Thursday, July 20, 2023

07.19.23 Had to get Ugly...

     Had to make a special trip down to Monmouth County so that meant I was fishing regardless of the tide or conditions. I rolled in about 515am and soon realized I forgot one of the most important things- my stripping basket. I was annoyed at myself, but had to fish anyway. If you ever want to test your line management skills in the surf just leave your basket home. 

     I tied on a popper because I remember the good old days when you could pop a bass up just about every morning in the summer, way before the sand flea/mole crab thing became a thing. On the first cast I had a bass jump on the popper at the height of the wave but even if I set I don't think he committed. 

     What does it mean when you don't have a stripping basket? It means you're way up on the beach scarp which prevents the water from either dragging your line into the trough or running it up and around your legs. I thought it was going to be one of those days but it wasn't. The tide was just starting to flood and finding good water wasn't easy, and the swell all but eliminated the crab fly soak. 

     I worked along side the north side of the groins because the south sides were all shoaled up due top the prevailing summer south wind. The north sides weren't much better but I knew something must be moving in and positioning itself for the incoming tide bite. I figured a nice big rock on the groin might

be the closest thing to a stripping basket so I made my way out and set up making sure the fly line was directly below me. I made some casts keeping it from the exposed rocks directly below me and on a 

longer cast I hooked up. At first I had tied on a Clousery type fly I had tied up (above) but got no love. To add insult to injury, besides forgetting my basket, I said to myself, "I've thrown three different flies, let me just see if the Ugly Ass Fly would make a difference. A few casts in and I was tight. The fluke 

coughed up silversides and somehow that UAF must have tricked him into thinking it was the same thing. With the approaching rain coming, and figuring it would be another 30 minute torrential rain event like were used to now, I decided to call it a morning. On the way out Leif had stopped by and dropped off some crab and shrimp type flies for my trip starting this weekend in Hilton Head. 

    But the main reason I was down in Monmouth County was to see Erin for her 18th birthday. She's an "adult" now, so no more children, although they are always your children, if they need you anymore or not. She was tired from getting back from Ireland and Amsterdam late last night but I woke her up to give her a hug, a card and a little gift. It's a version of the rescue tool I talked about the other day, it's

a combo window breaker, seatbelt cutter, and a knife. Hopefully she get to use it someday doing good for others, which is the path she is on having completed her EMT training now and heading off to college in a month on her way to become a Physician's Assistant (PA). HBD Erin!