Thursday, December 7, 2023

12.07.23 Oh the Fat Lady is warming up....

     It's a good thing the Fat Lady is warming up because it's getting cold outside, especially for those first light bites. I made a plan to leave way early for work and hit my 30 cast spot just as first light appeared. It was a few hours into the outgoing and I figured the tide would be good so why not before I say good-bye to this river until the spring. 

     I made the walk through the frozen marsh and foliage that crunched when you brushed through or walked on it. There was skim ice in smaller puddles left over from the higher tide. I knew it was cold, and the water from the fly line confirmed that, and any fish that may be coming to winter over were probably in the deeper channels or holes. But I was here and way not throw some flies, albeit slowly. 

     I made my 30 casts without a tap and it didn't take long for my hands to go numb. It's something that goes along with getting old, cold intolerance of the hands and feet. I walked out and hit another spot that

had a better current along the bank but there was nobody home. I waiting for that one fish, even a little one, to shrug off the cold and try to eat something before it went into hibernation before the long winter. 

     The ocean temps are still holding just above 50 degrees, which is good, especially if the fish are around eating sand eels. When I pulled up Facebook I was reminded of this memory 12 years ago. It was 2011 when we had that sick IBSP sand eel bite that lasted for what seemed like weeks. And this

fall there have been reports of sand eels but I have yet to see or snag one. You know they're on sand eels when the spin guys are getting them on metal, like Ava's, and picking them up on the teasers. 

     It was 10 years ago to the day, December 7, 2013, when I met Ed while fishing the beach and then the rocks. It was his first time on the rocks and he landed the below beast, 36 inches and maybe 20 pounds, on a SP Minnow. I helped him land it and after I got my usual pick of small fish. You can see 

that day HERE. That's the kind of morning you hope to have. Hopefully be in the mix of a pick of smaller fish and then out of the blue land a fish like that. No crowds. No blitzes. No one to sound the alarm. 

     Today at work I was busy working on the syllabus for the spring semester. It'll be my first time in front as the students teaching mental health theory, as most of my duty has been done in the long term care facilities and hospitals teaching them during their clinical rotations. After I finished up for the day 

I left Newark and jumped on the Turnpike heading south. But then I thought about my spot. It was the end of the incoming, it was a tad warmer then this morning, so I made a u-turn and hit it. The wind had swung around to the WNW and my hands let me know it was still cold out. I threw more than 30 

casts just hoping to land on last river fish before a five month wait until the season opens in the bays and rivers March 1st. That'll do it for me until the spring. I do have one more beach outing in my before I really do call it for the year. One fish on the last day would be great, and then really, I'm done. 

     Well last night was the Addendum II public comment held in Stafford Township. 46 people were in attendance during the two hour meeting. With so much of the striped bass fishery being recreational, and New Jersey being the hub of it, I am surprised more didn't make their way to the meeting. That's 106 at the virtual meeting and then 46 last night, 152 in total. Attendees weren't pleased that the 3 minute time limit during the question and comment period wasn't held up as some people read very long statements. They need to square that up a bit. There is still time to write in, your voice needs to be heard, and they have to read and record your comments. If the rec anglers don't speak up then the charter and commercial voices will be heard, and the powers that be will only have their voices in mind when it comes to vote. Things like split quotas for recs and comms and the Chesapeake Bay regs are up for vote. Don't pitch a bitch if you haven't done your part. YOUR VOICE MATTERS!