With the wind, I haven't been out in a couple of days. My daughter came down for the weekend early and after dinner she said she wanted to go fishing for a little while. Started fishing at 8:00PM and fished for 1 1/2 hours. She got her first fish using a popping plug and I got a small bass and a blue on Chart/white fly.
Knats were really bad. We only fished for a little while and she wanted to go in, not so much the Knats but was up at 5:30AM this morning and it was her first night trip. She did good but said she really didn't like fishing in the dark. It was just starting to get good when we left. Fish were starting to pop on bait around us. Came in but was tempted to head back out, but my better judgement prevailed. Water was from 76 to 80 degrees. Better action was in the cooler areas.
Spent some time before daylight this AM with Johnny at a nearby bridge. Small fish busting on small bait with larger bait in a small nearby creek. Nice to see the sun come up over the water again. Its been awhile.
OH WHAT A NIGHT !
I was the perfect host for company yesterday, rode bikes in the morning, went out to breakfast, did the craft show, went to the beach riding boogie boards with the kids etc. We had a late dinner and played games.
Around 9:30 everyone was wearing down and decided to go to bed early. I decided to give Peter Cole a call and see if he wanted to go fishing Saturday morning as it would be my last chance to get a personal trip in before charters started taking over.
Looked at the tide clock and the tide was just starting to go out and decided it was the night for a middle of the nighter. Couldn't get Pete so I went myself.
Absolute perfect night. Zero wind, no bugs and perfect tide. Anchored up at the mouth of a creek in 4 foot of water. Started fishing at 10:00 PM and started getting bass right away. There were bass popping all around. I didn't see any sprays of bait and have no idea what they were keyed in on but they were taking my big chart/white flies like they hadn't eaten before.
I would cast across the creek mouth, like you would a stream and didn't mend the line. Just stripping slow. Had not had action like this for a some time. I had landed 14 fish by midnight.
Still using my metalic loop knots pictured below.
Even the smallest fish were hitting the big fly.
For the last week I have been using a 8 wt rod and a floating fly line that I bought at a garage sale. Don't know the wt but it must be much lower than a 8wt cause it casts bad.
THEN IT HAPPEN
I get a strike, set the hook and all hell breaks loose. About two rod lenghts from the boat I hook my biggest bass every on a fly. On the night so far the fish were running 16 to 23 inches. Well I hooked this fish in 2 foot of water and the splash was like some one dropping three cinder blocks in the water. This fish knows it is hooked. The fish pulls into the backing so fast my finger burns. (I thought I was going to have big cut). I try to palm the reel to slow it up a little. Wack the heck out of my knuckles and when I do burn the heck out of my palm. I then reach into the water figuring the water might reduce the friction and again bang my knuckle and still can't stop this baby. Now I tighten the drag to the max and try to get the anchor up with one hand. I get about four feet of anchor line in and realize I am not going to make it. I had 100 to 125 yards of 20lb backing on the reel and I am getting close to the end of it. TOTALLY SPOOLED!!!!!!!!!! I HAVE CAUGHT A 42 AND 39 INCHER BEFORE BUT NEVER HAD A BASS PULL LIKE THIS. IT HAPPEN SO FAST, I JUST STOOD THERE STUNDED FOR A MINUTE. I was hoping the 20 lb test leader would break. It broke right at the reel without ripping it off the rod. So now there is a big bass roaming around somewhere with my flyline and over a hundred yards of backing.
I put a new fly on 10 wt Temple Fork and tried again. I fished till 2:00 AM until there was less than a foot inches of water under the boat. I caught 7 more small bass giving me a total of 21 caught and one that got away. Bass were still popping, but the water was so shallow I kept picking up seaweed cause the fly was dragging on the bottom. Just barely enought water to get off the flat with electric motor. Never been back there with that low water before. Just wish Peter could of made the trip. Might of been able to get anchor up and chase that baby. The whole night was such a rush, I didn't feel a bit tired when I got home. Have only been spooled by big tuna offshore. This was a very humbling event. Didn't think it could happen. All my other rods have atleast 200 yds of 30lb backing.
Could it have been a ray? While I wish it was a big bass, sounds to me like a ray. They tend to smash surface bait just like bass will. If the bass were in there thick, there must have been plenty of bait to attract other fish as well. It was either that or a backbay bluefin tuna.
But who knows, could have been a 50lb hawg sitting there too...
[ 09-03-2005, 09:54 PM: Message edited by: Fly Ty R ]
Doyle knats were bad the night before, but none last night. Night before I had sweat pants and long sleeve shirt.
Dave it was a bass it was easy to see. Could not see the entire fish but it had a huge head. It was like a mirrow and a lot of light reflected from Wildwood and its tail was thrashing on the hook up. I could even see swirls before bass were hitting fly a few times. Will not be using that small reel too often. Doesn't hold that much line. More of a freshwater one and was just out classed. Water was cooler last night 74 degrees.
Tried to get tomorrow mornings fly charter to go out tonight a half hour later, than last night, but they didn't want to go out in the dark. Wind died away and it would be another perfect night. Will be fighting the crowds and the boat traffic tomorrow, but we'll find some.
CapeMayRay that is one heck of a fish report! You should publish that one. I never had that happen but it always seems to be the iffy tackle and the big fish, makes it fun right.
I recently bought a 3wt for ulra light for my freshwater fishin. When you catch sunnies with it lets just say the fight is a blast. First trip with it I hooked and landed a 3+ lb largemouth. The next week fishin the Roanoke River and with same rod and hooked and landed my biggest smallmouth bass, had to be 4lbs (this is really a mid August fish report) Figures, the bass I get on my 8wt arnt close, then I get this light rod and its like a big (bigger) fish magnet.
I was just using too light of a reel. I belive it would of been no problem if I had a little more line and was better prepaired for a big fish. I always thought it was impossible in the boat and it sure was fun catching on the light stuff. Like Clint always says. A man's got to know his limitations. Next time I am fishing by myself, I will have float for anchor ready. Don't anchor up that much when I fish.
Was out with Charter this morning. Two brothers from Colorado. Trout guys. One had all kinds of fly fishing experience in saltwater and the other only 3 to 5 wt rods and was having the usual difficulty casting. Left the dock at 5:00 AM and worked the inlet and beachfront getting blues to maybe 4lb losing two flies and a couple of chew ups. Worked the back bay with the tide all the way up and got one small bass on a chart/yellow medium size deceiver. We had two other hits in the back and that was it.
Water in the back was 70 to 72, which was a big change from the other day. Water still not a good color and saw very little bait around. Beautiful morning and they were happy. Felt like a fall morning. I needed a sweatshirt this morning.
Mike, couldn't tell the size. I believe it was the biggest one I ever hooked on fly or close to it. I just had small capacity reel and not much backing. I thought I could of stopped it a little and buy some time to chase, but it all happen so quick. That reel is out of my arsenal unless trout fishing.
Sparse, flounder, I believe they are extinct of us flyrod guys here in Cape May. Really haven't tried for them along the beach. I have had the striper blinders on all year. Still buying my filets at the Lobster House.
Got out last night with Husband and wife, no fly fishing and very little casting experience. Tried drifting for fluke. Got six shorts, skates and near dusk it was blues all nice size on just about every cast in the swiftest water. They were chasing everything on the surface. Saw one small bass caught on another boat.
They had a great time. Never caught fish on a lure before. Did have two bite offs and two lost plugs in the prop.
This morning was out with another couple before the sun came up. Very little wind to start, but as the sun came up so did the wind. Was blowing around 20mph plus by the time we came in. Not much casting experience but we got nice blues again. One here one there. Had to work for them and the wind was really making working the rocks more difficult than usual. Did have one dark cloud that passed over and it rained hard for a few minutes. Felt like a late Sept or early October morning. Keep six fish and released all the others. Angler below was showing me the size bass he wanted.
Wasn't able to do it. They had a good time. Said it was the most fun they every had fishing. Got to love those blues, great action and everyone happy. Once catch and release of a seagull on a plug. Did snag some bunker and were live lining but blues were chewing them up.
Ray, I know the feeling, I had same type of night on Fri. Our reports could almost be identical. Fished Fri from 9pm to 2am, ended up with 19 on the fly rod and had my thumb in a 34plus fishes mouth and he shook his head and broke off with my zara spook in his mouth. Bottom of the tide in 18"s of water. The rest of the fish were 20" class. Fly was a small deal I make with a foam back about 2"s long.
Sat took two friends out that have never been before and there were hundreds of fish popping no matter where we went. Problem was they wouldn't eat plugs or plastics well and I didn't take the fly rod because of three people in my boat. We caught 5 small bass and a 2lb blue.
Sun went solo again left the house about 10:30 and fished up in the grass with just as many fish working. Caught a 22" on the first cast, and a 24.5" on the 5th cast. Had a lull between fish, there was too much bait in the water I think. Moved to a hard bottom point and caught a 28"
in less than a foot of water. Last fish was chasing mullet in a cove and couln't reach him with the fly rod because it was so shallow, so I threw a spook at him and he ate it, 25". I have never had three nights in a row with such nice conditions.
Ray I have had more luck at low water than previous years. Maybe it's because they are dredging, making it dirty?
Bill nice report, That mobile dredge is making a mess of the water. There is bait and fish but the water looks like it came out of a sewer. Still haven't used those flies you gave me, but I will.
Another reason I think the low tide has been better. Water was near 80 last week. Got that cooler water coming in in the low 70's and I think all the bait was pushing way up the creeks for the warmest water and they are later in getting out than normal with the bass going up the creeks after the bait.
Fish aren't alway big, but you can't beat the action and every once in awhile you get a nice big one to get the jucies flowing. See you on the water.
Peter Cole and I were going to fish the middle of the night last night 12 midnight till 4:00 AM. At 10:00 PM there was still a good wind blowing and I had a charter at 8:00 AM was tired and just didn't want to fight the wind and be super tired.
Got out this morning with a strong easterly wind. Charter just wanted to catch some fish, didn't matter what. Decided to try the inlet cause there has been a lot of blues there.
Was some nasty water at the inlet but safe enought to get out and there were bluefish chasing, spearing, small blues, and mullet.
With all the wind and it was a fish on every cast. Talking to one of the guys on the charter, I found out that he was a freshwater fly fisherman. Pulled out a flyrod with sinking line and put on a big mackeral fly that Jerry (Philly gave me last year). I caught blues and stripers on it last year and it was a bit chewed up. On the picture of the guy reeling in a blue there is another blue jumping. It was like fishing in a barrel.
It worked great. Blues were hitting it like crazy. Was a nice thrill as he had only caught small trout before on a fly before.
Buddy about 2 miles offshore was getting blues in the 5 to 8 lb range, but didn't want to press my luck in a small boat. When the tide stopped the surface action stopped and outgoing wind against the tide would of made it even worse. Fun morning and came in early, keeping 20 for them to take home to eat.
Peter Cole and I decided to give it a shot tonight, even though the odds were against us. It was just about dead low tide, not allowing us to work the flats and the wind was blowing pretty good out of the east. We went out the inlet only to find 4 to 6 inch blues chasing bait. Worked the rocks and the beach front with a few strikes but all from super small blues. After dark the tide was just starting to come in and we decide to check out under the bridge. Water was an ugly brown, dirty and full of weed. With no place to go we worked a creek trying to stay out of the wind. About ready to quit we spotted fish working bait underneath a lighted dock.
First cast it was a nice herring. Second cast it was a small striper, then it was another bass that ate my fly. I was using a super small see through minnow, maybe an inch and half inches long, that Brad gave me. Then it was bass popping everywhere in the lights feeding on something small. We could see them underneath the dock sitting there and darting out to hit bait. Looked like glass minnows maybe 1 inch long. We watched this action for about 1 hour and a half, trying every small fly we had. Had some hits and a few more herring, but it was brutal watching the fish all around and not be able to catch them. Didn't have super small flies and with the wind and tide we could not get a good angle to cast where the fish would like our presentation. I find fish feeding in the lights to be one of the most challenging times to get one on a fly. Give me my coal black no lighted flats or jetties. I think we had fun, but it was very frustrating, but figured forecast for Saturday was to be a lot windier and may not get a chance to fish.
After almost losing my truck at the East Point ramp in the morning (no 4x4, and low tide, which, according to the ruler on the ramp, is 8ft lower than high tide), I went out in the Coh in the afternoon. Out by the mouth blues were busting on mullet. I fished a nice big rip coming over a constricted weedy flat (not the major rip at the mouth, but a side rip). I anchored the boat in the rip itself and tried every fly I had. Couldn't get a fish to hit. Tried different angles, different drift techinques, different flies, everything. Nada. It was fun seeing blues and mullet almost jumping into my boat, though
. Some of the bigger splashes were either bigger blues or stripers, I couldn't tell. The water is in the low 70's now (compared to the high 80's only a month ago), so it's possible.
[ 09-10-2005, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: Fly Ty R ]
Dave sounds like a tough afternoon. Try any Silicone mullets? Thing is for blues they don't last too long, but might of been worth the sacrifice to get a few fish.
I am going to make up some small stuff incase I do the light thing again. Part of our problem was we could not cast on the up current side of dock. We could see the fish just sitting there facing into the current. They wanted just small stuff drifting toward them with the current, like that time we fished that lighted bridge. If you would hook up on that side you would be in the pilings.
I believe if I had super small minnow flies I would of gotten a lot. Peter didn't bring his box of small stuff and I just don't make any.
I tried 4 types of shrimp flies include one that Bill Couch gave me. Next best think was smallest surf candies. Many of the fish were feeding within 5 feet of the boat.
Tried to get shots of fish in shaddow line using flash. Would need special equipment to get a good shot. Flash right in their face did not stop feeding or spook them. I took four shots and was really surprized. I think when they are feeding in the light nothing bothers them. Do that on a dark flat and it would be party over.