Monday, October 30, 2017

10.30.17 Right idea but wrong time.....

     I had a feeling that after all the rain we had that they would be opening the floodgates at The Flume. They did and the gizzard shad poured out with the water, leaves and debris. When I got there the birds were up picking at fish as they poured out and swam over the bar. It was easy pickins. The problem for me was I got there too late. There wasn't much water left. 

     Up and down the beach the water was Yoo-Hoo colored and not much for seeing ant bait or birds. Moving out of the shallows and onto the bar gave me a last ditch shot, and I did go tight, but dropped the fish shortly after he took my fly. The other angler there got a near keeper. I took a long ride and didn't find anything else and when I got back after an hour after the flip it wasn't the same. Wind from the west seemed like 40 at times and the surfers were salivating at the swells that were building. Gonna need a few tides to clear things out. I have spent a lot of time fishing there and it was good to go back. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

10.29.17 Someone got lucky....

     Went down mid-morning to see. Didn't have my rod but found good conditions. Lot's of more rain on the way so hopefully it's not to murky tomorrow from the run-off from all the new pipes they put in. The Reel Seat had a whopper weigh in from the beach.....40.8 pounds on a plug. That's a great beach fish, especially when there's not many around.

10.28.17 Five years after Sandy.....

     Gave it a go a day before the storm. First light dead low. Didn't stick around home as there wasn't much water and no signs of life. Five years ago Sandy weaker havoc along the East Coast. I remember seeing this home below in Union Beach which became the iconic image of the destructive force that the storm brought to so many communities along the Atlantic and Raritan Bays. 

     I went north and stopped in Sea Bright and saw the new temporary defenses that towns try to establish for the winter storms. Pushing sand up into large berms to protect million dollar homes just west of the sea wall. I wonder if homeowners just did this on their own how it would go over. Does Sea Bright have the green light to push public sand around to protect beach clubs and homes?

     I tried inside the rivers at slack but couldn't get a bite. Saw lots of boats out in the bay and heard reports that the first good push of boat fish may have arrived at The Triangle. I watched from a distance as boats on the troll just criss-crossed each other. Didn't see much for bird life so I'm not sure if the fish were up. Will be interesting to see what happens after the blow. My guess is albies will be gone and maybe the bass will show. Hopefully the bait starts to move on the next moon.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

10.26.17 Let's start talking about 2017 fall run possibilities......

     Before I get started about the 2017 fall run. Took a mental health day today from work. Couldn't handle two in a row this week. Headed to the beach around 630. Tide just starting to flood, enough water to fish, nothing home. Headed north to north beach at Sandy Hook, forget it. Big swells, later in the incoming tide, NW wind at 20ish. Forget that. I did head south on the spit and found fishable water inside the bar and got a little guy that popped out of the water at the last minute to eat my fly.

     I stopped at the man-made sand cliffs in Seas Bright and then Monmouth Beach but found nothing but surfers and rainbows. I saw no bait, no birds working, and no signs of fish from North Beach to Allenhurst. The water was slightly off color and I am sure will continue to do so with the big surf that we are going to continue to have. It's windy the next few days until another pretty good blow

 heads up along the East Coast. Tons of rain, winds to 50. I think if you don't get your albie in the next day our so you can pretty much forget it. Concerning the bass and the fall run? Well, there is a chance for New Jersey we may not have a fall run after all, well at least for surf fisherman. You see, bass can take a wide turn out of Montauk and catch, say IBSP like they did in 2011, and stayed for weeks. Or, we can continue to get these once a week blows that eliminates the baits normal pour from the bays and down along the beaches. It's not that the bait won't move, or that the bass won't pass by, it's just that the chances for the two to meet in front of you can be slimmer than say last years stupid peanut bunker bassacre.

     Having been in the boat a couple of times within the last week from Cliffwood Beach to the Hudson River to Long Beach to Monmouth Beach I'm not impressed with what I have seen. Lots of rainbait but not much for peanuts. Lots of albies but nothing for bass. The other option is that we are just gonna have a late run. The usual fantastic October 31st fun might be around mid-November or just around December. The other thing that's funny to me is...."Where are the sand eels?" Seems like if we have sand eels, we have no peanuts and vice versa. I miss sand eels, especially when the bass are on them at night.

     See you after the Sunday-Monday blow, although I might give it a poke on Saturday. Back to the hospital tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

10.25.17 Albies still around.....

     Today I had Joe out on the boat. Wind against tide made the ride out back a little sporty. Found no life which was a disappointment. Put some miles on the boat before finding birds up and albies underneath them. Joe landed several nice ones and I landed one before the tide died and we lost the bite.

     We did the tour and headed back west looking for bass in all the right places. Last year to the day is when I found that "acre of bas" we all search for. Water temps are 65 and everything is late this year. Doubtful we'll see "Blitz-o-ween" like we had done in past years. Someone's gonna get lucky and run into that first big push of fish on the bait.


Monday, October 23, 2017

10.23.17 Hit the beach three different times today.....

     Had to work today. But I went before work....nothing. At lunch.....nothing. And after work......nothing. Only good thing in the after work outing I chased bait up the beach that had some kind of fish on them. SE wind made it hard to get it out far enough on the low tide. I did see peanuts get blown up by bass. Saw the bait, the spray, and the stripers leave the water.

     The other cool thing I saw today was this dead gizzard shad getting picked apart by the gulls. That's a big bait for a big fish. Weather looks gnarly tomorrow. Should get better starting Wednesday. Albies are everywhere and everyone trying to get one has.......time for bass. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

10.20.17 No birds, no and done

     I needed that. After not feeling it on the beach lately I decided to head down anyway before Theresa and I head to New Hope, PA for a change of scenery this weekend. Beautiful morning but nothing showing. Started out in the dark throwing a black Snake Fly mostly standing on Ryan's rock and not getting a tap. Worked my way down the beach and to more rocks but didn't do anything there either. I switched over to a Joe Pheiffer pastel Hollow Fleye kind of tye and started my way back up the beach. I saw Leif in the distance working his way south so I figured I meet up with him to say hello. 

     We had almost met and maybe were 30 feet apart and I made a cast which was most likely going to be my last, or close to it. Out of the trough came the strike and zoom, soon I was way out into my backing. At first thought maybe an albie, then maybe a big bluefish, but when it rolled on the other side of the breakers we saw it was just a huge bass. Luckily I had the incoming tide and some wave help to beach the fish. I almost blew it a few times and thought for sure the 20 pound fluoro would pop. We kind of measured it as it lay flat across my arms and it was around 40 inches, maybe more maybe less. A fish that size going by the charts puts it as an early teenager weighing between 22-29 pounds, this one was on the lighter side. Luckily I had Leif there for some nice photos.

No birds, no bait, no splashes........I guess you never know. Glad I found one. Made me happy. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10.18.17 Six hours of albies up......

    Needed a change of venue. I have ben half-heartedly fishing the beaches some mornings with nothing to show for it. When I get there I'm just not feeling it. Not getting the joy I once did. Hopefully that will return. 

     Today I jumped in the boat and after getting saturated getting out of the bay the albies were up. I went south looking for bass but found none and turned around. It was easy peasy albie fishing. Not easy to get them to eat, but they were there and predictable. Outgoing. Ripping tide. All you had to do, if the other boasts cooperated, was take turns drifting a long drift and getting the albies when they blew up in your area. It wasn't that the others didn't play nice, it's just that twin screws idling while waiting for fish to surface doesn't make for fun times. I hoooked up and then left there heading across the pond. 

     Didn't even get over to the other shore and found fish all over and no one around. It was great. When I got over it got better. I stayed and had albies up the entire time I was out. I was really out for bass, and stayed too long waiting and watching. I wanted to head up river and then way in the back. I settled for a ride to the Statue of Liberty not finding any birds or marking any bass. 

    It was, like most albie days, frustrating. I threw all kinds of flies at them. The pink worked and then it didn't. Went to a bigger Surf Candy, and it looked huge in the water and got no takes. I settled in on Brad Buzzi's Albacore Candy in size #4. You can buy them in cool cartons HERE While you might think they are too small to use in the salt water, that's what these albies, especially the New York ones wanted today. I know, they eat big Sluggos and Deadly Dicks. Well for me, 20 pound flouro was out of the question, 16 spooked them at times, I went down to 12, and broke two off. 

     You didn't need the birds today as it was blow-ups for what seemed like miles.  When running solo I can't handle the runs and gun approach, I like the find a line, setup for a drift, get comfortable and wait. Eventually you'll get yours, unless other boats have different ideas. The birds were out, but spread out over the pods when they surfaced and dove. 

     While I haven't been on the bass, friends have. Lief is still doing well and finding near keeper sized bass on the beach.  Richie landed his first albie today on the beach. I found bunker along the beaches at Sandy Hook. Lot's of bait, albies are thick, waiting for the bass to show. Guys are killing them drifting live eels, just haven't heard anything about bass up on top yet.

Lief Peterson photo

Sunday, October 8, 2017

10.08.17 Dreary day...not much happening

     Slept in but took a drive to the bay to see if anything is happening. Dead bay. Birds down. Only some bait here and there. No signs of anything on their tails. The below image popped up on Facebook this morning. every fall there seems to be a Montauk or Capture image that makes its way around just illustrating the killing that occurs. I know it's probably all legal, but does anyone think this is sustainable?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

10.04.17 Found one in the late evening....

     Need to be down on the water. Headed down about 630 and stayed until 830. Moved a bit south and got one and dropped one in the dark. The moon was in and out of the clouds which made it light enough to see but not to light to shut it down. I miss fishing nights. 

10.04.17 Found a new special place.....

     Therapy. My friend Leif took this photo of me this morning perched on now a special rock. The other day we received Ryan's ashes and I took some of them down to Phillips Ave which has always been favorite of mine. I went out to the furthest flattest rock and spread them. While this wasn't his place, it was mine, and I start each day going out to that rock, just to say hello. 

     It has been a difficult week and a half. Last week fly-fishing and Jersey shore Captain Bill Hoblitzell also lost his son, Ryan, in a fishing accident. I told Bill that God needed two good men, and he got two good men from good men. May they both rest in peace.

     I have fished several times since then, spending most of my time on that rock. I haven't caught a fish. I was looking to Ryan for a little help with that, but that'll come. I stayed put while others caught fish to my north and south. There seemed there was a little push of fish, either the early teenage stripers are heading south or they just woke up and have come ashore looking to eat. Fish to over 30 inches have been around, but you have to put your time in. They've been taking poppers and Snake Flies.

Leif Peterson photo
Joe Pheiffer photo
      There main bait has been mullet, and at times thick enough to be seen in the waves in front of the sun. This morning I found some, what looks like baby weakfish, washed up on the beach. I have seen rain fish and one morning albies under the birds way out of range. The wind has shifted around the horn over the past week and with the September Harvest Moon now past, bait should start moving and the fish more active. Today we all caught the skunk, but that's just the way it is.