When I opened my door at 530 this morning it felt like fall wasn't too far away. With a cold front moved in the air temps were down in the 60's. On the beach there were fewer joggers and beach walkers. One of the tell tale signs that summer is just about over is when towns remove the wooden or plastic beach runners that go from the steps of the boardwalk out into the sand. And, best of all, a fall looking sunrise and birds on the horizon made it look real fishy.
Today is the new moon. Some call it the "Mullet Moon" or "Rosh Hashana Moon" or the "Striper Moon". Whatever you call it the fact that you are calling it something means your head is in the game or that you're in the know. Now, others will put the "Mullet Moon" or "Rosh Hashana Moon" or the "Striper Moon" on the first full moon in September, which this year is September 19th. This year it happens to be a the Full Harvest Moon. In my opinion both takes are correct and you might see baitfish movement on both moons, or one more than the other.
Fly fisherman are chomping at the bit waiting for small baits to come into the surf. When ever the striped mullet make their way out of the bays and rivers anglers will be using poppers and Snake Flies to imitate these striped bass treats. When the new or full moon tide hits this month it will signal the mullet to start their southerly migration. If there's bass around it makes for a great beach/surf/wash collision.
Spearing, aka Silversides, bay anchovies, aka rainfish or rainbait, and peanut bunker, aka peanuts, will be exiting the back and heading out front. Whatever bass or bluefish are around will be on the hunt for these small baits and will be in the fly anglers size and casting range. Off the beach we hope to find little tunny, aka false albacore and albies, running up and down on bay anchovies and sand eels. We could also see bonito, skipjacks and spanish mackeral.
The fall is an exciting time for fisherman along the Jersey Shore, for fly fisherman especially. No matter if the bait has started to move out, or your favorite predator fish have moved in, do yourself this favor. Dont stay glued to the fishing reports, forums, blogs, emails, text messages, or late night phone calls- get out and fish and enjoy the sunrise or sunset. One day while your making cast after cast you might be the first one on the beach to see that swirl, blow-up or wake as things start to happen. There's nothing like catching fish, but catching your OWN fish, and on the fly, makes it a little sweeter.