Thursday, November 30, 2017

Out Front, by Alexi

   I'm writing this standing on the proverbial precipice of another trip of a similar sort.  Looking for a repeat, or dare I say an improvement.  I'm not greedy, I just know that these opportunities are only available to me on occasion at best.  And so with tomorrow's wave height forecast to be under 1 foot and wind expected from the northwest right around 16mph... bunker, bass, boats and whales will all converge off of Seaside Park, NJ.

   We will see,

first one on a Mojo, just around 29" released
If We can,
second on Mojo, just around 29" released
Just over 35" 15lbs on live Bunker
And hopefully improve.

     The reason I launch myself into the wake of the surf in the late fall, if it hasn't become obvious already, is to catch a personal best Striper.   For me that's over 48" or 36 lbs.  


Friday, November 17, 2017

The payoff is in the back, By alexi

     November on the New Jersey coast is absolutely THE month to fish for striped bass and everyone knows it.  Almost everyone, anyway.  As I awkwardly  unload my kayak for the third (maybe fourth) time from the top of my truck in the past ten days a passerby asks me "Why are those boats out there? is there a tournament or something?"  No, it's just the first day where a calm ocean has coincided with a weekend.  It's Sunday.  The fleet is already there when  I arrive.

the fleet
Where am I? Spot-burn, the Jersey coast in November.  One giant spot-burn. ( For those unfamiliar with the term: a spot-burn is when you give away a good fishing location.) This whole blog is one giant spot-burn.  The Jersey Coast in November.  Day or night.  Any bridge, any canal, any jetty, any beach, any inlet.  One giant spot-burn.

I tried North.
Keyport Municipal boat ramp

I fished Raritan Bay 2, maybe 3 times.  I lost track.  I was skunked.  It was too windy one night, I was a day late the next trip...Just missed the "bite"  I tried the ocean in Northern Jersey, around Belmar - I saw a dogfish caught one trip, out of a thousand boats, one damn dogfish.  That was funny.  On another trip I was between two boats and they both hooked up with bass on snagged bunker, but I didn't.  So my skunk was persistent.  The wind has been un-predictable.  Two or three times I've had to call a trip short because it was predicted wrong.  Gusting up to 25 or 30 when it was going to be a barely tolerable 15 mph.

I tried drifting eels in the back.  (After catching innumerable shorts in the day) only to come up dry.  No fish on eels.

I tried out front AGAIN, only to be called off by the wind.  Now?  What next?  That's what I asked myself.  Here it is, god-damn November.  The month I should be leaving my Kayak on the top of my truck.  The month I should be leaving my gear ready at the door.  I should be catching fish.

sedges sunset

Half over.  November 14th.  I start later, I fish later, after reading my own damn blog!  I needed to chase my own reports.  My own spot-burns from previous years.  So I launch at sunset in the Sedges.

...and then the fishing begins...

fishing in the dark

The eels had been collecting in my pond from various trips between Steve and I.  I didn't need to stop at the tackle shop.  I even left a few behind.  I had all of my gear, but once the sun set it was one eel, one rod one circle hook.  I drifted, and I drifted, and I wasn't getting any action.  I made my way to Oyster Creek Channel where I encountered a USCG (Coast Guard) boat with whom I had a peculiar encounter.  The captain thought I was two people on a jet ski.  He said there were no personal watercraft allowed on the water after dark.  I didn't argue, and agreed to head back, which is what I'm always doing once I start fishing.  There is a beginning and an end.  Once I start, I'm on my way back.  And so I made my way around, back through skinnier water that by now I know even better than the back of my hand at any tide.  The night grew long and my toes were cold.  Just as it usually happens with Striped Bass fishing, as the night goes on the fishing improves, and in a very specific rip with a hump and some deeper water I found a school of 26-30" bass that wanted my eel presented in a VERY specific manner.  Finally, a pattern.

night stripers, one of 5 right around 28"

It was just early enough that if I called it a night I wouldn't have to sleep in my truck, so I headed back.  Finally, fall has begun for me.

the end

According to the USCG's own website the only requirement to kayak at night is a white light visible 360 degrees.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Oak Island by, Uncle Steve

down stall
ed fishing Oc 
tober in the sedge(s), 
what could have been night
fishing with a dozen eels and coffee
in a can bought a two gallon gas container, sold
 one car. (Alexi's red) truck towed once and one half times
  the distance between Philadelphia, PA and Hagerstown, MD,  
still runs. There are stories within stories, everything is prequel, as
the moment when the connection breaks with the giant red drum on
the other end of the oyster razors was already a grace note on the one  
song which is all once and ever known before, between, after life and death.

4 fishing days NC locations:
Fort fisher park, 
Carolina state park,
(Cape Fear River) 
snows cut, 
myrtle grove sound, 
Carolina beach inlet, 
mouth of the Lockwoods Folly, 
and the ICW. 

fish Camp (Carolina State park) supplies:
Granola bars
party mix
Dylan Thomas "Selected Poems"
Fish basket

 chicken drumsticks 
canned beans
Breakfast sausage

Fish species:
Speckled sea trout
Red drum
Southern flounder
Bass Assassin.

Raccoons move into camp first night
Alexi has to fight for bread

Hobie steering broken
Starter feared broken
Paranoia takes hold
truck has to be left on most of the time
Remember: don't turn it off
Remember: left is right and right is left

We meet an Austrian born woman who was a translator during WW2 who's
5 sons live on mars extracting minerals etc.

The locals tell us fishing has been bad.

The End