Wednesday, October 31, 2018

10.31.18 Mackeral.......its whats for dinner........

........or a midnight snack. Did the 830 pm to 2 am shift. Had talked with a guy from the Asbury Park Fishing Club yesterday as I came off the beach after another who skunk who told me he had been doing good in the back. 

     I was hoping to get in on that action. I had the three tides figured out and caught them all at the end of the incoming/slack/outgoing. There were some guys getting ready and when talking they all felt....."tonights going to be good". And with that I left the first spot and went to another. 

     It looked good. Almost zero wind, flat water, dead low tide. If there was something eating you should have seen it. I thought I was watching mullet or peanuts swimming around and in between my legs but I was surprised to find out it was mackerel. In the back that's a new one for me. I was tied up a weighted black Snake Fly and realized it would be a smaller offering if I was looking to match the hatch. I went with a larger Andrew Warchauser hollow fly and in the water it was a near perfect match. 

  Problem is the bass never went off, didn't see swirls, but did see schools of the bigger bait hurridly making there way around. So it was back to spot 1 and that never went off for those guys. They did get a few fish at slack. It was then go home or go big. I drove down to the beach and it was flat and windless. I worked a popper up and down the beach and scored one little guy before calling it quits just before slack. 

     I wasn't done with the punishment so I went into looking in the bay hopeful to find a bltz all to early Blitz-O-Ween, but that didn't happen. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

10.29.18 A few days after the blow....

     Stopped by the beach before clinical this morning. Could have fished for 45 minutes but it just wasn't looking good. Swells, surfers, chocolate milk. No sign of bait or birds. It needs a tide or two to clear things up out front.

Capt. John McMurray from Facebook
      Capt John McMurray from One More Cast charters found the schoolies this morning so at least we know there's some fish, somewhere. Guys are telling me to relax with the skepticism, "there's a lot of fish on the way.....". I sure hope so.

     On Facebook I saw this picture from Jeff Nicole showing an older picture of the seine netting that occurred, and still does somewhat, on the eastern of Long Island. Looks at the size of those bass in the nets....hundreds of them. Looks like a present day head boat from the Captree fleet when they get on them.

Jeff Nichols from Facebook
     I hear not too worry. Boats are reporting "huge schools of bass" as they come in from bluefin fishing, and the same thing still from Newport and Montauk. Hopefully we'll see something soon. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

10.28.18 Nice score at the estate sale.....

     Spending the weekend after the blow in Lambertville. Fall colors are in effect although it was mostly overcast and drizzling. On the way home from Church found an estate sale in Lambertville. It was day 2 of the sale which means its been picked through pretty good. This sale had a sale- 50% off the marked price. 

     I walked in to the nice row house and made my way to the basement. I found a familiar item- an epoxy fly dryer. Guy didn't know what it was....$2. Then Theresa found an original copy of Bob's book- PopFleye's.......$1. And tenth mother load. Columbia long sleeve fishing size.......$1 each.

     I did some research on the dryer and found it is made by NuWave Tackle and it goes for $90. That was a steal. If your in for the market HERE is the link.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

10.27.18 Was going to give an honest go.......

    Woke up at 5 and hit the snooze button. When I woke up the wind was bending the sliding glass doors inward on our forth floor facing east on the Navesink apartment. But I decided why not, you never know. I had a fly in mind, it was a large Clouser that was heavy, closest thing to a Bucktail I could find. 

     On my way I ran into a young woman who's hood had blown-up and shattered her windshield. There was no trying to out it back so, after creeping her out by offering her a ride to her job at Ocean Place, she called an Uber, scared from both the windshield incident and a ride offer from stranger-danger.

 The wind was as predicted blowing NE around 40. The beach looked good but as more light came you could see how off color it was already. It was unfishable. I met Leif down there and we sat in the truck talking about WTF is going on with this fall run. We can't understand it. So after I explained to him my day on the Raritan yesterday I see this.....

And while I know there are fish in the deepest parts around the Raritan/Sandy Hook/New York Bay(s), they're not my kind of fly-rod fish. Guys drifting eels in 35-60 feet of water or picking them up with plastic paddle tails or trolling spoons doesn't count for me. That's not an excuse, just a different type of fishing. And while on yesterday, below is a post on FB from Capt. Gene Quigley, it shows the size, again big to me, of the albies that were crushing rain bait yesterday. To me they kook like small yellow fin. 


     I went and checked the river to see if I could fish there with the wind at my back. Water was rushing in and too late for the fly rod. I felt like I was driving on the beach at times with the amount of sand on the roadway. Hopefully is was wind-driven sand and then wet with rain, rather than the water coming over the top- high tide is around 9am, and if it was from the waves then Sea Bright will be underwater.....again.

Friday, October 26, 2018

10.26.18 Albie fest....never saw it going like that before

     Well sometimes the plan does kind of come together. Believe me, I didn't find these fish. (But first things first.....when your tell your friends, Dad, brother, or clients, "It's go day", they should listen. Rant over.)  These albies have been kind of camped out for the better part of the week. While my plan was to look for bass I couldn't not check all the possibilities. 


    The marina got busy after I put in and soon I was out and straight across the pond to check out a spot I was dreaming about. It was going to be going good......bass......schoolies with bigger ones mixed in......blowing up on peanuts. Forget it. When I got there, no birds, no bait, no bass, no streaks on the fish finder. 

    So I ran south and stopped where I thought it might be good....nothing. Now Monday I shot myself in the foot and turned around at that point and came up lame. Today I wouldn't make that same mistake twice. It was about 830 and I was going to see things I haven't seen before. 

     Right at the can I saw my first bird over an albie, might have been a little after 8 o'clock. Then it got busy, real quick. Albies up everywhere and the beautiful thing was that there were that many birds, bait, and blow-ups, early, no one had to motor around. You arrived, you shut off, and you waited. I caught and released for about an hour and half and at times just when I thought it was over, it got better. 

     I dropped the rod and picked up the camera with the long lens. I was looking for tight and in-focus shots of albies eating and bait spraying. If you thinking trying to catch them is hard try to get their picture. When I got home I ws disappointed that I didn't get the shot and even more disappointed that I didn't step back and take some wide angler shots. These pictures don't tell story of the albie fishing out their today.

     I saw some old friends, some other guides, and even my doctor, who I reluctant to engage because my prostate-rectal exam is over-due. So the number of fish was crazy, the no-need to run-and-gun was pleasant, the size of these albies (>27"), to me, was bigger than I am used to. And lastly, I learned

 a big lesson. So after watching like 5 albies eat me fly and come up empty I decided to check it after about 45 minutes. I had went tight on the first one during that after-the-photo-shoot session and it must have snapped the hook. Note to self- if you're not hooking.....check your fly.

     After a new fly and few more I decided to go look for bass. Took that long ride to Coney Island and then over, around, across, out and back to the dock.......nothing, Bay is 52 degrees. Didn't see much for bait, birds, and nothing on top of the glass-flat bay. Guys were trolling in the channels and near the lighthouses but I didn't see anyone score.

     Around 5 Lauren had to go to the beach for a school project, "perfect". Saw some bunker and nothing on them. what I did see was town machinery redoing beach replenishment protecting the beach club from the storm tonight. Can they do that at whim? Do they have a green light? Permits? Inspections? What a joke. That thing is way down into the trough and pushing sand up- doesn't seem right.

And lastly, here's my rest-of-the-season-prediction. Bay is 52 and for me dead-so that whole peanuts emptying out-over. Albies gone after this blow-over. Gannets diving on mackerel, which usually happens at the end-over. Big bass on the way- over. Basically 2018 is the year old the albie and the lame fall run. Micros and schoolies don't count.....I'm talking about good fish.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

10.25.18 Nope....not this morning.....

    Was up way to early so I decided to check out the closer beach to my apartment. Thinking it could be good.......ha! Started out with a long walk only to realize I left my stripping basket in my truck. Took the walk back and should have just left. Birds starting flying at first light. Ocean was flat. Didn't see any bait or signs of life.......nothing. 

     This should be the start....we should be seeing more action on the beach outside of the here and gone blitzes of albies (I think they are done) and bass. Getting frustrated......I know its just a matter of time. Maybe tomorrow before the storm. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

10.24.18 This was the place to be today.....

        Well today sucked, just like the other day, at least for me. I found this boat off a popular resort town on the albies. The albies were up and down the coast here and there and in a line about 1/4 mile off. One time at a beach club they came in for about 20 seconds. It was a long, long day. 10 hours....

    The wind was good at times, honking at others, NW and then more N it seemed. Saw some bait here and there happily swimming along except for the bait that was in that boat line. I started south, then north, then in, then out, then more north, then south, then north again, then south, and then done.

     Out front was dead. The bay was dead. It was all dead. I bumped into the same guys like 10 times today as everyone is in the drive-look mode rather than drive-fish. I saw more guys waiting than fishing. I fished a lot and couldn't get a bite. I did find one nice bar with two bowls on either side of

it that I hope to fish again soon when the bait moves and the fish show up. With the full moon the lows were low so it was a good day to scout spots. One fish would have made it a tad better, or even a shot at some fish passing by. This weekend looks like were going to get a Nor-easter that rolls in Friday night and then cranks Saturday and Sunday. Friday looks like the calm before the storm and I hope that gets things churned up and started. Water temps out from 61.5 today and in the 50's in the is time. Let's go already.

PS- Gannets diving all afternoon up north.....herring? Keep a look-alike-fly in your pocket!

Monday, October 22, 2018

12.22.18 Well that sucked........

     Hate a plan doesn't come together. So yesterday the wind was honking from the NW. The bay had rollers and was off color. I saw that around 8 this morning the wind was supposed to die down an it was the outgoing tide which I thought would give me a window.......
.....forget it. 
      Got wet getting out, there was a tug towing som ling 1/2 mile thing at the tip of the hook, not that I saw a bird anywhere near there, and then found peace running down the beach. My anticipation was high and got higher as I got closer.......and when I got there there was nothing. But at least it was protected from the wind. 

     So I had this bright plan of a wide triangle that I would cover if it wasn't too bad out. Dumb me I decided to do it anyway. Let me say this if you don't know it, land and trees do block the wind. When I got to the wide expanse where the two states are separated by two channels is was a long, rocky and wet ride. I hitchhiked behind a tanker to close to a very big bridge. By then I was frozen.
     I found some birds and fished for about 30 minutes and didn't see any fish or mark them either. I made my way upstream and looked for life and there wasn't any and it didn't matter because I was done. I thought that maybe today I might find that first good day of it going off but I didn't. If you read this blog since the beginning than you might remember THIS
     Its chaos time at the marina. They are pulling the big boats and sails and they jump us little guys around as needed. I will be there until December 15th so if you want to book a boat trip do it now as my availability is somewhat tight. For the beach preferers thats a great option when the window you have is small. I love the 5 to 9am shift on the sand. 732 261 7291. And check-out the website for details HERE

Sunday, October 21, 2018

10.21.18 One and done.....

     Don't know why but I was casting by 415 am, again. Wind switched around now NW. Not bd early but honking by mid-morning. Like last night it was a lot of casts and a lot of walking back and forth looking for any signs. Didn't see much bait, no splashes and only birds at the end of the session. 

     I was lucky enough to get one about and hour and half in. I was on the groin and fishing the south side. Water was flat and I caught about an hour or so on the flood and the slack and then the ebb. 

      I didn't like the water clarity yesterday and din't like it today. It wasn't chocolate milk but that sandy-suspension kind of off-color. Couple that with water that is flat and it just look or feel fishy. Wind is "supposed" to sit down tomorrow mid-morning and I'm looking to run the bait so if you'd like a half day trip give me a call. Bass or albies, last minute weather call depending. 732 261 7291

Saturday, October 20, 2018

10.20.18 Night of 1,000 casts......

     I learned a few things last night. Don't go to the well and annoy the wife about going fishing if its not going to be really good. It will only ruin your chances of getting out unscathed when it is. I made the mistake of asking her last night after a 10-hour day of clinical, "Hey, can I go fishing later?".....whoops there it is.

     So I set my alarm for 320 am knowing high tide was at 445 ish. We the lazy tide not moving much water in and out I figured I would catch the end of the incoming and the start of the outgoing and be home by 730. 

     I was right on about the water, or lack of, in the sand-bar heavy stretch I was on. I threw a larger black Deciever for about an hour and a half without a bump. I met a young hardcore guy who had landed a nice 34" bass on another beat. With not a lot of water I decided to make a move.

     I should have left but figured I would wait for first light. When it did come I could see why I may have not connected. The SW wind and S swell with the hard right to left sweep had things a little too off color for me in the dark. 

     I fished for about a half and hour and when I could see my fly so did this feisty schoolie that grabbed it when I was up on the groin. No other bumps and I was home by 730. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

10.19.18 You don't see that everyday...

     So I'll start with this. I was standing on the beach just before sunrise. I was watching as the bait was getting pulled off the beach and across the bar and the birds starting to pick and the occasional swirl and blow-up happened on the other side. 

     All of a sudden I see out of the corner of my eye a small buck enter the water and start swimming out, and out, and out, until I lost him at least a mile out. Thought maybe it just tired and drown. About a half and hour later I see a boat high tailing it up the coast and then stop and circle around. Just ahead of it was the deer, it had somehow had the strength to make it back in. 


I called by deer-expert-brother who told me that this is the high part of the rut. The two to three weeks where the bucks must reproduce. They lose their minds in the pursuit of does, and it looks like this one did. I hope he scored later in the day, he gets an A for effort. 

     As I was parking in the dark I could hear no surf. I figured it was flat so I tied on a black Gurgler and made my way down. A few hours into the ebb tide and all that was showing was rain bait flipping in the wash. I walked up and down the beach looking and never saw a splash so I thought it was over.

Leif Petersen photo
      After the deer sighting I found the bait and birds and fish more active outside the bar. There were a few blow-ups and I made my way out and casted to them but never had any interest. There were clouds of bait as I made my way out.

     Funny thing about that mid-moon tide, it doesn't move much as the tidal range is smaller (in height) than on a new or full moon. West winds produce a blow-out super low tide. So what that means is you either get lucky when the bait is inside the bar, and there's enough water for the fish to be there, or you walk out on the bar and follow the bait as it exits and the predator fish patrol the outer bar.