Tuesday, May 31, 2022

05.31.22 Gave them a break today....

     It was f'in hot today. With the water levels down in the Delaware it doesn't take much to heat up the water, regardless of the tide. Like the Upper Delaware where anglers watch the water temps, we should do the same down here. So today it was give them a break day. 

     While on the hunt for a new used vehicle for Lauren I found, what I think, would be a "perfect" vehicle for me, and of course for the family. Theresa probably threw up in her mouth when I sent her the picture. And I can't blame her, as everything I buy is broken, will be broken, or should be broken. But this gem.... Might be time to post a bunch of stuff on Facebook Marketplace in a quick fund raising session. 


Monday, May 30, 2022

05.30.22 Witness to tragedy this Memorial Day weekend....

     It was beautiful holiday weekend down the shore. This weekend is Memorial Day, our national holiday to honor those servicemen and women who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Sacrificing their lives for ours. And to them we thank them on this day. 

     Theresa and I are thankful and blessed to have a place down in Cape May we call our shore house. Each evening, if the weather is right, spectators are privileged to witness spectacular sunsets along the Delaware Bay, from Sunset Beach in Cape May up to Villas, a few towns north on the bay. Last evening we decided to hit Town Bank ,which is a section of Lower Township near the Lewes-Cape May Ferry. 

     As we approached looking for a parking spot something was amiss. People were sitting in the street, some shaken. The first police car arrived as we pulled up. I was driving and asked Theresa to take the wheel while Erin and I went to help out. I assumed there was someone missing in the water or there was a drowning victim being tended to on the beach. But we were met with a scene of carnage. A car had plowed through the barricade, hit a bench and the woman seated on it, and then it went airborne, rolled several times before coming to rest in the Delaware Bay. And there was no one on scene. 

     We did our best to triage first and then treat the most severely injured. In all, there was one fatality, several critically injured, and some needing medical attention for less serious injuries. When fire and EMS arrived we packaged the patients before two were transported via helicopter and the others to trauma centers. Things happen that quickly, even during the most postcard-picture perfect moments. We pray for the victims and their families. The driver of the car suffered a medical emergency, and two of the patients were ejected from that vehicle.  I am thankful and proud to be a nurse practitioner and able to help others when needed. 

     Traffic wasn't too bad coming back home and late in the evening I decided to give it a go. Luckily I remembered today was Monday and the Pick 6 is up to 10.5 million, so I got my tickets, playing the kids birthdays every Monday and Wednesday. Down at the river it just felt different. It was hot and humid and there was a smell of hot sticky summer in the air. I made some casts on the dropping tide and had one hit. I have to think the bass that are left will be active in the early morning after the water has a chance to cool overnight. 

   After a hot day with temps in the 90's the water temps are creeping above 70. This week we are going to have a few days of super hot air temps, so it might be just as well to leave the fish alone. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

05.27.22 Quicker session than I wanted.....

     So this was it for me until next week. Taking a break from Mercer County and hitting Cape May for the weekend. No fly rods will make the trip and there are none in safe keeping down there. I don't care if the bass are there, the weakfish have returned, to there's bluefish or fluke ready to bite. I need a break, and I'm taking it. 

     I thought this morning I would have a bass to hand as a send-off-break present. I was enjoying myself, a lot, casting my favorite rod, a Orvis Helios 2 10wt. For me my go to rod. It's not really fast, has good backbone, loads well, and casts like a dream after three months of casting the 11 and 12 was. So I bummed when I lost another fly, down to about 6 left from this winters tying, and reached for my sling pack and it wasn't there. You know what that means, the walk of shame back to the car and call it a day, and the next 5 days. This morning I again was putting my hand in a familiar place, different than last time, and looked in and saw my friend just waking up from last night. These common water snakes are nasty, and bite, and sting when they do. Luckily I haven't felt that yet. 

     And in other news, my truck, my 2003 Duramax Diesel, well, somethings going on, oil, or fuel and oil are leaking, bad injectors, need a new oil pan, tough to diagnose but I got a good mechanic on it. Yesterday we did the $150 oil change, as a starting point and when I looked under this morning, well..... looks like it's over $2,200 to fix. Theresa just loves that. Wishes and wants me to get a new truck, "Enough with these pieces of shit". When I explain my friends are paying $600 a month to lease or buy, "Well have much is it going to cost to fix". 'nuff said. 

     Saturn's down, boats down, trucks down, but I'm not down. Have a great Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

05.26.22 That didn't last long...

     Neither quit #1 or my outing due to a rod malfunction didn't last very long. Hit it at dead low just before the flip. Got three, was thinking it was going to get good on the incoming but I noticed my casts weren't going as far as I needed them. Broke out the headlight and found the problem. The tip guide split and that was it. I'll either have to send it in to Orvis or see if Leif can give it another go. 

05.26.22 Last year on this date I ended the insanity....

     It was a bad hair day for my fly when I opened the back hatch to my car. Luckily with a little water and a few strips it all straightened out. When I got there at 5 am there was still a lot of water on the dropping tide so I went to a popper, for way to long, without moving a fish. Then I went to the white fly, then the one below, not a tap. Before I called it a morning I even switched to a black fly 

thinking why not. It was early morning and maybe the herring profile would get some interest. The grind has been real, fishing since March 1st, in all types of weather, times of day, and tides. In the next few weeks I'll recap the season, which, I ended last year on May 26th, which is today. 

     It was the same feeling I had last year as I do today. I'm tired. I need a new place. I am growing tired of the same beats day in and day out. While last year I didn't understand as much as I do now, there is still good fishing to be had. The problem is the fish are in the fast oxygenated water that is hard to fish on foot, and when it floods to big to wade. You need a boat, to either get to locations where you can wade or to fish down below the pocket water holds. Todays skunk wasn't the way I wanted the season to end. It's like I do December, when I quit 10 times, I guess this is quit #1. 

     I wish my (Jim's) boat was ready to go, and hopefully it will be for the fall and early winter. I am ready for the bigger waters of the bay and ocean, and the big bass on bunker. You can read the post from a year ago today when I called it quits, HERE

     Next week I was planning on joining Leif up on the Upper Delaware, but the timing couldn't be worse. Truck and car broke down, boat broke, my 30 inch mower won't start so I'm using a 20 inch on an acre, because my tractor won't start. Moving out of the office June 1, which is Tuesday. Other than that all is good. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

05.25.22 Nice little first light outing...

     Hit it at 5 am. Poppers didn't get it done for about 45 minutes so I went underneath. Had a smaller fly on and landed a small bass, so I reached into my dwindling collection of flies and picked a winner. Second cast I landed the above nice. Doesn't matter what size these are they are feisty, and in the bigger current fun on the fly rod. 


     I know its a fishing blog, but I have to mention and send thoughts and prayers out to another mass shooting here in the United States. Yesterday in Uvalde, Texas 21 people were killed at the Robb Elementary School, 19 of them children. Senseless. Heartbreaking. An old classmate of mine is now living overseas and she is at a loss of words explaining to people there what has become to common, and accepted, practices of gun violence in America. That goes for mass shootings, like recent ones in New York and Florida, and daily shootings in cities like Chicago. 

     Its interesting these bass in the Delaware River. Look at the above temps, just over 70 at times, dropping at night, but these fish are still here and following the bait post spawn. There are still fish here that will be hitting the ocean in the next month. Remember, river herring, an anadromous species like striped bass, come into the rivers and the fresh water to spawn. While some die after spawning, most return to the ocean, and the striped bass will follow them. So, we will still have fish around these parts for a little while. On anther species locally, I saw my first snakehead of the year, and that is something I hope to get dialed into. They look like would be a blast on the fly rod. 

      In the meantime, I'll keep filling the stripers faces with bucktail, feathers and synthetics. I am looking forward to hitting the salt waters soon, this year there is no Martha's Vineyard trip, and that's okay, there will always be next year, that I'll have to make happen somehow. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

05.24.22 What a difference a day makes....

     That's 30 inches of love, actually just over 30 but not 31. Hit it before and after work today. Both outings on the same tide and in the same spot. Tonight it was two fish on the same fly. One just a tot that I thought was bigger as I was creeping out far and hitting good moving water. The big fish, well, 

felt big because it was big. I'm glad I using the 11 wt, now with 300 gr sinking line so I don't donate more flies. Had a few close calls with the rocks but managed to free it up. As I was making my way to a different spot I reached down to a rebar-grab that I use to jump down. I looked over and saw the tail of a large water snake. I wasn't much for me, but if you get skittish around snakes, this one would have got you good. 

     This morning it was 515 am when I hit it, throwing all topwater and was lucky to get one as a reward for 5000 casts. Throwing a popper, well working a popper in water moving right to left isn't easy. It's a cast, can't really go upstream as you can't keep up with it, across the current, a swing with some pops, and then stripping it back in under you. This one swirled on it and then "blew up", I know that's a stretch for a fish this size, but it woke me up as it hit just as I was ready to get to work. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

05.23.22 Skunked the last two trips....

     Was tired from the weekend and with work early this morning....let's go fishing. Hit it 10 pm to 1am. Zigged when I should have zagged. Had a good plan but by the time the last part was executed I had missed the ebb too late. I made some long casts and had three takes, one good one, but I missed all three. The humidity was about 200% and you could cut the air with a knife. There wasn't

any wind until the end so my trusty can of Repel was in order, or else I would have got eaten alive. Below was my go to fly, but also threw a popper was this way to heavy for the line I had on. 

     Made it work with plenty of rest. First office work for both jobs and then seeing patients. After work I hit it again. One thing, just because you have access to a boat doesn't mean the fish will just jump on in. There's something nice about wade fishing, which is my favorite. Once you are able to cover SO much more water, I think you do it less than effective, unless you're dialed into a spot. 

     For me a boat gives me the ability to get to additional spots to wade. Anchoring up in big water and trying to throw a fly, and then forget about landing it, most of these boat anglers pick up anchor and give chase, no thank you, I walking them down on the vaseline covered rocks. 

     Today I had about a half a dozen hits, swipes, tail slaps, but none would commit. Sad, as one was a nice fish that I saw get pised off at my fly and take a jab at it. There's still good fish here, my homeboy network keeps me filled in, and they are doing well, put have, and continue to put a lot of time in. You can have all the intel in the world, you still have to make it happen. 


Sunday, May 22, 2022

05.21.22 "A.C. is Bangin"....

......so I decided to DO AC. Theresa had a OB/GYN nursing conference at the Tropicana that started at 9 am so it was drop her off and go. I knew it was dead low, going to be high and bright sun after the fog burned off, and only 285 degrees, although the SE/E wind coming off the ocean did provide a cool breeze every now and then. 

    So when I get there I make my way to the crowd at the end. Most guys soaking bait, three pitching  live eels, and a few some plastics. "You shoulda been here at 430 fly rod man". That's what I was told. It's an eel bite. It happens at night. And the outgoing is best. Alrighty then. 

    I found my own jetty, I think it was an actual jetty, because what duo you call a manmade rock formation, that comes off a jetty, another jetty? Incoming, saw some cormorants. No bait. Blew my 
arm out after two hours. Getting hungry. Had to pee. Made my way to Brigantine because I know 

there is a WaWa over there. After a snack I doubled back and hit beneath the bridge with Harrah's in the background. Tide still incoming, sweet looking clean and green water. Had some dock debris in the water which I thought would be a great place to fish around as the tide ripped in, nada. One guy with a hard southern drawl was soaking clams and caught, and kept, a 28" fish. He was trying to hoist it, but I offered to jump down and get it for him, I get an assist for a dead striped bass. 

     With about 1-1/2 hours till she was done I hit the beach again, this time staying off the much populated "AC Bangin' jetty". Great water, saw a black drum leave the water, not sure where he was going or chasing, but that was it for me. Before I left I went to snoop on that jetty, saw one small 

blue, one short tog, one ray and a kingfish caught. As I walked down I looked down in a puddle and found a dead eel. At $2 a pop from One Stop Bait and Tackle I would think someone would keep it dead-fresh and use it again. 

     I am glad I got the opportunity to see and fish AC. Got way too much sun and I hope there is still some good fishing around back home. The ocean is nice, but not during the day, dodging the kids and blowing out my arm. But remember, "ACis BANGIN'".