It was two years and day ago, November 16 2021, that I had a banner night down in Ocean County. It was a night to remember. All alone. Double digit catches. Biggest fish was 38 inches which was measured with a tape. That was two years ago.
Saturday, November 18, 2023
11.18.23 "Hey Charlie I got 'em on a teaser"....
If you want you can revisit that post titled, "Ty-f 'in-rone", HERE. What kind of blog post title is that you may ask? It was an inside joke between me and a friend as we played out a skit on the phone that our wives had boyfriends on the side. One of the side pieces name was Tyrone. So there you go.
On the drive home from work yesterday I was talking to myself, in my head, reminiscing on that day. Could history repeat itself. Theresa was off to Long Island to visit her friends. As long as I took care of
the dogs I was good to go. High tide around 10 pm. Balmy air around 60 degrees. But the wind had been blowing hard south for about 36 hours. Mmm..what to do?
I hit the rack at 7 pm and was out the door just before midnight after a few hours sleep. I would be good to go for the third shift, but just clocking in a little later than the 11 pm start. I figured I'd let that tide ebb a little bit before I jumped in. Problem is that the four day old waxing crescent moon isn't very strong. So not a lot of current and not a lot of water in certain spots on the beach. Throw in a little swell with a sweep and things wouldn't be the same as they were two years ago.
I hit the WaWa on the way east and have seen a considerable drop in gas prices as of late. Here it was $ 3.31 a gallon and I have seen as low as $3.11 at some of the bootleg gas stations. A little jolt of coffee
and I was good to go. As I got closer to Route 18 I paused for a second double-checking the plan in my head. Continue east or south then east. I swerved at the last minute and got off the exit. History would
repeat itself. When I got there it just wasn't what I had in mind. A few guys nosed up to the inlet in the distance. The air was much warmer than I remembered. The water was flat and dead and it didn't even seem like it was moving. I didn't even fish. History would not be repeating itself, at least here.
So I went north back to where the water tasted like wine a few days ago. I parked and when I got out I felt like this could be good. I could hear the surf. I could smell the bunker. There was no one around.
I jumped in and walked the beach trying to read the water. This wasn't find the bait find the blitzing fish fishing. It was old school fishing. I forgot how much I love the night. There was no binoculars. No big camera. No need to scan left or right to see who was doing what or if the fish were someone else. It was pretty much me, looking straight into the darkness, and trying to time the waves crashing the bar.
When I got to a groin I got excited. I love the rocks. I climbed up and made my way past the breaking waves. You see, it was about 2 am, four hours into the ebb, and there wasn't alot of water inside. The waves would crash the bar and but just not enough white water would make it in, but a rouge wave did every now and again. The other problem was some of these groins had rock fields along side them so you had tyo make long casts over the swell and then have a real good idea where the line was on the retrieve before it got eaten by the rocks.
I pulled out and headed to another close spot where I thought there might be some better water. I again, pulled in, jumped out, walked down....and then when I got to the oceans edge realized I forgot my
stripping basket back in my truck. That was fine that scene wasn't what I thought it would have looked like as I like a little more water on the outgoing tide in there. So I went back to where I was, kind of.
As I drove the lights of the Belmar Fishing Club called me in like a bug to a bug light. I stopped a few blocks before it and again made my way to the water. There were a guy here and there and one guy stopped me to tell me, "I lost a monster", on a black Bomber. So my plan was to fish down to the
inlet and fish the pocket on the south side of the south jetty. You know that big deep bowl that holds holds a ton of fish? You know the one that doesn't exist anymore? Yeah, that one. I was disappointed to see that it was all shoaled up and you could walk out on a easy sloping gradient until you got bowled over by the swell breaking on the underwater terrain. That was not fly rod advisable.
With the beach behind me I thought maybe I'd fish the inlet. It was about 3 o'clock and the water was about an hour or so till dead low. I walked up onto the jetty and could see the Pennsyltucky guys (I saw their license plates) over on the tip of the north jetty. Every now and then one of them would scoot back to the street with a ish in hand. All legal size and within the legal limit I am sure.
There were two guys to my inside about 100 or so feet away. Two buds fishing. Nice night. No wind. And catching fish. The problem wasn't the catching for them it was how difficult it was getting down to release them. And you had to get down, and they did. I was very, very impressed. No dragging fish up bouncing off of the rocks, these two, and no spring chickens either, played the game right, and were rewarded.
I had saw they were throwing rubber shads into the deepest part of the inlet. My mistake of the night was swapping out my sinking line for an intermediate one as I thought I was just fishing the beaches and didn't want to drag my flies through the sand. Even with a cast and countdown I don't think I got down to where they were or close enough for them to take a trip up into the water column.
I stayed with it until I could see the darkness get a tad lighter off to my right. I figured I would stay here until I caught something because between these two guys and the trio across the creek gave p[roof there were fish around. Not big fish but those slot-sized fish. Then I heard, "Charlie, I got 'em on a teaser". That is just about the last thing a fly rodder wants to hear when they aren't catching. Yes, I know, it was lead by a three ounce swim shad casted out 200 feet into the depths, but a fish was eating something kinda looking a fly. That's just a buzz kill.
I made my way for the exit fishing my way down to the bridge. No one was fishing this end of the field but I didn't care. It was a beautiful night. I was basically alone. The night allows you to focus in on different senses then when you fish during the day. And the best was this trip didn't go against my solid reputation with the wife. I was a little tired but the sleep I had before I left did me good. A little nap when I got home would be all I needed to set me right for the day.
I chose the plasticwalk rather than the sand because I was done. So history didn't repeat itself but it was fun taking a chance in finding out. It would have been cool to have been able to tell that repeat story as well, but this one is fine. The thing that makes fishing fun is that most times, outside of the blitz chasing falls, it's just about the fishing and not about the catching. If catching is what you're all about then maybe you are in it for the wrong reasons. or mayber you have it right. Because in the end, no one cares about your stupid fish, and Tyrone may be tagging your wife. And to not forget the ladies out there, maybe Tyrone is tagging your husband.