Wednesday, June 16, 2021

06.16.21 I always fish Jersey the day after the MV trip.....

     It was 1241 AM and I was probably 1,000 feet from Route 18. Close to the roads to take me back home. I would have been in bed by 2. But, I had just finished fishing five different towns, finding fish in only one, but wanted to get back to the productive spot on the lower tide. 

Leif Petterson photo

     So in years past I always fish the morning after returning from Marthas Vineyard. Yesterday I hit the Delaware for a bit before work. After a long day at work and with Theresa scheduled to work overnights I made the drive down to the Shore to return Judy's bike from the trip. While there, why not, lets go fishing. We were probably in the water by 815, which was about 2-1/2 hours into the incoming. Conditions looked great, little sporty from the beach at times, but very bassy looking. 

     Leif went for the beach and me the rocks. Soon we were both hooked up. Me on the below fish that looks like an anemic old mount but fought with the heart of a lion. I had the rod tight to the fish and just outside of the exposed rocks. As I reached for the line to land it the water dropped 

out and that repaired, scratched, and nicked tip section sent me the message, "Start taking care of your shit", before it snapped. Okay, so now what to do. I could stop fishing, not, and take the long walk to the truck and get another rod, or just fish without it like I have seen so many bait fisherman do before. 

Leif Petterson photos

     Casting wasn't easy, you. could forget any distance, but I got the fly where it needed to be to be able to bring a few more to hand. When Leif called it quits around 930 I dec died it was time to change it up from an Ugly Ass Fly to a double black fly and new rod set up. And after that is was the start of the night with a lot of stops, circling back, 1,000 casts, and numerous last casts. 

     So in the dark the most productive time, in terms of hits, swings and errors, was the two hours before high tide. Water was manageable, but the swells were starting. As the tide was at the top, the swells brought crashing waves in quick sets at your feet, then the water would run up the scarp, and either almost suck you out on the way past, or crash into the next swell landing on the scarp. A few sets of rocks were promising but it was busy, and at times, "Oh shit", as the waves came from the south if you looking down, and from the north if you were looking up. 

     While I hate to leave fish to find fish there was a few go-to spots I wanted to fish on the way home. That turned into quick multiple cast stops in several towns, where the swells continued, the water pounded the beaches, and there seemed to be a delayed ebbing tide. 

     And that puts me in the back at 1241 AM. What to do. Go home? Go back? So I went back, got there say 1 AM. There would be a lot less water right? Forget it. It was just as big as I left it 2 hours ago. The waves were breaking on the outer bar but the force carried them all the way to the beach scarp where they broke again. I had, if you look in the top photo, a larger black fly with a smaller trailer, but didn't catch any on that so I went to two big flies, and caught fish on both. 

     I dropped the biggest fish of the night on a calmer north side but did land more on the trailing fly. Just before 3 AM I called it quits. I couldn't wait for it to settle down to give the bass a better chance to see my flies. In my opinion, yes we like big water, but at night throwing flies it can be good or bad. It was just too big with no good current on the high incoming, and the delayed ebb probably didn't get jiggy until after 4 AM, with enough water, light, and a trough that could be properly fished. 

     So I made the drive home, not the drive of shame, and walking in after 4 AM got the look from Theresa who had got canceled from the overnight shift and never told me, ut oh. She just said as I crawled into bed,  "You just went fishing for a week", but she looked at me like people gaze at others with addiction issues, almost like she felt sorry for me. I love striped bass, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. 52 weeks until Martha's Vineyard!