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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the weather cooling and the water temperatures starting to drop hopefully we will see some increased migrating stripers before all the bait fish are gone. If it is like recent years we will mostly see some small schoolies. With the action up north not a hot as normal we will probably again expect bass in the Cape May area after Thanks Giving with the majority passing by way out past the three mile limit as there is little to no bait fish inshore to attract them to hug the beaches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Weather man got me on Saturday. Was planning on fishing in the afternoon as they said the wind was going to die down. Came back from the Hardware Store and was starting to load up the fishing gear when to the southeast the whole sky was black like rain and before I got the gear in it started raining pretty good. Looked at the weather and they were call for increased chances of rain later so I decided not to go and started loading in remote control sailboats and gear for Sunday racing in Mt Laurel. Hour later it was sunny no rain and no rain in the forecast, but I had already committed to going out to dinner.

Did have fun racing remote control boats on Sunday with a light shower just as we finished the last race.

Did stop at a cedar lake on the way back to Cape May and picked up two small pickerel (one probably the smallest ever) and a small yellow perch. No fishing today as it is just too windy to have fun.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After going for flue shot and voting this morning I saw there was very little wind and checked the forecast. They were calling for heavy cloud cover 5 to7 mph northwest winds with a small chance of rain showers with a heavier chance of rain around 2:00 pm. with rain increasing each hour later. Decided I could squeeze in a short trip.

Peter and I left the dock at 11:30 am. to fish the very last of the out going tide in the back bay. There was a light drizzle when we left the dock and the wind was closer to 12 mph. Went to one of my favorite little rip lines. Water was 3 to 4 feet deep and 58.6 degrees and pretty clean. Peter and I each caught a small bass in the first 15 minutes and Peter missed one. When the tide stopped so did the bite. We both fished clousers. Peter used floating line and I used intermediate.

Plan B was to head to the ocean and fish the beginning of the income tide. Ocean was flat and 60.5 degrees. With the wind still blowing fairly good we moved in close to the beach to get some shelter from the land. Water was very murky, sort of a brownish green with maybe a foot to a foot and half visibility at best. First spot produced no hits. Second spot I missed a fish that felt like a fluke with a much different wiggle, but lost it. We caught 3 more bass including a nice slot sized bass a little under keeper size. Again it was chartreuse/white clousers fished on sinking lines.

With the wind still picking up and white caps and a more steady rain, we decided to call it a day as with the 47 degree air temperature, the rain and a good wind the fishing was not as much fun. We both had a fun trip and it continued to rain the rest of the day.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Decided to go fishing this afternoon instead of remote control sailboat racing in Ocean City. It was a to be overcast and a light northeast wind. Buddy Peter and I left the dock around noon and headed to the back bay to work the out going tide thinking it would be better than the last time as we had more outgoing tide. Water in the back was ugly brown with maybe one foot of visibility and it was 56.6 degrees. With a very high tide earlier, the water was ripping pretty strong. Peter used an intermediate line with a clouser and I used a sinking line with a clouser, so in the 7 feet of water we felt we covered it pretty good. We worked a few spots very hard for about an hour with out a single hit and decided to hit the ocean.

Ocean was fairly calm with not much wave activity, but the water there was worse than the back bay. It was an ugly brown and 58.4 degrees with less than a foot of visibility. We worked a couple of spots for an hour with out a single hit and decided to call it a day. Here we both used sinking lines and clousers.

On the way back to the marina I decided to try one last spot, a small rip line, where now at the very bottom of the tide there wouldn't be a whole lot of current. Here I managed one hit and landed a 17 1/2 striper. Caught it in about 3 1/2 feet of water using intermediate line, with a clouser.

Again the wind was stronger than they predicted and with the cooler air temps it felt a bit cold. It was not the day of fishing that we expected, but at least we didn't get skunked. Probably should of went sailing.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thought about going out in the boat for stripers today, but after lunch I checked out the water quality along the beach and the back bay. With the super high tides earlier in the day the water still looked like crap and was very brown and I did not want to go out and beat a dead horse again.

Decided instead to do a late afternoon freshwater trip. Started fishing at 3:30 pm. With the recent cooler temperatures the water looked better than the last time I fished and was a little clearer with lest of a brownish green color. Fishing was very slow. Only had four hits in total the whole afternoon and landed all 4 fish. The first was a nice size crappie, followed by a smaller one, then a 7 inch large mouth bass and the last was a pickerel. A bait fish pattern and a all black popping fly were the go to flies.

Had to work hard for the fish, but it was just a perfect fall afternoon with great foliage and weather. I fished till 6:00 pm as it started getting cooler and getting dark. Had a fun afternoon.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With the predicted stronger winds for today I decided to go up to Spring Lake New Jersey and sail with buddies up there at the lake close to the beach. Actually got up there early and got a chance to check out the beach. Quite different from when I use to fish it in the 60's and 70's. Lot more beach up there with grass growing on dunes. My old favorite jetty in front of the Breakers Hotel is still there. Did see a ton of boat trolling and down towards Manasquan Inlet. There was a fairly strong wind off the ocean and some fairly good surf. Did not see any bird activity anywhere.

With the good winds we got in 12 races, finished up early around 1:00 pm. and decided to go out to a pizza place to get lunch and warm up. Overall it was fun day. One of few times that I didn't take a fishing rod. We were scheduled to fish until 4 and I thought it would be too dark on my way home, especially with setting the clocks back. If so I would of fished on the way home.
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Usually when it gets cold I can find the crappies gathered up a bit and they all seem to be fairly good size and chunky. Water is still a bit till warm.
I only know of one good pond in the area for crappies and I haven't fished it enough to know the pattern (water is spread out), but good to know. They hit decent in cold water, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When the water gets really cold I find them in a particular spot where the water is maybe 12 feet deep. I use sinking fly line and very slow strips to keep it front of them. Still have way to go before it get that cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Monday afternoon I did a quick hit and run trip. It was so nice out this afternoon. It was warm and the wind died out to just a very light breeze. None of my buddies were available so I did a solo trip. Left the dock at 3:30 pm. and headed off to fish the last of the outgoing tide in the back bay. First three spots that I tried the water was a little too low. It was 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep and was 52.4 degrees. I worked two other spots with deeper water that was 53 to 54 degrees. Here I got caught 4 small stripers out of the 5 hits. Biggest was 18 inches and the smallest was 15 1/2 inches. All were caught on chartreuse/white clousers using intermediate line.

With the tide already starting to come in in the ocean I decided to head out there and fish till dark. Probably should of stayed in the back as the water in the ocean looked like sewer water. It was very brown and you could only see down about 6 inches. I worked three spots for and hour and never got a single hit. Fished till 6:00 pm and called it a night.
It was a perfect afternoon for fishing. It was very warm for November with just perfect conditions other than the crappy ocean water.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With another beautiful day like Monday, I had to get out and fish. Buddy Peter was able to make it today. We left the dock at noon and headed to the back bay as I thought the ocean would still be as ugly brown as yesterday. I have really been wanting to fish the ocean for specks and reds as the first week in November is usually when I see some. We started fishing right at the top of the tide. Water in the back was somewhat clean and 54 degrees. We worked 6 prime spots and missed a small striper.

Finally as the tide got rolling we found a creek mouth that produced a double hookup and one other one. We worked 4 more prime spots without a hit and ended up finishing the day where I caught yesterday. There we got 3 more stripers and called it a day and were back at the dock around 2:45 pm. Fish took chartreuse/white clousers on sinking and intermediate lines. It was a perfect day on the water for November. It was actually a little hot. We both had a fun afternoon.
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Trolled inside Raritan Bay for nada Sunday, wasn't for the lack of boats out there. This view is only at 1/2 mile.

Amazing out though. Expect some great weather coming up since I'm pulling boat Thursday. Rectangle Font Electronic component Hardware programmer Electronic engineering
 

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With another beautiful day like Monday, I had to get out and fish. Buddy Peter was able to make it today. We left the dock at noon and headed to the back bay as I thought the ocean would still be as ugly brown as yesterday. I have really been wanting to fish the ocean for specks and reds as the first week in November is usually when I see some. We started fishing right at the top of the tide. Water in the back was somewhat clean and 54 degrees. We worked 6 prime spots and missed a small striper.

Finally as the tide got rolling we found a creek mouth that produced a double hookup and one other one. We worked 4 more prime spots without a hit and ended up finishing the day where I caught yesterday. There we got 3 more stripers and called it a day and were back at the dock around 2:45 pm. Fish took chartreuse/white clousers on sinking and intermediate lines. It was a perfect day on the water for November. It was actually a little hot. We both had a fun afternoon.
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Ray do you tag any of those small bass for ALS?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I remember when fishing was good down here in the Cape May rips and the boat traffic use to be like that. Hardly ever see anyone fishing for stripers down anymore here until after Thanksgiving. Then they are all at the 3 mile line and out mostly trolling for bass as the fish go where the bait is and anymore it is offshore out past the 3 mile legal zone. Cape May Charter fleet has been destroyed by the poor fishing. Stripers and blues and weakfish use to be the back bone of the industry. Now the few charter boats that are left, basically do fluke, seabass and tog. Don't even know if any still book striper trips anymore.

As for tagging I used to do a lot of tagging for ALS. Then they were taking PEW Foundation moneys. When they started taking money from a anti-fishing group I stopped. PEW at that time was calling for a coastwide ban on fishing which would shut down most fishing along the coast. Back then I was doing 6 man charters and tagging sometimes a 100 fish a week.

Right now I do not think there is much they can do in Cape May to improve striper fishing. You can build up striper stocks but without building up the baitfish populations the fish still will not come into feed like they use to. Our problems run deeper than the lack of numbers of game fish. I believe it is more of an ecological problem that is much harder to address without making drastic changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Being a Veteran it has always been a tradition to go fishing on Veterans day. Didn't think I was going to get to go today. The wind was a little stronger than I would of liked and was from the East-Southeast making fishing in the ocean not all that great. (been wanting to try the beach front as this is the time of the years when specks and red are a possibility) plus mid-day I had my yearly physical. Mid afternoon the wind died down a bit and Peter and I decided to do a quick hit and run trip in the back, figuring the wind wouldn't be too bad. Plus the weather for the next few days isn't looking too good for fishing.

We left the dock at 3:15 pm and headed to the back bay to fish the out going tide. Wind was blowing about 12 mph and the water had gone up a little with the last two warm days. It was around 56 degrees everywhere we fished. Second spot, we tried caught 3 stripers. Getting no more hits we moved. Third spot, with the wind picking up, we got two more stripers. After trying two more spots with no hits we moved back to the spot were were first caught and got one more striper and missed one. With the sun getting low we tried a small rip line where we both hooked up at the same time and thought we hit the hot spot. That was it. We fished it till 5:15 with it almost dark and never got another hit.

Water in the back was nice and clean and the go to flies were the chartreuse/white clousers fished on sinking and intermediate lines. It was great quick trip. We both had a great afternoon and it made my Veterans Day.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Didn't think I would get a chance to fish today, with the weather forecast, but mid afternoon the skies got bright and sunny and the wind died down to a light easterly breeze. Larry and I left the dock at 3:30 pm. and headed to the ocean to fish for specks and redfish. Got outside the inlet and found good ground swells making it difficult to fish in close to the beach and the water was very brown. Never wet a line and we headed to the back bay. Said let's go to the back where we are guaranteed to have a great night with small stripers, which never happen.

Got to the back and the tide had not even started to go out, but the water was pretty clean and the wind dropped out to zero. Water looked like a mirror. Worked four spots, missing one fish that swirled close to the boat. Just as the sun set the the outflow out of a few small creeks was just a trickle. Got one small striper there and missed another.

Made one last move and picked one more small bass before it got completely dark and had another swirl at fly close to the boat. Gorgeous afternoon for fishing but the fishing was tough. Did find two decoys floating in the channel during the trip, so we had a surf and turf night.
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With another good high tide this morning, someone probably set a couple of there decoys in too deep of water and they drifted away. Maybe I will have to take up hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The State of Fishing In South Jersey???????????

I have been complaining about our fisheries going down hill for about the last 20 years. In the early 2000's I switched over from a large boat, 6 man trips and went to specializing in fly and light tackle fishing. Fishing was great, lots of baitfish in the back bays, and along the beaches and inlets with sport fish and all species feeding. Year after year the fishing declined to the point where I stopped doing charters as the fishing was getting too pathetic. I now personally fish in the areas that use to be fantastic and have to settle for just a few fish that are mostly on the small size. Okay for me to have some fun but not decent enough to make charters happy or enough for inexperienced angler to even catch a few.

Saw this article in the paper this week about the Ocean City Surf Tournament. If it doesn't sum up the pathetic South Jersey Fishing, I don't know what does. Looking at the results, it seemed to be totally unbelievable with the winning biggest fish being a 17 1/2 in needle fish.

Even when I was kid fishing, not knowing what I was doing the catches like they had would of been considered a bad day. I seems impossible that you could get that many fisherman (I am assuming that they are all pretty good) do that poorly unless the fishing is really that bad. When you read through the results you can only conclude that the ecosystem down here is broken, yet no officials mention it and nothing that I know of is been done to change things.

It is just shows the sad state of were fishing is today. Below is the article.
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