40+ inch striped bass, Deal
Well, it was a long day. I was in pursuit of some bluefish to shoot for the upcoming Cookin Wild issue and I was able to deliver, on my own and with a little help from my friends, well strangers. I started out in the Manasquan Inlet where an angler hooked up with a cocktail blue on a Deadly Dick. Before he released it I got a few frames off. With that in the bag I geared up and fished Fishermans Cove there with no results.
Fishermans Cove, Manasquan Inlet
I traveled north, and first stopped at Bing's in Avon for a bacon, egg and cheese on a hard roll. If you're ever in that area and need one there delicious. After swallowing that I stopped at the Shark River Inlet where a pod of blues were on the munch in the inlet. They were on anything silver, duh, and took a gray Jiggy Fly. After a few were caught I shot them and then moved over and gave an eddy behind a jetty a shot for stripers with no luck. The water looks great- clean and green. So my bluefish mission was accomplished, now it was time to find some stripers.
Shark River Inlet cocktail blue
I drove along Ocean Ave and hit all the usual spots with nothing really exciting going on. I parked my truck in Deal and headed down where two guys had each caught a keeper on clams. I watched as one of the guys rigged up about 8 ounces of drippy-clammy-rubbery-wonderfullness and then looked at my sad gray fly hooked into my fly rod. How can you compete with that. Big, fat egg carrying hungry cows hugging the bottom and laying in between the groins on a snotty day. So they can either go after a Big Mac being held in place with 8 ounces, or chase a french fry swimming around somewhere in the water column.
Rigging up fresh clams
Egg laying females- they should go back
Clams- what stripers want for dinner
A 40 + inch striped bass, Deal
So as I spoke with the angler he threw his clam in and about 12 seconds later his rod bent and he set the hook and started the fight. After about 5 long minutes his brother was picking up a huge 40 + inch fish from the wash. It was a nice fish. I then looked through my fly wallet to see if there was anything that could be mistaken for a clam, a big fat juicy clam.....nope. I settled for a chartreuse Clouser Minnow and worked the waters on both sides of the groin. After a while I decided I would move and take a trip over to the Raritan Bay to see if those big bluefish were about.
I pulled into Leonardo and found some anglers talking. I told them about the action outside and they said a few bluefish were taken this morning. They haven't had the herring/ bunker/ bluefish action like they had last year. At times monster bluefish invade and turn the waters of the bay and rivers red with bits of bait mixed in. I fished along the Naval Pier with another guy throwing a plug and neither of us had any action.
So, what I need is a clam fly, that's juicy, hugs the bottom, smells great and tastes good. If you have one please drop me a line!