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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been trying to get out in the boat for an evening tide, but it seems like every night the wind has been honking pretty good. Mornings have been calm enough, but with those lower high tides I have had to work harder for fish with the slower tidal flow.

With the wind blowing again tonight I decided to go freshwater fishing, figuring with all the wind the mosquitos would not be too bad. Got to lake about 7:30 pm. and put on an all black popping fly. I missed my first fish, but the second was a real beauty. A nice largemouth at 17 inches. It took three good jumps but was hooked solid and I got it in. After getting no hits I switched over to my other rod and used a baitfish pattern on sinking line and was surprised to get a sunfish.

With the sun setting I switched back to the popper as it is just more fun to get that surface strike. As it got darker the fish seemed to turn on. I got small one and then three decent ones in a row that were all about 15 inches, including one that really woofed down the fly. It seemed like the darker it got the better the fishing. Even with all the wind the mosquitos were fairly bad but I had a buff scarf and long sleeve shirt so I was okay. I fished till 9:20 pm., having a fantastic summer night and I probably missed 5 other fish that took my popping fly good, but I just didn't hook.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Did not fish over the 4th of July Holiday. I went away and celebrated with the family and relatives and let all the weekend crazies have the water. Holidays on the water down here always reminds me of the scene from JAWS with everyone and their brother out on the water. Got out this morning with buddy Larry again. I knew it was going to be a somewhat tough morning as both morning and evening tides were going to be lower than normal with very slow tidal flows and dead low near dawn and dusk. Unfortunately, we left the dock at close to the bottom of the tide, but it was the only time I could get in a trip today.

Fishing was very slow. We had only 6 hits in three hours of fishing and landed only 4 fish. We caught 2 small weakfish, a throwback fluke and first croaker of the year. Larry hooked a decent fish, but it bit him off. We assumed it was a bluefish the way it took off after the bite. Water in the ocean was 64.5 degrees and pretty decent. Not as clean as we would of liked but not too bad. All fish were caught using sinking line and released. Not the trip we expected, but it could of been worse.

To add salt to the wound, we lost 6 flies to bottom structure, which was more than the number of fish that we caught. With the water getting warmer and little to no baitfish around, fishing always gets tougher, starting at this time of the year. Hoping to get out at night soon as it is a little cooler and the fishing always seems better with the lower light.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fun with the grandkids is always great.(y) We will have them down soon, so I will be doing some freshwater and chum slick in the boat for stripers and sand sharks. Might even do a fluke trip, but you can't beat the action with chum, with always something biting. Hope to get the oldest catching his first striper on a plug this year. Having the fish hit a lure should spark some excitement.
 

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I always forget about the chum slick routine... have to try that some time. Whats your favorite chum, chopped clam soup? :D

We will have peanut bunker and then mullet (I hope, they were absent last year but everywhere 2 years ago) and we get a flurry of big flounder (and stripers) at the bridges for a time period.

Then we are getting the boat engine and electronics overhauled in August. Just had the coil connection fail (brother in law replaced it on water... was an adventure :) ) and we need to have someone go over the entire engine so have that scheduled before tog season LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like clam bellies. Seems like everything is attracted to them. Plus I cut up the old sea herring racks and feed those out. Then I use clam for bait. I also salted down some sea herring and bunker. Chunks of that on a circle hook or the clam gets you tons of action. You have to work your way through the sand sharks but the kids do not seem to mind the action. You know when you get a striper or blue as they take line out and fight near the surface. I usually anchor up with a good tidal flow behind the boat. The chum then flows out pretty good. This year every time we have had shrimp save the legs and shells and hope to mix some of them in with the chum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It was kind of a crap-o tide tonight and still a fair amount of breeze so I elected to try a quick freshwater trip, hoping to get some decent largemouth action on popping flies like I did last week. It just didn't happen. Got to lake a little before dark and never got the first fish until the sun was really low. It was probably as small as you could get as it tried to choke itself on my popper. I caught one more after dark that was the same size. Only got two hits, catching two super small bass. It was not the night I had hoped for. Water was super warm and I thinking with the moon half bright there just might of been too much light in the clear water. I always do better when it is so dark you can't see a thing. I am sure I could of done better in the salt, even with poor conditions, but that's fishing.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Was another not so great tide night, but after last nights poor freshwater trip I felt I could do better in the salt on the last half of the low tide. With it to rain most of the day on Saturday and racing rc-sailboats on Sunday, it was fish tonight or wait until next week. Buddy Larry and I left the dock at 7:30 pm. and headed to the back bay to work a couple of prime spots. The water was fairly clean and 71 to 74 degrees. We worked two areas. really hard. Larry fished a clouser and fished a popping fly in 4 to 6 feet of water figuring if the were any fish around, one of us would stir up a bite. We fished a whole 2 hours and neither of us got a single hit and the only bait fish that we saw was some super small stuff, maybe 1/2 inch in length. At least we got it out of our system and gave it a good effort and took our skunking in stride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Today for me was a remote control sailboat racing day up in Mt Laurel. Had a fun day of racing with 10 guys to battle with. We had fairly good wind most of the time and we got in 8 2-lap races. On the way back to Cape May I stopped at a cedar lake to freshwater fish. Caught one super tiny yellow perch that hit a baitfish pattern. Also had a half decent pickerel that bit me off while trying to lift it up over the bulkhead by the road. Before leaving I tried the other side of the road where the lake drains into a stream that flows out to Delaware Bay. Ended up catching 3 small white perch that took a small silvery baitfish pattern. Got home early enough and thought about going out in the boat, but with the last two saltwater trips being slow and with it bright and sunny all day I decided to wait until high tide is a little closer to or after dark, plus I already squeeze a good amount of fun in today.
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Got one of the grandsons out fw fishing today. I can't buy a hit in these ponds on the fly lately ( I take that back, I can get micro sunnies to hit a correspondingly tiny fly but still...) but judicious live lining got him a good result

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Monday evening my fly fishing buddy Larry and I went out to fish the back bay. We now answer to Dumb and Dumber as we were too stupid.. This morning I talked to a buddy who fish early this morning with a good tide and great weather.. He told me the back was dead and that he also fished the ocean and it was just as dead. During the day I heard from two other fishermen that said it was a waste of time to go fishing as it was super slow.

You think I would of listened to the reports, but no I decided with a great tide and weather at a perfect time of night I would give it a try, that there had to be a few fish around. Larry and I left the dock at 6:30 and headed out to make it happen. Water in the back was a bit brownish and we fished a ton prime spots with water from 71 degrees to 76 degrees. I fished a popping fly and Larry cast a clouser. The first two hours neither of us got a single hit or swirl. It was very discouraging with such good conditions. The only bait fish that we saw was about 1/2 inch in length.

Finally at the mouth of a creek on the out going tide I had a small striper hit my popper. It pulled it under but didn't hook up and made one last swirl before swimming away. It was a total discouraging night. We fished for another hour working numerous prime spots with out so much as a sign of life. At 9:30 pm. we both had enough pain and suffering and headed back to the marina. I can't remember a night where conditions were so perfect with the fishing so poor. It takes a lot to discourage me and tonight was one of those nights that did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, beautiful largemouth. Grandson looks super happy. That smile is worth a million bucks. Great job Grand Pop. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow of what works. My grandkids are coming down this afternoon for a stay till the weekend. Was hoping to take them out in the boat, but with fishing as poor as last night It might be freshwater fishing for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have had the grand kids down all week. With it so stinking hot we have been doing the beach thing, It has been too hot for freshwater and with the saltwater fishing pretty slow I didn't want to bake and bore them in the boat fishing. Thursday late afternoon we did go out in the boat of a joy ride which was a big hit. Took snacks and drinks and did around the island tour. The kids really enjoyed the trip seeing everything from the water view of the places they had been on land. We went out the canal to Delaware Bay, passed by a ferry coming in. Did the Concrete Ship and rips, where they saw a fairly good size pod of bunker being swirled around by the current and then we headed up the beach front stopping to look at the dolphins all along the way back to the inlet. When we pulling into the dock they said it was the most fun thing that they did on their vacation and said they wanted to go back out again on Friday.

Friday was another good trip. This time we went out in the ocean, checked out the dolphins before doing a back bay tour. They were amazed at the color line of the dirty outgoing bay water where it met the clean ocean water, It was like night and day. Water was as clean as I have seen it in awhile and 66.5 degrees. Then we went to the back and cruised all the way to Hereford Inlet and back to Cape May, letting the boys steer at times during the trip.

I think I have them hooked on boating as when their parents came down last night, all they could talk about it their boating experiences and that dad should buy a boat. Next I will be working on getting them hooked on fishing. Will need a little cooler weather and better fishing to hold their interest in saltwater and like it. I am sure they could of gotten a lot of bites fishing in the back, but Greenheads don't count.
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That's awesome, Ray. Interest in the water is huge, even if it "only" generated interest in a boat LOL.

I have a yamaha vx waverunner I use primarily clamming of all things, but do get out for joyriding as well with the grandkids on local creeks and backbay areas, we have a spot in a creek that we bring a 2 person kayak and the waverunner, where those not riding the wave runner can yak and swim... it's always a great afternoon. One grandson (the younger of the two boys) wants a motorcycle and a wave runner...and I think he'll get both when he gets older :D

Nice that you have those local dolphins, really wonderful to watch from the water. I had a couple come up next to me outside of absecon inlet when I poked out with the waverunner one time, and another time was crossing little egg harbor inlet on the way back from somers point in our skiff and the inlet was loading with pods of dolphin rounding up bunker. We just drifted and watched the show for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Kids wanted to go out in the boat this morning before heading up to Ocean City to see cousins for a Birthday Party. Was no time, but they are looking forward to the next time down. Dolphins are great to look at, but with the few fish that we do have around we don't need all those eating machines feeding on them. Think they eat about 40 pounds of fish a day and there are hundreds of them roaming the beach front and Delaware Bay. Now that grandkids are gone I can think about fishing again. I will see if I can motivate myself to try. Super warm water, no baitfish of decent size and hot weather I will need that extra push to go out and try. The two days that we were out joy riding we never passed a boat with a bent rod that was fighting a fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It had been over a week since the last time that I fished. With it near dead low tide and a fair amount of breeze I decided to go freshwater fishing. Got in the car to go and notice the wind had really died out and asked myself if I wanted to go freshwater and maybe get eating alive by bugs or go out in the boat. Made a quick reload of the car and with no time to call anyone I headed to the boat. Left the dock at7:00 pm. and headed to the ocean. Water along the beachfront had some decent surf so I couldn't work where I wanted to. Water was 71 degrees and a little dirty from the out going tide. When the tide changed the water got a little cleaner and was around 69 degrees.

I had the whole ocean to myself. One other boat came out and fished for about an hour and left. I should of done the same. I fished till 9:00 pm. My buddy Larry always fishes with a cheater rig as I call it, where you use two flies. I joined the cheaters club. Got three small fish on the second teaser fly. Two small fluke to 13 1/2 inches and a small croaker. Also caught on 8 inch bluefish on the clouser.

On the incoming tide the water looked nice and clean, the wind died to nothing and it looked like a perfect night. Only thing missing was fish. Did see a couple of small pods of bunker and about 25 dolphins. Along the beach I saw my first small pod of small bait fish. There was nothing working it except for a few terns. It was in about 6 feet of water so if there were any fish under it I would of easily made some contact. Now I know why I was the only one out fishing. I was as slow as it gets. Not all that many years ago I, when I was doing charters I would of wanted to be out fishing thinking it was a perfect set up with the tide, time of day and weather. Not sure when I will try again with the fishing so poor. Did have a beautiful sunset, but that was no consolation.
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Planning to be out Friday afternoon for flatties with my son in law. Not expecting much until the peanuts and mullet get bigger. Next week we are trying the bridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good Luck on your trip today. Fluke seems to be the only show in town for the most part. Not great but at least people are catching a few. Had to meet with a group in Strathmere on Wednesday for lunch and on the way back to Cape May I took the long cut and stopped at a few places to check out the back and the ocean from land. One thing that seem so different from Cape My was the water quality. It was much cleaner in both the back and beach front and I did see a lot more baitfish in the back. Down here in Cape May our water always seems to look brownish anymore like it never fully cleans out on a high tide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
With the saltwater fishing so poor right now, I really had to push myself to go last night, especially with the weather so hot. The only reason that I even tried was that it was a great start of the outgoing tide as the sun was going down. In past years that would be exactly what you wanted. I didn't ask anyone to go with me as I figured it would be pathetic at best. I was right about the fishing.

Left the dock at 6:00 pm. and headed to the back to work the outflows of a few prime creeks and a couple of small rip lines. Water in the back was super ugly brown for a high tide. I could only see my fly down maybe a foot and the water temps were very high from 73 to almost 79 degrees. I did a quick hit and run at the prime spots and never got a single hit. I saw a few cow nose rays and in a couple of spots I saw some 1/2 inch baits spook as I stripped in my fly.

Frustrated, I headed to the ocean. Water there was cleaner. I could see my fly down around 2 feet and it was very cold compared to the back. Water along the beach front was 65.25 to 66.50 degrees. That is about a 10 degree difference. With a fairly heavy surf I was not able to fish exactly where and how I wanted to but it was fishable. I worked it hard for and hour and a half without a single hit, I saw one dolphin and zero baitfish of any kind. I was the only boat fishing with what you would thing would be ideal conditions. I was about to quit, but figured I would give it 15 more minutes. That last 15 minutes made my night. I got my first hit and landed nice chunky striper that got rid of the skunk. I caught it on a Pink/white clouser as I was trying for fluke and weakfish figuring a striper would be a long shot.

Over all it was a pretty pathetic night of fishing. Only consolation was that it felt good fishing in the cold ocean water. As I came in the inlet toward the marina I could feel the heat from the land like a wall.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
With the super hot weather I tied up a mess of clousers and poppers in hopes that the saltwater fishing might improve before fall. With the last few saltwater trips being pathetic at best I decided to try a freshwater trip after dinner. Got to lake at 7:30 pm, thinking that on a Sunday night no one would be there. WRONG! A couple of people were there with yaks and right where I wanted to fish there was a group 12 Mexicans swimming and having a beach party with loud Spanish music. (There is no swimming allowed as it is a game preserve, but with the hot weather who could blame them for trying to say cool. Don't know it they were really keeping cool as the water had to be in the 80's.

With waders I was able to move on to another spot where I caught two very small bass on an all black popping fly. The water was really warm as they felt hot like they were half cooked. Did see 10 times more baitfish than I do in the Salt, but I think the intense heat of the water is a problem. As the sun was going down the group left and I decided to fish where they were all swimming. Just as I started fishing another Mexican family came down with fishing poles who really didn't know what they were doing.. Three of them started fishing with what looked like light surf poles. They were using 2 ounce sinkers with large hooks and earth worms for bait. Two very young kids were swimming while the mom watched. With all the disturbance and no room to back cast I was forced to quit at 9:00 pm. Just can't seem to win in the Salt or Freshwater lately. With fishing like it has been it gets harder and harder to get excited about even trying.
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