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12/22/2020 With my 2010 season in NJ now closed I would first like to start by thanking all of my longtime loyal clients, as well as those who joined me for the first time this year for another great season in the SJ back country. As for the fishing report, over the past couple of weeks the roller coaster ride continued, dodging weather, hiding from the winds...The final weeks’ tides had us once again on the hunt for laid up Bass and despite the continuous non stop winds, our presence was well received by Bass crashing our offerings both on the fly and light tackle. The cooler than normal temperatures, both air and on the water these final weeks of fall remained an "all or none" situation, when you find the Bass they are stacked up, tracking well in the shallows, predictably rolling along the flats edges, tightly grouped in dense pods and very comfortably willing to play, allowing us to sit on a school for 2+ hours at a time. On the flip side, the "none" part of that "all or none" equation is just that, the area will be a vast barren land of voidness no matter how good the water looks, with the tricky part always being able to distinguish the difference between fertile and the void because all areas initially look the same. The most recent Nor'easter had a good amount of larger bass pushing their way into the backcountry ranging in size from 26-33" giving clients a good close to the season. I will be writing a new piece for my unspoken word section of the website and it should be posted on my site on New Years day. Once again thanks for the great season and I look forward to seeing my regulars in the beautiful Florida Keys over the winter time, and those not visiting me down south, I will see you in the Spring in NJ when my season begins April 15. Happy Holidays to you all
11/22/2020 With the weather forecast looking gloomy over the next week it looks as if may be my last day on the water this season. I beautiful bluebird day light winds and air temps in the mid 30's. We hit the weather window today and managed to get 4 hrs in before the winds kicked up. We made an immediate run to hit a spot that would give us a 30 minute window to sight fish Bass foraging in the grasses for shrimp... We rolled into the area and with in 5 minutes we saw our 1st Bass roll on some bait and from that point on it was a race against the clock to close the deal before the tide stopped moving. after about 15 minutes of trying to thread the needle of a 10" opening in the grass (with a 20 knt winds) my long time client laid the perfect casts in there and as it made its way back through the grass it swung right in front of this beauty and up he came rolled on it and it was game on and after a blistering first run and 5 minute battle we had this healthy 30" Bass boatside and posing for pictures. With the water no longer moving the action stopped so we packed up and made the run. We repeated this process at each locaton today with a seemingly 1 Bass per spot quota today so doing the math we had 4 Bass today on a 4 hr trip a very fun way to end the season.
11/18/2020 It was much of the same again today with all or none Bass fishing. Water temps locked @48 degrees, and each area either had Bass, or had nothing. We got onto Bass after hitting a couple of spots that offered dirty water, and no bass, but once we found some clearer water we got on the bite and managed to sit on these fish for about an hour and a half, which dished up 6 Bass, missing about the same amount. We were on the fly today and it was all about the swing and getting that fly to drift directly in front of the Bass. When my client swung through just right we would get a bite every time and if we came through just outside of their window...nada. Once again, today's trip was a game of cat and mouse.

Today was pretty much a carbon copy of yesterday only we were on light tackle vs. being on the fly. Once again the Bass denied any top water offerings and it was all about swimming plugs, and i am thinking that it is due to the sizable amount of mystery bait. Water temps steady @ 49 degrees, water still gin clear, but the overcast skies made it hard to sight fish. All the bass today were of schoolie size between 22"-24" and FAT. These Bass are eating very well. I will be back on the fly again tomorrow.

No wind and slick calm gin clear water conditions. We were on the fly today and as we pushed off from the dock everything we looked at seemed fishy. We rolled into our first area of the day and drew a blank, which surprised me especially since we had Bass thick in the same area the prior days. We worked it pretty hard before making our way to throw the fly at a quick hit and run spot which also produced nada. We did see some Bass rolling along the channel edge but could not get them to take the fly. As it has been for the past few weeks the success of my trips have been due to the small decisions along the way and allowing the water to dictate my decisions, so today was no different. We made a last minute decision to run to an area that should be ripe for the picking, we settled down, got staked out and set up to do a little time at this spot. Our second cast proved that we made the right decision as we got the skunk out of the boat with a nice fat 23" football shaped Bass. We repeated this process 4 more times before things cooled off. When it is working, don't mess with it, so we ran to an area that offered the same type of set up and typography and once again it didn't take long before we were into Bass, again picking up another 3 Bass the same size as the other spot. We also had a lot of ninja strikes as Bass were following the fly, taking swipes at it as it made its way back to the boat. Having the upper hand all morning, the tide changed, then suddenly we were on the losing end of a game of cat and mouse. We sight fished schools of Bass for an hour+ and let me tell ya, these guys were tracking so unpredictably and erratic that it was as if we were fishing permit in the keys. Every time we thought we had these schools tracked they would pop up elsewhere, then we would move to them then they would pop up where we just left. It is very rare to feel like you are on the losing end of the chase but I gotta tell ya these schools had our play book and it seemed as if we would never get in front of them. So after an hour of this hunt the winds kicked up and we called it a day.

Here we go again with a forecast for 20-30 knt winds. They were wrong, we left the dock in15knt NNE winds but with just enough NE to offer us beautiful light texture water conditions and very good clarity. Huge amounts of water continued to pour through the back country and in turn it has pushed massive schools of bigger Bass in with it. Like yesterday’s trip, the 1st couple of spots were void of Bass but once we found the Bass it was nonstop action. Today's trip had a very cool progression with a little creek hopping and after 2 void ones we made a move to look for laid up bass in the basins and it didn't take long before we had our first clue (a mystery grab) that the magic of the back country was about to start. We worked our way across the shallows to a point with a nice pot hole at the tip and the next cast dished up our 1st Bass of the day. A few minutes later another beautiful cast delivered our 2nd, another fat 22" beauty. A few minutes later our 3rd, with another Bass trailing, then the point cooled off. We worked about 50 feet down the flat and it was game on as the area unleashed its magical powers. We sat on these Bass for 1 1/2 hours + plucking and landing 15 + Bass, double hook ups, screaming drags. Things cooled off so we made our way out of the basin but not before we hooked up with the biggest Bass of the day to send us off in fashion. With our groove on we jumped up on plane and ran to where we were bailing them the day prior and it took all of 2 casts before we where once again in " game on status" as we continued our momentum hooking Bass after Bass pretty much nonstop for 1 1/2 hours+ and finally called it a day when it got dark. In total for the trip we had 29 + Bass ranging in size from 22"- 32".
11/11/2010 Got my gear ready, headed to the skiff and I realized it was yesterday again. Each day has literally been carbon copies of the day prior as the weather system sits offshore delivering steady NNE winds @20knts and pushing tons of water into the back country. These enormous tides have pushed good amounts of Bass into the back country but with the enormous tides at the high it has them scattered throughout making them difficult to find, but as the levels drop to a more normal height we zero in on them like a laser and they are thick as thieves, as happened on today's trip. The 1st half of the trip delivered a couple of strikes but the 2nd half delivered solid non stop action of healthy Bass, between 24" - 26". We had 9 Bass for the day and missed about the same amount. It looks as if the water levels will be dropping to more normal as this system moves further offshore. Water temps locked at 49 mid-day.
11/10/2010 Here we go again with a forecast for 20-30 knt winds. They were wrong. We left the dock in 15knt NNE winds but with just enough NE to offer us beautiful light texture water conditions and very good clarity. We made a long run to our first spot of the day that would give us good moving water, good protection, and shots at Bass. We worked the area for about 30 minutes, seeing one Bass rise, then decided to work it a bit further back in a creek which gave us a shot at a nice bruiser size Bass that I saw moving from left to right. We had a great cast but the wind laid the line on top of him which spooked him, leaving us with a very nice size boil as he made his way to deeper water. We did another lengthy run to an old school spot and no sooner did we enter the area then we could see Bass and what looked to be Shad rolling and breaching in the water up ahead of us. As I flashed back to my 10/18 trip when we had 20lb'ers rolling in the same spot, then disappeared, I took extra silent caution as we approached them so not to have them hide like last time. And just as we got into position, like magic, they disappeared and never came up again. With the tide dropping and winds lightening up we ran to open water flats to get back onto top water. We worked the spot for about 15 minutes before we locked onto a nice group of Bass stemming the current, which delivered 4 Bass in high paced action. We stayed on these fish for about 30 minutes before things calmed down. These Bass were healthy and fat and all between 28" and 30". We made a quick move to a hit and run spot which produced 1 nice strike, then it was quiet. I decided to move and stake out, to fish a little structure and intercept Bass as they moved off the flats. it didn't take long and we had 2 more Bass boatside, lost 1 other, along with a few "ninja Strike" hits. With the tide waning we decided to call it a day and head back to the dock.
11/08/2010 Today was a wild west show down between us and mother nature. Gale warnings forecasted 40-50 knt winds, we decided to make a the run and we did just that. Pushing off from the dock with 35 degree air temps, ice on the deck of the skiff, west winds blowing 20-30, with 40 gusts, the only thing we were missing was driving rain, snow and hail. In all ....we could not wait to hit it. Running on days like this are all about short cuts and that's what we did as we made our way to our first area of the day without a drop of spray. We settled down, got set up to fish our fist stretch of water and after all of 5 minutes of throwing topwater we were on fish, raising 4 Bass, losing 2, and catching 2 others between 22" and 26". A nice way to start the day. Once the action dried up we made our way over to sight fish some wind protected waters and that also didn't take long before we saw our first group of Bass rolling on bait tight against the grass and another group rolling bait up a very narrow creek. All the Bass were solid in size looking to be in the 30"+ class. We go into position to take a shot at the last Bass in line of 3 that continuously came up in the creek. It took 3 casts before we got just the right swing and as it went past the Bass he came up and rolled on our offering followed by a huge boil...and it was game on, and about 10 seconds later it was game off as our line broke (6lb test) on the initial run. We retied with another "weapon" got back into position to get another shot at the 2 remaining Bass that continued rolling on bait further up the creek and with a 40 knt wind, accuracy was going to be tough to say the least. We took a couple of shots before we got the "weapon" to land in the 16" wide opening but it fell a bit short on distance and spooked the remaining Bass sending them out into the deeper water. We had a couple more grabs throughout the remaining time of our trip, but no more boatside. When winds hit 50 we decided to head in and call it a day. Kudos to my clients today, they were up for the adventure and we persevered and had good action for a day that would normally fall by the way side.

11/05/2010 It was another nippy one today with some wind keeping us in seeking protection mode. We had some good sight fisging for the 1st hour of the trip today as we had a group of Bass working shrimp in a small sub creek but with the cross wind we just could not slide our lure into the right spot bto close the deal. We had a few good bites throughout todays trip but in all for the day we managed to pluck 1 nice 28" Bass.
11/03/2010 Prepared today for another face cracking, scull splitting, sub zero run for Bass, but was greeted by no wind, clear sky and tropical like conditions, man it looked fishy. We rolled out in slick, calm, good moving gin'ish clear water and bait pouring out of the back country...the recipe for fall. We pulled up to take a shot on top water at some laid up Bass in a shallow basin and were still 100 yards out and we could already see bass moving and big tails slapping as they rolled on bait. We rolled in and had plenty of good shots but these Bass were wiley and stubborn and not willing to move. With the area rich in bait our plug was not looking so tasty. We raised 4 Bass and dropped another after a brief hook up. We continued to work the top for another hour at a couple locations with no prevail. Deciding to hit and run our way to our next location we worked deeper into the back country and that’s when I decided to make a quick detour stop at on old school spot of mine that should be happening at this tide. Continuing with the old school theme we ditched top water and went with the subsurface swing technique. As we worked our way into position we could feel that it was going to happen. And no sooner than the lure hit on our first cast and we were hooked up...a few minutes later we had our first Bass of the trip boatside, a nice 23" fatty. Got back into position, next cast, BANG, Bass #2 on his way...a 22" beauty. We repeated this process over and over staying on top of this pod of Bass for at least an hour delivering at least 10 more bass, not including followers, break offs, and those that just magically got off. Once the spot cooled off we made a short run to work a spot that has been working pretty good as of late, but even though I was sure there were Bass there, it just didn't feel right so once again we up and left. Following my playbook of old school spots we skated across a few shallow flats and landed in our last spot of the day, and much like the last one it was looking good and feeling great. We worked our way into position and after the first cast we had a nice 28" Bass follow and miss. We continued to work the area for about 5 minutes before we were hooked up with a fish, you could tell it was a beast when it didn't move when we hooked him. Once this Bass realized he was hooked, off he went and continued to dictate the fight for the first 5 minutes as he towed us a couple hundred yards across the flat. We gained control, turned him. and controlled the fight until we got him boatside. Landed and Posing for a quick photo then he was of coarse released to fight another day
Air temps 32 degrees as we pushed off from the dock, frost on the deck, water temps 50 degrees, layers upon layers of outerwear in hopes of surviving the 1st run across the bay. As my one client’s contacts begin to freeze and crack, tears streaming from my eyes from the winds with client 2 in the plane crash position......and all for a striped Bass? HECK YA. That pretty much sums up the 1st 1/2 hour of our trip today. We rolled into our first location of the morning, and all looked good, lots of bait, spotted a few rolling Bass, we were ready for game on. We worked the area for about 15 minutes before we raised our first Bass on top water, and a couple casts later we had another top water taker, which after a few minute fight was boatside and released...skunk out...and starting to feel warmer. We worked the area about another 30 minutes before working our way out to open water and our last cast before jumping on plane. We took a shot at a laid up Bass on the edge of the flat and with a few twitches of the plug he made a move for it then turned off leaving us with nothing but a monster boil behind. We ran to a basin offering good open flats that should continue to deliver a topwater bite and upon arrival it was looking beautiful. We worked it hard and tactical and amazingly produced nothing, which was a shocking result and with that we picked up, switched tactics, and moved to a new area with a new game plan. It didn't take long before the new subsurface tactics paid off as we were back into Bass picking up 3 more in the 26" class, and missing 3 others that just offered the thumping ninja strike. As the spot cooled off the winds picked up from the North which pushed us around the backcountry a bit looking for good protection. Once we sampled a few spots we geared up to make the long run deep into the back country. As we arrived at Spot X we got into position and started to work the area and it was about 15 minutes of fishing until another story was born. With a beautiful cast among the pilings my client hooked up with a beast of a Bass (the Toad) and this fish had control right from the start as he headed straight into the pilings, my client leans on him to try and turn him and with that added pressure the Bass turned towards us...we think that things are going in our favor as we drag him from the structure, just then he comes to the surface like a tarpon and rolls, tail slashing the surface as he decided to take back control of the fight and that's when it happened....bink....broke us off in the pilings leaving us with a manhole cover size boil as he swam away to fight another day.

There is not much to say about today's trip other than mother nature was not going to let me outwit her once again as i have been dodging her fury for a couple of weeks. Forecasted 10-20knts and descending we headed out only to find ourselves in the cross hairs of a back door low pressure system bearing down on us. We got to hit one spot getting one strike before the winds unleashed blowing 35+ from the north and nowhere to hide. We flew the surrender flag, called it a day and headed back to the dock.

10/28/2010 Today was our last taste of summer with 75 degrees when we left the dock and SSW winds @ 15-20 forecasted to switch to NW. With the water temps jumping about 10 degrees over the past 3 days we started out doing some subsurface tactics with the intension to switch to topwater when the winds switched. Tons of bait at our first stop of the day but despite its fishy looks we had no willing bass. I could see the NW winds approaching from a distance so I decided to make a run to find some good moving deeper water with a view of the flats so we could keep an eye on the shallows so we could be on it tout sweet when the wind switched. We rolled into the channel and got down to business and it didn't take long before we had our first strike and a miss. We put the cast back in to try to repeat the presentation for a second chance but nada. We continued up a little further and bang, another "ninja" strike and a miss....we repeated that scenario 3 more times before things quieted down. With the NW winds nearly ready to switch we made a run to the shallows and once we settled down and poled the remaining distance to the flat, the winds switched, the air cooled about 10 degrees and the waters looked fishy. We got into position, took our 1st cast and we had a bruiser Bass crash the plug and miss, 2 twitches later another different Bass crashed it and missed followed by another who continuously crashed the plug as he followed the plug back to the boat before finally hooking him up...a couple minutes later we had a nice 27" fatty boatside. We repeated this process for the next 20 minutes raising 5 more Bass and 1 other hook up that dropped the hook a few feet from the boat. Then things got quiet. We picked up and started our way to fish a shallow basin where we would finish our trip but on the way we did a quick hit and run to a spot that often holds some big Bass. No sooner than we came off plane we saw a tail pop up in the spot. 1st cast w/topwater...nada, 2nd cast with the "weapon" plastic... nada, 3rd cast with sub surface presentation, oh yeah, fish on and when we hooked this beast he was off and running, unstoppable with the current reel screaming as he headed for the back of the boat. My client got good leverage on him, managed to turn him as he came up to the surface and we got a good look at this 32"+ beauty. Thinking the battle was coming to the end the Bass turned again to blast off for another run and with a burst the fight ended as he popped the line...gone....fish story born. We hit one more flat before heading in resulting in one more nice Bass raised on topwater.
10/26/2010 - 10/27/2010 We have a very big low pressure front moving in over the next 2 days with some very big winds, 40+ knts and dangerous lightning associated with it and this will keep me off the water until Thursday.
10/25/2010 Well we were thrown a curve ball today with the weather. Winds forecasted to blow SW20 + in the early afternoon showed up about 6 hours early as we pushed off from the dock. We worked hard all morning trying to shrug off the SW effect but it was really like trying to get to a destination walking on a tread mill. Covering a lot of good looking water it finally looked like we were about to have a 9th inning rally as we got onto a nice pod of Bass laid up just off a flat. We laid out great casts raising 3 smaller Bass, all of which missed the plug. We got back into position to take another shot and with pin point accuracy the topwater plug slid down the seam and was crushed by a very nice 30" + Bass that lurched up from below but displaced so much water when coming up that it moved the plug from the strike zone resulting in another missed Bass. With the tide just right to make a visit to "ye ole Bass-n-Grass" we made a run to see if the local spot was holding fish. As we worked our way into the basin I could see that we had a very sizable fish rolling on shrimp as it got swept through the grass. We targeted this Bass for 30 minutes or so before he moved off showing no interest in our offerings
10/21/2010 I am always very thankful for my ability to hit weather windows on a consistent basis, often timing storms, winds, rain....to within a half hour of it arrival. well today not so much. With big winds due to move in around noon we hit it early and so did the wind. We left the dock with a 15knt South wind and within a 1/2 hour we were fishing in 20-30+ but that did not stop us from banging Bass. Good guides and good anglers will adapt to conditions altering their techniques and prevail and that's what we did today. We did topwater while the winds were "light" which gave us our first 3 Bass of the day ranging in size from 22"-24" all ocean fish. Once the winds bumped up to 20-30 status my strategy was to move to seek protection and still keep us in the game which would require going subsurface so we ran to one of my old school spots that has been "Toad Bass" central as was the case on 10/18. We took 15 minutes to work the surface with no results then we went sub surface and on our 4th cast it was game on. This Bass crushed our artificial and instantly took control as the slow constant drag sounding as it peeled off line in a nearly unstoppable run and after a minute of attempting to turn the Bass .....bink....line broke...toad gone...another fish story born. We worked the area for another 15 minutes before deciding to press on to a new area. With the bay now at "wedding cake status" (waves and white caps resembling the frosting on a cake) we ran shortcuts to our next spot and once we arrived it was looking mighty fine. We slowly made our way into the protected area and it had all the ingredients for success, gin clear water @ 56 degrees, tons of moving water and the bonus was the wind at our back. 1st cast bang! fish on a nice 26" specimen, we bot back into position 2nd cast Bang! fish on another nice 28" Bass, again moving back in to position for our 3rd cast Bang! another nice 26" Bass to the boat. After a quick photo we again moved back into the honey hole...cast #4 Bang! our best Bass of the day a nice 29" fatty was boatside then things cooled off as the water slowed as we approached the end of our trip. A very fun day.
Pre-storm weather window yesterday - post storm weather window today. Splashed the boat in pouring down rain surrounded by lightning, 48 degree air temps and light winds....and loving it. I had paced the weather to slow down or stop by departure time, clients rolled in and we hung out while waiting for the main electrical portion of the storm to pass by. My timing was off by 30 minutes but as the rain slowed we pushed off from the dock and you could feel the magic in the air as we idled through the slick calm water. 200+ yards away from pulling into our 1st spot of the morning you could already see Bass busting mullet on the surface. We slowly made our way into the basin and much like yesterday these Bass are smart and slowly go down and lay up no matter how quietly you approach them. We silently poled our way deep into the area working the surface on top water plugs, Bass popping up and rolling in singles here & there out of casting range and moving erratically. We had a few followers nosing the plug as it passed in front of them but no hook-ups. After about an our of being snubbed we saddled up to make a run and as we skated across the water I spotted a nice Bass rolling off in the distance and a tailing Bass not far from him so we took a detour over to the flat. We settled down off plane and quietly made our way over to them and once we got into casting range the games began and the SJ back country showed its magic. We got onto a massive school of Bass which provided over an hour of constant topwater action (some of which I caught on video). These Bass were so aggressive hitting the plug, at times throwing the plug 2-3 feet into the air and because of that we had a poor hook-up ratio. We literally raised 20-30 Bass, lost 3 boatside, landed 3 and lost a big fish after a 7 minute battle, another toad, broke us off after a 3 minute battle...it was crazy. Things finally calmed down as the Bass slid back into the main channel, the Bass moved off, so off we went. We continued to see rolling Bass here & there through out the rest of the trip but only managed to land 1 other Bass before heading Back to the barn calling it a day.

Another pre-storm weather window today offered us blue bird skies, light winds and 56 degree water temps which is the magic number. We pushed off on the hunt for laid up Bass and the smooth water conditions would offer us a great opportunity to see these Bass clearly. We worked our first flat for about 1/2 hour before we saw a nice group of Bass tailing in about 8" of water. At a distance it looked like it was a couple of Bass but as we approached my client laid out a beautiful cast landing the fly right in front of the lead Bass and he made a move towards it, took a swipe and missed, but in turn spooked this school off the flat. We worked the area a bit more before deciding to move on. We did a quick hit and run on a spot before running to one of my old school spots that often gets active under the current tide and conditions. We arrived at our new area and slowly worked our way across the smooth water and into the basin and just as I looked ahead of us...there it was. Not just 1 "toad Bass" but a group of 3-4 solid 20 lb+ (36"+) Bass Rolling happily on a school of Mullet that were trapped in the corner of the Basin. These Bass were very happy and coming up about every 5 minutes...it was quite a site. We inched our way up to them, getting set up to lay the fly in there when they came up again. Excitement high, tension high, we were about to finally put an end to the elusive "toad Bass" saga that has been going on for 2 months. Once in position, locked and loaded.....they stopped moving and stopped coming up as if they knew we were ready to close the deal, these Bass were very smart. We did some topwater casting into the pockets hoping to find them laid up but unfortunately with no response. We changed flies and went down a little deeper and started plucking a bunch of school size Bass in the 24" class which are often the "protectors" of the big Bass due to their aggressive nature. The tide slowed and the action shut down so we ran to chase the tide. We managed to get on Bass again after hitting a couple of infertile flats, which gave us a few more tugs and 1 more nice 28" specimen.....The "Toad saga continues."

10/17/2010 Alright folks this is it. Here is a list of my available dates for the remainder of the season. These dates are going very fast since my last fishing report email "Bang the Gong" My season will end around Thanksgiving, Nov 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23
Things are shaping up nicely. Today we had a clear weather window before the forecasted nor'easter was to move in and we got off to a very nice start by stalking a group of 6 to 8 Bass tailing in the shallows of one of my favorite Fall flats. It took only a few casts before we were hooked up with our first bass of the day. After a few minute battle we had ourselves a very nice 27" specimen boat side and posing for a picture. We stayed on this group of Bass for about 45 minutes, by then they had become too skittish, we only raised 1 other from that school. We ran to a quick hit and run spot where we had action yesterday and today again delivered us some good action. Our 1st cast into the zone gave us an explosive strike from a toad like Bass and we had him hooked for about 4 minutes before he decided to let go. So we took a cast back into the barrel raised 3 other Bass caught 2 more, both in the 28" range. Once the action slowed we started to hit and run some other spots but the end of the tide dry spell was settling in which lasted for about an hour. Once the tide started moving again we got back into Bass producing a bunch of "ninja" strikes and 1 other Bass to the boat. Things are finally moving forward and today rang the gong, school is now in session.

. We ran an abbreviated trip today fishing only a couple of hours in some new areas. We raised a few Bass on top water...7 to be exact and managed only 1 to the boat a healthy 24" schoolie
10/08/2010 Well well well. I can see the pattern clearly now after today's trip. It was a beautiful day, bluebird skies, light winds, good water temps...perfect right? I don't think so. Today we fished hard all day and we had 1 Bass seen to show it. Today's trip put into perspective what I think is going on for this fall. I believe that the nice days you all wait for as of now are not the productive days. It is the ugly days (i.e. yesterday 20-30 knts winds, partly cloudy, dirty water and the fish were moving well, today not so much. I will be fixing my push pole over the weekend and will be back on the water early next week. Have a great weekend
Today was interesting to say the least. We pushed off from the dock in 15-25 knt winds, higher gusts, headed for the shallows for Bass on the fly. We got to our first flat of the day offering little protection. With the wind at our back I staked us out to get set up and the push pole point broke from being worn down over the years. Alright, so now we are on the fly, 15-25 knt winds and have a broken point on my pole. With these hurdles behind us I use the pointless pole to get us into a position to take our first shot at a laid up Bass. I go to slowly stop the boat and CRACK the pushpole breaks again at the ferrel and is now rendered usless. So with my pushpole pieces gathered up we figured we would press on and fish with the use of the trolling engines and seek protection from the winds. I went old school and creek hopped, sight fishing Bass that we had rolling on shrimp high in the grasses. Our 1st pod of Bass we stalked for 45 minutes, resulting in 3 Bass to the boat and raising 3 others, all very nice 25" specimens and all were very challenging, requiring my clients to present the fly perfectly, and I mean perfectly, putting the fly in areas 12" wide in big winds...for these Bass would not move an inch to chase a fly. When the bite turned off we headed out to repeat the process through out the day. A very fun and active day considering the deck being stacked against us.The push pole will be a 2 day repair so tomorrow will be another TM day.
10/06/2010 Beautiful day, slick water conditions and not a stitch of wind. We had fish moving all morning but it was hard to get the Bass to bite due to the quantity of bait. We had a few rollers early in the trip but it was not until the later part of the trip that we dialed in on a couple of Bass feeding hard on shrimp in the grass. We fished for this Bass for 35 minutes on the fly before we finally made the presentaion that he wanted to see. The back country is still winding tight like a coiled spring and due to unleash any day.
09/27/2010 It was a tough decision today whether or not to walk the line with the incoming weather and make an attempted to hit a small weather window in the morning. We decided not to chance it and reschedule. The winds are forecasted to kick up to 30 knts+ through the next couple of days keeping me off the water. For those of you looking to grab some days this fall now is the time to lock in you dates. For a list of my current openings you can e-mail me by clicking here.
I had this week set aside for chasing Albies but the winds and ocean conditions say otherwise, so it looks like my next report will be on 9/27.
The roller coaster of action continued again today with beautiful looking water, smooth conditions and difficulty getting the Bass to eat. We were on Bass again today at our first 2 flats of the day but the massive amount of bait offered too much competition for throwing the fly today. Grass shrimp crabs, mullet, spearing peanut bunker...and the list goes on. The good news is that there are a lot of Bass around, including some very sizable ones as we saw a few on today's trip. The most impressive sighting came while running from flat to flat when I saw the entire back of a solid 36" + Bass roll on a pod of peanuts as he cruised the edge of the flat. Unfortunately by the time we made it over to the area he had moved on and never showed himself again. Heavy winds over the next few days will keep me off the water but I believe that with the winds and incoming nighttime cold air temps in the upper 50's that this will drop the water temps from the summer time 70 to fallish 65 and trigger the 1st push of Bass throughout the SJ Back country.
Weather watching was the focus leading into today's trip. With big storms moving through overnight, my focus was to hit the lighter wind weather window between the S 20-30 and NW 20-30 and when we pushed off from the dock it looked like the plan was coming together nicely. We rolled into our 1st area of the day and we could already see 100 yrds away bass pushing pods of mullet and peanut Bunker...into the shallows. We worked our way into the basin and man oh man there was so much bait you could walk on them and as much as this is a good thing it can be bad as well, making the Bass very hard to feed as was the case throughout today's trip. We took shots at Bass on top water for about half the day before poking around a little deeper but all we found were Bluefish...The winds came up pretty stiff blowing 25knts so we decided to call it a day. The back country right now is loaded thick with every bait imaginable and is getting that "coiled spring" type feeling when the action explodes ringing the gong for the fall run

09/13/2010 . A blue bird day fell upon us today with light winds and crystal clear waters. As we ran to our first area of the day we had good moving water and plenty of good looking fishable seams, a quick hit and run provided one strike but no boated Bass. A short skiff ride across the shallows put us in some tight quarters and fast moving water. Four strikes in the first ten casts we were already off to a good start, then a few cast later we had our first Bass to the boat a nice fish at 26". We stayed on these fish for about an hour giving us 8 more Bass to the boat, 3 break offs, and several other Bass the just came unbuttoned after the first run. After our window of opportunity closed at that location we pressed on to stay in front of swift moving water. With in a few minutes after settling down at our flat de jour we were hooked up again with a big Bass that put the screws to us and dropped the fly after a blistering first run. We got our selves back into position presented another cast and hooked up again but this time he broke us off. Three more hook ups and drops later we managed to pluck another 2 Bass from the area both in the 28" range. So in total for the trip we had 11 Bass to the boat all on the fly, photographed and released in great shape, as always.
Greeted with overcast skies, calm winds and not another boat in site the entire afternoon what more could you ask for. We got on to fish immediately which continued through out our trip with action all areas visited. Things fell in line over all for the day with a dozen or so Bluefish of all sizes, 5 Sea bass while going vertical while searching for gator size Weakfish, and 6 Bass of which 5 taken on top water and the others on subsurface @ 25" that when brought to the boat had good size friends lurking below which is a very good sign when entering the fall season. Water temperatures are beginning to cool a bit more with 67 - 68 degrees being the average. The cool air temperatures that are predicted for the next week should get the bass increasingly on the move that in combination with prime tides coming off the full moon should have the Bass moving fairly predictably.
We ran early for session in search of early morning tailing Bass in the ebb shallows. As we approached the entry to our first area we could already see fish pushing and moving all over in the shallows which looked to be a mix of Bass and Bluefish. We raised 2 Bass in our first few cast then came our first fish of the day to the boat a fun sized Bluefish about 3.lbs.follwed by a half dozen others all taken on topwater. This became the pattern for the remainder of the morning with raising a few Bass at each location again offering non committal one time shots and the Bluefish that would not let the fly get past them. Water temperatures 72-73.
09/02/2010 Hurricane Earl is making it way off our coast so this will keep me off the water until its passing. Looks like my next report will be on 9/07. Have a great Holiday week-end.
08/31/2010 We have hit groundhog day status here in the back country with today's trip being a carbon copy of the past few. We once again got onto a good number of bass tailing and pushing in the shallows, offering us some very good shots, but getting them to eat has been a challenge. Our first flat of the day had the Bass working bait fairly erratically and unpredictable on their track but we did our time and got a nice 22" Bass to commit to our top water offering. Having only raised one other Bass, we pressed on to do a quick hit and run which resulted in a lot of Bass, but no bites. Finally we settled down on a great fall time flat that has been holding nice pods of Bass, We found a nice pocket of slick calm very shallow (12") water and sporadic rolling Bass and after chasing these guys around for 20 minutes we finally were tight again on our second topwater Bass of the day. Landed and released we continued in pursuit of this pod but just could not pluck another and decided to call it a day.
I was positive that today was going to break the streak of tough trips that I have been having. Great tides, big current, good bait and slick calm conditions, and that's not all, it even had a touch of fall in the air. We rolled into our first spot of the day and upon idling to the flat we could already see Bass pushing and rolling across the flat. We silently poled in and they looked very comfortable and predictable, with looked being the operative word. We stayed on top of these Bass for about an hour and just could not get them to eat. The flat was rich with bait, too much in fact, and think that was the reason for the ignorant style of behavior. After having our fill of denials we decided to run in search of an area that would have a better water to bait ratio. We settled down in some good open water on a flat that had current, which would keep the bait thinner. It was our second cast of the spot and we raised our first Bass of the morning. We followed up with another cast in the same spot and had a nice schoolie come up and crash the plug and a couple minutes later we had him posing for a quick pic. Things were looking up. We continued working down the flat seeing some Bass pushing bait repeatedly off in the distance but they would magically disappear when we would get in range to get a cast at them. It was this hide and seek pattern that stayed with us for the remainder of the

We put a crew together and headed offshore. The ocean was a bit sporty on the way out but layed down nicely in the afternoon....During the 2 hour run we pretty much saw no life, then suddenly the water started changing color and sporadic sarragassum weed clumps start showing up, then about 15 minutes later nice blue water and a Florida style weed line appeared, which was like an oasis in the desert. We were lines in for about 20 mins when we were tight to our fist fish of the day...a nice fat Skippie. We continued working our way down the weed line and when we had our second fish hooked up, this time it was a big Dorado as we got an eye full when he launched out of the water and a few minutes later we had a very nice 25 lb Dolphin in the box. We got ourselves set up once again and it was no more than 15/20 minutes later that we had another solid hook up. Initially we thought it would be another Dorado, but with no jumping I was beginning to think Tuna, and after a 10 minute battle we had a nice 45 lb Yellowfin in the box. We got lines back in but despite how good things were going that Yellowfin would mark our last fish for the day. The ride back to the dock was beautiful, calm seas, saw some turtles, big bunker pods, threadfin hearing pods, baby hammerhead shark cruising the surface...in all a very fun day.. never saw another boat

08/19/2010 Ouch, Today was rough. We had all good ingredients for a great day, No wind, smooth water, and good moving current...we should have been on tailing Bass all day but that was just not the case. We had a few follows, and one swipe on topwater and that was pretty much it. I am attributing this action (lack there of) to the heavy rains the past couple of days. We should be back on track in a day or two once things stabilize. My next report will be from 08/20 (offshore) and will post it over the week end.
New day, same client, opposite weather conditions. We had our work cut out for us today... the winds were blowing 15-20 and predicted to kick up to 30 later in the day. We did a little topwater fishing but could feel that it was not going to happen like that today so we went to the subsurface methods. We had about 10 grabs throughout the trip but it was tough. The bites were fast, one chance, opportunities "AKA" ninja strikes, but with the winds blowing it was hard to get a good feel for the strikes. The Bass are here, they just got the best of us today
08/12/2010 We started out today right where we left off yesterday with a hot topwater bite with constant action for the first hour. We could not for the life of us keep a fish hooked....it was as if they had devised a secret method over the past 24 hrs of dehooking, and it was effective as we got no Bass to the boat after raising about a dozen. Then in a moments time, the sun parted the clouds, the air temps jumped 10 degrees and the bite shut down. That marked both the end of the top water action for that spot as well as for all the other spots as well. We had a few grabs on subsurface presentations, but nothing that would come to fruition so we called it a day.
08/11/2010 Another day, another client and great fishing. Today was the same conditions as we have had over the past week or so. Smooth water, no wind and loads of willing Bass. We did a little structure fishing to start the day, nada action, so we pulled up stakes and moved on to target tailing Bass in some of the summertime basins. We poled our way into our next flat and just like weeks prior we could see Bass pushing water as they were in pursuit of big pods of peanut bunker. We stayed on these fish for about 45 minutes and only had a few follows and no takers. Too much bait with too little water making far too much competition to close the deal. We decided to make a run to find a better balance of water to bait ration...I knew just the spot. We rolled in and settled down as I poled our way onto the flat. The water was so smooth it was like we were floating on air. Great current, did not see bait, but knew it was there, and the same with the Bass. It did not take long before we were on them solid for the next 2 hours. The bite started with motionless laid up Bass and ended with BIG schools of Bass sporadically rolling and pushing water ever so subtlety. As I have been telling you the saga continues with the allusive "Toad" Bass and today was another encounter with the same results. We saw a small bit of movement, which prompted our cast. With perfect placement the topwater lure made its way on a perfect path and just as it got into range of the Toad we had it happen. With a huge slash and splash this trophy Bass blew up on the lure with such force it threw water 4 feet in every direction and we were fish on as it screamed drag and then........not. Another fish story born. Today we easily had 8 Bass and missed at least a dozen more before things shut down and we headed in. All action today was on the surface.
08/08/2010 Well here we are in the heat of the summer, the bay is boiling hot, bait is everywhere, and the Bass are strapping on the feed bags on a nightly basis in anticipation of making the run south. It wasn't many years ago that we usually would be experiencing the Bass summer doldrums this time of the year, but again like the past 2 seasons, that's just not the case. In fact as I had mentioned last season, the new pattern has August becoming the mini-October as we saw this past 2 weeks. We’re having glimpses into the 2010 fall season with the backcountry offering up by far the best sight fishing opportunities so far this season. It was good solid Striper action with schools of Bass making a push into the back country offering us good shots at groups of nice size Bass making their way throughout the shallows. These past 2 weeks we've really had them showing themselves in every way you could possibly want them. Tailing, rolling, laid up, we had it all...and all were targeted almost exclusively on topwater. The swift currents had fish pushing at times so shallow that their Bodies were 1/2 out of the water as they trapped the plethora of newly arrived bait. This flow of bait had them tracking very predictably and laid up nicely in some very skinny water basins and other interesting locations and as always the shallower the water the more skittish the fish. This is the ultimate challenge,"be the ball" focus fishing. The pattern is now established and we should continue to see nice quality size fish coming up on our top water offerings for the remainder of the summer season, which will lead us into the Fall run when the magic of the SJ backcountry really shows itself. My fishing from now until mid September will include running the 32' SeaCraft east to head offshore for the Pelagics. We kicked off my offshore season with an open minded approach but as always Dolphin and Tuna are on the top of the list. Our run offered up some very good sizable Dolphin action along with a brief encounter with Bluefin, Wahoo and Shark. As always, it takes some time to run and locate the action but once we find it, it is fast and furious, especially when it comes to Dorado. I believe that this season offshore will be the season of Dolphin and will constantly be a good target for those willing to hunt for them, both on light tackle and on the fly. Fall will be here before you know it so now is the time to set your sights on booking for the fall Bass run. For a list of my open dates you can reach me @ 609.432.6618 or shoot me an email.
08/04/2010 NIts hard to believe that here we are August already and its time for my annual Fall Bass heads -up post. Now that we are passed mid season, now is the time to start focusing on booking your Fall dates and as most of you know, my open days fill quickly especially in the Fall. Start planning up those sick days it gonna be a good Fall. For a list of my NJ 2010 dates e-mail
Another beautiful day. No wind, clear slick calm water and groups of tailing Bass..... Today was like it was all last week. See last week reports. Cool weather is on the way this should put us in great shape for the upcoming days ahead.
Another day, another fish story same client. We had a little breeze today as we departed. This was a good thing as it made the bass far less spooky than yesterday. With the pattern we had the day prior I had no reason to run to the same spots today, so we did just that. Started on structure for about the first 30 minutes of the trip. Nada, not a touch...nothing like yesterday when we had our encounter with the trophy Bass. So we made a quick run to an area that we had great action in yesterday when the Bass were spooky, but today was a different story. Looking like fertile grounds, I poled us on to the flat and into a small basin and even though you could not see Bass because of the textured water, you knew they were there...and man they were there. We great consistent action with Bass crashing our lures as they worked across the surface. After a few Bass boated, I was thinking that we were due for a "Toad Encounter" and no sooner than the thought breezed through my mind...it happened. Just as we casted over the deepest part of the basin (18"-24" deep) this beast rose to the surface and crushed the plug and suddenly we were tight to the Toad. Then suddenly we weren't. We collected ourselves and got back to the bite. We stayed on this group of Bass for over an hour. Once the action calmed down we made a run to "trench Flat" and with the building overcast conditions I was confident we would continue to be on Bass, which is what happened....for the day we had about 6 Bass and raised probably twice that. Very fun day.
We finally had offshore winds and cooler weather move in over the nighttime hours breaking this month long heat wave. No wind, super slick calm water and cool 65 degree air temps was what I was greeted with as I waited for my client. We pushed off and things looked just looked good....you could feel that it was going to be a great day. Tons of bait has moved in, and the full moon has the water moving; a great recipe. We started today poking around structure again and today it took about 10 casts before we once again got engaged in battle with the "Toad". The perfect cast...great retrieve...the grab...and the battle begun. This time the battle started out thinking we may be snagged on structure, then the boat started moving, then the drag started going, then the head shaking began as we started being towed by the "Toad". Here we go again, the line was peeled at a pretty good rate and with a month of fish stories about the one that got away I decided to play it safe and lighten the drag a bit and follow the fish to gain some line, and no sooner did I have the thought...he was gone, broke us off...another fish story born. We had a few more grabs before we moved to the shallows where we had seen Bass the day prior. The water was so smooth that I could see gobs of Bass moving in the shallows long before I even got to the flat. We silently poled our way into the basin and it didn't take long before we picked our fist Bass of the day from the perimeter of the school and a few minutes later we had him boatside for photos. We got back into position and continued poling deeper into the flat...we must have raised 4 or so more Bass before we were tight to another one. This guy was a very nice 29" specimen that was wild during the fight as he ran everywhere before surrendering. This was laid up in no more than 10" of water and very healthy. Released in great shape, we were back on the hunt. We had these Bass pinned in a cove and feeding good but the slick waters and skinny depth (8") had these guys very spooky. How spooky you ask? We’re talking Permit and Bonefish spooky where we were moving them if the belly of the line tapped the water. Slight movement on the skiff sending pressure waves...these guys were skittish. We stayed on this group of Bass for 1 and 1/2 hours with good consistent shots the entire time but only picked up 1 more Bass before things calmed down. We made a quick run to another flat to try and pick a few more before heading back to the dock. We were on them once again at our new location but the sun was a bit too high in the sky to get them to eat so we called it a day.
Today I was back on the Maverick and on the hunt for Bass. It was a beautiful morning offering light winds and smooth water conditions. We started out poking around some structure looking for some tide runners but with only a handful of grabs we made a move to head to the flats. We rolled onto our first flat of the day and I could already see a handful of Bass cruising the shallows. It didn't take long (5 minutes) before we raised our 1st Bass of the day. Missing that one we kept working further onto the flat and a few minutes later another grab...another miss. Then it happened just like on my previous trips, we had the encounter with the trophy Bass..the "Toad"...the fish that has for a month been alluding me made an appearance again today. It was a perfect cast and as I watched it popping along it was then that he came lurching up from below crashing the plug and with a fury of white water took the plug and in a second we were tight, and then we weren't as the plug floated back to the surface. The encounter was over and the only thing left was a manhole cover size boil in the water. We continued to stay on top of these fish for another 40 minutes raising another 1/2 dozen Bass, line spooking a few other skittish Bass. The remainder of the trip we continued to have action but no results.
Watching the weather and chomping at the bit to shake down the 32’ Seacraft, I finally saw the window and ran. The plan was to follow the windy weather offshore and fish the descending seas for Dorado and Tuna. I love when a plan comes together...I got to the dock early to load the rig up and was please to see that things were already going well when I could hear thick amounts of bait popping in the canals...bait which has been non existent for the last few weeks. After filling the wells with peanut bunker and loading up the boat the crew arrived and off we went. We ran around 35 miles in an absolutely beautiful ocean before things got spotty. We settled down to get a feel for the conditions and decided that drifting in 3-5 ft seas would be a bit too much so we ran in a few miles and started our day. Right off the start we had action with hooking up with a nice size Dolphin that put on a great aerial show during its fight back to the boat. With the skunk from the boat now removed we calmly got set back up and almost immediately got hit again, only this time he dropped the hook. We drifted for about an hour before we had more action but it was well worth the wait. First we started seeing deep water flashes that you "thought you saw" followed by small surface slashes that you see out of the corner of your eye, then we had a slow peel off the drag. I immediately thought it was a shark, I grabbed the rod to get a get a feel for what was going on, having felt a slight weight I decided to set the hook and it was game on. Line screaming off the reel as I handed off the rod and a minute later a spectacular 20 lb Dorado launched out of the water and after a 15 minute battle with this "Barn Door" we had him boat side and in the cooler. We continued drifting and about 10 minutes later I decided to live line a Squid that I caught in the cast net earlier that morning. Man that bait wasn't in the water more than 2 minutes and I felt it get thumped, followed by a solid hook set...and man that reel (spinning Tackle) was screaming as the line was dumping off my reel at an incredible pace. Positive I was hooked up to either a Tuna or Wahoo I knew we had about 30 seconds of line left on the reel. We quickly got the boat started to follow this beast and just as we started moving he broke us off. With the excitement waning we got re-rigged and back in position. We continued to feel good about the area so we gave it another hour and had another slow run off followed by a 5 minute battle before the hook pulled, which I assumed was a shark as we had a couple behind the boat earlier. With the day growing late, we decided to head back to the dock for a little Grilled Mahi.
I will be shaking down the SeaCraft tomorrow by running offshore for Dolphin. I will update with a report over the weekend.
There was no free lunch this week in the shallows. The backcountry was holding a good amount of Bass as in previous weeks, but this week’s warm weather had its effects making them very fickle and spooky. The approaching moon has turned the shallows into one big giant vat of decapod crustaceans and fry sized bait fish which gas the bass in the very selective and lazy mode. All week the Bass on top water as well as subsurface presentations have given anglers 1 chance for a hook up and then they are gone. I must say though that the bigger lurker Bass are certainly still present through out the SJ back country as twice this week we had our hands full with a couple of bruisers that after a brief battle alluded us as they managed to take us around structure when running and broke us off. Blue are still cruising around making their presence known, usually ranging in size from 1-3 lbs, with a bigger 4 to 5 lb'r mixed in. Water temps are a sultry 77 degrees and steady. Summertime patterns are in full effect, low light and night time are the right time until Fall. Sleep is overrated, let’s go fishing. Photos and daily reports can be found on my web site. Remember fall is just around the corner ...
It was as if I fell asleep and woke up and it was last Tuesday again. Warm water, smooth conditions, Bass chasing bait, and very hard to get them to eat. We started off stalking a big Bass that we had heard slashing bait in the shallows Once we had him in our sights and took a shot at him he went to crash the plug, missed it by a foot, and never came back. That's the scenario that would repeat itself over and over again today. One chance and done. Later in the trip we swapped up for some subsurface action to try to redeem ourselves in the area where we had the 2 trophy break offs from Tuesday and it did not take long before we had them again on the end of our line. Unfortunately we had the same results, 2 on and 2 off. Though we stayed in front of Bass the whole trip we had a 1 chance per spot allotment, which ultimately resulted in not removing the skunk from the boat today.
All looked very good as we pushed off from the dock with high expectations to repeat the spectacular action we had in the week leading up to the July 4th holiday.....not so much. We raised our 1st Bass right out of the gate today, followed up by nice groups of Bass cruising for grass shrimp in ultra skinny water, but we just could not get them to feed on our artificials. This continued to be the case for the remainder of the trip. We had 1 Blue fish on topwater that was a nice size @ about 4lbs but that was it for surface action. We did a little run & gun to look for some action but the real event happened at our last location of the day when we had 2 brute size Bass grab our offerings and got the reels singing as they peeled off line once hooked, but both of them wrapped us around structure and broke us off. Having not seen these cows, I can tell ya by how they reacted once they were hooked that they must have been in the 36" + size class. So today the Bass won.
Someone should have called the fire department because the backcountry was on fire today. Leaving the dock the waters looked great with good moving water, big temperature swings and no other boats on the water due to the daily storms in the surrounding area. Coming up with only a few bumps at our first location we made a move to find a cooler patch of water that will in turn be holding the Bass. Settling down for a quick "hit and run", while in route, gave us our first bass of the trip. This six "cast location" dished up a 22" schoolie on top water that got the skunk out of the boat and the ball rolling Photographed, released and off we went to one of my favorite flats. Settling down on the edge I poled us across the hard sand flat in to position and with only a few casts in we raised a big bass that was laid up in a small pocket. Working our way down the flat to our final "stake out" destination we raised 2 more Bass and boated 2 others both in the 23" range. As we approached our final position to set up for shots at Bass as they approached I could already see nice groups of fish waking and fining in the shallowest part of the flat. This was just the beginning of a 2 1/2 hour Striper party that provided truly non stop action offering up a minimum of 11 Bass to the boat and countless amounts of fished raised. Most Bass ranged in size from 26" to our largest of the trip which at 32" 10lbs gave us a great fight as he sped across the flat after crushing the top- water plug. I did just so happen to have captured about 30 minutes of video footage which I will post some still photos from later next week that will include Bass attacking so aggressively on top-water that they would launch themselves completely out of the water on the take. Needless to say very entertaining and exciting
Refer to 7/21 trip and you'll have today's report
A beautiful blue bird day today with NW winds to start the day and SE 10-15 to end the day. We started off slow this trip with very warm water (73) and very poor water clarity. Our first couple of hours today produced one strike despite that the water in all the areas looked fishy. As the Golden hours approached we made a significant move to another zip code and upon settling the skiff down on another one of my favorite spring flats we worked our way deep onto the shallows. We were only there for about 5 minutes and saw our first bass moving along the edge chasing tinkers. Quickly I got us into position and a few casts later raised our first on top water. This Bass (@ 26") exploded on the fly launching him self about a foot and a half into the air we fought him for a minute or so before dropping the fly, very exciting none the less. We stayed on these fish for a little over an hour raising 5 Bass landing 2 others schoolie size 1 @ 22" the other 20".
Here we go folks, we have instantly jumped into summer with 90 degree days, 75 degree water temps, gnats, green heads, and rolling and tailing Bass. Love it. We had a very fun day today and the Bass was the exact opposite of Friday. We had happy Bass pretty much the entire trip today with a nice mix of techniques. Three hours of topwater action and an hour of subsurface presentations had us in Bass the whole day. On top water we had a poor hook up ratio of about 50%. We started our day off in a small basin, slick calm water and Bass rolling on and sipping bait off the surface. It didn't take long before we had our first customer crash our top water plug. In our first area alone we raised 5 Bass, but landed 0. With the tide right we ran to a flat that has really turned on as of late. We settled down and I jumped on the platform, poled us into position and it wasn't long before the plethora of bait began to flow and right on their heels were the bass which led to a 1 and 1/2 hour top water session that delivered 4 Bass to the boat, while missing 6 others that crashed the plug and and another that broke us off. It was a very interesting bite today, these Bass were super stealthy, only offering subtle hints of their presence, despite their aggressive feeding, pulsing water, corralled bait, and opposing wakes...to the untrained eye the area was void, but to the trained eye the Bass were thick as thieves. Very fun. As the bite cooled off I decided to run to an old school area to do a little probing of some deeper water. We slipped into the area and it took 3 casts before we were tight to a fish which ended up being a 3 lb Blue. We continued working the area for about 15 minutes until we got on to a tightly packed school of Bass and for the next 45 minutes we sat on top of this school and had our way with them. We picked up 4 more Bass and missed at least 7 others. We also picked up a nice flounder...and then there was the Mogen..ah yes the one that got away. We hooked up with this tanker that thumped the lure and immediately was headed for deep water with a slow constant run off the flat with the reel singing. Then he thought he would turn and head back at us and in the process wrapped us around a big piece of old submerged sod bank and he was gone, breaking us off on the 6 lb portion of our line.
06/18/2010 A very exciting day and all we got was a Bluefish. We had Bass right out of the gate today, with the plan of targeting laid up Bass from the overnight hours. Well....they were there, they were targeted, but they were far from laid up. These Bass today were on the cruise and not predictable at all as they frantically chased around erratic bait in the basins of the SJ back country. This was pretty much the case at all locations we fished today. There is no doubt there was some real bruisers lurking as we could see them rolling like Tarpon as they grabbed mouthfuls of grass shrimp but wanted nothing to do with our flies. This is the way it goes and these are the challenges that sometimes happen in the shallows.... this is hunting....and it is all part of the game
06/15/2010 Here we go again with a big spike in the water temperatures, going from 60 to 74 in 1 and 1/2 days, shutting down the mid day Bass bite. We left the dock today in less than predicted stellar conditions. Winds were blowing ENE 15-20 so we had some protection but not much in our favor. We had a great tide, good moving water with very fishy looking areas, but the bite was tough. For 3 hours we had seen it all, short strikes, missed strikes, mystery strikes, break offs.....in all I consider them non opportunity opportunities. Finally in the 9th inning we got into some action with a few of the same trials and tribulations, but managed to get 2 Bass to the boat 1 @ 21" that jumped boat side leaving a hook in my thumb and the other Bass was a beautiful specimen @ 26" and fat, which marked the end of our trip. Stock up on the coffee, the summer pattern is now in full effect.