Tuesday, November 29, 2022

11.29.22 Official logo of Jersey fall run 2022...

       How cool of an idea. Local sharpie JM from the Asbury Park and Berkley Clubs nails it. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

11.28.22 Put in my Black Friday Squimpish order.....

     I was notified last week from Squimpish Flies that they were offering a 30% Black Friday-Monday sale. I checked with the boss and made my way to their website with squimpish hair and boutique blends on my mind. You know I dig this stuff and have tied some nice flies that have 

helped me land some of my best striped bass ever. The man behind Squimpsih is David Nelson. I first met him when I guided up on the Upper Delaware and then saw his spread in Bob Popovic's book. If you are a novice to expert tyer and esepcially need big flies on big hooks Squimpish is the perfect material for the average tyer. Below is the order I put together to augment what I have from 

last winters tyimg sessions. The sale was 30% with free shippimg so I had to take advantage of it. David runs sales perioically so I recommend getting on his email chain to find out. I don't always wait for sales, but every now and then its nice to save a couple of shekels. And yesterday or the day before I mentioned rubbing salt in my wounds, well after Nicks Honachefsky's Facebook post from yesterday's action I think dousing myself in gasoline and striking a match would be more 

appropriate. And remember when I said something about hard south blowing wind, well that mustn't apply to the beaches of Ocean County. Maybe I'll catch the micro bass blitzes in December. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

11.27.22 "Red skies at dawn, sailors be warned"

     My thought was since I missed all out blitzes from Monmouth Bach down to Allenhurst yesterday that I might be able to squeak in some first light fishing, well blitz catching, before the weather moved in. My plan was simple, wake up at 510 and get there by 630 and get ready for some fast and furious action, like they had just 12 hours earlier. while my alarm was set for 510, I was up and out of the house by 230, I couldn't stop thinking of maybe finally catching it. So I made my way 

down and started in Ocean Grove/Asbury Park, jumped to Allenhurst (scene of yesterdays carnage), then Long Branch where I made cats every 10 feet up and down the beach. I was a little surprised I 

didn't get a tap on popper/dropper combo. I would think someone was home and would jump on something that was making some noise in the flat calm incoming tide. While walking I found the 

head and rack of a keeper striped bass, who would have thought it would be the only bass I would see today. I made the jump to Sea Bright and convinced myself I had a good plan and it was going to happen. I started in the dark in that sweet pocket and I made cast after cast and finally some light 

arrived. By then I had already tipped Leif off to my plan. Let me scout up here and you hit Deal, which by my prediction was going to go off at 8 am sharp, and we'll let each other know. While I had nothing, Leif had the aftermath of last evenings peanut slaughter and the birds were up and the 

boats were out and in. It felt like it was going to go off and, it, well, never did. It did, in fact, suck. We moved down to Ocean Grove hoping to get ahead of the birds and bait. But you see, this fall has been all about the blitz, the bait, and the WIND. 25 degrees and blowing 45 WNW- fish on. Nice 50 degree overcast day with any type of south wind, forget it "Winds from the south fish shut their mouths". 

     It was pure torture out there. Standing around knowing the chance of rouge bass wandering around was minimal, even with the peanuts swimming at our feet. It was then what to do. I wasn't going back north, the wind was starting to pick up, so I wasn't going south and I was disgusted. 

     Throughout the day the weather picked up and then dropped off, Ocean County late afternoon went off with fish from Bay Head/ Lavalette/Brick providing the action. I didn't hear much from IBSP, but who cares. I did see the below post on Facebook which just slathered salt into my wounds. 

     So I did the drive of shame and was pulling in by 11 am. Theresa asked "How was fishing?", which always makes me feel like a loser when I miss the bite. I answered, 'I should have went yesterday'. They just don't get it. I then tried to explain about the NW vs a south wind, then I caught myself, why I am even bothering, it is just not my year. 


Saturday, November 26, 2022

11.26.22 The hits just keep on coming....

     A little before 2 o'clock the phone rang. It was Leif. He had fished the morning without running into any fish so it made me feel a tad better that I didn't go. I was knee deep in working on the exterior of the front of the house. These days the sun sets at like 3 o'clock and the side I was working on faces west so the afternoons are best for burning lead based paint, sanding and repainting. These days I am picking away at project after project, and although I missed the bite, the push for T-day did us good. Around 230 the phone rang again and I figured it might be Leif.  He must have got

some intel and he was passing it on. So I answered, "I know it's going off", "Yep, Long Branch". So we did some calculations, like the hour and 15 minute drive, (in my head) the cost of gas, and then the likelihood the fish would be still going. I ran it past Theresa, and I ran it by Theresa, and let's just I chose, sort of, to be a good boy and finish up my project. As I breathed the nice lead based paint fumes in deeply, I said out loud, 'It wasn't going to that good anyway". During the conversation I mentioned to Leif that Two-Rod Mike had been kind of having the same fall I was, not being there for a variety of reasons. Well, it seems that good old Mikey hit it just right this afternoon. Looks 

like he wound up in the same place that I was tipped off to go. So, as much as I didn't want it to be that good, it was that good. So another day and opportinty missed. It is what it is. In place of driving three hours, burning gas and freezing my ass off, to catch dozens of bass, I made good progress working on thge house and I got to binge watch Dead To Me with the old lady. There's always tomorrow. 

11.25.22 DNF day...

     It was a DNF (DIDN'T EVEN FISH) kind of day. I don't need to tel you all but it's now over, at least this latest flurry of a this "epic" (Hate that description) 2022 Fall Striped Bass Run. I can say this with some certainty, I will miss this completely. There's the run, and then there's fall into winter striped bass fishing. The true migratory fish will have passed me by, no pun intended. Yes, I will get the boat out one more time in subfreezing temps in late December and catch 30+ fish to 30 inches, but as far as fish migrating south, I've probably missed it. The fish I will catch will most likley stay in the NY Bight, tucked down and deep in the channels or move up into the Hudson. And that's okay. It is what it is. And now you will have to suffer though some Turkey Day pics. 

     The above is me two hours before my family arrived. Covered in head to toe soot after cleaning the three fireplaces of dead animals, leaves, soot, and anything else that can get stuck inyour fireplace, start a fire, and burn your house down. It was the first time I had three of the five fireplaces going at the same time. Remember before you say "Five fireplaces", we spend thousands upon thousands each winter to keep the temp at 60 degrees, it just doenst get any warmer. The rest of the pictures below are of my clan enjoying a nice day. 

     So I couldn't wait till today. There has been tremendous fishing since last week, actually the day I left for New Orleans, and the bliztes have been, well, "epic", (hate that word). It went off Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, slowed Wednesday, died on Thanksgiving, and now today Friday WAS MY DAY to get out and get them. Find the birds, find the bait, find the bass. As I passed the 1911 built Philadeplhia and Reading Railroad bridge I couldn't stop thinking of how 

many fish I might see and catch on the 3-11 shift. Well, crash, clang, bang.....quick answer.....none, in fact I didn't even wet a line, nor get drssed. I got some intel from Leif on the way down, "Stay home Johnnny". S-SW cranking wind over the last 24 hours, just about a blow-out tide (and it was low tide when I got there), and not a bird or bait in sight. Every beach cam confirmed the same synopsis for Black Friday. I stayed for a bit in Deal and Leif joined me to lend me moral support. He knew I made the drive, threw away $40 in gas, and was

disappointed to say the least. I headed south and stopped in Bradley and Avon before hitting 195 heading west and home. More of the same. People and dogs running the beach and nothing running the coast. The wind is supposed to swith to a WNW which has been the wind they have been chewing on. With high tide around 830 am it could be a good outgoing, but if it goes I will miss that as well. I'm going to stay put and spend a day relaxing and binge watching something. I'm not looking on Facebook, Stripers Online, Willy Weather, The Surfgers View, or my phone. So leave me alone and go catch your stupid fish. I'll get mine down the street in April 2023. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

11.24.22 Happy Thanksgiving...

 After a busy few weeks leading up to the big day we pulled it off. Everyone arrived safely and a great time had by all. Truly thankful and blessed. Let's see if tomorrow I can find one of them bass. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

11.20.22 Might be a year without a Santa Claus for me....

     ....maybe not Santa Claus, but for sure the best (ever) fall run that has hit the Jersey Shore. It has been that good. First it was the big bass. Then it was the boat bass. And most recently this weekend, well starting Thursday it was bass, keeper to big bass, up and down the beach. And at times, they were almost on the beach. 

     I have just been busy with work, work around the house getting ready for Thanksgiving and the nurse educator conference this past weekend in New Orleans. I have to say the daily updates from Leif were killing me. But that's just how it goes. While I did get a taste last week out in the boat the 

beach action is really what I most look for. Leif, and everyone else out there, had their best days ever. Leif had 40+ fish days to 25 pounds on peanut bunker flies. He and his son Leif teamed up on other days just fishing and crushing them. 

    During the sessions and while at the bar all I could do was pull up the various beach cams to see what I was missing. You could see it going off with anglers on the beach or on beaches that were 

void of anglers. It looked like mayhem at times and just a dream come true for a fly rodder. Tons of bait, blitzing bass, and nice conditions, except for the honking wind and cold air temps which we even had down in The Big Easy. We made our way out of the hotel for two nights and caught 

a little taste of Borboun Street and of great local cuisine. The dish below was redfish with a crawfish etouffee. The other meal I had was shrimp wrapped in bacon over grits which was out of the world. 

     In the pics below I pissed off the nearly 600 women by picking the winning key to win the Michael Kors pocketbook. To be honest I thought I was standing in line for the beignets, which is a New Oreans pastry similar to funnel cake or zeppole. So as the line progressed closer I hung in there and picked the winning key out of the bowl and bingo, it opened, to all of the crowds dismay. But I can say there was one woman in Jersey that was happy I won it. While peanut bunker was the main 

course back in Jersey they were also on silversides and butterfish, which is what they were on for that day, Blitz-O-Ween in 2014. One thing different, it seems this year, the blitzes were up and down the shore, not just a specific beach with the fish hightailing it south. I was glad to see my bud Mike Ferraro get into the action and as I scrolled through social media I saw the below pic of one

of the bass he caught down in Ocean County. It just seemed it was going from The Hook down to say Seaside. While I am bummed that I missed it, and catching some nice fish, what really bummed me out was not being able to watch it and photograph it. One of my cameras with a zoom lens would have been great down there to document what both boat and beach guys are saying collectively is the "Best fall run ever".