I had these two trips planned since last week. Things in fishing change day to day so you never know what the day will bring....and today was surprise, surprise, surprise. In the morning I had Leif out and we hit the water when enough light came up to see through the fog. It's been snotty out front so we fished somewhere else. Took an early ride and did a big circle looking for signs of life. Got a call from Capt. Jason at Blitzbound who was the first guy on the fish. Its nice to have friends out on the water, especially when you have clients on board. Plus it makes you feel like you have friends.
It took us a while to find fish ready to eat a fly but when they showed they were hungry. To me, these were not the usual fall fish. These fish are big, real big, and the biggest ones were on adult bunker. Later in the day we found the more usual sized fall fish and they didn't disappoint either and they were on juvenile bunker. On the way home I hit up Capt. Paul Eidman at Reel Therapy and he believes the big bunker came into the bay before or during the blow and the big bass followed. Remember, at the end of the day pretty much everything swimming in the bay will leave for the winter, so you have to get them while they are here. Water temps above 60 wouldn't be a reason for them to leave just yet. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we can have a few good days left.
With Leif being a customer today I didn't feel right about fishing when the fish showed up but he insisted so I went to a pink and white Hollow Fleye swam behind a Jim Matson Pulse Disc. The action, and I think more importantly the vibration, they add to a fly is something to see, and the fish are attracted to it and love it. I miss Jim Matson, who always pushed the envelope in designing either flys, ways to tie them, or contraptions to fish them.
These are the pretty and there strength and pull is greater than their almost keeper size size. That could make any trip in itself a treat, even without the big fish we found, and even for the experienced angler. It was none stop action there on the ebb tide with birds everywhere and bass blowing bait out of the water. We had to leave them biting in order for me to pick up my PM sports, who were eager to get out. Leif and I haven't had a day like that in the boat, and hopefully they will be more days out.
My afternoon guys were Brendan and Andrew. I have known and fished with Andrew several times and he is a great fly fisherman, a gentleman- mostly, and is one of the best fish holding models I know. We have connected on a few great images, one being a cover of On The Water magazine and the other in Bob Popovic's latest book, Fleye Design. He manages the Orvis store in Philly and Brendan works at the TCO shop in that Orvis store and has only freshwater fished and guides for smallmouth bass on the Susky. He was eager to catch something in the salty water...and he was about to experience what most first time striper fly fisherman never see.
We went right back where we left them and in 20 minutes he was holding his first striped bass. It wasn't a bad way to start his striped bass resume and it only got better. After they each caught a few of the these fish which topped out at just keeper sized I asked if they wanted to go on the hunt for big
fish, of course without any guarantee. We took the ride in the almost pea soup fog and after some waiting and scouting around we found the birds over busting bass. After a ton of casts to fish that were in the neighborhood he came tight and added a beauty to his days catch.
Andrew is sporty. He is hardcore, I hate that saying, but he is a passionate fly fisherman. He is also very considerate and wants to share his knowledge and love of the sport with others. He deflected shots at big fish so Brendan go go over and over again and try to hook up. He did take some shots and found this nice fish that was a visual follow and eat, the best kind of fish when fly fishing. Brendan is a Blaine Crockett disciple and loves tying and fishing his Game Changer patterns.
Last night he tight up one for todays trip and was determined to get a nice fish on it. After offering it up to a bunch of fish he found a real one that ate and gave him a heck of a fight before it safely came to the net. Each season there are those days, I can remember them and they bring fond memories. Tomorrow is October 31st.......Blitz-O-Ween, I'll recap that in tomorrow's post.
Outside of the fog, and the mist, and the rain, it was a great day. Actually, I think the fog helped. It kept the boat traffic down and didn't allow for usual run and gun type fishing in the fall when the birds get over busting bass. There were lots of nice fish, all safely released of course. The only negative thing was back at the marina. A bunch of dead cows in the dumpster. which always turns my stomach. I don't know why I look if it bothers me so, but I do. But whats worse then big dead bass, really big dead bass, are so poorly filleted that most of the meat is still on the rack. Look at the one to the right, the picture doesn't really show its size, its over 45 pounds, and most of the meat is visible below the lateral line. Sickening.
Next charter is Monday, come on Tom lets put it in the books. I have availability the rest of the late fall and if interested give me. call 732 261 7291 or drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org