Wednesday, November 30, 2011

11.30.11 IBSP, after fish, after fish, after fish, after fish, after fish, after fish, and more fish

     Had a cancellation today so I decided to give it a shot. Started in Avon before light and found huge waves on the start of the incoming tide. Beautiful morning but with little water and huge breakers it was

tough to find a place where the fish would hold. Decided around 830 to take a drive down to Island Beach State Park since things didn't feel good up here. Got down around 945 am and started at A10. Plenty of anglers out and soon after hitting the beach they were on them. They caught fish, and more fish, and more fish. It was the last of the incoming and they caught fish, and then it was slack tide, and they caught fish. The meal of the day was metal, most using Ava's with a teaser, although I did see some Vision type rubber eels dancing in the wind. It was a tough go with the fly rod. SW wind that was gusting and a hard right to left current. It took my fly line as soon as it hit the water, and I was using the Depth Charge line with a Skull Candy tied fly. Every time a fish was hooked they were walking it north on the beach. I tried to cast out over the breakers to where the fish were bottled up in the bowls on either side of the cusps, but I nearly got washed out one time, for real, like I was about to ask for help. Embarrassing. I just needed another, +/- 40 feet?

     I moved south to A18 and found two guys talking and breaking down after fishing. They each had 2 keepers. I started to picture how many fish are caught and kept, it'a amazing the species continues. After the walk over the dunes I arrived to a sweet bowl that was dotted with about 6 anglers. The only room was the top spot which was in the water. It was the start of the outgoing so I walked in, and didn't get far. The water was moving. Soon these guys were hooked up, sometimes three at a time. They were using Ava's, one a Bomber, and one a bright green large eel, Hogy or Stingo?, it was huge. I casted my arm off and didn't get a bump. It was frustrating. I saw Bob Popovic's drive past me while I fished and I got a message from him later that he had caught three down at the Pocket at the north jetty.

Found these keepers in the back of a guys truck

     My favorite picture is the one above. It reminds me of when the paleontologists find the dinosaur bones that show they fought till the death. Here's a busted fishing pole with the line still attached to the carcass. It washed up some time on the high tide. I wonder what the story is behind that one?

All is all it was a good day. Lot's of wind, lot's of waves, lot's of current. I probably saw 75 fish caught and 40-60 kept after being caught or already in the car, cooler or on the beach. And, I only saw one fish kicked back into the surf.

Monday, November 28, 2011

11.28.11 Bluefin caught off the beach in Point Pleasant today ?.....

     Well, well, well....looked what showed up for lunch off the beach, yes caught from the beach, in Point Pleasant this afternoon. While surfing, the web, I found the story on The Fisherman Magazine Facebook page HERE. I also saw it on the BassBarn HERE. There was eyewitnesses to the catch which was an 80+ pound bluefin tuna caught on either and Ava or a Rebel. 

Posters started to question right away if the catch was legal since the angler didn't have a NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Permit) to keep that fish. In the same sentence was mention of the 881 pound bluefin caught last week and was confiscated because it was net and not line caught. 

While reading about the sick bite down off LBI and IBSP over the last few weeks I have came across several threads where people were questioning the type and size of fish that were breaking them off in a hurry. I wonder if bluefins had moved in because of the tremendous amount of sand eels just off the beaches. 

More to follow as the story develops... 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

11.27.11 Took the wife and the JB out of Barnegat Light...for a little while

    Anyway, had a beautiful morning to go and check out the epic best bite they've had in decades down off IBSP. On the road at 430 am and down to Barnegat Light and in the water at 630 am. We were maybe the 10 th boat around the inlet. S wind with and incoming tide with the waves 2-4 ft. Had some birds working just as we cleared the rocks but no signs of bass or blues on them. Saw a guy way out on the rocks land a short. 

    We drove around close to the inlet for a bit and Cindy started feeling a little green with running and stopping and drifting. The number of boats increased and the occasional party boat would make a hard left and burn right through. We marked some fish but out of range with the fly rod. I borrowed a neighbor's spin set up and had Cindy throwing an AVA. She picked up a nice dogfish just north of the inlet. We had a bunch of birds and boats working at the end of the beach near the north jetty but didn't see a fish caught. As time went on I realized it was getting time to go. Cindy said she wasn't feeling well and I jokingly replied, "How about a pepperoni pizza with anchovies?" And that was just about the end of the morning, as she then leaned over board. We were back on the trailer by 830. Got to hand it to her she's a trooper. I mentioned about taking a quick run a little north to see what the fleet was on, but that wasn't happening. 

     One more thing I learned, socks and Croc's don't cut it taking a boat out at the ramp at high tide!

     When we first got out before sunrise I saw some boats moving down to Surf City on LBI and when we left it was a boat expo near A7 or south Seaside Park. After reading some of the reports and comments about today the brakes were applied hard on the bite. These fish may have finally moved more south.

It was a beautiful morning and nice to be with the wife and take the Jones Brothers out for a spin. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

11.26.11 Taking the boat out of Barnegat Light in the morning

Getting ready to join the fleet out of Barnegat Light tomorrow morning. Boat, check, fly rods, check, flies, check, wife, check...what...yep. Taking my first mate out for her first time on the boat and striper fishing. Stay tuned.

11.26.11 Shorts and a keeper here and there at sunup in Monmouth County

     Didn't wet a line this morning but did do a quick drive along the beat. The anglers that didn't drive to IBSP came out and gave it a shot around here at sunup and just before high tide. Talked with several guys locally who said there were shorts here and there and one keeper just about every spot. When I got to Allenhurst a happy angler was coming off with a nice 34" inch fish he got at first light on a articulated Bomber.


Down south they continue the onslaught on bass on and just off the beaches in Island Beach State Park and Long Beach Island. As I write this Joe Cermele a fishing editor from Field and Stream just posted on his Facebook page a picture of his friend Eric with a 25 pound striper they on his boat the Tunalicious caught within a golf ball drives from the beach.

I took a look at some tackle shop's websites from down that way. Betty and Nicks and Grumps had over 180 fish weighed in yesterday. Put those numbers in addition to the private and commercial fishing boats out there. Add those harvest numbers to the fish taken from the biomass from the start of this fall run in Cape Cod and you wonder how many fish will be left by the time they get down to North Carolina to winter over.

They are all saying that IBSP and points south is having an epic fall, best they have seen in decades.

Please fish responsibly and be careful when you release your fish. Maybe even think of going barbless or replacing those treble hooks with a single hook- do you need nine points to catch a fish?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

11.24.11 Happy Thanksgiving....beautiful morning on the beach

     Found lot's of anglers out this morning. Most asking themselves the same question, "How long can I stay before I get in trouble at home?" I was asking myself the same question. Got down to 8th Ave just around 6 o'clock and found guys from The Asbury Park Fishing Club watching and waiting. I moved down to Deal and found a fly guy working the wash hard. There was a bunch of leaves and grass in the water and guys throwing metal had to clean their hooks after every other cast. As the tide started to move and the rocks became more visible I wanted to stay and wait it our but I just couldn't. Family will start arriving at 2 and I had things to do. 
     I made the right decision and got in my truck and left. However, I had to stop by Allenhurst and see how that they were doing. As I watched an angler was landing a nice fish out front. So now I had to stay for a bit. I grabbed my fly rod and found the water cleaner there and starting to move nicely. I made a few casts and realized it was 830 and really time to go.

I scanned some reports already from down south, it sounds like the sick bite continues.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in Allenhurst

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11.22.11 Went south for a bit...but found fish back home

     Great but long day today. Started out heading south down to IBSP at 430 am. Found a ton of guys making their way into the park before first light. Parking lots were almost full as I drove past on my way to Area 23. That lot wasn't full yet, but getting there. I got out on the beach to find howling E wind and a rough surf. Almost all the anglers were throwing Ava's or T-Hex's or some skinny metal. They were able to get over the breakers and out to the bar, not quite over it while I was there. I made some casts into the wash and then stood and watched for awhile to see if the 30 our so folks to my right or left were getting anything. They weren't so I moved on. There seemed to be a lot of traffic heading down to the north jetty and I wasn't taking that long walk. 


     I stalked out in Seaside Park and Heights and gave it a go at Casino Pier just past slack tide. It was hard getting that fly out to where I wanted to, I needed some rocks. I made my way north stopping to survey the usual spots. Before I called it a day I decided to hit my "home" water to see how things were looking on the incoming. It was about noon. To my surprise there was wall to wall birds just out past the rocks and only two guys fishing. The water was low, really low, and the wind blowing. I love snotty weather but this day would be difficult. The waves came in quick so it was a quick cast, mend, strip, and pick up before the fly and line got caught in the barnacle covered and exposed rocks. The video helps paint the scene a little better than the pictures do. As I made my way out one guy hooked up and released and then did it again. They were positioned at the tip and one was working north and the other south. They had to clear the rocks with their metal, so that spot wouldn't be any good for me.

any good for me. I had the wind coming from straight in the front of the rocks and to fish the north side so I had to cast over my opposite shoulder, which I did for hours. Luckily I only binged my Clouser off my head once! As time went on another angler head the groin south of us and the birds started working off the tip where he was. I saw him hook up twice. 
     After about 1,200 casts my line finally went tight and quickly the fish was into my backing and taking me out front. He turned nicely and with the help of the other angler he landed the fish from deep down in the rocks. I don't usually ask someone to take my picture with a fish, but I wanted to remember this one. He took the fly I tied last night, the one I tied with Farrar's Flash Blend, below. 

All in all over about two hours there 10 fish landed, 9 released. I got one and had a good take but missed the set. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

11.21.11 Skipped the boat...hit the beach...lost my it back

     Late last night I cancelled the boat trip out of Barnegat Light. I looked at several forecasts and it didn't look promising. I was up and out the door at 430 am and it was raining pretty steady.  I felt guilty going down south to fish and having my kids walk to school in the rain. I turned around at Exit 98 on the Parkway and went to 8th Ave to see what was up. There were a few guys there and I talked with one guy who fished there yesterday and in front of Convention Hall and had some fish one at 19 pounds. I  drove up Ocean Ave and stopped in Sea Bright around 530. The rain had stopped and it was 54 degrees out with no wind. I was pissed thinking I dropped the boat trip because of the NOAA forecast, which was the following for Monday morning. 

Mon NE winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts to near 25 kt. Seas 2 to 4 ft.

I did the drop offs and I will have to admit by the time I got back to the water around 10 am the wind and waves had started to kick up. The tide was just starting to move which gave me a great opportunity to scout some water from Long Branch down to the Shark River Inlet. How textbook and sweet is the below picture. That's about halfway out on the groin. It's just a feeding trough for fish laying along the rocks. 

     At some point I dropped my phone and didn't realize until hours later that I had lost it. It was around noon and I was in Deal, so I backtracked my day and didn't find it. I decided to fish Ocean Grove on the incoming plus it was the only beach where I found birds working steadily, although a ways out. As I 

was checking my backcast I see my wife coming over the sand towards me. She told me some guy had called her saying he had found my phone. He had hid it below the viewer at the gazebo in Avon. We drove down and looked around it and couldn't find it. We thought someone else had found it. Since the guy called from my phone we couldn't call him back. Right before we left we decided to call my phone and we could hear it ringing. He had put int on a joist under the boardwalk. I am thankful that he put it in a good spot and that I got my phone back. Losing a phone is as annoying as losing your wallet. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

11.20.11 Hit the International Fly Tying Symposium this afternoon

     I went to the show in Somerset today. Good show, a little slow but that always happens on a Sunday and when football is on. Lots of great well known tyers from around the world. It was nice to see some friends I haven't seen since the last show circuit and meet some new ones. Each year I seem to be intrigued by one tyer. Last year it was Leon Piasecki, this year it was New Jersey tyer Brad Buzzi. Brad is the owner of BUZFLY, . What caught my attention were his sand eel imitations. Sand eels are hot right now so I watched him tie a few and I purchased some and a few packs of Steve Farrar's Flash Blend.
Pretty soon fishing will be all done and it'll be time to hit the vise in the man cave.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

11.19.11 Fish up and down the Shore...and hard core angler of the day

     First let me tell you about the above angler. I was fishing at the end of a long 9 mile line of guys between the piers and this guy walks down to the water and walks in and just keeps on going. He fished for about 10 minutes like that and then walked out and moved on. That's some cold weather gear he has on! 

Well the fish are here. Talked with guys from Sea Bright down to IBSP. The boat guys are having a blast and getting their fill chasing birds, bait and bass. I fished down south here yesterday and just missed the bite and came back for more today and the bite wasn't here. Had birds in the wash before first light and then moved off quickly. They would come and go and the occasional fish would blow up. Seemed like every boat coming out of the Manasquan Inlet would either motor through or stop on the fish. When the birds got close the boats would motor over to them and the guys on the beach would take a walk over. Saw one boat hook up and two shorts caught between the piers. Hit the Wawa on the way out and a guy who fished IBSP Area 7 said he and his buddy caught 15 at first light from 16-28 inches. 

Up north the fish were in and out by 8 o'clock with bass a blues in the mix. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Friday, November 18, 2011

11.18.11 Just missed the action down south this morning...

     I scratched going out on the boat this morning so I took a ride down south to see if the hot bite was still on. I parked in the town that I hate and the parking lot that I hate and when I got there the tickets were already on the windshields. I figure whoever got on duty at 7 am wanted to get their ticket writing over with so they hit the easy target anglers. I walked down to the water and found a large group of anglers out on the sandbar on the start of the incoming tide. Birds were working and guys were hooking up north of where I came in. Within the hour most of the guys and trucks had left the beach and moved on. Check out the series below of an angler who had been in the water for some time and stepped into a cut or trough on the way out. There were some boats out down south but the most I saw were off West End in Long Branch anchored up for tog.

The below angler found the cut on the way out of the water.