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Took a ride along Ocean Drive last week. Pulled off to the roadside and looked out over one of the large shallow sounds. Can't wait to get out there and catch some fish.

The area I was looking at was one of my favorites back in the 70's and 80's when I had my small boat docked at Dad's place by North Wildwood. Back then there were only about six private boats docked there. The owner had about fifty rental boats and only let a few good fisherman dock there since space was limited.

A few of us had an intense rivalry going each weekend and the competition was tough. Like we had an unspoken tournament every Saturday. One friend was always on my tail and I could figure that every trip we would be at each other. Ounces seperated us every Saturday.

He had his spots and I had mine. We never fished each others spot almost as if it would be cheating. Besides being good friends we had one thing in common. We always searched for new areas. I ran so far into the back that he would joke that pretty soon I would have to pay tolls on the Parkway.

I had one advantage over my friend. I had minnowed for three seasons in the back. My need to find new minnow grounds also opened new fishing grounds. Places that you wouldn't even think you could get a boat into produced some of the greatest catches I have ever had. A few of these places are about two miles from any channel markers. Like I said, tolls on the Parkway. One day I boated a seven pound flounder and a car on the Parkway backed up to watch. Two guys got out and cheered me on as I netted it. Then they yelled, How the hell did I get back there in a boat. :D

I haven't seen my friend for a few years now. We were friends at the dock but after that he went his way and I went mine. Only time we talked was at the end of the day when fishing was done. I look for him at some of his favorite spots but he isn't there. The man was a master with a bucktail and loved his flounder fishing. He was the best I ever fished against.

As I sat on the side of the road and looked out over the sound I thought about him. He was good and made me a better fisherman. He loved freshwater fishing for trout. Said it helped with his feel for the flounder bite. I loved carp fishing because it helped teach me patience for flounder fishing.

Now I don't see hardly anyone venturing into those tight back areas. Many fisherman seem intimidated when there isn't a channel marker around. Those markers are there for the intercoastal channel. There are many areas deeper way in the back. They just aren't a continuous channel so they aren't marked.

My father got me started on searching out these waters. He always stressed the point of quality waters are quiet waters. He would fish the main channels until the traffic picked up then it was off to the real skinny waters. It's been eighteen years since dad passed away and I still hold that quiet waters are the best.

If you intend to do a lot of back bay fishing then get off the main road. Take a few hours and slip into the shallows. Take it slow and find the deeper slots. It may twist and turn like a snake but it will be well worth it. I can count about fifty spots that I have in the back just in my area. I can almost guarantee that thirty will be empty any day I go back to them.

Don't be afraid if you bump the bottom. If you can see water off in the distancs then you can figure there is a channel or slot that will go all the way there. Try going at half tide on the rise. Then you will know that the water will only get deeper.

Fishing the back isn't so much tackle or bait. It's more technique and location. Tackle down, sneak in and fish quiet. After all these years I'm still amazed at what comes out of these skinny waters. You just need to go back and take a good look around.

It's still kind of a shock when I pull out of one of these spots and come into the intercoastal. I was all alone for hours and suddenly I'm into a traffic jam. Fisherman in boats so close that they are eyeballing each other. Somebody catches a fish and everybody moves in.

Do a little Lewis and Clarkin once in a while and find some new teritory. One last thing. If you bump bottom three times and make a wide turn around a sod bank near the Parkway and see a guy in a 21ft CC get out. Thats my spot. ;)

[ 02-21-2005, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: chunking ]
 

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Well said and so true

The striped ones love that skinny water too

I always wondered if some go way back there by the parkway to spawn?? what do you think??
 

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if you have a plain boat wit just sides there are a few SPOTS to go past the parkway.last year i watched the stripers on the surface in the 40' little bay between the north and southbound bridges but with my boat i couldn't get there.this year maybe run across(how about walk)the northbound and throw.must be carefull there on the incomming the tide is very strong near the bridge and tries to throw you against it.
 

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Great story Fred. Used to fish alot of the shallows as a kid and never realized how good it was. I always dreamed of a big boat for off shore. Did the offshore thing for many years and now the back is what I enjoy the most. It is like being in another world, other than when the jet ski guys go flying by. Now you got to work early morning or evening and with a bow mounted electric motor I find I put more hours on the electric motor than I do the outboard.
 

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Fred- thank you so much for telling these stories and making the great points you make. The back waters into turtle creek are my favorte spots. Back where the old houses used to be when you would drive over the bridge comming into North Wildwood. I caught a 6 lb flounder back there once. Great times. Fred maybe I will see ya Sams Pizza and we can discuss fishing. Ill keep an eye out for ya
 

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That 40' hole is often **s deep in them. A really neat place, but not for the faint of heart! My buddy hooked a really good one there, but between the rippin' tide and close quarters he never really had a chance.
 

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Good story fred, very enjoyabe reading. The back waterways are still my favorite spot to fish especially a couple hours before it gets dark when the boat traffic slows down, during the week anyway. Jetskis are a problem sometimes even at that time of day.
 

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Great post, Fred. I love fishing the back creeks as well. The only thing I can add to this post, is.. try doing this in a Kayak. It is quiet, and spectacular! Not only can you sneak up on the fish, you can quietly observe the wildlife all around you! A weekday morning, and you are in your own world.... it's awesome.
 
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