Tuesday, June 15, 2021

06.14.21 Bottom of the ninth....

 

      Two outs, bases loaded, down by a run. Count is 3-2. And you're up at bat. Well Theresa was. We had packed up and were heading to the ferry but Theresa was to catch a bass. I had left her stuff out and we stopped at what I thought would be her home run. She fished the outgoing salt pond outflow for about 15 minutes. Then I aired a few out to be be sure. No takers. Called strike. Game over. 

     We took a slow ride to Vineyard Haven. We had plenty of time for our 830 ferry, problem was we had reservations for the 730 ferry. Luckily we went on stand-by and got the 830 anyway. 

     On the way home we stopped in New Haven and went o Frank Pepe's for pizza. It's a stop you should make sometime. Been there since 1925. Always a line but we got there and walked in and got a table. Good pie, the kind I like with the almost burnt crust edges. Caesar salad is a must get. 


     The usual tradition following the Martha's Vineyard trip is to hit the salt the day after coming home. This year I settled for a run to Trenton to see if I could get in on this yet-to-be-seen topwater bight. I was greeted with all of the wonderful sights and sounds of the Delaware River in the New Jersey's largest city. Garbage. Traffic. Sirens. Off color water from the deluge of recent rains. This a lot different than the gin-clear waters of Menemsha Pond. Now the countdown begins, 52 weeks until the 2022 Martha's Vineyard trip, and Theresa is in. 


Sunday, June 13, 2021

06.13.21 Well that's a Martha's Vineyard wrap...




     On the last at the Vineyard we decided to get up early, well kind of early, and hit the end of the outgoing tide. We stopped at a pond outflow and caught a few that were picking on the bait as it emptied from the pond. Nice water, almost no wind, at least in the early AM, and some fish that were hungry. 


     Pond outflows are interesting. Some times it just a large pipe that channels the water down to a bigger pond to out into the ocean. We fished one of each, ending the day into the night with one that empties "out front". The fish were busting way out at the end of the outgoing, and as the force lessened the fish came in closer, and by the time we left they were almost inside the large outflow pipe. The pipes are best, at least we found, on the end of the outgoing tides, if there is enough water on the down flow side. 


     We there jumped to a bridge and Leif found some fish bugging the bank as the water emptied. He would go on to stay around that pond for most of the day, picking at fish he could see if the wave action from the killer south wind died down. 

           

     Theresa and I went to Red Beach. I ditched the car at Lobsterville and took a bike down to the parking lot since we didn't have a parking permit. I saw lots of small bait swimming just as the top of the tide started to ebb. This was Theresa's day to fish, and at first it was good, we saw fish and the wind wasn't bad. But then the south wind jet turbine turned on. Below Theresa showed her-once-a year backcast form. After some tweaking she was able to get her beginner form back and the 

casting got better. We didn't have any shots at fish and I realized I had made the wrong call, to Monday morning quarterback it. I should have went to Dogfish and maybe even the dreaded Lobsterville beach because it was protected from the south wind. We did have a nice 




lunch on the beach as we watched the white capped waves crest and run up the beach. And then there's the Frogg Togg waders, well, let's just say I spent most of the day slogging around inside 

of them. Both feet were loaded with water, so I am thinking my wet crotch means they are leaning up high. Let's see how customer service handles this. Remember, I paid a premium as I decided to "shop local", spending way more than the big bit 



     Leif caught a bunch today and his photography skills are getting much better. Different looks, different angles, better than the vertical shots we have learned to love. Below is a good one. 




     We had lunch at The Seafood Shanty and ate full clam bellies and a lobster roll with a couple of beers before giving the pond outflow a shot. There was too much water and the south honking wind of the day had pushed most of everything that floated into the mouth of the pipe. 

     A tip of the hat to my wife Theresa. No really. It was a fishing trip, and she let me fish, early, during the day, and in the dark. She is a trooper. It was nice to share the trip with Leif and Judy, both there first time to the island. After nearly a week of early mornings and late nights, and 10,000 casts, along with a bunch of cocktails and good food, we were exhausted by days end. Put another Martha's Vineyard trip in the books. We'll be back again next year for sure.


06.12.21 Had some fun close to the shack...



     After the long night session before we got a late jump on the day. It was a mix of a little sightseeing and shopping in th cloudy and breezy day. I hit the back of Sedgekontacket Pond on the incoming but didn't find any takers. Before calling it a lunchtime session I moved around to the pond and fished a spot that is usually busy with kayakers and rock throwers. 

    The fish were stacked up on the outgoing and it was the small white bunny fly that bought them to hand. I left, Leif came in behind me and continued the catching as the sun broke through and he could see them along the banks of the inlet waiting to bounce on small minnows and clouds of sand eels that were passing by. 



      Leif got them on a chartreuse and white Clouser, at first I thought it might be and Ugly Ass Fly he caught them on, thankfully it wasn't, otherwise I would hear about it forever. Below is a nice shot he took before the quick release. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

06.11.21 Nice fish in the light, numbers in the dark...



     So we had the bright sun we needed, but the ESE wind was just. tad much to really get a good bead on the fish. Leif spent the day as the good husband, seeing the lay of the land, and enjoying 


things other than fishing. Theresa dropped me off at Red Beach and I lugged my heavy fiberglass 6 foot ladder all the way up to the top of the flat. Wind blowing pretty good behind me had the white caps casting shadows along the bottom. I saw over a dozen fish, landed four, flossed one, and had a few refusals. Can't ask for anymore than that. While I'm all about the crab fly thing, today they couldn't stop paying attention to the small white fox/bunny fly. 



     So after dinner we took the ride...yep...to Lobsterville. I hate Lobsterville. Always have. Always will. I remember one trip Joe showed me a video of that place lit up. Maybe if I saw it once I'd be a believer. I have caught bass there, small ones, and it just doesn't do it for me.  


     At the top of the tide we moved to an inlet. We started on the beach and one our first casts we hooked up. When the water started to ebb the place lit up. Depending on where you fished it was all big hickory shade, all bass, or a mix of both. 


     I went for the jetty and Leif stayed on the sand. I couldn't get away from the shad, landing over 20, and then after the rocks and hitting the beach it was a bakers dozen bass for me. Leif landed over 20 bass, but only a trio of shad. 


     On the way out Leif looked down and saw what the fish were keyed on, small sand lances. I was matching the hatch, probably why I caught so many shad, and Leif was switching up between Deciever's and Sliders, which the bass jumped on. Below is the selection of flies I got them on last night. I used a popper/dropper rig with the foam slider on top and the smaller sand eels fly's trailing. 

     When we woke this morning I didn't know it had rained throughout the night. Dumbass me let all my fly tying stuff outside, uncovered. So I spent the morning drying out and organizing my stuff. It wasn't all bad, its kind of like having to clean your house before you have a party. I used a screen from the window and laid out my materials to dry. That went over great with the ladies. 

    Today, Saturday, cloudy and rain. But I ran "To the store" and jumped in my waders and walked Sengekontacket Pond for a bit on the dead low to see if there were any fishing chains whatever bait might be left after the flush out. Tomorrow, the last full day, looks really good for sight fishing!


 

Friday, June 11, 2021

06.10.21 Vineyard day 2, getting better....


     It was a day of high hopes. You can't judge the wind from deep-woods location we are staying the Katama section of Edgartown. The ladies dropped us off around 1030 and we had the start of the 


outgoing with a steady ENE with some good gusts, which made seeing them in high water not easy. Leif saw one as soon as we got in and then it was a long drought before the wind reared up a bit and you could see fish. Leif said he saw about 8 and landed some real nice fish on a minnow type fly. I am glad he was able to experience the flats/sight fishing I have come to love as my favorite. 


     I had on a crab fly and spent hours walking and looking only see one fish that creeped up on me and I could only get off one good cast. Leif is of the mindset "You can't catch fish if you flies not in the water". So while I prefer to walk and wait, he blind casts always, and with that catches more fish. Yesterday he was able to see those fish eat as they patrolled the seam between the sandy flat and the deeper and foliage covered bottom. 



     We called it quits as the sun traveled from left to right and the water ebbed. Last night was Judy's 60th so it was a nice dinner in Edgartown as a group. And then, with bellies full, girls heading to bed, and the wind cranking on the outgoing tide......we decided to save our chips and not push the issue. 


      So I have kept the yearly Martha's Vineyard trips going. The group from Jersey has been making this trip, to Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard, since, if I am correct, the 1980's. There have been a core group of guys that made the trip, others that joined and fell off, but it has always continues. Well, guys get busy, guys get old, and other things get in the fishing way. I am grateful to have been introduced to this fishery and trip from a great group of guys, Bob, Steve, Dick, Gerry, and Joe. Thanks to them the learning curve has been greatly shortened in learning the island. It was, and is, always good company, good food and drink, lots of fishing, and spending some time tying up some flies for the day, or night. Bob Popovics used to do coffee and a fly each morning,  so here is my attempt at keeping that going. 

                         


Thursday, June 10, 2021

06.09.21 Day 1 Martha's Vineyard....



     And we're off. Came up on Tuesday and spent the night at a patients summer home on Cape Cod, conflict of interest?, I don't think so. Not when medical providers in Alaska trade salmon for medical exams. Got on an early ferry and drove straight to Menemsha where Theresa dropped me off and went and got her nails done. This is not a fishing trip! Leif and Judy hit a different ferry and we all met up at out home for the week in Edgartown. 


So walking the flat wasn't easy, saw four fish, had two turn on a crab fly, but seeing them was difficult because of the cloud cover and white capped waves at times. As I waited for my ride


to the other side of the island I took the walk over to Lobsterville and walked nd looked on the lower tide. Didn't see a fish and sweated my are off in my PVC/rubber waders. I love the feet in them for the sand but not breathable is tough. We checked into the house which is located down-island and 

puts us closer to the Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven, which is great for the ladies. We stopped by Coop's and caught up and got some intel, and of course bought a few flies. Theresa made a nice dinner and as soon as we could feel we had the green light from the ladies we were gone. 

     We started in one of the ponds before making the trek up-island fishing in the dark. Leif caught the first fish there and we found mostly bass and a few big hickory shad that were blowing up, and everywhere, on sand eels that were exiting on the outgoing tide. 

     We got back at 130 AM and it was a good first day on the island. We didn't piss the girls off, haven't lost or broke anything, had double-digit fish to hand, and what looks like good weather the next few days. One thing to note, and everyone from Coop, to Jamie Boyle, to Bob Popovics and the boys I used to come with, big fish, or even bigger fish are hard to find on the island, at least in a steady flow and good numbers. They would talk of days when Dogfish and Lobsterville were the places to walk and wade to see 20-30 pound bass on the flats that would stop and eat a crab fly. In my opinion, I think MV and the Cape hold a lot of fish, where Block probably has better quality fish.