Well today the cold gripped the Jersey Shore as we awoke to temps in the low to mid 20's. The last few days have been tolerable in the 30's- but fishing has been slow as we all wonder if the "Fat lady has sung". I have found myself lately depending too much on Clouser/ Deceiver type patterns- which have and haven't worked.
In the waters sea herring should be around, although I haven't seen the tell tale signs of birds dropping in from overhead on them. Adult menhaden is still around, evidenced by myself seeing one flop near the groin yesterday, and pictures of one snagged on Stripers Online. I am again seeing lots of crab parts on beach and rocks- a mixture of blue and rock crabs. I have also seen the birds diving around the rocks and coming up with them.
Yesterday I used a orange flat wing pattern hoping the color might be more of what the bass are looking for. Last night I went back to the vise looking to tie up a crab pattern that may replicate the crabs in the water. I came up with the crab above, and today gave it a rough road (ocean) test on the end of the incoming and into the outgoing. Writing now, I am surprised it survived as I spent my of my time on a super slow dredging retrieve and high sticked through the rock fields.
The crab looked great in the water- even though it didn't get a bump. I am going to tweak a few things to the pattern and tie it a couple of different kind of ways. This fly isn't for the angler that likes to double haul- but it was okay to cast on my 10 weight with a 350 grain Depth Charge line.
In the end I fished slow but moved across 5 towns, hitting 1 jetty and 5 groins. I was alone most often but did come across four other anglers- one skunked on a bucktail, one blanked with a Vision Eel,
the other on a Bomber, and the only successful angler got a keeper soaking clams. The gull on the bottom didn't do bad either- found dining on a gift from the clam fisherman.