Well, it is what it is. Or it was what it was. I love fly fishing for striped bass in the fall. Love finding my own fish, and yes, I sometimes like finding other people's fish. It's been a funny week here along New Jersey. It seems Ocean County is coming into their own with nice bass hitting the beaches. They've had a touch and go fall so far, boats not included.
I got some intel that the sand eels are here and there might be some squid chasing them around. I really don't tie squid flies and I don't fish them. Actually I did fish them at night on the Vineyard but never scored fishing one. So I tied up a few just to have them. Literally less than 5 minutes a fly. A tad on the small side but I wasn't going to go early this morning without some.
The day started out a chilly, well down right cold, 30 degrees. It was still dark when I tied up a tandem of the squid flies that I had tied. It didn't take long for me to go tight as a 25" bass hit the
trailing fly on the south side of a groin. It was a good fish for it's size and it came up the beach scarp easily. My line was tight and as I took a step towards the fish to unhook it it came unbuttoned. Panicked, I made my way quickly to it and formed a V with my feet to hold it in place as the waves covered it. I then to myself, "What am I a loser?", asking myself did I really need to handle and photograph it? So I picked up one side of the V of my foot and off it went.
As light arrived I had another hit and after looking at my squid flies I wondered it they may not mimic a sand eel better. A little long and thin hackles with some marabou and E-Z Body for the mantle (or body). I jumped up on the rocks and blew a cast and the line emptied right around me and into the rocks. It took a bit, and a little getting wet, to retrieve my fly from up and under one of the rocks I was standing on. A few casts later and I was just done. It was off to the check other spots.
Hats off to Leif for a great tip that I will share as a PSA. The bathrooms at the Sea Bright Municipal Lot are open and nice. I noticed later the ones at the Hook are still open as well. You're welcome.