Friday, November 30, 2018

11.29-30.18 Not a night sand eel bite....

     Heard about a good daytime sand eel bite yesterday up and down the shore but I was caught up in clinical and then class till 8pm. Hit it after and had an interesting 3-1/2 hours. Incoming, basically flat. Started in a good spot and found fish, either small bass or shad, busting out and in, but I couldn't get one to bite. Looked down at the water and found it to be off-color. I was using  300 gr line and sand eel thinking the bottom was the way to go. But I guess I was wrong.

     I moved north and hit two spots thinking I would find clearer water or the same busting fish....neither. So instead of going home I went back and re-rigged with an intermediate line and a floating sand eel and a small black Deceiver as a dropper. The slashing had died but I picked up two on the lip basically casting to rising fish. Now my fish were 18-24 inches but I heard of some keepers caught yesterday and more football shaped fatties in he mix. These weren't about to pop from the sand eels so I don't know if I had found the mother load of bait. 

     Before clinical this morning I had an hour from 830-930 and luckily this office is in Long Branch. Fished but didn't get a tap on the incoming tide. A friend a town or two away had fish biting on every cast and left them eating. I found the water not as clear as I thought it would have been with the steady west winds as of late. Gotta just get out there and go when you can and hope for the best. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

11.27.18 Tough conditions down south....

     Went down a little early before seeing patients in Toms River and hit Seaside Park on the incoming. Strong west wind had the surfers happy and the spin guys too but difficult with the fly rod. Saw two fish caught. One was 26 inches and the guy ran it back to his truck and then back to his house before returning for more. He said, 'It's a bonus tag fish". That program is a total joke. When is the last time you saw a guy leaving the beach with a short fish with a tag anywhere near the fish. 

     I'll be back in the Park before clinical on Thursday morning and will have a easier flood tide and hopefully it will have cleaned up and sat down a bit. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

11.16.18 Looked good but that was it.....

     Got down about 6ish and that had me about mid-tide. Water was clean. Wind SE-S. Problem was the surf was big in all the long places. Waves were breaking right at the waters edge, or on the trough if there was one, and the water ran up the beach on the scarp. It didn't take long for it to become

washing machine like. It was almost too dangerous to try and fly fish. Early on I started on the rocks and was chased off by the tide. On the beach I was almost knocked forward as the water retreated down the beach. These pictures kind of show the conditions that existed. It was hard to find fishable

water. The two pics below show the waves breaking on the trough and then a solid push of water that runs up and through your legs burying your feet deep in the sand.

     We must have got two inches of rain today and I am sure it will be off-color in the morning but dead-low is at 330 am. If the color isn't too bad 6 am might look good.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

11.25.28 Sunday after the blow...

     ......and what a blow last night it was. Gave it a rest this morning and didn't make it out yesterday when the going was good up and down the coast. Heard everyone caught the same sized football sized bass to 26" with a few keepers here and there mixed in. It's the sand eel bite I predicated, moreso down near IBSP but was north as well. Heard there were silversides mixed in. This year, like years past, the hickory shad are in the mix as ae some blues.

     Went down around 430 and found the incoming off color water not my liking and not the fishes either. Swung a sand eel where I could. Water running up the beach with a hard sweep kept me on my toes and not on my ass. It was pretty enough out there and comfortable over 50 degrees. Will give it a look before clinical in the morning, maybe it will clean up a bit.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

11.21.18 Happy Thanksgiving from out west...

     Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. We're out in Titusville so I didn't get down for the 20 degree first light fat school bite. I hope those that braved conditions were rewarded, especially fly anglers, I hope they were in close enough. 

Enjoy your day and thanks to those who serve us and keep us safe today, cops, firemen, EMS, nurses, doctors, military.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

11.21.18 Lot of this going on today...

     After last nights disappointment I decided to not continue the self harm and go early this morning. By the time I dropped the girls off and got down it was about 845. Heard there was a flurry of a bite after sun up, mostly small fish on metal out a ways. I did see a guy catch two shorts and as soon as he did he was joined by a few guys on each side of him. 

     I stopped by a few places and even dressed when I saw a bunch of gannets diving in relatively close but I never wet a line. Today was half a school day for the girls and pick-up time started at 1130.  Most of the beaches I was on looked like the below picture. 

     My buddy Joe went in the afternoon and found one bass and a half a dozen shad. He said there was nothing showing as fa as birds or swirls but the bass were there. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the record cold is about to arrive. I wonder what that means for the start to the rest of this years fishing. I never said the fat lady has sung, but she is warming up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

11.20.18 Not a touch in 4 hours....

     Well forget that idea. My thinking was that I love night sand eel bite and since they showed today the night bite would be just as good if not better. Today I was there in the boat about two hour into the ebb and tonight from the sand I was an hour in. I fished hard, covered a lot of steps on the beach, and moved and fished four spots without a tap. T ran into three others guys, one fly, and they didn't do anything either. 

     Thinking about tomorrow here's my prediction.....there will be a ton of guys "there" and it will be a dead flat sea without life. Or, there will be a ton of guys and it will be going good again. Most of the fish caught have been on metal and out a long ways. Fly anglers Jack and Charlie fished the shift before I got out and found some real good fish on the fly to 18 pounds. Right place, right time and right fly. 


11.20.18 Nice to be the first boat into them.....


     Didn't know what to expect this morning. Got down at 5am and there was no one around...literally. I could have taken any boat I wanted outside the gate. At 6 security showed up and let me in. Once on the boat I rigged up as the rain started to fall.  I picked up some hand warmers just in case and had them at the ready. 

     My plan, as of last night, was to shoot across to New York and go due east, way east. I just wanted to find a good sand eel bite. But at the last minute as I got to the Hook I thought, "Let me check south before running over.....". I'm glad I did. My first stop was dead and then I rolled into a two-name town and it was birds over sand eels with bass pushing them around. I had the place to myself for about a half an hour. A few small boats joined in and then the fleet from the south joined in. I tried to stay focused but I don't do well with company. I caught over a dozen bass to one just about keeper size that I thought was 27". All of the fish were fat and heavy gorging on the sand eels. 

      I had the Pulse Disc on at first but lost a few and then went to the old reliable Brad Buzzi sand eel imitation. I love these flies as do the bass. I left when the hum of the engines behind me got on my nerves....they were still biting. I wanted to find "my own" fish again so I went out and up and found the north boats in heavy current between the channels. These just weren't fly rod fish.

      I did make it over across the pond and didn't find anything worth stopping for and after a ride home I had to travel to Long Branch to give the boat a nice wet and hot bath. The marina has turned the water off for the season so I need to bring water to rinse the brakes after putting in and travel for bath after I'm done. I was done by late morning and had time to hit the sand before picking up the girls from school.

     I picked a beach I could have to myself even though the bite was a zip code away. I went tight and had a good fish on only to loose it in the rolling waves in the wash. Barbless long shank hooks, rolling surf and fish, and a slack line = losing fish. That was on me. So there's sand eels and mostly smaller fish but I did here of a few keepers and a heifer or two in the mix. 

     I love sand eels and particularly a night sand eel bite. It is going to get real cold real quick so tonight might be a good shot for that......if the wife gives me her blessing. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

11.19.18 Dead from the beach this morning....

     Most days when the wind is west and the ocean calm I find it uninviting, especially if its a high bright sun. Today would have been more my liking. Fog, some overcast skies, and a flat ocean where, especially with sand eels, you can see the bass slurping or swirling under the birds. 


     Hit the Hook and found birds working over the ebb tide bar. No signs of fish under them.Talked to a guy who was fishing on hour three and threw the bag and didn't get a tap. I stayed for about an hour and did the same....nothing. 

     Made the move to Monmouth Beach and found the same water conditions only less birds and more fog. Boats were off aways and seemed to be anchored up fishing the bottoms for tog. Somewhere there has to be a bite. I did find an overturned center console in from of the old Coast Guard Station and called it into to 911. I hope the operators are safe and sound. 

     Today I used a Pulse Disc in front of a sand eel fly and didn't get any interest although one birds seem entranced by the action. Only three guys fishing and I'm really unsure what the next week will bring. Might be on the boat tomorrow depending on last minute progress on some schoolwork due tonight at 11pm. Hope someone is getting them.......wait check this out.

     I figured I would go online and chase reports just to see who if anyone is catching. The Capture fleet from Long Island is still on and literally killing them. Yesterday they report 187, 191, and 29- that's 407 bass. This morning was 225 stripers to 22 pounds. Wonder why we aren't seeing any fish?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

11.17.18 She's really warming up....

     Two days post blow with a west wind that sat the surf down, problem is it continues to be now Yoo-Hoo colored. Went down to Long Branch before clinical. No signs of life except for a ton off boats out and off of Asbury or Manasquan. A check of the boat reports tell of lots of miles traveled and few fish found. 

     I found the below on Facebook and it made me laugh. Thought I would share. 

     This weekend was the International Fly Tying being held for the first time in Parsippany where 80 and 287 meet. Clinical on Saturday and CCD on Sunday and Parsippany is just too far for a quick run. It runs through Sunday afternoon so if you are just just getting into this then its a must go. I hope it is well attended and my buddies have a good show $$$$. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

11.16.18 A day after the blow.....

      Crazy day in the tri-state area yesterday as wind, rain and snow arrived and was worse than predicted. Took my wife 7 hours to home from Rutherford. She left at 4 and opened the door at 11pm. So the day after the blow, and it was a blow, I decided to give it a shot. I was looking to fish but never wet a line. I started just after dead low finding the water chocolate milk and no signs of life except for some very excited surfers. Wind was stiff from the NW and everyone was waiting for it to swing west. 

     I checked on Sea Bright and found some very big changes from last week. We must have lost over 4 feet of sand because rocks that were lust exposed are now returning to a pre-replenishment look. The dunes took a beating also and the beach scarp is now a gentle slope that leads out into the ocean with most beaches showing no or little structure. There isn't a trough anymore and after the incoming waves hit the outer bar the water just flies up and down the beach. Too shallow to hold fish and waves too big to get out and attempt to fly fish.

      Down the beach I found a ton of birds working over the wave troughs so I jumped in my truck and took the short ride. It tool a while to actually see what they were picking up but I finally saw them with sand eels in their beaks. The water up there was still chocolate milk in color and big enough waves breaking that I didn't feel like competing with. I watched a long while for any signs of fish and spent most of the time with my head down looking for a sand eel on the beach to confirm my beliefs.

    I wondered what a guy throwing an Ava (metal) would have done under those birds and as I made my way out that guy showed up. He was wearing workbooks, and didn't want to get wet, so after I watched a few half-hearted casts on his part I turned and left.

     I'm sticking to my prediction that it will be, if any, a decent sand eel bite down in Ocean County around Thanksgiving, or after, but that will do it for this year. The jig/ sand eel bite is strong on the boats with far too many boats killing and keeping far too many big breeder females. The next time I'm at the marina I will take a picture of both-job-filleting guys do on these big fish. Half of the meat is still left on the rack to rot. It really takes away from the sport of striped bass fishing for me.

If the fish don't come in on the sand eels than the fat lady has started to warm up her voice for the year.....

Thursday, November 15, 2018

11.14.18 Got the skunk and found the skunk....

     If this isn't a sign then I don't know what is. Got down a little after 8pm which was about 2-1/2 hours into the lazy incoming tide. 36 degrees. Wind not to bad NW. Cold. I was so bundled up that I almost fell over one time while I was casting. 

     I was thinking I could find some bass on the flood tide eating sand eels and looked through my selection and hoped to pick a winner. I set-up a hopper/dropper set-up with the sand eel trailing a black and purple Deceiver. 

     I fished a few good spots one stop #1 and then made the move to spot #2 and fished just as hard there as well. With each hour that passed I hoped the tide would bring the bait and fish. Both never came. So I found he skunk as they say and then just to solidify that I found the real skunk on the way home.....nail in the coffin.

      On Thursday the Shore Catch guys found them good and I think it's that Manasquanish and south bunker bite that has been going for a few weeks. Snag and drop, Mojos, Maja's and trolling and jigging seem to be the ticket for the big fish. I wonder what will happen the next few weeks. I thought the sand eels would be around and I would catch at least one just for hopes sake.