Friday, November 16, 2012

Muppet Movie Man

     Fishing is always hit or miss, but even more risky is trying to find new spots.  We set out with what I thought was a pretty good plan - fish a back bay area of N. Wildwood. It was a quick ride, and we found an open bait shop easily.  It was a small shop, with the first Muppet movie playing on  T.V, that sat on the counter.  We asked if he had eels, and before saying yes, he said that there were no fish, "even caught nothing on grass shrimp at my best spots yesterday."
Now I've been told that there were no fish before, and I've gone out and had a great day and caught lots of fish.  So...(Plus, what were we going to do, turn around and go home?)
"Well how much are the eels?" A dollar?  That's less than half what we'd normally pay, so our plan morphed. We got ten eels.
the crabs are in the bag!
     Onward to the Kayak Fishing store where Chris the proprietor was kind and forthright with lots of information.  Unlike the Muppet Movie Man, in fact quite diametrically opposed in his outlook, he went as far as to say there would be plenty of fish to catch, and suggested we try for Tog as well. None of us have ever Tog fished, but we were so excited by Chris' description we got a couple of hooks, 4 oz bank sinkers and a bag live green crabs.  Now we were completely pumped up.  We had eels, crabs, and boxes of lures.
The launch was pretty muddy at low tide. (Understatement)  We dragged our kayaks through the grass and the mud and togged under the bridge for a while.  After I lost one rig I gave up.  The current was pretty strong, and I wanted to explore the area a little more.  KGB and Steve stuck around the bridge a bit longer than me, but no-one had even a tap on the green crabs.  I tried to tube-n-(gulp)worm for the next hour or so.
    The current in front of the houses was ripping, and after the sun went down, we all met at a corner of the sedges where Steve and I switched to eel fishing. This is also where I probably dropped a headlamp that I had just bought.  I was effectively cold and blind when the sun had fully set.  despite this, we fished around the bridge with eels for about two more hours.  Nothing was happening at all. KGB trolled a black bomber, nothing.  His butt got wet, my butt was wet, and we were thoroughly discouraged.
 I'd like to say that some good came of this trip. A new kayak fishing spot can be a great thing when circumstances call for it.  The only explanation that makes any sense is from something The Muppet Movie Man said.  He said that the water temperature had dropped very quickly in the bay, and it turned the bite off.  So maybe under better, or even normal conditions it would be worth returning to N. Wildood, maybe....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When in Rome use a black bomber

Steve and I were planning on getting together yesterday to devise a plan for wednesday.  Instead we went fishing.
     We tried the surf at LBI, but ran into a few problems.  At first the wind seemed unbearable.  Once we found a spot with a little structure the wind had died down.  We surf fished for 2 hours, then decided to quit.  On a whim we wanted to see if we had access to the area around the lighthouse (Barnegat).  We did.  There were a few trucks parked there, and  we scoped out a spot that we could land a fish without a gaff.
     There was current, structure, and a rip.  Anything we could hope for.  It was night in Nov.  There HAD to be fish there.  After messing with several lures, working the water column, Steve puts on a black bomber and a few casts in gets a 27 3/4 bass.  I proceeded to switch to a bomber. We stayed for another hour, then headed back.  All in all a pretty good post-Sandy fishing excursion.  We had thought the fall might be over for us, but really, it's just beginning. 
     On our way out we were pulled over by a Barnegat Light policeman with an M-16.  A little overkill, I thought, even if there were looters around.  Apparently there was an 11 p.m. curfew for LBI.  I'm wondering why they wouldn't at least put a sign up at the bridge that leads to the island letting people know?  Hopefully the shore will return to some sort of normal soon.