Thursday, November 25, 2021

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

11.24.21 Well, see you in the Delaware in March.....



     So much for high expectations. I was watching the wind along the Turnpike, Parkway and 36 on my way to Atlantic Highlands. It seemed like there was none. Got down, went to fire her up, wouldn't start, again. I don't know if its the batteries, or the cold, or a combination of the two. But after grabbing some juice and giving her a charge she fired up and I was in the water running. It seemed the wind come out of nowhere when I launched about 45 minutes before high tide. My plan was to run west and find the mother lode of bass blowing up on peanuts.....nice dreams. 

     There was only a handful of boats out, three party boats and maybe five small ones. We got sucked into the birds in the middle of the Reach but I didnt see any fish and the marks on the screen were spotty at best. I had a plan, go west, tuck in under Staten Island from the NW wind that was gusty, cold, and had the bay rocking' and rollin' and a tad off color. I did my thing and hugged SI all the way to the Verrazano. Gannets diving, birds everywhere without a purpose but on the lookout. I from the lighthouse base, to West Bank to Romer and didnt see it. It was the start of the outgoing when I decided it would be a bear to fly fish and then land a fish solo in the slop. There had to be calmer seas out front along the beach, and since I wasn't finding anything inside maybe, just maybe, the bait poured out and the bass followed. 


     I passed the sticks and was approaching the dredge when the alarm sounded and the engine lost power. You can get a feel of what is was like in the short video above. It took and hour and 10 minutes to limp around the Bug Light and across the Bay and back to the marina. I dreaded calling for a tow, and was unsure if my membership hadn't run out since I purchased it last year about this time when I got Jim's boat. 


     I was never to glad to approach the marina and got her up on the trailer and out of the water around 1230. I really wished I had got out front for the good part of the outgoing. As I traveled over the Highlands Bridge I looked to the north and saw all my boat buddies from this morning hugging the beaches of the Hook. I wonder if they got them, I'm feeling they did. 



     Before giving her a bath in Long Branch I stopped in Sea Bright to see if anything was happening on the beach. There's bait around, and some fish are chasing them into the beach. Heard today a town or two that had good blitzes of fish on the beach, mostly south of the inlets, which means the bait is on the move pretty good. 



     The NW wind died off or wasn't bad in Mercer County and I took the opportunity to continue with my honey-do-list which includes painting the house. Nothing like the smell of burning lead paint from the heat gun, but its the only was to get down or close to the wood siding. Wondering what the Delaware was doing I took a look at the USGS station and found water temps around 43 and I took a shot at the flip of the hight tide just before sunset. Surely one of those holdovers wanted to fatten up before the long winter. I hooked and lost a nice sized smallmouth, it showed itself when it flipped off. I might give it another shot tomorrow, to may just wait until March 1st when the season opens up for 2022. 


 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

11.24.21 The quiver is loaded for tomorrow....


     After a long hiatus from the beach and boat its go time. Been juggling a lot of work around the house, and around the clock, and shots at work at the office and now its time for me to enjoy some fishing. Today it was cold, bitter cold to my aging bones, and windy, NW to 30 mph. Tomorrow the forecast is better, still NW, down to 10-15, and air temps in the mid 40's by noon. 

     There has been good reports as everyone knows, first a big fish push, followed by the next years classes of bigger slot fish with some schoolies mixed in. First thee was big bunker, and now the peanuts and smaller white bait is being flushed out with the cold and these days following the full moon. Hopefully tomorrow will be good. It will also be bittersweet, as I had extended an invite to a very special person. Remember this post, as I will be writing about it in the future. 




     

 

Monday, November 22, 2021

11.22.21 1995 GMC 2500 update!!

     I know, enough about that stupid truck. But here's a cool update. I bought it for $2,000, then sank it, and sold it to a father and son team from PA for $1,000 after the delusions of me getting her going again wore off. Remember, I promised, predicated, that I would be backing her down that infamous ramp December 4th which is in a few weeks, the one year anniversary. 

     So the boys had a donor truck that they took boat parts and a new engine from and the rest is history. At the end is the proof of a job well done. After seeing what they had to do I realize I surely could have done it myself with some help from Lauren. Not. Check out the quick video they sent at the end. 

 









Sunday, November 21, 2021

11.20.21 Today's the last day of the Fly Tying Symposium...


     Funny, I'm telling myself that Parsippany is too far to travel to the 30th International Fly Tying Symposium....but tyers are coming from Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. It's about an hour and 15 minutes from my house, thats three hours of traveling and a few hours there, and, see you you at the Fly Fishing Show, Jan 28, 29, and 30th at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center. If you can't remember where that is here's a picture to refresh your memory. 


And then there's....


     And why am I not going to the show or why didn't I join the 30,000 weekend boaters out in the Raritan yesterday? Because its bonus time with the man lift at the house! More productivity. A quick ride overhead and I could see the second chimney crown was a mess and in need of some Masonary love. 


    So a quick tutorial to make sure I had the right mix and a search to find my Masonary tools and I was up and out and it. I was able to tighten it up pretty good and have ordered the chimney caps for the 13 x 13 and 13 x 18 opening, found one used.....you know that's the way I roll. And why do I post non-fly fishing things on this blog? Because it say party and I do want I want to. But no really, why? Because the average angler, who this whole thing represents, is usually a person who doesn't have it like, can do it like that, and has to find a way to get it done themselves with the cost of things always on their mind. I represent that person, because that who I am, on the water, in my home, and in the vehicles I drive. Just usually second hand old ass average. 



Thursday, November 18, 2021

11.18.21 Lightning didn't strike twice....



     Believe it or not catching the skunk last night felt pretty good. Its not what I needed after a hard days work up in the manliest, followed by a few hours seeing patients, and going to see Charlie, "Bunky" in the hospital. I had too pass my home and bed to hit 195 and 34 south to try for a repeat performance of two nights ago. 




     Same time, same time, same spot......nada. You can say what you want but I think I caught "that night" when "most" of the bait emptied out. I mean two nights ago there was bait on the move steady as far as you could see for the quarter of the end of the tide while I was there. That night it was west with air temps 34 degrees, last night southwest air temps over 50. The only bait I did see were some pods of spearing hugging the north side on their way out, with only an occasional small splash into them. 

     Last night I shared the area with a sharpie who I have sen down there several times and he fished the hours I was there not getting a tap. I stayed past him long into dead low and then slack. It didn't matter, find the bait and you will find the fish, at times, but this place was dead. No drive of shame though because going only made two nights ago that more special. If you don't go then you'll never know. 


     We're starting to see small baits their way into and down the surf. I don't think they are sand eels but a combo of rain fish, silversides and peanut bunker. If you are the right at the right time you will run into the intersection of bait/predator and have some fun with schoolie to keeper sized bass. Lief (Lief's son) found some yesterday on the incoming tide. 


     Ok, now what. Raritan Bay continues to produce and yesterday my buddy Capt. Paul Eidman told me while out 'I think there were fish from South Amboy to the Hook". These are smaller fish then we have seen as of late, not small like too small, but 25 to 35 inch fish, with maybe a jumbo or two mixed in. Remember, as the run goes, the big ones come, and then the size gets smaller as the its get colder and the fish that are going to balmy waters leave and the smaller ones that will winter over will stay and remain on the bait that is around. 



     What's cool to hear is that the fish that last week were down, since have now been up and perfect fly rod fish. Its that lovely time when either the birds can direct you into fish or you can just see the nervous water and the splashes as the bass pursue and eat. 
     I hope to get out in the boat before Thanksgiving. Today is the last day of the man lift rental so the next project is finishing laying the cobblestone block driveway, but that will wait a bit if the weather window looks decent. I hope to catch the Raritan Bay/NY Bight bite while the fish are still around and up in the water column. 
     

 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

11.16.21 "Ty f'in rone".....


     The above is an inside joke between me and Leif. Too raunchy to tell you about it here. So in the evening Leif tells me about a quick session he had landing a trio of nice bass as the bait showed up along the beach. That got me thinking. High at 5 pm, a few days before the moon, west wind and air temps in the low 40's. A quick check with the wife and I was gone. Even though it was still early the



drive was in the dark due to putting the clocks back last week. Was it sand eels the bass were on? Could it be? So I brought my sand eel box with me and tied on a black Snake Fly with a Jim Matson sand eel 

trailer. I stopped at my local haunts, dead at spot one, some bait but no bass at spot two, and then a drive to the OG to find hardly any water on the beach. Now what? Two hours left till dead low and I can hear


hunger pangs coming from my stomach. I knew there was a McDonalds in Neptune and after getting the heaviest choice I could muster, a double cheeseburger, small fries and a Diet Coke I figured let me 


venture south into northern Ocean County. Its been awhile since I fished the Point Pleasant Canal/Manasquan River so lets go. I passed some of the backpack crowd and made my way to some fishy water that was moving on the ebb tide. Before I left my truck I tucked in my new measuring tape, no more guessing and trying to estimate the lengths alongside my fly rod. This would be accurate. 



    I found the moving water, the bait, and the bass. They were up and hungry eating peanut bunker and what I think were spearing. My sand eel trailer may have passed for a silverside. Both flies were what they wanted and I landed over 15 fish to 37 inches, two others being 30 and 28 inches. They were all strong river fish that have spent some time in the back eating well, and fighting the current and the tides. I left them biting with me shivering from the cold as I was wading up to my waist. It was good. 






     Leif was checking in around midnight and as I gave him the particulars a hit and run accident occurred in the distance. Luckily the woman wasn't hurt but she was blocking one of the lanes under a poorly lit bridge. I remembered I had taken this package of flares out of service on my boat and put them in my truck for just this very reason. One flare in the right lane gave passers-by the heads up 



 which hopefully prevented another accident. It seems like every time I go fishing as of late there's a story that goes along with it. 

     Well there you have it. I was sick of reading other reports and using that fodder for the blog. Great night, a nice big fish, many others to hand, and leaving them biting made me feel good. I needed a night like that. it was due, and I think well deserved.