Saturday, October 16, 2021

10.21.16 Shut it down already.....


      So the above chart is from the 2021 Chesapeake juvenile striped bass survey conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. When we talk "year class" fish, we can basically look at a striped bass, its length and weight, and determine just about what year it was born, ie, "year class". Basically its like saying, except for the kids that pushed a year ahead or behind, that all 7th graders are 12 years old, born in 2009, that year class. 

     Well this year we had another horrible surgery, the target number is 11.4, this year the tally was 3.2, up slightly from the horrendous 2.5. Currently the ASMFC continues to dick around with this fishery. They are not managers, they are pawns, and frauds. There might be a "good one", a guy or gal, on the committee, one of several, but they all basically suck. Studies on mortality, going to circle hooks...blah, blah, blah. Close the Raritan and Chesapeake Bays in the spring, or make it a gamefish, or just it the f down. We will find other interests while the fishery rebuilds itself. Just ask your old buddy who went thought the moratorium in the 1980's. You'll survive. 


     And there's the skunk report. Got down an hour after the flip on this lovely 85 degree day. Found some bait balled up off the end of the groin with some small bluefish harassing them. They stayed put as the tide ebbed and the boasts ran through them. I stayed an hour or so and split. 



     Then I made my way to stop one of two in the Raritan. No bait, no signs of predation. Made a few college-try casts without a nothing. Then I made my way into the Belford Co-Op and made casts 



among the peanut bunker that were getting sucked out from the smaller to the bigger water. Saw a few blow-ups, one sounded girthy, but didn't connect. And then my last stop was in the river where I was almost nipple high trying to make my way out and cast into the outgoing water. Phone was in my front pocket of my Simms waders, which I thought were water tight, but you know, whats an outing without something going wrong. Seems like its an early morning fishery for now. 




Monday, October 11, 2021

10.11.21 I want to go back to these times....

 


    For some reason I was up at 330 AM and started on the computer. And some how, I found the original We are The World Video. Somehow, looking back with 20/20 vision, I see talented performers from all corners of the world representing different races doing good. I don't see the division, the politics, the media, the bullshit. Now that's to say there weren't problems, no time in history is perfect. But these times, say the 1980's were kinda better. First I was just about 19 when this came out in April 1985. 

    I followed up this video with Do They Know It's Christmas, which came out a year earlier in 1984. Another classic with very talented performers, a lot from botg=h groups, before they became larger-than-life in their own heads and transformed from entertainer to influencer, politician, and divider. 

    These two times, along with the times following 9/11 brought people together from around the world and most definitely across this great land. Something has got to change. I am having a mid-life re-evaluation of my own life, I have got to change. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

10.10.21 Guess its fall now....

     Stopped by for a few casts to see if my friend was home...he was. A few casts along the wall on the outgoing and he came up and ate my fly, I watched, frozen, waiting for him, I guess to hook himself. I didnt even trout set. Then he spit the hook and I watched my fly "swim" away. Duh? I wish I had a redo on that. Fall foliage is making its way down the river as the NE winds that are really churning up the beaches are making their way across the state. 

I'm hearing the storms have moved a lot of sand which is great for the fall, well, early winter run. Just be careful and have your eyes down when you make your way across the beach, that fall is unforgiving for the ones bones and fly rods. 

 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

10.07.21 Tons of big bunker waaay in the back....



     Went last night to see if I would find the Mother Lode of the elusive striped bass chewing on bait that hasn't made the move yet. Well I found the bait, big bunker, waaay up in the back. Just didn't find anything on them. While we3're not seeing the bass action out front yet, it is going to happen. This bait will leave, and the delayed arrival of the bass should intersect somewhere on the beach or boat. Could a repeat of Blitz-O-Ween of 2014 happen again in 2021? Fingers crossed. 



 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

10.06.21 Stayed local and had a follow....

     Not taking the drive of shame this week. Surfs up with the new moon. Tons of bait showing out front and still in the bays and rivers. Hearing of albies in the boats and occasionally on the beaches. Today I gave it a 30 minute shot. Had a bass follow and swipe at a small Hollow Fleye. Went back at him and he did it a again. He's hanging in a sweet spot so I may give him a shot today if work schedule allows, but may try a smaller fly. 


 

Monday, October 4, 2021

10.03.21 The 2021 version of a cartopper....



     So things last evening just got weird. It started out at 7pm in Long Branch as I watched the above Tow Boat service tow someone back down to Shark River. That's not really weird, but when I got to Deal the first thing I saw was boat in tow in front of me. Then I looked over and saw, what I thought, was a beached boat but after walking to see if they needed help I found out it was the rich-and -famous interpretation of a cartopper. Cartoppers are, well really were, small aluminum boats, with engines, that anglers used to carry, on the top of their car, and then launch from the beach, far away from any boat ramp or marina. 



     Well this guy, could be a great guy, is fortunate to live on the beach in Deal, and what he has is an amphibious boat. His is made by Iguana, you can see more HERE. Looks like they run just about $600,000. They are good for Seal Teams and for those that have it like that. He hits a button and tracks come down like a tank and he traverses the sand util he gets in the water and vice versa. This evening he came back in and then towed a jet ski back up to the old ranch. Now, the last two summers we have seen an increased numbers of ATV riders on the beach in Deal, which is illegal. Is this legal? Can you have a motorized vehicle on the beach without a permit, which would be open to all? Would it fly in Belmar or Spring Lake? Or Monmouth Beach? I would love to see those old salts from the Monmouth Beach Cartoppers club as they see this today, they must be rolling in their graves. 



     Conditions were very good. I was there about 2 hours into the ebb tide, little SE wind, water clean and green. And although you can't see it in the pics there was some good swells that chased me to the inside portion of the rocks. It took about 20 minutes and about 30 casts to land the below October bass on a white Snake Fly. Since its been, for others, a one and done thing, I decided to move along and head home. I first wanted to check a spot out back where the bait is usually think and there can sometimes

be some bass, if not always blues of varying size for sure. There's not much room and when I walked in Eric was there and we watched as the bait moved and the occasional fish broke the surface. I tried and tried, as did he, and he didn't start catching 2-4 pound bluefish until he liveliness some peanuts. As we stood there we could hear the roar of the engine of a motorcycle. He was lock step with a car and, either, he was trying to pass, or they were racing. It was one of those things where you hear it, and then you look, and then look back at what you're doing. Well when we looked back at the water we heard the screech, and then the boom, and then the screams. 

     We're about 500 feet away and Eric starts running. One thing I learned from being a fireman and EMT and nurse, never run. So I'm walking with my stripping basket on, rod in hand, on the phone with 911 requesting an ambulance and paramedics. When I get there there's no one there but the patient, his girlfriend, the other fisherman and two people who stopped. He was down but not done, and after using a pair of scissors to cut off his clothes and asses him, he only had a nasty compound arm fracture which I had to straighten and hold traction to return the pulse to his wrist. 'Its gonna hurt like a bitch so just take it", and he did. 

     The cops and ambulance were quick and he took a short ride over to Jersey Shore for, I would bet, some surgery on that arm. His helmet showed the damage from the crash, and I couldn't imagine what he would have looked like without it. If this was in Pennsy, a no helmet law state, it could have been ugly. 

     I went back to fishing and it was more of the same, little blues on bait. Things have started to turn on, albies in the boats and occasionally the beach, bluefish, mostly smaller ones just about everywhere, and the bass seem to be coming to eat breakfast and dinner on the beaches. Maybe fall, although the air and water are still warm, has arrived. 

 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

10.01.21 Bait on the beach but no fish in the water....

     My day put me in Monmouth County so I took advantage of being there and hit the beach. End of the incoming with a west wind which kept the water flat. Not much on the horizon but did find birds working over bait along the waters edge. Spearing, mullet, rain fish and peanut bunker on the move

with nothing in the water chasing them up on the beach. To me, it look liked it was purely tide related. Swimming along the trough in skinny water and then washing up and over and getting harassed by gulls.


     The first light bite seems to be more productive if you go. Same bait, same usual places, and an occasional bass or blue in the hunt. Leif got the below bass that fell to a Snake Fly, typical of the one nd done outings that have become the norm.