Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Snake ditch - almost rained out

     I wish I had a picture of the Kayak launch at IBSP when we got there.  It was pretty funny.  A dark band of clouds.  Distant thunder.  Kayaks and canoes paddling back to the safety of land (as fast and hurried as they could).
     It was one in the afternoon by the time we got there.  Steve, KGB, Ross and I.  It had rained most of the way.  But we had the power of weather reports which said there wasn't much of a chance of storms. Well, 30%.  That's not much if you've taken off from work and only have limited opportunities to go fishing.  as everyone was packing it in because of the impending storm, we headed out.  It looked to our overly optimistic minds as if the storm was going to pass to the east, (or south, or north, but it would definitely not hit us...)  So we proceeded to launch our kayaks and fish.  Trolling around to the right of the put in was unproductive so we headed to Snake Ditch.  we had planned to spend more time there anyway, because KGB was basically dropping Ross off there to fly fish.  We all stayed and fished there, but of course it  soon started to rain and threaten lightning.  After deliberating for long enough, we collectively agreed that the safest idea, albeit not the most likely to catch fish, was to return to the put in.
     We contemplating fishing the end of the Point Pleasant Canal as an option if the threat of lightning continued.  we went so far as to retrieve the cars from the parking lot.  then something very special happened.  Steve caught a fish.  This in itself is not special, of course. Throughout the day Steve probably caught as few as thirty fish.  What was special was that he caught it from shore at a moment when the rain was abating, the sun was peaking through the clouds in the distance.  Even though our gear was half broken down, we all fished from shore for about a half hour more.  Steve returned from a walk with two more bluefish.  That's a game changer.  We re-loaded up the kayaks, re-parked thhe cars, and re-paddled to Snake Ditch.
     What happened next is hard to describe.  Mostly because it was a catch and release blur of fish.  The only one of us who didn't hook up was Ross, and he was really fly fishing the salt for the first time, and he did not relent.  Among the bass were a few blues, a blackfish, and a fluke.  And some things, some perceptions may have changed from this trip.  For one, Steve caught quite a few fish on the troll.  (Steve's experience of trolling was previously not a positive one.)  KGB and I caught ALL of our fish on the troll.  My go to lure was a shallow swimmer made to look like a small weakfish.  Also, I think we all came away from this experience having a much more personal and intimate understanding of certain  fishing etiquettes that we had yet to embrace such as crushing barbs or removing treble hooks. Because we had yet to be in the situation where we were catching mostly short bass on swimmers we were not prepared.
    We admire and respect the fish.  If we're not going to eat them, we release them as best as we know how.  Reviving them and gently removing hooks.  Also handling them as little as possible.  But when there are treble hooks in their faces this becomes difficult.  So now we know.  We will be prepared with short bass friendly lures next time!

short bass on the bass assassin (single hook)

Ross, KGB,and Steve


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the Full Sedge take two

Well, actually lots of fishing has happened between the last blog post and this one.  So before getting into what Steve and I did yesterday, here's a brief sum up of August so far.
I think it went something like this:

Steve - Susquehanna Flats (with family)
Steve and Alexi - Susquehanna flats
Alexi - crabbing, fishing in Barnegat bay (family)
Steve and Alexi - Corson's inlet

    So, as you can see we've been busy fishing, but due to lack of pictures, or just that our lives have been extra busy there haven't been posts.

    Now, for today's post about yesterdays fishing. First off, my apparent lack of excitement about this trip may be due to the fact that i was unable to use one of reels due to a serious tangle in the line.  That really started me off in a bad frame of mind.  Although the one rod one reel sitiuation proved to be not so bad.
    Steve was determined to catch a keeper Fluke as he has not done so yet this season.  I wanted a keeper Fluke and enough Bluefish filets for the smoker.
     We left Philly early, like 6:30 A.M.  We stopped at Grumpy's and bled money on the counter.  We were fishing by 9:30
     Steve caught a wide variety of species and a great number of (small) fish and some larger fish. Here's the list; Blackfish, Bluefish, Fluke, Sea Robins, Puffer-fish, and Striped Bass.   Jigging for Fluke by buoy 28 he had double headers (teaser and bucktail) of Sea Robins and Blackfish and some small fluke.
Also he and I both caught short Stripers there.  Mine was caught trolling a floating swimmer and his was on a bucktail.
   There were many small fish biting off our Gulp constantly.  Steve had hooked up with what was close to a keeper Fluke but it came undone at the side of the boat.  After trying at buoy 28 for quite a while we moved to the inlet.  The current had switched to move us that way and so it was an easy decision.  Trolling around where Snake Ditch meets the inlet I picked up a small, (maybe one pound) Bluefish.  Then we jigged for fluke in the inlet itself.  I gave it a few passes and really felt like my best chance at catching what I set out for was to target Blues, so I switched to trolling and found a sweet spot by a rip that was holding fish.  I had a total of 6 one pounders, plenty for smoking.  Meanwhile Steve was over by the green bouy in the inlet and his determination paid off.  He caught his keeper Fluke. satisfied we made our way back via Snake ditch, and there Steve picked up a Blue on a Bass Assassin.  It was bigger than the ones I was catching, 2 to 3 pounds.
Puffer Fish (in the cooler) MMMM! (not poisonous)

    So once again The Sedges really prove to be great fishing grounds.
Striper Release