Thursday, June 28, 2012

06.28.12 Checking things out front before heading to New England

     This is another favorite fishing season of mine. When the bass bite slows, and when I'm not tying in wire for the bluefish, getting out at first light and fly fishing for fluke in the wash is as good as it gets. Today I found this spin angler enjoying the very thing I am talking about. As I pulled up to Allenhurst I saw Judy coming off with a nice 20" keeper, one of several she's had in the past few days.
    Fly fishing for fluke, or any other species off the beach in the summer is great. The water is warm so you can wet wade in shorts and sandals and getting out before the crowds at first light can give you a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise that we see off the Jersey Shore. Like all other fishing, there is a proper presentation and beach read that will increase your chance of hooking into a keeper (17.5") size fish.
     I also enjoy this season when doing casting or intro to fly fishing classes because the fish can be literally at your feet. If you'd like to try fly fishing for fluke or would like casting lessons or an intro to fly fishing lesson give me a call, 732.261.7291. Instruction is $50 per hour and includes a snack and cold beverage. It's great for a couple or parent and child to do together.

(Continued below)

     So I am following the striped bass up to New England for a long weekend in Newport. This weekend is the America's Cup races so I am sure the town and surrounding waters will be busy. I am still packing a fly rod, or two, just in case I am able to wet a line. My wonderful and supportive wife lives fishing with me everyday of the year. I am either away on the Upper Delaware for days or waking up at 4am to hit the first light bass bite. So, sometimes you just have to do the right thing, but, maybe I can out for a minute.

Capt Rene of On the Rocks Charters
     Since I am going to Newport I emailed fellow Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Rene Letourneau of On the Rocks Charters, you can visit his website HERE. He has been fishing the waters around Narrangansett Bay for over 20 years and offers both fly and light tackle charters for his clients. I wish I was able to fish with Rene this trip but, " This is not a fishing trip, this is not a fishing trip...." but he did give me a few pointers on fishing in and around Newport. In addition to the fishing the view from his boat of the Rhode Island coastline is beautiful so the non-angler of your party will enjoy themselves as well. Give Capt. Rene a call 401.359.3625

06.28.12 Quick check out front before heading to New England

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

06.27.12 Off to Newport tomorrow

Me and the wife off to Newport, Rhode Island tomorrow with no kids, no dog, and no, well, yes, I'm bringing my fly rods.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

06.26.12 Look what my buddy found while fishing the Delaware

My friend and fly fishing guide Charlie "Bunky" Limpert was out on the Delaware River on Sunday and while fishing with a streamer for muskies, caught a 17 inch striped bass. The interesting thing was he was right at the mouth of the Pequest River in Belvidere. I know stripers have been seen all the way up to Bard Parker, aka Junction Pool, in Hancock- but that is usually early in the season. I like to see, catch, and hear about young stripers that are around....hopefully they'll grow up and make it to adulthood and return to the Delaware to spawn.

Also about young fish, I'm hearing there's a lot of peanut bunker in the Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays...could make for a great fall.

Monday, June 25, 2012

06.25.12 Got the Jonesey bugs all worked out

     So during my outing with my son on Saturday I noticed a thing here and there coming from the motor I didn't like. I called up Gateway Marine and scheduled to bring the boat down for a water test and tweak this morning. After the monsoon came through Rich got to work on the boat. I couldn't stay around for the final water test but I did get a call from him saying it was running good as new. He removed the carbs and did what a great mechanic does. 

Not only is it a process finding a boat that you're compatible with, but a mechanic and marina also. I have a few blips here and there, but I am happy with the attention and detail that Rich gives my boat. After hearing from friends and others that I should move on, it's days like today that I am glad he's working on my boat. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

06.24.12 There's a bunch of bunker...just not too many fish on them

     Well if you've never seen a pod of bunker, and boats surrounding them and snagging and dropping well here it is. Just like when I was out with my boy yesterday, today it was pod after pod of bunker just out of casting range from the groins. I heard one fish that was caught last night that I think went about 12 pounds.....guys and girls it might be close to being over. I am going to give it ago in th middle of the night so we'll see if I can drum a bass up. 
     Today I had a client out in the morning and we continued to work on casting the fly rod and fly fishing in the salt. A little ways in I decided to change spools on my Helios and made a cast after stringing up....and don't you know it I got a keeper or not keeper by much fluke that nailed the Clouser. Craig had a fluke on and we had a great time as always. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

06.23.12 Had my boy out front but I couldn't help him catch a fish

     I somehow snickered my oldest son to join me a for mornings fishing. Yesterday was Hurricane Harbor with 5 kids, a day where I backed into a families Lexus, and I guess this was his way of giving back. We were up at 4 am and clearing the Hook at 530. There was some weather down near Asbury Park so we hung up near Gunnison and the 1,000,000,000 bunker that were there, and we drove through another few million in Sandy Hook Bay. I will get into this in another post, but, I am a fly fisherman. I don't have spin gear. So I brought along a neighbors salt rod from the 1970's and a nice $49 dollar set up I got at Sports Authority. So we're in the bunker pod and I go to crank the $49 rod and the reel is seized. Then I go to the old school rod. I put on our only snagging hook and we get a bunker. Ryan drifts it behind the pod and we hook up on a real nice fish, and snap off, at the knot.
    Then we tried a Bomber to snag bunker, and lost that, and the know to the swivel. Then through through the morning we lost two more circle hook snagged bunker rigs, at the knot. Ryan got to take the wheel back in, and I told him to be a Captain you need 360 days on the water, and today was day one. I had a great time today with my son, I hope to rotate all my kids through or have them all out at once.

Friday, June 22, 2012

06.22.12 Snag and drop kind of morning...buddy did real well last evening

The boys on 8th
     Went down early before the heat comes and the kids wake up. Lots of anglers and boats out, either perched out on the ends of the groins or in tight to the beac. Saw lots of snagging hooks waiting for the pods of bunker to get within casting range. Saw some tight pods but didn't see any bass or blues on them.

Judy on Allenhurst
Last evening while I was at Mister C's I was back and forth with my friend Captain Jason Dapra of Blitzbound Guide Service, 631-662-4734, who was first on the hunt and then found and was into big bass. Below are a few pics from his evening charter. Since I am still in the process of getting my Captain's license I would recommend Jason for fly and light tackle charters for 2-3 anglers. If you fish Montauk he's out there in the fall and here during the spring and summer. When I get my license I will not longer recommend him! Kidding of course.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

06.21.12 Went for a nice Happy Hour dinner at Mr. C's....

and then while waiting for dinner to come things got interesting....

But forget that, I can't tell you how disappointed I was that they got rid of their $5 dollar apps and 1/2 price drinks during Happy Hour. Cindy and I enjoy that, well year round we thought, for most of the year. Well, it ended last week, and now everything is full price....$ 12-14 apps and $20+ entrees, which is fine for dinner, but not for a quick run over for a beer and bite before night.

And the other thing, it was what is was and it all worked out fine.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

06.20.12 My fishing partner today was all work no fishing

     I was all set to leave my house at 4am to hopefully catch an early morning bass bite. My fishing partner for the day called me at 350 am and said today was a no go, so it was a no go. I had planned on being back at the dock at 10 which would give plenty of time for a photo shoot I had at Metlife, aka- Giants and Jets Stadium. The picks were beginning at 3 in the afternoon so by not going fishing I had plenty of time and didn't have to rush. My families company, Archer Steel, is erecting 48 solar panels around the top of the stadium. It makes for some cool images if the weather, sun, crane, guys, all do what you need them to. This is my second day shooting this project and today I shot it from the top of the stadium. There is really no access up to there and climbing the steel with two cameras around your neck isn't the easiest thing, and the chance of damaging something is great. These cameras aren't made like the old Nikon F-3's or Canon A-1's.
     Besides having a different point of view with these images the afternoon wind picked up a bit and gave some respite from the near 100' temperatures. At one point while hoisting myself up onto this elevation my arm came in contact with the steel and it felt like a frying pan.

I am hoping that Friday will be my day out to fish. I have some clients coming to the salt over the weekend and I'm looking forward to that. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

06.19.12 No luck with the lens, but lots of help from friends

     Yep, no word yet, but I have lots of people in my corner trying to help. I'm getting emails, calls, and Facebook messages from people telling what they've done and what I can do to try and increase my odds in finding it. One nice guy posted it on Stripers Online for me. I went back to the scene of the crime, well scene of the stupidity, and of course it still wasn't there. While I was out I watched this guy on the rocks take a good wave but luckily he stayed upright. Heading out in the wee hours hoping to get a bite before the heat wave hits.

I am thinking things are winding down....more on that tomorrow.

On a separate note....remember the Alice Cooper song, "School's out for summer!!!". Well good, now get to work. My boys today at my father's warehouse sorting bolts for the bridge jobs on the NJ Turnpike. Start them young if you want them out by 18!

06.19.12 Still no sight of my lens

Monday, June 18, 2012

06.18.12 Found a fly angler on a great morning...but left a lens on the bench when I left

     It was a nice morning to check out the beach, even better was the fact that I found a fly fisherman and had my A-game cameras with me. I stayed for a while and moved to Marine Place to get a different  look. I pulled my car straight in and got out with my camera with the long lens on and my 24-70 in my hand. I put it down on the left bench there and made some more images as he fished both sides of the groin. Then I left, and left the lens there on the bench. I got home and unloaded my camera bag and realized that I had left the lens there. I drove back and it was gone. I went to the Deal Police Headquarters and it hadn't been turned in, yet I hope. I posted it on Facebook and put a note on the bench back at Marine. The lens is a Canon L 24-70 and looks like the one below. If you know someone who may frequent down there please pass my story on. Thanks, Colin, 732.261.7291



Sunday, June 17, 2012

06.17.12 Happy Father's Day

     Here's why I am happy on this Father's Day. I look at the above picture and see four kids that I am lucky to be around everyday. I am proud of them and their many accomplishments, including Sean's recent 8th grade graduation (picture above). After the summer our family will include a freshman, sophomore and junior in high school, a second grader and one in graduate school. We are a blended bunch who came together four years ago after a series of curveballs were thrown to us in The middle of this game of life. For me it has been a blessing, a welcome challenge, and lot's of hard work but I love them all the same, even though they all think Erin, the youngest, is my favorite. I am honored to be in this position and hope that I don't let them down and will always be someone who they can turn to during both the good and bad times. Often I hear them say, or tell me directly, that I am "annoying" or "care too much", and when I hear that it is confirmation that I am doing a pretty good job.


     Early this morning I got spend some time with my father and brother for Father's Day and they were at my house by 5 am. We had planned to go fishing but the E wind at 20 and end of the incoming tide made it a little to tough to enjoy. We had one pair of waders between us and one sets of spikes. I decided that maybe the Shark River Inlet might be good for a fluke or two or maybe some bluefish. We got into our spot and made some casts for about a half an hour before just hanging out and watching the boats, from 20 footers to head boats, exit the inlet, and then some, turn around a few minutes later and head back in. On our way home I stopped by Allenhurst and found a lone fly angler working water that I find great on a NE or E wind. By 8 we were back at my house having coffee and saying hello to my kids as they trickled out of their sleeps. It was a nice way to start the day.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

06.16.12 Note to self...load up stripping basket the night before

     We've all done it, fly and non-fly anglers alike. I have forgot my fly rod, flies, and leader material before. Today I forgot my stripping basket. Nothing harder than trying to fly fish with a sinking line off the rocks, or beach, without a place to stick that line. If you use a floating or sinking line you can stay out of danger and usually fish through it. But a sinking line on the start of the outgoing with waves crashing the rocks is usually disastrous.
     I found a flat rock and made sure as I stripped the line to my feet and not the black cavernous hole at the top of the picture above. That line would have found a crevice and been damaged, ruined or lost if it got hung up on the barnacles and mussels clinging on the underside of the rocks.

Lots of fluke fisherman out now. They line the jetties as the bait and spin anglers watch and wait for signs of an impending blitz. The boats are still on the bass, but I think after this week the bass fishing will slow down considerably on the beaches and rocks. At least that will thin the crowds a bit.

Friday, June 15, 2012

06.15.12 Fluke on the fly off the rocks...and Al gets out for Father's Day early

     I love when I tell people that I take clients fly fishing for fluke. They kind of say, "Fluke?". I love it in June when you can leave the waders in the truck and wet wade and pound the wash with a Clouser and pick up some fluke. Fluke are a nasty and mean predator fish. They lay in wait and and with a quick strike attack the bait or fly and then they give a good fight. Today we caught a nice 21" fluke off the end of the groin. If you think landing stripers on the rocks with a fly rod is fun, try landing a strong flatfish in large swells.
     This weekend is Father's Day and today I found my buddy Al celebrating a little early out fishing with his son. They have on the same hats, but that's where the likeness ends. Al is in his summer wear and his son, with jacket in hand, is still in spring mode.

If you are a father or have a father enjoy your weekend, it's looks like it's going to be a nice one.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

06.14.12 Didn't make it out this morning...I slept in

     I wanted to fish this morning, but I was finishing up my sleep study test at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC. Spent the night hooked up to 1,000 electronic leads up and down my body, and had to sleep on my back, or just a little on my side. My sleep tech came in to remind me that I couldn't roll over or to apply pressure to the top of my head or temple because the wire came off.

Wind changed to the E, and that slowed things down. I heard more about that Tuesday night blitz they had in Long Branch, over 40 fish kept to 45 pounds, glad I wasn't there. Tonight there was 1,000 guys on Pullman and the law came and enforced the parking rules, and passed out tickets.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

06.13.12 Lot's of big fish before the blow...this morning I wanted to just cut and splice my fly line

      Well the big fish stayed around from yesterday morning and were back on the bunker last evening and last night. I got out around 6 a.m. at the end of the rain and the start of the NE wind. I found the surf kicked up and stained depending what beach I pulled into to scout. This is my favorite water to fish, although I like it a little earlier that two hours before low tide. I picked my groin and fished for about 20 minutes before I got a tangle in my fly line. I made a few twists and turns in it and then had one of the worst knots I've ever had. I was to the point of cutting and splicing the Orvis Depth Charge line until I realized it's an $89 line. It took me 45 minutes to clear the knot, and what you see above was close to when I started to make sense of it.

     I jumped over a few groins and followed a trail of huge scales as I walked down the rocks. It was evident that there were big fish taken here at some point last night. Throughout yesterday they had them from Asbury Park north. I fished some great washing machine clean water with only a good hit, and I wondered if it wasn't a shad like I had hitting yesterday. Today was a perfect day to bust out the Orvis Gale Force waterproof backpack. For those that know me I wear the Orvis Sling Pack, but since I sunk my little camera the other day I'm lugging around the big camera and that $1,800 one can't get wet. It's great, and comfortable, and worth the money to keep your stuff and camera, phone and keys dry. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

06.12.12 Lots of different fish showed up at first light...

     So I've been betting that the first light bite will pick up and today it did. Had a nice SE wind with lots of swells and chop and bait in the water. Picked Long Branch to start off in and as soon as I got to the rocks bunker and shad were in pods swimming within a stones throw of the groins. I didn't see any fish on them and they moved quickly in and out around the rocks, almost mullet like. My buddy Rich fished to the north of me and caught a gator blue on metal. We had stripers, blues, bunker, shad and some tiny yound of the year fish that were getting smashed around by the shad. It wasn't an easy morning with the fly rod but it was good to be out fishing fishy looking water.


When I first came through Asbury Park before 5am there was no one out, but as the morning came the end of 8th Ave started to fill up. I decided to stop and found guys snagging and dropping bunker and catching some big stripers. Without sounding like a super catch and release only guy, I respect an anglers right to keep his catch. I believe the size and catch limits should be changed, especially with regard to the bigger females. But, it is what it is and it's not my fish and an angler can make their own decision. However, what does bother me, is seeing those big fish dead or left for dead in the stagnant pools of water or strewn on the rocks. Not that I don't understand why they are there, a guy hooks a fish, brings it in, gaffs it, and then bleeds it, and then continues fishing. But there is something that's either disturbing or gets me as a lack of respect for the fish....I really don't know what it is. It's kind of like my buddy a charter Captain who lines up the dead fish for the post trip pick....nothing wrong with it, legal, but just not for me. I made the top image of the guys waiting for the bunker to get close, pretty cool shot, then walked up on the groin and found the homicide scene below. Sorry, just my opinion.

I decided to head back to where my buddy was fishing and caught slack low tide. I managed a nice fluke that I hoped was 17-1/2 inches, but came up short at 16, so back it went.

Later in the day I brought my boat back to Gateway Marine to have Rich troubleshoot the problem I had. He jumped right on it and found it to be a stuck siphon ball in the fuel tank. While there they swapped out a few old fuel lines and will detail the topside and I'll pick it up Friday.

Monday, June 11, 2012

06.11.12 Started early up north and then settled in at the Manasquan Inlet

     I am really convinced that sometime soon there will be an awesome early morning bite. Oh yeah, from the beach. I know the boats are catching them up mostly snagging and dropping bunker, but I'm thinking soon a nice pod of stripers will be in the shallows grazing for breakfast. Today wasn't that day. 
     I started out at 5 am and was soon joined by my buddy Rich who was throwing metal. It's good to fish with a spin guy, it helps rule fish in or out. I threw some Clousers and Deceivers without a bump, and we covered the area pretty good. I decided to call it quits and took a drive south down to Sea Girt 


where I heard there was a good first light bluefish bite. I hadn't fished there since the fall and was surprised to be able to walk out so far as the huge pocket that was there had shoaled in. In the distance I saw bunker bait boats working away from the crowd of boats that was forming off the beach.
     I made a move down to the Manasquan Inlet and found a mixed bag of anglers fished off the jetty. Most were on their game, some were really off. I watched a guy hook a huge fish on a Bomber only to lose it as his line was cut by the sharpened side of a huge Cor-Loc dolos that was in front of him. There was pods of bunker to the north and the wind was from the east, some eventually the bunker came south and then traveled into the wind and incoming tide. That path brought them in between two obstacles- the north jetty and a pod of dolphins that balled them up and then worked on edges of the large pod. Luckily the guys with treble snagging hooks made casts away from where the dolphins were coming up. I saw a few small cocktail blues caught, a bunch of bunker snagged, and a large sea robin that grabbed a guys Ava. A few guys live lined some bunker around the concrete dolosse without a take while I was there.