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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Larry and I squeezed in a short trip this afternoon. We left the dock and noon and headed to the ocean in hopes of finding some redfish and specks. Water was still very brown and was 54.6 degrees. The wind was southwest at around 10 mph so it was quite pleasant fishing. We worked 4 spots in total and only found fish at one spot. There we got a total of 9 stripers, all of which were small. Where we caught the action was hot. We had one double hook up and Larry had one time were he caught two fish at one time. One on a main clouser and another on a smaller fly on a dropper. Wind was to drop out but instead increased and shifted to the south and decided to call it a day and we headed back to the dock at 2:30 pm.

We did see and eagle eating a fish on the inlet jetty when we were coming in.

On a sad note. The Army Corp of Engineers was laying pipe from the ocean onto the Cape May beach front. Looks like they will again be smothering all the good structure where have some of my best fishing. Worse than that they will probably dredging and pumping soon which means the water down here will look like liquid mud till the end of the season and really kill any chance of a decent end of the season. Ocean striper fishing down here may be party over.
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Way to windy to fish today with gale warnings. Thought about freshwater, but even too windy for that to be any fun. Took a ride over to North Cape May to see Delaware bay and saw two guys kite surfing and watched the ferry come in. Felt good sitting in the car and just observing. Not a day you want to be out on the water fishing.
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Was not going to fish today as I figured the water would be really ugly after all the wind on Monday. Got a call from a friend who was fishing in ocean on the incoming tide and he said he was catching stripers almost on every cast. Finished up a couple of the things that I was doing and we ate very early dinner. I looked outside and there was hardly any wind at all, but it was late afternoon. Made a snap decision to go fishing for short trip and just jumped in the car and headed off. There was no time to call anyone as I was going to be leaving the dock at 4:00 pm., if I left right away.

Left the dock at 4:00 pm. and headed straight to the ocean to fish the last part of the incoming tide. Found the water nice and clean and 53.6 degrees. At the first spot I hooked up on my 3rd cast and landed my first fish of the afternoon and was feeling good. I worked two spots and hammered the small stripers catching 21 in the hour and a half that I fished. Action doesn't get much hotter than that. Most of the fish were 18 to 22 inches and hitting my chartreuse/white clouser fished on sinking line.

The wind died out to zero and I fished till 5:30 pm, had a nice sunset and left with the fish still biting. As I was leaving a friend was just starting to fish and was catching as I was leaving. Must be a mass of migrating small stripers as they are all about the same size. Took a picture of the fish finder and the bottom was covered with stripers. Had a fantastic hour and a half. It was the best trip in a long time. On the way back to the marina I found a another area loaded with fish. Didn't fish there but I am sure I could of caught there too. Could not of asked for a better trip with perfect fly fishing conditions.
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Wind made all the difference today. After yesterdays great trip, I thought about fishing today, but took a look at the ocean this afternoon. With a good strong southeast wind, fishing the ocean would be really tough, especially with a fly rod. Heard from a friend who caught yesterday. He tried in the tough conditions and said it was pretty much un fishable and he got no hits and came right back in. Hopefully I can get some more fishing before they start dredging operations and kill any chance of fishing along the beach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Wind was blowing pretty good most of the day. Was to be a no fishing day for me. Worked on removing leaves all day. Late afternoon the wind died out and I got the urge to go fishing, thinking I would have another great trip like the other night with the wind fizzling away. WRONG! Left the dock at 3:30 pm with buddy Peter and we headed straight to the ocean. Just as we headed to down the inlet the wind started picking up again. Ocean still had some good swells and white caps the water was 53.8 degrees and looked ugly brown. Only could see the fly 6 inches down. We fished for about a half in tough conditions. The wind was strong and the waves were getting bigger with the electric motor prop coming in and out of the water.

Getting no hits and fighting the wind we decided to go back inside and find some shelter. Inside the inlet the water was still ugly brown and the wind was still a pain. Made one last move to a sheltered sod bank. Water there was still very brown and still pretty shallow as the tide hadn't come in a whole lot. Got lucky and I got small striper so we didn't get skunked. Trip was more annoying than fun. I should of went freshwater fishing.
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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
After blasting wind all day Friday and into the night, it was to lay down to 3 to 5 mph out of the northeast. Larry and I decided last night to do and early morning trip. We had first good frost last night and when we got to the boat it was 37 degrees. The docks and boat had a good amount of frost so we had to watch our footing. Wind was still around 8 or 9 mph from the north west so it still felt pretty cold. We left the dock at around 7:45 am and headed to the ocean to fish the very last of the incoming tide and the start of the out going.

Ocean was nice and calm, 53.6 degrees, but still looked like sewer water. It was very brown and you could only see the fly down about 6 inches. First spot we fished we got no one hit and Larry got bit off. He thought it might of been a blue fish. We moved on to second spot and worked it hard for about 1/2 and hour and were thinking about trying another spot or going to the back bay, when I got the first bass. We decided to stay and it paid off. We got 7 more stripers before heading in. It was cold fishing, especially on your hands as they tend to get wet while fly fishing, but you felt warmer when you hooked up.

On the way in we decided to do a quick check out of the back bay. We hit one of our favorite creek mouths and a rip line and neither of us got a hit so we decided to head in for some breakfast. At that time the wind finally dropped out to below 5 mph and switched to the northeast. We both had a fun morning.

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Remote control sailboat racing got called off for today, so with decent fishing yesterday and an even better weather forecast it was a fishing day. Peter and I left the dock at 7:45 am and headed off to the ocean to fish the last of the incoming and the start of the outgoing tide. Ocean was flat calm, the water was nice and clean and around 52 degrees. With such a beautiful morning every body and their brother was out tog fishing as the line of boats around any structure was the most I have ever seen. Kayaker and boats were working the docks, bridge pilings, the inlet jetties and any other structures close to the beach. With no decent striper run with keeper size bass around, it is the only show in town if you are into meat fishing.

The weather was as perfect as you could ever get for late November and the ocean looked like a mirror. Wish I could say the fishing was just as good. First spot no hits. Second spot one small striper, Third spot another striper. I think all of the stripers that were around earlier in the week, after finding no food source, moved on and the ones we caught didn't get the memo.

After the tide was going out we decided to switch gears and try the back as it couldn't be any slower. Hit the back bay creek mouths at perfect out going tide. Water was 51 degrees and nice and clean and there was no signs of any baitfish any where. We did manage to scrounge 2 more small stripers to end the day. It seemed like we had to work really hard for the few that we caught.

Highlight of the morning was seeing a Bald Eagle sitting on a Osprey post. It took off just as I was getting close enough to get a good picture. Overall it was a fun morning, but out expectations were much higher than our results.

On a down note. The dredge was in the harbor actively getting ready to start the beach replenishment on the north ocean beaches of Cape May in front of the Coast Guard Base. Once that starts we will never seen a clean water day until they leave, which will be probably sometime in the new year. They have a lot of equipment on the beach so it will start any day.
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On the Freshwater side of fishing 🎣 the state just stocked a bunch of the Trout Lakes with big Trout for Winter Trout Season. They posted a list of lakes that got stocked. The Trout should be big enough to make a family dinner 👍.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
They usually put some big ones in Cox Hall down in the Villas, but this year the elected not to. Not sure why.
That was always the closest place. Did hear the state stocked it with some bass and catfish. Maybe they think the water just gets too warm and fish can't hold over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
After fishing this morning I did some yard work and late afternoon, with it still nice and calm and somewhat warm I decided to do a quick freshwater trip, thinking that the cold weather might have put the fish on the feed. I was right. Started fishing at 4:00 pm. using a small baitfish pattern. 4th cast I hooked a tiny largemouth. Had hot action until 4:45 pm. when it stopped dead. I never got a hit for the next half hour. By then it was dark and I left to go home for dinner.

Did have one of the small bass throw up a small bait fish. Had it happen many times in saltwater but seldom in freshwater. This is what they must have been feeding on, even though my bait fish pattern didn't look exactly like it..

Caught 7 small largemouth bass that were all around the same size, two nice size crappies and a smaller one. Great way to end a beautiful warm, windless November day.
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Wind Died out late afternoon and really didn't have enough time to squeeze in a saltwater boat trip. This time of year it is hard to get do all the work to get ready and then clean up the boat in the dark with the cold, for a short hour and a half trip. Plus when that sun goes down it gets cold fast. I guess I am getting old as I can't take the cold like I use to.

Did a quick freshwater trip instead. Started fishing at 3:45 pm. Just like the last freshwater trip, I had quick action and it all stopped dead about 4:15 pm. I fished till 5:00 pm. but never got another hit. Started out with two small largemouth bass and then was getting little hits and misses. Finally foul hooked a small 4 inch sunfish. They would whack the fly but my baitfish pattern was a little big for such small mouths. Also caught two decent size crappies. As the sun was going down it started getting cold fast, but had a nice sunset to end the day on a high note.
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Was away for the Holiday and watching the grand kids on Friday while wife and daughter did their Black Friday tradition. Was hoping to get in a freshwater trip with the boys, but with the 25 mph plus winds it never happen. Saturday we had our Cold Turkey Remote Control Sailboat Regatta up on Raritan Y.C. Way too windy for fly fishing so it worked out good. It was in the upper 30's temperature wise, when we started, with 20 to 25 mph winds during the day. We had 20 guys show up to brave the cold and we broke down in to two fleets and sailed from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. We all had a great time and it felt good to get back inside after a long day out in the cold. Hope to get a couple more saltwater trips in before I have to pull the boat.
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Almost didn't fish today. Talked to a friend to get a fishing report and he said the dredging started and they were dumping the muck on the beach and the water looked like liquid mud and that he didn't even get any hits when he went out. Discouraged I decide not to go and just do some things around the house. Late afternoon after finishing up I looked at the weather and they were calling for very light wind. Made a few calls to see if anyone wanted to go out with me and they were all unavailable. It was a toss up whether to go out in the boat or go freshwater fishing. Decided to take a look see at the ocean and if it was too muddy and plan B would be to the back bay and fish the outgoing.

Got to the ocean at 3:30 pm. and found the dredge boat and the pumping station operating and they were pumping the beach. The water was 48.6 degrees and looked really bad but I decide to work it a bit and then head to the back as you could only see the fly down about 6 inches. Hooked first fish and found and area with some baitfish so decided to work it a bit. Despite the ugly water the fish could find the fly and I had good steady action for an hour and half. Ende up catching 16 stripers. The biggest was 21 1/2 the smallest was 17 inches with most in the 18 to 19 inch size. They all took a chartreuse/white clouser on sinking line and most of the fish were deep closer to the bottom. Fish were still biting when I left, but with the sun setting so early the cold creeps in and I had enough fun for my short trip and I
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headed back to the dock at 5:00 pm. Was really glad I made the decision to go out. You just don't find many nice late November days as nice as this one.
 

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Nice report Ray. I had a decent day but not the number of bass like you. But I’ll take a nice fighting 36” bass over 5 little guys. And yes I tagged and released her to swim again and breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I remember when we use to see bigger fish with a fair amount keeper size ones. I have not seen or heard of any decent size fish in close. It is so slow no one is even trying for them. Everyone down here has tog fever as it is all about the meat. There were a few caught out side the three mile line by guys so called trolling for bluefish and they said there were sand eels and bunker off shore. Inshore there is no baitfish or bird play. In years past usually by this time we would see some sea herring or gannet action. So far nothing.

They are dredging a little different this time. It looks like they have two small ships that go off shore suck up the bottom and then come into shore and hook up to the pumping station, that pushes it to the beach. They are putting in about 100 yards of beach for about 2 miles on the Coast Guard Base so our water is going to be bad for the rest of the season.

Now till when I pull the boat it is all about the weather. Mainly need some warm not so windy days for fly fishing plus your hands are always getting wet from handling the fly line and the cold is not your friend.
 

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Don’t get me wrong, most of the bass I’m catching are anywhere from 20” to 28” and the smaller ones are fiesty, but more and more I’ve been getting some larger fish. Funny on thanksgiving morning I had the two little guys 18.5” and 22”. They fought like they were much bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Hope to get a shot this week. Looks to be a bit warmer and lighter winds. Want to see if Sunday was just a fluke, and just how bad the dredge is making the ocean water. Today is 14 to 15 from the southeast making the ocean tough and with the back bay getting pretty cold I would think action in the back will be pretty slow at best. Going to sit today out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Did a quick freshwater trip this afternoon. Started fishing around 3:00 pm. and fished till 5:00 pm. Got bit off by a pickerel and lost my go to baitfish pattern fly so switched to a all black wooly bugger on sinking line. Caught 4 small largemouth bass with one being a real dink. One had a gash in the tail??? Maybe a turtle got it??? Got two crappies. One was real slab. Didn't get a picture as it fell off the hook lifting it out of the water. Also got a super small sunfish. Think there were a lot of small sunfish as I kept getting a number of small hits that I could not hook. Wooly bugger was a little too big for the sunfish but they seemed to like the black color. Fun afternoon with it too breezy to go out in the boat.
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I’m done Ray, I had 42/43 in the back today around mid tide incoming. No sign of life. No bait no bass. I ended on a high note Sunday. Today was confirmation that it is over once the water gets in low 40s.
 
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