Tuesday, July 11, 2017

First Fluke trip, no keepers, by Alexi

   Break-time is over.  It's time to fish again.  Sometimes, after a long break, a trip is really just about testing the gear.  Does my boat still float?   Do my reels still spin?  What's missing from my stuff?

Boat ramp selfie

   A month and a few days has passed since my last trip.  I wanted to go someplace close, so I decided to try Absecon Bay.  I had launched there in the back before to crab, and I liked the channel I was in, not really realizing it was the ONLY channel in miles.
only one (channel)

 They are doing construction there and so I had to use the boat ramp instead of the sand.  The general appeal of that spot is waning.  I had high hopes for an easy launch, easy access, easy drive fishing spot, but those hopes are being dashed.  For one, there is NO water in Absecon Bay.  (Maybe flats fishing at night would be fun, because there are large portions no boat could possibly access.)

   I got some killies from Absecon Sportsman Bait and Tackle shop.  At the ramp there was an officer.  I thought he was fish and game, but he was a local officer checking if people launching their boats had the proper permit.  He said kayaks didn't need them, and that I should go ahead and launch.  

     I drifted my way out of the channel and was going to follow a cut in the bank to left.  That cut didn't exist.  I was in the mud.  One giant mud flat.  One giant, stinky Atlantic City mud flat.  One giant, stinky, no fish, mud flat.  I was despondent.  I had only been out for about two hours, but was already considering my alternate plan options.  (even getting back in truck and going to Stone Harbor)

    So on my drift back to the boat ramp I started catching short fluke.
first of many up to 16" (woop)
This channel was full of babies

   I thought that I had a bigger one on a few times, but I just hadn't been fishing in so long, I had forgotten what even a small fish felt like at the end of my line.

    I kept catching fish, slightly bigger and saw more activity in the channel the further back I went.


sedge grasses with bird

I noticed that snapper blues were eating my killies, so I rigged up something I thought would catch them, with the idea of live lining a snapper, but really in my mind I was done fishing and was on my way back.  Back at the boat ramp a Fish and Game officer checked me out.  He was recommending launching by one of the bigger bridges.  He said he was there in the morning fishing, but they didn't catch any keepers either.  Which makes me think, if I'm not going to catch keepers, I'd rather do it in the spaghetti.

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