the beach or the jetty to see what's going on. I do it, and other do it more, at least three times a day. This morning I thought I would check Deal and drove to Phillips Ave to see what was up. There was bait in the water, mostly rain fish that were being chased by snappers. There was an occasional mullet, shad or bunker that would flip out of the water but I could never focus in quick enough to accurately name it. There was another guy who came down to check the beach out and he talked me into fishing for about 2 hours. He worked the jetty to the tip, and I concentrated on the cut and wash on the north side. I had a few snappers following my flies in but that was it. The SW wind and the low tide turned the water a sandy brown as I left. I think I will give it a go tomorrow a.m., same place where I heard they had fish this morning.

10.20.10 Fished three times, three towns, zero fish

I hit it three times today, with varying effort, in between work and kids. I started in Asbury Park around noon, doing an 8th Ave drive by. Then I went to Long Branch and hit the beach behind Takanasee, then hit Sea Bright behind the municipal parking lot. I was rushed for time there, and went kind of bare bones, slippery Crocs on the groin, and just a fly rod in hand. While driving there I saw a guy hauling two large blues down the steps off the sea wall at Monmouth Beach. Later in the day I went back down to Asbury to spend some time looking, and then went back at 8 pm and fished the scarp and the wash with nothing. Ugly weather on the way- so maybe it will churn up this flat water we've been having.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10.19.10 You shouldda been here yesterday...great

Today was great...took care of stuff in the morning, figured I'd go for a bit in the early afternoon. As soon as I got there, "We're you here yesterday?" That's never a good sign. Around 9 am they had a blitz of blues, big blues, to 20 pounds, ripping through mullet up on the beach just south of 8th Ave. Today, water flat, incoming tide, boring, boring , boring. Water was crystal clear. I fished for about an hour. I had a blast talking with the guys trying to figure out when it's coming next. It wasn't today, well not yet.

I am going now to work on my "Bug of the Month" for tonights Trout Unlimited meeting, I might do a talk on didymo, or another bug, not sure.

I worked on an article with guide Dan Ansbach for American Angler magazine, it didn't make the print version, but it is on line, check it out HERE

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10.17.10 So after real work, I hit the beach

Today I shot the Giants and Lions game at the new ?? Giants/Jets/Meadowlands stadium. On Monday night I shot the Jets versus Vikings game at the new ?? Jets/Giants/Meadowlands stadium. That's really the story- whose stadium is it, what should it be named and what do fans from both sides think about it. That's what I was covering for one of our clients. Of course I made sure we got credentialed for the game and to shoot on the field. It was tough, 1 o'clock start, means high hard sun. Monday during the Jets game, they pulled the fans from the seats because of lightning and torrential rain. I got a few for the tank. After work and after getting settled back in, I took a quick ride to 8th Ave and found a flat, slack tide, partially lit moon beautiful ocean with no sign of life. And then I left.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10.16.10 Another 3 hours on the beach, and my brothers deer

I didn't go last night or this morning. But I did go from about 1130 - 3 pm this afternoon. Birds everywhere. No bunker like yesterday. Wicked NW wind up to 40 mph. Made blind casts off the jetty and into the wash along Loch Arbour. Saw a picture from a guy who got a 42 inch fish that must have weighed 35 pounds Thursday night on 8th Ave around 530 in the afternoon. He got it on a Vision, rubber eel. I stopped by my brothers house and found him go-go over this really cool deer he got this morning across the street from his house. He did it the way it should be done. Hunted for 15 minutes and got one. Anyway it's "special" because the spike bucks tynes are never that long and symmetrical. Cool, I guess. "How do you release it now?"

Friday, October 15, 2010

10.15.10 Long day on the beach- getting closer

Today I spent the better part of my day waiting for fish to come, that never came. It was fun though repeatedly meeting up with the same guys as they made their way from Deal, to Allenhurst, to Long Branch, to Asbury Park- and oh yeah, in between, running home to knock off something the Honey-Do List, getting something to eat, or even working. Do striper fisherman do that. I don't know, really, I have been asked down on the jetty or beach when I work, and I see the same guys everytime I go down. Today I started at the beach club in Allenhurst, through the binoculars I could see tons, I mean tons, of birds on the water, over the water, watching the water. Several times they would set up over the bunker that was crashing through the surface. They would get up, then get down. Go out and then come in, but never close enough. Last night they came in, from the sounds of it they came up on the jetty and opened guys tackle boxes and hooked themselves. It was that good. One guy, several people witnessed, had nine keepers during a that 2am free for all. So the rest of us figured 2 am last night, then they'll come back 2pm this afternoon. Nothing. A pod of bunker around 3 pm got within a 1/4 mile cast of a 1 pound snagging hook that a guy was throwing. So what does that mean, nothing. Just gotta be there, and you just gotta keep coming out.

10.13.10 Searched the beaches, zilch

This morning I didn't get up early, and I am glad I didn't. Met up with Al in Deal who searched the same beat I did with nothing going on. Temps are getting a little more fall like- so that should help.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10.12.10 Quick trip to the barren water

Had a break editing pictures from last nights Jets-Viking game so I figured I would come down and catch a big striper. Or even a small striper. It was another nice day. But not for striper fishing. Water was flat. Temps at Sandy Hook today, 65.7. And no bait, birds or fish in sight. So I tied on a Clouser minnow and worked the beach and jetty for about an hour. Nothing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

10.11.10 Another beautiful fish

Headed out this morning for what I hoped was going to be a good one. I have fished night sthe last few times out, and lost one in the wash Saturday night. This morning was a stellar day for being out, there just wasn't anything going on. I started at Phillips Ave and met up with the usual cast of characters that fish there. If they're not catching anything there, you might as well move on. And that's what I did. I was watching a flock of birds feeding off Allenhurst so I stopped there. They moved along the jetty and out into Loch Arbor, but never came in close enough, and there was no signs that fish were working below them.

Dumbass move of the day. Since it was so nice out I decided to bring my tripod and remotes to get some pictures of fly fishing the beach. I set everything up and turned the camera on...dead battery. Oh well.

As far as freshwater, the Delaware Rivers are settled into somewhat normal flows, the West Branch is at 450 around 50, I wish I could get up there sometime this week, the river closes down the 15th except for the Gamelands stretches. I can't believe it, another year gone. All those grownups, and old folks that tell you life goes fast and is here and gone in a blink of an eye were dead on!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10.09.10 Switching over to night fishing

Busy early morning weekend stuff with the kids, plus high tide has been running around 6-9 pm, so I'm going to try the nights for a few days. Fished last night, nothing. Fished tonight, Saturday night, and one short in the wash that released itself just as I got a hand on him. I did go down earlier in the day at dead low tide and found guys trying to snag pods of mullet that were running around the 8th Ave jetty. I might hit Deal in the morning.

Friday, October 8, 2010

10.08.10 Project Healing Waters Pequest outing

Headed up to the Pequest Hatchery in Hackettstown today for the Project Healing Waters outing. Project Healing Waters is s national, might be international, organization that introduces disabled veterans to fly tying and fly fishing. We meet and tie flies at the VA in Lyons, and host trips to the Pequest Hatchery, Molders Preserve, and Osterman Nursery. It was a beautiful day and the dozen vets we had a great time. I was teamed with a nice guy who caught about 5 fish, and lost a few bigger ones. The last trip I was going on was to Molders Preserve in Old Bridge, but it started pouring as soon as we got there, and the VA cancelled the trip. So it was good to get this one in, Sunday is another outing but I won't make that one. I may head out to the beach to see what's been going on. I feel if I take a day off from there I will miss everything. Below is a pic from my guys fish.

10.07.10 The morning after, no sign of the fish

Well after catching a blitz at 8th Ave last night I was eager to show my story with my buddy Al, who got out early this am and gave it a shot. Nothing. No sign of the fish. I went to Deal midday to take a look and it was tide, and the water dirty out past the jetty. The waves were full of sand. I also stopped by Asbury later in the day, more of the same as Deal, just a little more water at that tim. Taking Friday off from the saltwater, heading up to the Pequest Hatchery with Project Healing Waters.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10.06.10 Finally caught the blitz, well saw one

Don't get excited, I didn't catch it. I started around 645 am in Deal. Nice calm day, no wind, a few big waves. I worked my way out onto the Phillips Ave jetty and started to fish. I was making good casts, having fun, all alone. I was only about a third of the way out when I turned and saw a wave like on Hawii Five-O coming at me. I dropped on foot back and took the entire wave from head to toe. I though for sure I would be knocked over, knocked unconscious, and my new fishing friend Al would find my body tomorrow in the wash. Luckily I stood my ground but was more careful from then on out. I headed up to Allenhurst and as soon as I got there I met up with a guy I see at 8th Ave. We killed them last night and early this morning. Just what I wanted to hear. So I fished till about 9, then it was off to work.
After work I headed back down, first to Asbury, where the guys on the jetty were trying to avoid the 200 surfers surfing right on the jetty. As I was getting ready two guys hooked up close to the beach so I grabbed my rod and headed down. I worked the wash and rip, nothing. Headed to Alenhurst, nothing. Came back to Asbury, small blitz- few keepers, like the one above. Then I headed down to Avon around 7pm. Nothing. Then back to Asbury and 8th Ave. I pull in the lot, there is about 150 cars there, but only three guys on the jetty and maybe a half a dozen surfing. So I take my time and get my stuff and as I head to the jetty I look over and those 100 guys, well maybe 15, are landing striper after striper in front of the Loch Arbor Beach Club. I run over and start casting the fly rod, nothing, go out too far, and get almost swamped by a wave. Then I realize after 20 mins, I have no fly on my rod. Then the group moves to the jetty and they start hooking up there. Keeper and keeper, and a few shorts. I casted my friggin' arm off. Nothing. I think I just suck. I won't be going in the morning, that'll show them!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10.05.10 Alright I'm sick of this, where's the fish

Another great morning along the beaches in New Jersey. High NE winds and rough surf made it a no go for me this morning. There were a few brave souls throwing clams and metal. I went back tonight and things were just a tad better. The water was dirty for about a half mile out. I'll be at it again tomorrow- hopefully it's a little better.

Monday, October 4, 2010

10.04.10 Gonna be a tough week

When my alarm went off at 520 am this morning I looked outside and saw the large tree in my backyard swaying back and forth. I reached over and hit the off button and went back to bed. I did head down to Allenhurst around 845 and looked out s big waves crashed on the jetty and rain pelted the area. Not a fisherman or surfer in sight. So I put my waders on and grabbed my rod and headed down to fish the relatively calm area behind the jetty. I though for sure there were fish there since a small flock of birds was picking stuff out of the wash there. With a strong N-NE wind casting wasn't too bad. A few "rouge" waves came over and snuck up on me from behind when I went out too far. I fished for about an hour. It's going to be a tough week, and season, if this kind of weather continues.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

10.03.10 Rough early morning in Deal

It was a nice crisp fall morning in Deal around sunrise, the only problem the northeast wind was blowing around 40 mph. Not easy with the fly rod. Actually, it wasn't bad. I fished the south side of the groin above and with the wind from the NE, it made for easy casting. The image above was taken about 745, and the waves were much bigger at the 545 am start. I read and article recently that the biggest problem fly guys have is not getting the fly down to where the fish are, especially if they're not looking up yet. So I added a fast sink tip to my floating line and put on a new leader and picked a larger heavier fly. I was casting for about an hour and a half and decided that was about it. I made a cast off the groin into the wash and reeled the line in. As I got to to where the black sink tip was on my rod and my fly right where the jetty meets the beach, my line started to move along the jetty. I was puzzled at first and watched it travel a short bit, and before I realized I had a fish on, it was gone. So that kept me there another 45 mins for nothing. Even with the wind and big waves the water was clear. If things calm down just a bit it should be good tomorrow. I'll be back at Deal in the am and then off to the Hook to hunt for albies.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

10.02.10 Fall is here this morning, fish weren't

Got out for first light, well before it and headed to the Avon side of the Shark River Inlet. Nice morning, a chill in the air, water getting cooler. Not a fish, or a bump to be had. I was there about 3 hours after high tide. Guys fishing on the jetties on both sides of the inlet with nothing on. Heading out tomorrow to Deal, we'll see what's up there.