Friday, March 29, 2013

03.29.13 Let's make striper tournaments catch and release

I am seeing lots of listings and posts for fishing tournaments, especially striped bass tournaments, being posted in shops, in the newspapers, and on-line. Bounties for the biggest fish, especially spawning large female cow striped bass....not so good, especially if they have to be taken to a weigh station in a cooler. If it were am asian carp tournament than that would be great, for striped bass, or any other fish kept for a few bucks, not so great. There are tournaments set up that target striped bass in their natal rivers as they migrate up on their way to spawn??????

I found a great example in the FCA Manhattan Cup. The annual tournament  has a "Live Release Division" where anglers return with a striped bass in a special device where it's weighed in and released alive at the dock. Hopefully other tournaments can follow the leader and continue to raise funds for the good causes they do,enjoy the resource and the environment, but protect it at the same time. 

The FCA Manhattan Cup has become the premier inshore fishing tournament in the Northeast and the largest catch-and-release tournament in the tri-state area. Angler’s fish for the largest striped bass and bluefish among three categories (fly, artificial and bait). *Returning this year is a LIVE RELEASE Division, where anglers return with a striped bass in a special device to be weighed in and released alive at the dock. Winners for each division.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

03.27.13 The ocean is lookin' good...

     Got out around 10am on the ebb. Found the water to be green and clean. Tossed a fly from the beach and the rocks for about an hour without a bump. Stopped by and talked with two soaking clams and one had a fish 27-1/2 inches in the first few minutes they got there. I didn't bring my thermometer but below is the sea surface temp chart for today.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

03.26.13 A long day over many miles but worth it

     Left my house at 730am and got home at 10pm. Traveled 268 mile between Asbury Park, Pottstown, Seaside Heights, and back to Ocean. Had the pleasure of spending the day with Jim and Laura Matson of BrineFly Innovations, the makers of the Pulse Disc. After being with Jim, aka "The Professor", for half and hour my brain was seized. As with other great innovators in the sport of fly fishing Jim has put countless hours at the drawing board, the vice, the tank, the shop, and on the water coming up with original creations or expanding on the innovations of others. The amount of materials that he bleaches, blends, and flies that Jim ties is staggering. He ties, he tests, he tweaks, then he starts over again. So if my brain was done after 30 minutes, imagine what it was like after 6 hours. I called my buddy on the way back to Jersey and he asked what I learned,  all I could say was, "Honestly I don't remember." Jim will be launching a new website soon with more info and on-line ordering for his Pulse Disc.

     Leaving Pottstown, I took the wrong way and landed up in the "City of Brotherly Love". It wasn't a bad move since I jumped on Route 70 and then Route 37 taking me into Seaside Heights for a night of tying at the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodders "Tie for Pie" night. Before I hit Klees I stopped over at Casino Pier and made some images of the Jet Star roller coaster that fell into the ocean during Sandy.

     "Tie for Pie" was a great night as some members of the club tied up a variety of flies while they had a few cocktails and slices of pizza. It was nice to watch Bob Popovics coach a junior tyer at his first tying night at the club.


Monday, March 25, 2013

03.25.13 I haven't pick up an issue of Nat Geo in years

     This morning I walked into my Father-In-Laws house and saw the current issue of National Geographic still in it's clear plastic mail wrap. With the way the print industry has gone down the toilet I was surprised they still printed it. On the cover was a picture that caught my attention and the word "FRACKING" peaked it.
     Inside was a great photo essay and story on the current fracking industry out west and in particularly in North Dakota. The amount of drilling and wells out there is ridiculous. If you fish the Catskill Rivers, or the smaller ones on the Pennsylvania side, you should pick up a copy or go to your local library and read it. I know it's a divisive topic, but after reading this it was a little easier for me to see some of the negatives caused by it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

03.24.13 Out for a scout while it was nice out


  The weather people are up to it agin. They are tracking Winter Storm Virgil as it makes it's way to the east coast sometime early Monday morning. They are calling for "several" inches of wet slushy snow and the possibility of coastal flooding. Just what we need here on the Jersey Shore. Enough of that.
    This morning the temps were around 40 with a NNW wind at 10. It was still nice enough out to go out and spend some time scouting some beaches along the shore. I hadn't been to one of my "favorite" beach nourishment beaches since they stopped pumping over a month and a half ago so I figured I'd see how much sand remains.....oh yeah, that was $13 million dollars spent for a half mile of sand.

     The first step it getting to the beach was traversing the sand pile that had formed on the Ocean Avenue side of the sea wall. Mother Nature has taken the sand that was pumped up onto the beach and pushed it up over the sea wall. The sloping sand "nourishment" has created a ramp for the water to run up and over, especially is those areas where a path or depression is formed in the sand where beach access points are near the steps and breaks in the rocks.

     When you do get up to the top of the wall you can see, well, things aren't much different than before. One difference from after last years replenishment, and after this years replenishment is the groin protecting the beach club is as visible and accessible as ever, the only difference being that the big pocket and hole in front of it is gone. Why, because the sand has found it's way back into the ocean.
I wish part of the contract during these projects was before, during, after, and way after aerial imagery was taken to show what, in the end, was accomplished. One positive, is that during these projects, shipping channels are dredged to facilitate vessel traffic which also creates deep cuts which can facilitate water movement into and out of the back bays and rivers, but that may be about it.
     As I always say ebb tides are a great time to get out and walk the beaches, rivers, and bays to see the current status of the structure that holds your favorite bait and predator fish when things do finally heat up, hopefully in the next month....or so.

     Kudos to Clean Ocean Action and Waves of Action for their beach clean-up that was held yesterday, a tremendous amount of dunnage, debris, and garbage was removed from the beach and placed curbside for pickup. There have been several cleanups from Sandy Hook down to Island Beach State Park which will make the natural resource safer for the animals that live their and the people that enjoy it. 

Saw one party boat out running a trip this morning. The Jamaica out of Brielle ran a striper trip yesterday and they marked some fish but they couldn't get a bite, according to Captain Bogan's report on his website, HERE.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

03.21.13 Found some warm water, but no takers on the fly

     With the air temps in the mid 30's and snow starting to fall I figured no better time then to head to the back waters and try to tempt up a striper or two. The outgoing tide had the water ripping from right to left and it helped move my Deceiver beautifully in the current. I fished for about an hour snaking my backcasts between the trees and bush along the deep cut banks. A few other anglers came out too, and one scored a 15" striper on a bloodworm, and another had his clam stolen a few times.
     I stuck the water and found it, warm to the touch, and 52 degrees. I can't wait for the rest of the backwaters and bays to heat up a bit. A few good stretches of warm water and hopefully the action will start heating up in the northern part of the Jersey Shore.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

03.20.13 While bored out of my mind at jury duty I went through my iPhone

     Today I did my civic duty and reported for jury duty. Hundreds of us sat all morning talking and reading and texting and emailing, and, me, going through the hundreds of images that were in my iPhone. As I scrolled through, one stood out at me, especially since I can't wait for what's in the image to show up in our back bays and rivers.
     Several months ago while in New York City giving a presentation at Orvis NYC I stopped over at the Grand Central Terminal Market. It's a full service market, with the best and the freshest, meats, produce, fish, and cheese you could find anywhere under one roof. Since I always like to look at the fish, I stood there staring and then wondering at "Whitebait". The description read- "Sautee with butter, white wine, caper, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a nice treat." YUK!!! What I was looking at was  spearing and banded killifish......I just couldn't imagine it. The best part is it was going for 8.99 a pound.  

     Last summer I had my girls out with the American Littoral Society netting the back of the Shark River to see what kind of life was around. We found well, lots of Whitebait. I am seeing a possible export business for me and the kids here if I don't stay busy enough with the charter trips! Here's a sample of the catch from last year.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

03.19.13 Found this old post from November 2010

I made this just about two and half years ago, and it's still funny, and true!

The Average Angler
by: theaverageangler

Monday, March 18, 2013

03.18.13 Float stocking the Toms River TCA

     Today the Toms River was running at 260 cfs and 43 degrees and the air temperature felt about 20 degrees. What a great day for a float stocking! About 10 members of the Jersey Shore Trout Unlimited met the stocking trucks and loaded about 300 trout into the float stocking box and walked a half a mile tossing brook trout into the best of holes. In all, over 600 trout were stocked with most in the 9-11 inch range but several nearly 20" heavy fish did come out of the box. 
     Years ago the state stocked fish by float stocking in canoes and using boxes. Then came net brigades where the fish were walked down to different sections of the river. Then, in most recent history, came the bridge drop. Guys would follow the trucks or just sit under the bridges or in the easiest access points and wait for 5 o'clock to hit and then catch all the fish. Float stocking helps spread out the trout and makes it harder for a stretch to get "cleaned out". Several clubs and TU chapters are assisting the state in stocking, and in JSTU's case, float stocking. 
     In the Toms River TCA the harvest regulations call for one trout at 15" so these under sized fish will remain in the river for some time as they grow up. Luckily most anglers practice catch and release so fish remain in the water year round. 
     I took the walk down the river with three other guys maneuvering through the downed trees and deep holes with the box in tow. I brought my camera and got some pictures off as they transferred fish from the big truck to the little truck that could fit down to the start of the TCA. I also captured the boxes being brought down to the river and being loaded with trout. Then it was one more frame, the one above, before my camera went black and the words, "Change Battery" came up on the screen. What a photographer......

Sunday, March 17, 2013

03.17.13 Spent St.Patty's Day tying in PA


     Even though it was St. Patrick's Day and wanted to eat and drink a lot, wait, those days are behind me, I spent the day out at my buddy Charlie's house in PA tying flies. Charlie is a great tyer, especially with the freshwater stuff, and is also a guide up on the Upper Delaware. 

     I have been concentrating on the Farrar Blend flies and today tied up a few more before I switch up and start tying just with bucktail. I find it hard to jump back and forth between materials so this system works for me. Charlie stayed on point with the Pheasant Tail nymphs, caddis emergers, and midges. It's always fun tying with someone else where you can shoot the shit and make fun of each others ties. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

03.16.13 What a difference a year makes...

     Watching as the snow falls here along the Jersey Shore I couldn't help but wonder what this past week was like a year ago. I went back into the archives and found that striper fishing on the fly out front off the rocks at night was good, with air temps kind of close to what were feeling now, they were in the low 60's! You can read more of it HERE

     Below is a nice bass caught on March 13, 2012. As much as I was glad things slowed down the first week of February of this year I can't wait until it heats up again!