Sunday, October 28, 2018

First Fly Striper, Alexi

Friday October 26th, 2018... report...

It was nearly a full moon.

The currents would be strong.

The tides extreme.

The wind mild.

The air brisk.

Overcast.

A little rain.

in other words, fishy....

I almost forgot what a magical place the Sedge Islands behind IBSP were.  ALMOST.  This is the first year in....HOW MANY???? that I didn't get a year pass.

First Fly Striper
 I looked back on this blog, (because at as certain point one chases their own reports, as it should be) and I looked at all of the Octobers, and I knew there would be 20" stripers at the Sedge Islands.  I didn't really hear of any other solid bite anywhere else, so I went for it with KGB.

KGB at Snake Ditch
and we caught some fish.


20" Striper 
On topwater
20"striper

on sub-top water
20"striper

on bass assassin...on other random soft plastic that's kind of look like a pink finesse...

....sure we could have gone into the ocean and caught some small bluefish like this...

previous trip's ocean bluefish (Belmar)
But really...?


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October Tides: fishing with Nick, by Alexi

Wendy got me Karl's Mystery Tackle Box for my birthday this year.  It's like a subscription, they send you a box of lures once a month.  My goal was to just use these lures on this trip.  Because we ended up finding small bluefish, it was easy. 

Nick and I arrived at Shell Bay Blvd.  A great place to launch a Kayak directly into the grass flats and winding creeks of Cape May County to target Striped bass in the 20-30" range in early fall.  Unfortunately, it was low tide.  There was no water and the wind was ripping across the length of the bay at an unwavering 10-15 mph.  Change of plan.  I did a quick search on my phone for kayak launches in Avalon and found one that looked perfect.  At least we would try something slightly new.  I could tell from where the launch was on Google Maps that we would be protected from the wind by houses for most of the trip.  We hit the lights by the docks in Avalon.  We caught tiny bluefish.


Nick's Bluefish
 
Fast forward to a week or so later, and tide and wind are a major consideration.  The wind was forecast to be under 10 all day, and high slack was around noon.   We went to good old "shitty launch" -  that's next to the bridge between Grassy Sound and the Island of King Nummy.   We hit the bridge with green crabs an hour before high slack tide.  I've tried Togging before and must admit I don't know a damn thing about it.  We've tried and tried, and never had any luck.  But somehow, with my new bottom sweeper jigs, I had some confidence, and we had bites right way.  I wasn't sure whether I should be setting the hook or letting the fish set the hook themselves, and still I'm not exactly sure what worked.  But I did manage to catch my first Tog.

Nick's Tog 
Here is a wikipedia link: Tautog 

This is a rough size and age chart.  These fish grow slow.  Ours were roughly 12", so, 4-5 years old.

 3.0 ------1 
5.5 ------2 
9.0 ------3 
10.5-----4 
12.5-----5 
14.0-----6 
15.5-----7 
17.0-----8 
18.0-----9 
19.0-----10 
21.0-----15 
22.0-----20 
My first Kayak Tog

Eventually (or rather, pretty quickly) we ran out of crabs.  The tide started moving out, so I headed to the sod banks and the flats for some topwater Striped bass action, (what I had been hoping to do earlier in the week.)  Truth be told, I really just had a new light tackle set-up I wanted to put the screws to. 

Mystery tackle box, Badonk a donk


New shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500, Gloomis ESX  7' medium MOD-Fast 1/4-5/8 oz inshore series, 15lb power pro, 20lb flouro leader. 

22" striper, topwater, flats


A couple of fish came unbuttoned after a fight, but a few got in the boat as well.  The new set-up casts light topwater lures like a dream, and the drag is super smooth!  I tagged a couple of fish for the American Littoral Society.

Nick also had some topwater bass along the banks.

Nick sent me this while we were fishing

While it wasn't an epic day of fishing, it was a plan well executed that proved fruitful and satisfying.  Tight lines.

the end