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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's hope June gives us a little better weather for fishing.

Salvaged a little fishing time Memorial Day evening.

Was a tough weather memorial day weekend for everyone in Cape May, with the strong northeast wind and rain. Friday, Saturday and Sunday it was all wind and rain. Personally we had the 7 and 10 year old grand kids down. We did as many activities possible, but without the normal outside shore things, like going out in the boat or going to the beach it was wasn't a normal memorial day weekend, but we had as much fun as possible.

Luckily memorial day the sun finally came out and other than the strong westerly winds it was a pretty nice day. After my daughter and family left for home late in the afternoon, I noticed the wind had let up. I did a quick weather check and the wind had died and was to continued to get lighter. Decided to to a quick hit and run trip before the sun went down. Figured most of the weekend crowd would be heading home and I would have a great night of fishing. Left the marina at 6:00 pm and headed to the ocean to fish the last half hour of the out going tide and the beginning of the incoming tide in the ocean.

When I got out the inlet the water was 56.85 and looked like liquid mud, with a fair amount of debris and weed, but the wind was still blowing fairly good off the land. Started fishing and I quickly caught a weakfish around 16 inches and thought it was going to be a great night of fishing, but shortly after starting, the wind shifted off the ocean and the seas picked up and within a matter of minute short chop started. After about a half hour, it was like being on a bucking bronco or like being in a washing machine.

Did manage to get one more weakfish, that was the same size as the first and two super small fluke with the biggest being 11 inches long. I had the whole ocean to myself to start. Two other boats came out started fishing, but without electric motors they headed back in shortly after they started, as the wind was not easing up and the chop just kept getting worse. Fished till 8:00 pm., I had enough. With the temperature dropping, and the chop getting really bad fishing was becoming no fun, so I headed back to the dock.

Everything was caught on chartreuse/white clousers using sinking line. I did have a little fun, but the night was not what I had expected,
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Fantastic morning of fly fishing. Last nights forecast called for 3 mph winds in the early morning and the weatherman was right for a change. Left the dock at 7:15 am with fly fishing buddy Peter and we headed to the ocean to fish the last of the outgoing tide and the beginning of the incoming. We hit the ocean and it was dead calm. The water was still very ugly brown with a lot of straw, debris and weed in it. The water temperature was around 57 degrees. Only saw one other boat out fish and they were working around the inlet jetty.

Peter was under a lot of pressure. So far this year, every time I have taken him out he hasn't caught a fish and I was lucky to get one myself. My other fly buddies and I have been riding him pretty good saying that he was cursed, that he had the Cole Curse and that I should ban him from the boat. I told him this was a probationary trip and if he struck out this time it was three strikes and your out. I set the goal high. We were shooting for a grand slam this morning, catching 4 different species.

Fishing started out slow and finally I landed a small fluke. Peter stepped up and caught a small striper. (his first fish of the season) As he was unhooking it I said catching a bluefish is going to be next to impossible as their are just so few around. I barely got the words out and I hooked a little snapper. Now all we needed was a weakfish and we could have mini grand slam with all small fish. Only catching 3 fish in the first hour we made a move down beach. The water there was just as dirty brown and 58 degrees.

It was the right move, as in the next 2 3/4 hours we had steady weakfish action. They were all decent fish with most being 16 to 18 1/2 inches and we missed a ton of hits and once both of us were hooked up at the same time. We both fished sinking lines and caught well on chartreuse/white and Pink/white clousers. We ended up catching 26 weakfish between us and we put an end to the Cole Curse in fine style.

I was super lucky and managed to hook a really nice weakfish. I could tell by the head shake that it was a much nicer fish. Peter netted it for me and it was 24 inches long and it also had a Littoral Society Fish Tag in it's tail. We took a few pictures of the fish and the tag and released it to be caught another day, just like we released all the other fish. I will send in the information and see where it was first caught and maybe it can be caught a third time and they can get even more information on it.

We stopped fishing at 11:00 am. as the wind started to pick up a little. We had a fantastic morning catching 29 fish during the 3 3/4 hours that we fished. Could not of scripted a better trip and we both were smiling on the way back to the dock. It was just a great morning.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Disappointing Saturday Morning. We had a B.B. King (The Thrill Is Gone) trip. Though I was set up for another great day of fishing. Left the dock at 6:30 am with fly fishing buddy Larry to fish the start of the out going tide in the ocean. The night before they were calling for very light wind and I was expecting conditions like a couple of days earlier.

We cleared the inlet only to find the water looking like liquid mud with a lot of straw and debris and the there was a very good swell coming in, plus the wind was a little stronger than predicted. We headed down beach to fish some of our regulars spots hoping that the water would be a little cleaner. It wasn't and with the heavy surf we could not get in close enough to the beach to fish it properly. We fished for a short time and headed back to the inlet. With all the nasty water and debris there, we decided to go to plan B, which was to head into the back bay as the tide was still pretty high and we could work some creek mouths.

Water in the back wasn't great, but it was better than the ocean. We could see our flies down maybe to 2 feet. We worked a good number of prime creek mouths. I got one small hit, but failed to hook up. It was time for Plan C where we would work a couple of small rip lines. First rip line Larry got the skunk out of the boat and caught two small stripers, with the biggest shown in the photo. Second rip line produces zero and the last one Larry again hooked another small striper. With the sun getting high and the tide getting lower we called it a morning at 10:00 am.

With the lack of action and no bait fish around, it looks like it will be another year where you have to fight for every fish you catch as they are few and far between. April, May and June are suppose to be prime time???? and then it slows up????
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was a little too windy to fly fish the salt on Sunday, so Paul and I decided to do a freshwater trip, figuring with the wind the gnats and bug wouldn't be too bad. Neither of us had fished freshwater in a while. We started fishing around 6:30 pm. Saw a good amount of bait fish the there were a lot of sunfish that would either follow our poppers or try to nip at them. Paul elected to fish a panfish type popper and I used a much larger all black popper. Paul caught the only fish of the night in the first half hour and we though we might have a great night.

It just never happen. I had one decent hit but didn't hook up and the small sunfish kept chewing on our flies, but they didn't really slam them. We thought as it got dark the fishing would improve, but there was no change
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. First time that I have gotten skunked while freshwater fishing in a long time. At least Paul got the one decent fish to make his night. It fought good and made three jumps before he landed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Could not fish Tuesday morning with the light winds as I had a dentist appointment. Kept looking at the a nice high new moon tide in the evening, but the forecast was calling for thunder storms about the time I wanted to go out. During the day, they kept moving the storms later and later, so I decided to try and do a quick trip in and if lucky we wouldn't get the storms at all.

Buddy Peter, could make it on 15 minutes short notice and we left the dock at 5:15 pm with the skies bright and sunny. We thought about working the ocean but the wind was blowing pretty steady off the ocean and when I passed the beach a little earlier there was a fairly good sea swell.

We had, what I thought was a great incoming tide for fishing the back bay. We covered a lot of ground and hit a good number of prime spots. Everywhere the water looked horrible. It was muddy brown with about 8 inches of visibility and we saw no signs of bait fish anywhere. We then moved to a creek that always produces with that tide and time of day. Water there was just as bad. We got one small hit and the wind stopped and the gnats came out in force. They got so bad that we decided anywhere would be better than where we were, so we headed to the inlet.

In the ocean, the water was 62 degrees and much cleaner and the wind was down to nothing. The seas swell and the chop was still pretty big, but it was fishable. Looking to the north we could see a thunderstorm developing that looked to be coming our way and to the south there was and even nastier storm headed our way. In the next 3/4 of an hour we had decent action, catching 3 small weakfish and a fluke and missing three other weakfish. The weakfish might of been spawning as one of the fish was followed by one or two more fish when brought to the boat.

With the fishing pretty good we did not want to leave and kept looking at the storm from the south coming closer and closer, figuring we had time to beat it in. We fished probably 5 minutes too long and left for the dock about 7:55 pm. We saw no nasty lightning, but just as we got inside the inlet the rain came down in buckets and the lightning started blinking all over. We got back to the dock at full speed, tied a couple of lines and ran, like drowned rats to our cars. Told Peter to go on home and I would wait for it to pass and finish tying up the boat and put the covers on.

After about 20 minutes of heavy rain, I could see it clearing to the west and the sun was showing even with it raining so hard you could not see across the harbor, Finally it eased up and I finished up the boat and headed home. Just as I got to the house a second thunder storm came through.

We at least had a little fun, and got our shower before dinner.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't like to play with lightning. Especially with 9 foot graphite rods. I take them out of the rod holders and lay them down. We were really soaked as we didn't take foul weather gear as we were going to come in if it looked bad. When fish are biting that is hard to do. I had to turn on the heat in the car to warm up while waiting for it to pass.

Yesterday in the ocean with those small weakfish. I was using a larger fly and Peter was using a smaller one. He got the first three fish. As soon as I switched to the smaller fly I started getting hits. Guess the small fish wanted small baits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Came home this afternoon from eye doctor appointment and found it raining with thunder and lightning. Figured there would be no fishing tonight. After dinner I looked at the weather and see what tomorrow might bring. Tonight, they were calling for the storms to past out to sea by 7:00 pm and the wind to drop down to 2 mph. Made some quick phone calls and couldn't find anyone who could meet me at the boat in 15 minutes.

Left the dock at 7:00 pm, with very light winds and headed to the ocean to fish the last of the incoming tide.. Ocean was nice and calm except for still a bit of sea swell. The water was nice and clean and around 62 degrees. It was perfect for fishing and I was the only boat out. It was a little too nice as it was so calm there were some gnats biting. Got a quick two small weakfish and decided to move to where I normally get larger ones. Conditions looked great there but I didn't get a hit so I moved back to where I caught the first two and caught two more the same size as before.

Right as it got dark I got surrounded by a school of bunker and there was something working it from below as I would see a big swirl or splash but I couldn't make out what it was. Cast a larger bunker type fly into the mix and got a solid hook up that took me to my backing and bit me off. Sort of felt more like a shark than a bluefish. Would of stayed out longer but when I turned on my running lights my stern light would not work, so I headed in at 9:00 pm. (Turned out to be just the bulb, so and easy fix)

Got a little fun in and tomorrow it is to be windy from the northeast, so it will be another day with no fishing.
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great to see the weakies :giggle:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, looks like mainly the spikes are around. I have no idea why any decent fish would hang around as I still see zero small bait fish anywhere. Last night with the blasting new moon extra high tide there was not one bit of bird play. Around all the jetties and structures that I fish I have not seen so much as a spearing or bay anchovy. It is the same in the back bay. I complain about the lack of bait for the last 10 years and now I am not even seeing 1 inch stuff. I use to think that was really bad for this late in the season. Last night in the dock lights at the marina there was no signs of any bait or fish. For that good of tide there should of been at least a few around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Have not gotten out to fish since earlier in the week, with the good northeast winds blowing. Today when I got up it was a beautiful day for fishing with light winds, but I was headed off to Mt Laurel to race remote control sailboats where we had enough to move the boats but it was not as exciting as when we have decent wind. Did have fun. If I could get the wind when sailing the calm days for fishing it would be perfect.

On the way back to Cape May I thought I might get home and have time to go out saltwater fishing, but the wind was forecast to be 12 to 15 off the ocean, making for chop and surf where I like to fish. Always being prepared I had freshwater gear with me so I stopped and fished for and hour and half at cedar lake on the way home. Caught three small pickerel and one dink yellow perch, that I do not know how I hooked it as it's mouth was so small. Had two other small hits that looked like yellow perch and did hook a nice sized yellow perch hooked, but lost it trying to lift it over the bulkhead where I was fishing. All and all it was a pretty good day
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Had the grandkids out a bit yesterday on bait and lures. Got 1 LMB for each of them, one on a popper (besides numerous sunnies). Didn’t try to fly rod again, waiting to try that again, but will do so soon, as the little bass are hitting top water now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Worst thing about freshwater fishing right now is the poison ivy. You can see some in the first pickerel picture. I was wearing shorts so I had to be super careful where I fished and could not work some areas that I normally would. The overgrowth gets so heavy and in some places the poison ivy really gets thick. The other place that I like to fish, just walking down the path through the woods the ivy is big and tall up to head level so you really have to watch yourself and with little to no space for back casting you have to always wade in the water to fish, so you have to wear waders.
 

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In some of my favorite spots, I used carry poison ivy killer... but only where it was controllable LOL. And yes, there are spots that start to become unfishable due to that nasty stuff.
Been quite a while since I was in a heavy ivy zone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Banner fly fishing trip this morning. Rains had stopped and Larry and I left the dock at 6:30 am. and headed to the ocean to fish the incoming tide. Water was nice and flat and fairly clean for low tide and in the 60's. Larry caught the first weakfish after a few casts to get things started. We both were using sinking lines. I used a chartreuse/white clouser and Larry used a two fly set up with one medium clouser and one small clouser. His flies were more olive green/white.

The first spot that we fished produced a couple of weakfish and 3 fluke. Larry caught the big one that went 21 inches. First keeper size fluke we caught on the fly this year. Shortly there after Larry hooked into something big that took him into his backing. Turned out to be a large cow nosed ray. With the tide starting to move fairly good we move to second spot, where we hammered the weakfish. We had one double hook up and one time where Larry caught two nice weakfish on his two clouser fly rig.

We were hoping for a grand slam, but stripers and bluefish seem to be more scarce than weakfish and fluke. All the weakfish were keeper size, but we released them all to be caught another day and to maybe reproduce. Larry did take the Fluke home for dinner.

Second weird catch was that we got two small seabass. The one that I caught was probably the smallest saltwater fish that I have ever gotten on a fly. I caught it while using a double clouser rig with the small and large clouser. It was the first time that I have used that set up.

3 1/2 hours of great fishing. 25 weakfish, 3 fluke, 2 seabass and the ray and we were back at the dock before 10:00am.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At least I know my fly is getting down to the bottom near structure, but with sinking line it is easy to work down near the bottom in 12 or less feet of water.

Overall it is sad to think that stripers and bluefish are now more endangered than weakfish. We are mainly targeting stripers and the weakfish are a by catch. With no bait fish we see very few resident fish anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Was away Saturday at the Grand Kids Birthday Party and got back too late to go out last night. Had the option to get up real early and work the start of the outgoing tide in the back bay (but with no baitfish and seeing little to no life on past trips my confidence about fishing the back has been low. Other two options were to go out later and fish the bottom of the tide in the ocean (when I like fish the beach structures) but I would have to leave with the sun up fairly high and not at the primest time. Option 3 was to fish the high tide in the back this evening with increased wind as they were call for 15 mph and above.

Went with option 2. Paul and I left the dock at 8:15 am. with bright sun and headed to the ocean. Little to no wind but a fairly good sea swell and the water looked like sewer water. It was brown, almost 69 degrees with little visibility and loaded with all kinds of weed. (not what I was hoping for) Did talk to a friend who just came out after fishing the back bay and said he had a good morning catching some stripers in the back. A couple were decent size and they had sea lice, so they must some migrating fish. Seems like late June to mid July we normally see some better fish that stop in on their way north. That was good news and I will have to start working the back a bit.

We started fishing in the crappy looking water with the swells and had a very slow pick. Paul caught the nicest weakfish of the day and I got one of the smallest of the year. It was tough fishing with having to pick stuff off your fly almost every cast, plus we missed a few hits. We worked one other spot and caught on 15 1/2 inch fluke and missed another. Around 10:30 am it was getting hot and we called it a morning. Not a great day, but it could of been worse.
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