Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10.19.15 Late afternoon scout trip.......

     Beautiful day yesterday but the S wind didn't help the fishing. Lot's of bunker just off the beach but nothing on them. Walked a mile or so made some prospecting casts but no one was home. Lots of guys out fishing, well watching and waiting, and seeing that always keeps me around longer then I want to. But sight of the day was pulling in Sandy Hook and finding that they hadn't shut down the bathrooms yet. We need the wind to shift. smaller bait to move, and the next round of bass to roll in, but this time set up shop and stay for awhile.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

10.18.15 I think winter blew in this morning......

     Couldn't believe temps were in the 30's this morning when I got out. Wind was stiff, air was brisk, and the wet fly line made my hands sting. Was greeted by bunker with some fish on them within range, for a surfcaster, for a few minutes before they moved south, then north, in front of us with eventually boats around, through, and in them.
     Couldn't stay long as I had to hit Stockton College with my son for his second open house. I liked it the first time I visited with my older son and daughter and think it would be a great college for Sean. One thing is for sure, Stockton knows how to hold an open house.....food and drink all day.

Hoping to get out a few times this week but work and finishing up this round of school classes might put a kink in it.......and pic trivia answer......that's Shell E. Caris from Shore Catch

Saturday, October 17, 2015

10.17.15 The fall run had begun.......

......well maybe not where I was fishing this morning. Beautiful Lake Atlantic out there this morning. If a fish farted within a half a mile from the beach you could see the bubbles. NW wind + start of the incoming = flat, flat flat. Did manage a winter flounder that took a white Clouser but that was the only bump. No signs of bait up close and didn't see the bunker pods in the same places I was yesterday.

     I knew for sure that the anglers on the boats yesterday, and I am sure as well today and tomorrow, would do good and I was right. Although I usually don't post other peoples pics I have to share Gene Quigley's from Shore Catch Guide Service's pic he posted yesterday. He had good bass on the bunker pods and albies on the fly chasing small bait. Looks like his sports had a good day yesterday.

Friday, October 16, 2015

10.16.15 A morning of a dozen last casts.....

     Got down to the water before first light to see if anything chasing bait and rolling in the surf. Didn't see much life until the sun came when the birds, and boats, started to do their searches. Found bunker en masse with an occasional spray as something, probably bluefish, ran through them. Had the fleet with a mix of small and party boats stopping to snag and drop and jig around the pods. I would guess to say that a surf caster couldn't reach them, even with a heavy snag hook.

     The birds did come within casting range as some smaller baits were being chased around most likely by hickory shad or cocktail blues. I tried to leave several times, but was always called back when the birds would seem to appear on the beach. I couldn't help but think of the end of last October leading up to Blitz-O-Ween 2014. I think that's what kept me around for hours this morning.

     I'm liking what I see on the beaches as far as the return of structure and some fishy water post blow two weeks ago. There's points, bowls, bars and the occasional jetty tip starting to break through the pumped up sand that has destroyed the fishing grounds. One thing is for sure is that angler need to scout out locations, even their home waters are now totally different. Low tides are always a great time to check for structural changes.
     Fall is here, and so is the run. Albies came through in good numbers for boat and surf casters. There have been good sightings and reports of bass making there way down crashing on the bait and tagging behind the bunker schools. The only thing I hate about all the bunker is the all-or-none fishing that it presents for the fly rodder. Snag and drop and big plugs get the fish, especially when casted 1,000 feet off the beach. Unless the fish are on small baits, like peanuts and spearing, the fly anglers do a lot of watching and waiting for a good shot.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10.14.15 Bunker showing up off the beach....with predator fish on them

     Stopped by the beach before a 12 hour shift at the hospital. Bunker flipping and getting chased by bigger fish. Nice to see signs of life again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

10.13.15 Back from a long break from fishing and the blog......

God I miss this blog. And I miss fishing. Well sort of.......

     I see the last post I made was August 19th. That's almost 60 days ago. I can remember I would rush to get a post up within 60 minutes of leaving the beach. and, some days, I would post two or even three times. Needless to say things have changed, in so many ways I don't know where to begin. In short, I remarried, I moved, I re-started a new career.....and unfortunately I had to put fishing on the back burner while I got my life in order.
     I have to returned to nursing, working as an RN in a hospital-based pediatric psychiatric crisis unit. That started the first week of September and since then it's been M-F straight days, but luckily now I am on 12 hours shifts, which, gives me my life, and fishing back. Although I live a stones throw from the Navesink River it doesn't compare living in Ocean, or even closer, when I rented on Phillips Ave in Deal. There's no quick run down, no smell of the ocean, no sound of the bell coming from the Shark River Inlet. But, I am glad and fortunate to have job that I love and a schedule that will again allow me to fish, alone, with friends, and clients. I will join the ranks of guides that have another gig, and that is good since last year I made just above the poverty level in fishing. Additionally I am pursuing my Nurse Practitioner license, which should take about three years, going around the calendar.

     With my schedule change I was able to fish the last three days. It was fun trying to find all of my gear and even funner trying to find my "jetty" legs when I got on the rocks. The changes to the beaches and groins are horrible and it's hard to find some semblance of what I used to fish. Even though I didn't post in a few months I did get out a few times, but nothing to show for it. I was glad to see that after last weeks blow the beaches have been washed out to see....when will us humans understand this ridiculousness.
     I was greeted the last two days with pretty sunrises, ones I haven't seen in some time. Today it was overcast, but the surf a little more active then the glass of the last two days. Yesterday the birds were over the albies about a mile as far as you could see left to right. Today no such action although I did see a few dolphins and some bait spraying out of the water.
     Besides missing the beach and the rocks, and the fish.......I miss the guys. Although I had Richie with me the last three days I miss the other ones that called Phillips Ave home, we went as the Phillips Avenue gang. Me, Richie, Al, Bob, Lief, Andy and Bucktail Jimmy were daily visitors to the stretch in Deal. It was always fun to drive on Ocean Ave in the darkness and see who was where, Richie on Phillips, Jimmy on Roseld, Al at the hump, Lief near the pilings, Bob on the move, and Andy making casts up the beach as he looked for sharks teeth. Fishing, and the lack thereof, and the destruction of the fishing grounds, has sadly interfered with true and cherished friendships. Fishing and "home" was the glue, and it is gone, for now, as is Marine Place, as in the photo below.


     After fishing with only a tap from a hickory shad, and no fish for four anglers I decided to drive and check out home. Sickening, but, it is already changing. I walked and made some casts on 8th Ave, a place I spent so many nights illuminated by the parking lot lights and the ones along the boards in Allenhurst. If I just looked straight out, it was like home again, but a quick glance right and left reminded me of the changes.

     Things are looking good for the rest of the fall, that's my optimistic prediction. Lots of bait out back, and still enough fishable water out front looking for the collision of bait, bass, and tides. My new life prevents me from getting out everyday, but I am looking forward to getting back out there and even finding a new, but adopted "home", closer to my new life. 
     Soon it will be the International Fly Tying Symposium, then I am running an Orvis 301 Class at Island Beach State Park November 7th, and then in January the Fly Fishing Show. Bob Popovic's new book is due out and some of my friends and clients may have made the photo cutting table. In the meantime I'll still write and look forward to being out there more than I have been, but a nice regular direct deposit paycheck is a nice thing too.