Wednesday, November 13, 2019

2 trips: Late October/ November 2019 - Tautog and Striped Bass



"Shitty Launch"
We took a quick trip to Nummy to hit some bridges for Tog.  We got two dozen green crabs each.  I'm still new to this type of fishing and since I ran out of bait on my last attempt, I figured, better more than less.   We arrived at the bridge just before slack tide, but it was a new moon and once the current switched from ebb to flood it was on full throttle.  It was slow picking at small fish.  KGB was getting frustrated, his kayak not holding position under the bridge with the wind and the current picking up.  He literally said "F... this" and as he was pulling away from the bridge, his personal best Tog comes tight.

KGB with Tog-Mothra

After that, the current was too strong for Tog, so I went to some creek mouths to try to entice a Striped bass and had a few blow ups on topwater.  Then we called it a day.  My plan came together, just not for me, but sometimes that's even better.

Short Tog (my PB)


Early November: The big Striped Bass are migrating down the easty coast and are pretty much anywhere along the Jersey coast this time of year.   The easiest Ocean Launch is at Avon by the Sea, at the "EL" Jetty by the Shark River inlet.  Mike and I hit it at first light.


Sunrise at the Ocean


I had repaired my Lowrance so it was working again, and marked a small school of bunker pretty quickly.  Nothing came of it.  So we headed east.  We saw some birds working some bait but they were moving pretty quickly.  I had heard rumors of Tuna out there, and maybe that's what the splashing was that I saw, but I was rigged up with Mojo's and snags, and didn't want to switch lure or tactics at that point as I was still hoping for a large Striper.


Mike at sea


After messing around with the birds we headed back towards shore and found larger pods of Bunker to snag and use as bait.  The Bunker was getting decimated my swarms of Spiny Dogfish.
Spiny Dogfish

As nothing but shark after shark was going on around the bunker we started to head back.  It had already been quite a long day, and now we were heading South, against a stiff wind and current.  I noticed birds working smaller bait, so I switched lures from Mojo's to some slightly smaller presentations, and we both hooked up with 25" stripers.


Ocean Striper, just not the big one

We both a few hits and misses after this, all close to shore and near bait pods.  I'm pretty sure it was peanut Bunker but I never got a good view. 

The conditions were not ideal for landing.  The tide was very low, and now the sets of larger afternoon waves were breaking out at the El jetty instead of behind it.  We eventually found a hole in the breaking waves and made a break for it.

Both trips were successful in finding the targeted species, and no one got hurt!

 
the end


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Return trip to Virginia Oct. 2019

This time:  I tried getting a cheaper campsite in Virginia Beach, but as it turned out, it was on a Navy base and they didn't want to let civilians in.   My default campground was First Landing.  At least I know the program there.  I found a nice isolated site, and made it my home for two nights.



First Landing

First day of half day/ sunset fishing in Lynnhaven was pretty productive with lots of small speckled trout, and one sunset keeper, but no redfish.

Sunset Keeper Spec, my biggest. around 20"
I decided to switch up my plans for the next full day of fishing and headed back across the CBBT to the Wise Point boat ramp in the hopes that there might be redfish on that side of the bay.   The fishing was pretty good on that side, as well as the conditions.  I caught a variety of species, just no reds.



Speckled Spec


 Bass in the 20" range, another two keeper specs, one on topwater, and a couple of bluefish in the 20" range.  Also several/ many short bass, specs and blues, all from 10-20".  I was mostly trolling/ throwing bass assassins with small jig heads, but also throwing topwater lures whenever it seemed appropriate.  The fish were spread out, but the creeks and banks seemed to produce better than the flats.

Dinner fishes

All in all a great trip, I'm pretty sure I'm dialing in the area more and more and figuring out what I like about it.  the Mockhorne Island area (Eastern Shore) is much nicer, has much less fishing pressure, and is easier to access than the Virginia Beach side of the CBBT.

Wise Point Sunset