Tuesday, April 30, 2019

04.30.19 At least I would have got and A for effort....

     I was making my way from Red Bank after dropping off my daughter for school heading to the bay where I figured I'd walk the sand on the outgoing tide. Then it hit me I had a boat in Atlantic Highlands. The boat reports have been crazy for a month now and that continued through last night. So I jumped in and joined the fleet in Sandy Hook bay.

     I tried....hard. So fish caught. Mostly on the troll and some on either the chunk or livening. I did see a great kayak report of several big fish on a metal lipped swimmer. 

     Sadly I could't get them to take a fly.....for five hours. I tried shallow. I went to the channel. Had some great marks on bait and some fish.....at every cast I said to myself THIS is the cast.......zilch.

     I am hearing about a lot of catch and releasing going on. Caught 50, kept four for the table. A quick peek in the marina dumpster should fish are being harvested, of course, but whats sad is the hack fillet job they do on bigger fish. I watched a guy fillet some fish the other day. He cut out cheeks. Took the heads for soup. Didn't leave a morsel of meat and said he was taking the racks for fertilizer.

    After washing the boat I sulked on the way home......WTF! I am still riding the skunk wave. I had my last class last week, last clinical this past Monday, Thursday is the final exam and I AM DONE! with graduation set for May 16th.

     So instead of sulking I said tonight is my night to get my first in the Delaware. I was fishing skinny low tide water when a couple of local lads starting hooping it up downriver. I took the walk to add misery to misery and found a nice healthy 27-1/2 inch fish stuck to some wire in the shallows. I tried to educate them on the 21-15" slot limit in Pennsylvania from April 1-May 31 but that fell on deaf ears.

     Now looking at that belly either its full of river herring or its a female on her first spawn and its full of eggs. It should have went back. I tried. Don't even know where to call out here for a visit from Fish & Game. Back at it tomorrow before the big studying cram begins.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

04.25.19 "You should have been yesterday...."

....."the big fish showed up Saturday and its been lights out, day and night, don't know whats up tonight. Probably going to be a first light mid outgoing bite".

     I hate hearing that kind of wisdom. Heard that from more than one guy in the four spots, real good spots, I fished during my hour outing last night. Started out on the flat in the river and getting chased in by the tide. Then hit the bay and fished two spots that just wouldn't give up a fish.

    Finally, with the end of the incoming happening it was back in the river. Fished the last hour and the flip for 45 minutes before the wind NE in a second and I was done. A guy there had a fish on for a half a second after casting a big wooden something 1/4 mile into the channel.

    I wish I arrived after 2am and had five hours on the ebb. I should have stayed 8 minutes from my house and fished the tide on the Delaware......

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

04.22.19 Doin' time tying flies....

        While it may look a prison its actually my basement. There's a full vault with a big safe. During prohibition someone broke into this (owned by US Congressman) and stole the liquor that was stored inside. I still have the remaining bottles that were in there, but dare not to drink it.

     Tied up a few 4/0 flies for tonight, not shown is a Double Barrel popper. One of these should produce if I can find the fish. I'm going to work the graveyard shift tonight. Tomorrow night is my LAST CLASS! Only things is my way now are the final exam and then the national boards.

     Right now I'm hoping to get my first bass of 2019.....we'll see.

04.24.19 This just popped up on Facebook.....

In 2014 I was a guest on Episode 9 of The Open Fly Podcast. You can click on the link HERE. It was when I was in full swing between the Upper Delaware and the Jersey Shore. I jump in at 24:15.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

04.22.19 Had to fish half the tide....

....should have went to bed early. Can't complain. Have to put time in and learn. Patience young, well old, Jedi.

Monday, April 22, 2019

04.22.19 And then they asked if we caught any fish in the bay.....

....well we didn't. Picked up the boat from Gateway Marine and splashed it just before the rains came. Boat is running strong and in good shape for the year. Erin threw a shad for a bit before I took out the secret weapon I purchased up in Newport RI a few years back. 100% fresh, well not really, menhaden oil. I splashed a little on her shad and was hoping to look like a genius but I wasn't in the end.

     After going in and a short ride, real short, we found the deadboats from NY and south bunched up with a dozen other smaller ones. Didn't see anyone hook up and shortly most went on the troll or headed to other waters. She fished for about an hour without a tap and not much showing on the screen. 

     After dropping her off I hit the beach again for about an hour just before low tide. Water looked great and I covered several beaches with out a tap. I think higher water this time of year is better for the beach, and mornings and evenings always help. 

     On the way home I stopped at the Delaware and above is a pic of current conditions just before high tide. Found some river herring that got caught in the woods on the bigger tide. I'm going to try and tie some up and hopefully will be ready when the conditions clear up a bit. Can't wait for my first Delaware River striped bass.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

04.19.19 When you now live an hour away .....

....don't forget your waders. Not that it mattered much. Nastiness before the storm. Got down near dead low, wind ESE 20-25. Water off color and littered with debris and salad. Didn't get a tap. Little guys now out front for the anglers catching it right. Thinking I have a good partner for a shakedown trip on Monday.

And yes, I took water over the top of both boots.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

04.18.19 Skunkfecta......

     Was dying for the boat to be ready today. Had all the boat gear in my truck and stopped by only to learn.....next week. Gave it a go- Raritan, well Sandy Hook Bay, out front, and the Delaware......zilich, nada, not a tap.

     There's fish to be had, just not getting them. Below is a pic of one of the big girls that was caught, and released, in the Delaware River today. Now that is what I am looking for! Actually I don't think I would be able to land it with the current river conditions on the fly. Sadly, the river is just starting to

settle down after last weeks rains, and more is scheduled for this weekend. Below are the current conditions that I am following. Gauge height was coming down from 15 feet yesterday....thats a lot of water. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

04.17.19 Sums it up....

     Got this from a friend. Guess it says it all. Hopefully boat will be ready tomorrow for a quick run. If you're ready so am I. Call or text to get out- of course fly only and catch and release too.    


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

04.16.19 A little over there and a little over here....

      Started the day unwrapping the boat and dropping it off at Gateway Marine in the Highlands for spring commissioning. Tune up, new water pump, good overall check and should be ready to splash by the end of the week. Fishing has been real good for the boats so its a good time to go. Now most anglers are using shads and some plugs so its not game-on-fly fishing but the fish are in the bay, and some out front, so it could be a fun trip to go on the hunt. Call or text 732 261 7291 to set something up.

      Since I was in the area I checked out the bay but the honking west wide had white caps and rough water in the Rarity, not to say they don't chew in snotty weather. I decided to go inside and check out a river where there was protection from the wind before it went more north. Fish for 1-1/2 hours on the outgoing and had great conditions (when not in the turbines) but couldn't find a bite. Water was a bit off color and there was some salad here and there but I was hoping to break the seal of the season. 

     I knew the tides in the Delaware were favorable and I had good timing, but with the recent deluge of rain I figured it would be high and off color, with occasional trees coming down the river. A quick 50 minute ride and I was in the water hoping some bass were seeking refuge in an eddy and were hungry. It was high, and way off color, and there was debris floating by. Below are the USGS tables from today in flows and turbidity. I didn't care, learning a new fishery, so I have to put my time in regardless of conditions.

     Fished for about an hour hoping a Deceiver would get a bass hugging the bank......noe, stuck continues. Can't wait till it drops and gets a little more clear. Tis section is running at....59,000 + cfs.
On the way home found some cool fishy art so I stopped to make some cool pics. Back at it in a day or so.

04.12.19 First good scout trip....


     First time out for a scout on the Delaware. Found some good spots, talked to some good guys, now just have to put a lot of time in and figure out tides, flows, turbidity, and signs of bait and fish. I made sure I got my New Jersey fishing license which allows me to fish both sides of the river. On the Jersey side the season is "closed" from April 1 - May 31 below the Calhoun Street bridge, however, across the river, the season is open and you can keep a slot fish from 21-26", or close to that, during the Jersey closed season. Doesn't seem like it makes sense to me but thats the regulation.

     Its back to the remembering that I'm fishing a river and backcasts do matter. Of course the higher the tide the less room you have behind you.

     Above is my new "home jetty". A little different from the Jersey Shore but its as close to a groin was I could find. High tide is high here, with a current tidal range of 10 feet, which fluctuate with the river flow. That's 10 feet between tides, so it goes out quick and comes in quick. When your on this "'groin" the water is waist high when you are out there on the high tide, a little different then the shore.

    So far I have fished dead low, and full flood, in the dark and at first light, ad it full sun. Haven't had a tap just yet, but I'm enjoying the process, one day I'll go tight.