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Fishing Journal : October 1999

 

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October 29, 1999

The saltwater slump has been shattered!!! Finally! After repeated trips out to the sore we managed to land a striper! This particular trip was to Long Beach Island near the Barnegat Light. Big Mike was driving and we were both rigged for Surf Casting and Fly Casting.  I got first blood while fly casting from a jetty (the striping baskets we got are a wonder for this!!!) and I landed a nice Flounder. Then not too long after Mike saw his rod doing the all too few bob and duck motions while in the sand spike. Rushing from the waves where he was playing tag with the fly he was tossing he starts to bring in the mystery fish! Mike made both of the rigs we were using the night before. His was a circle hook custom striper rig and mine was a conventional hook. The bait was mullet.

As Mike struggled with the rod and the fly rod he was holding I raced across the surf to aid him. I got the fly rod from him and went back to the equipment pile to grab the camera. As we got the fish closer I saw that the circle hook had done it's job. Hooked clean through the cheek! No way that guy was gonna throw the hook. Once we saw it in the challow surf we knew we had a keeper!

This was a great day out for us! The best part was it was my first Saltwater fish on my fly gear with a streamer that I had tied myself! So far I have managed to tie for both fresh and salt with good results!

See Pictures here...

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October 23, 1999

This was a first for me. We decided to break fromregular surf fishing spots and try this new spot on reports that there was some good action here. Unfortunately we got skunked this trip. The setting was very beautiful and the conditions perfect. We got there at around 5:00 and we trudged to the beach.

It was just Big Mike and I for this trip. We both got new waders and were dying to try them out. Orvis River Otters with stocking feet. Sporting Gentleman was having a sale on them. These are my first pair of neoprene waders and I reammly liked them. Got into the surf and they certainly kept me dry! I didn't buy wading shoes for them and I was kind of concerned about wrecking the feet so I just strapped on some sandals to protect the soles. That seemd to work but I need to work on how I do it a little better. Also if a particularly vicious wave comes and your feet leave the ground the wave can rip the sandals right off your feet!

We rigged with Surf Rods and clams as well as fly fishing gear. The fly fishing was just a kind of trial attempt. The surf rods ran with striper rigs and clams. It's kinda amusing as I was rushing around tying Zonkers to use for the trip and I ended up forgetting them on the bench! We fished the beach and worked our way around from the ocean side to the inlet section and got no hits. I did manage to catch a small shiner from the surf so it was not a totally dry trip!

I did get some fantastic pictures that you call all see on the Spots 2 Fish page for Corson's Inlet. Although we did not get any this time you can bet that we will certainly be back!

See Pictures here...

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October 21, 1999

    Another day out on NBL. It was quite nice this trip. No heavy winds and two catches. One little shad and a pickrel. Lost another damned wooly bugger though! I'll have to learn to tie those myself and get some ready to use!

Photos from the Lake

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October 19, 1999

    New Brooklyn Lake is adjacent to New Brooklyn County Park. The park has a small pond on it that recently had a dock added. As a matter of fact I am certain that the dock had just been recently completed. I stopped by today to just look over the pond. The leave have begun to fall and they are starting to clutter the waters surface. It was a strange dichotomy as the water was dead calm and the riotous colors of the fall foliage was a stark contrast to the mysterious dark waters.

    I also stopped by New Brooklyn Lake. This is just around the bend from the pond at the park. It was kind of odd that I even made this trip today as I was fully intending to try to find the large body of water by Penbryn. That did not pan out but I did get to do some good exploring in the area...

    At the end I just headed for known waters. There are always a lot of duck and geese at the lake. This day was no exception. I had to walk past flocks of them to get to the water. I noticed one other fellow fishing the lake today. He was simply using spinning gear and tossing some various lures to the edge of the weed beds and working them across the water but he did not look like he had any luck.

    I came with the full intent to work on my steeple casting but I ended up doing more roll casting practice and standard casting. The nice things about this place is that there are some areas with wonderful casting room. But there are also lots of challenging casting areas!

    This was a very good day as I caught another hitherto un-caught fish. Today I add the pickrel to my list of captured fish. I caught in on an olive grizzly wolly bugger and he was a neat fish! I managed to bring him in but he was rather slimy and managed to break free before I could photograph him! And he had the temerity to take my fly too! I just have to collect the materials to tie that one and I'll tie a few myself!

    Other than that though it was very slow and the water quite cold! I think I am nearing the end of the wading season unless I am on the beach!

Photos from the Pond

Photos from the Lake

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October 16, 1999

 

Well that was a good day. It started of relatively well. I've never been as far south as Cape My and that was my first time out there. I decided to be adventurous and take a new way east. I followed route 42 South until it turns into route 322. I followed this until it reaches the entrance to the Garden State Parkway. Again, I have not really taken this road before as I usually favor route 9.

 

I was on the road by 4:00am and I reached the Marina by 5:00am. I forgot the berth and dock number at home though and I ended up roaming the docks until I found the Captain of the "Tuna Toy" who told me where to find "Fine and Dandy". Once I got to that part of the marina I saw all of the other guys already unloading. They had not as yet sought out the boat so I ventured down Dock A and found the boat at the end of the dock.  This was when I first met Anthony the First Mate and Webaster for their site. I returned to the others and told them that we could get onboard.

 

I think that they were surprised to learn that we were all there on time! Just a few final preparations and a last trip to a landlocked head (that's bathroom for the un-initiated). Then we were off. We were treated to a wonderful sunrise and some interesting photos along the way to the fishing grounds.

 

I suppose a description of the boat is in order... The F&D is a 42 foot POST vessel. There are listings of the boats stats on the F&D's website. From my personal point of view I suppose that wonder best describes it. It was BIG! There is a spacious inside cabin and two staterooms with a separate head. Full size fridge and microwave. The electronics package onboard was also very good and Ozzie new how to use them well.

 

The main perception I got is how much even large boats pitch and roll on the water out there. Those little center console jobs may as well have been corks to see them pitch and roll. Especially when a big boat comes by. We fished "the rips" in shore on this trip. I suppose for me this was off shor as I was not on the beach and quite to the east of it.

 

Unfortunately we got skunked this day but we did almost land one. Jamie (one of the guys from our Initial Design Group) got the fish within two feet of the boat. We also got some close calls with almost getting some blues as well. That's quite impressive when you see the eels bit clean through. Unfortunately the timing is something of a trick. When the blues start a chomping on the eel they usually start from the tail and eat the eel like spaghetti. Now the trick is to know when the blue has the hook in his mouth so you can set the hook! As our result shows we didn't really get that this trip. It was still as good day all in all Capt. Ozzie and First Mate Anthony provided us with excellent service and the facilities were awesome!

 

Well, It's late and I'm am tired.. Have a look as the pictures! (Oh, Anthony if you see this then e-mail me and I'll send the high res versions to you)

 

Pictures from the boat!

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October 15, 1999

 

Ok. So here are the details. We are leaving for Stripers and Blues at 5:30 tommorrow from Cape may. The boat is called the "Fine and Dandy" with Captain Ozzie Sandora. I will take LOTS of pictures and will put them up tomorrow evening. Stay tuned campers!

 

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October 14, 1999

 

Well it's gonna be a good day on Saturday! The weather forecase is for 24 Celcius and a low of 12! That's summer weather for this canuck! It's going to be my first trip off shore on a Striper Fishing charter. Big Mike arranged it and there are gonna be six of us heading out. I am sooooo looking forward to this! Another first in my fishing repertoir.

 

We are leaving out of Cape May (I'll fill in the more precise details later) at 5:30 or so and then be back around 4:00pm.

 

Two more sleeps til we ship out! Oh joy, oh joy, oh bliss!

 

Who hoo!

 

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October 12, 1999

 

First day back to work after a nice vacation. Back to fishing at the Base. This was a short one hour trip to the point with some Chicken Liver and plain hooks. A little disappointing for me as it was a zero catch day. Everyone else was pulling them in but I decided to try to cast further out to see what was in the deeper segments of the channel.

 

Click Here for the Pictures!

 

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October 11, 1999

 

This is the last day of my vacation. I wanted to get one last trip out but there were some logistical problems. The wife has a Doctors appointment at 3:00 and I wanted to try to get out to New Brooklyn Lake. Un-fortunately my waders have been driving me crazy! I think there is a section that is too tight and it's cutting off the circulation to my foot as after about fifteen minutes my feet being to ache. So, I decided to keep it simple and I headed over to Lions Park in Voorhees. This is a very small pond just off of Route 73. I tried this spot at the spur of the moment on last Friday and those exploits were the first ones I posted here.

 

This day was much like that one. The skies were primarily sunny and a few clouds scudded across the sky on infequent gusts. The sun against the trees cast shadows across the waters. This was perfect! Even the temperatures were fantastic! Heck, back home in Calgary it's already in the sub zero temperatures (celcius)!

 

I got a good number of good sized fish on this trip. I was out looking for my bass again but he decided to stay home. The Blue Gills were more than accomodating though. I used a Black Ant pattern (I'll add the pictures later it's getting late) and a variant fly I concocted using some green chenille and black hackle.

 

The Variant was responsible for a good number of the catches and I am very pleased that they both worked so well. Well with out further adieu here's the photos... Oh, and in these shots I actually had a tape measure. Next time I am gonna bring a scale too!

 

Click Here for the Pictures!

 

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October 9, 1999

 

Not a lot to say here. Kinda got snookered at New Brooklyn Park. Went to the close end of the pond and only got two rather un-interested Blue Gills. Everyone else was not interested. I really have to make some streamers and try them. I also have to get the venue segment of the site done so you can see where I am fishing!

 

Can't be out too long today... Sarah's Birthday party at 4:00 and the BOSS has given orders that I should be home by 3:00. Phew.

 

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October 7, 1999

 

    I'm supposed to be on vacation... I've spent three days of it working on updates for the family web site and answering e-mails from work. Not to mention having some time to do some problem solving and thought sorting for things I need to do when I go back to work and things I figured out with a little quiet time. Today I finally caved in to my wife telling me to go out and fish! (Yeah you read that right... My wife told me to go out and fish! Isn't she great?) So with that admonition under my hat I hopped in the old Cherokee and headed out for parts unknown. Heck! I've been itching to get out but it's been kinda chilly the last couple of days. Unseasonably so I am told. Well I can live with it. Considering it's already starting to snow back where I came from (See introduction). It was a bit chilly (around 55-60 F) but a black wind breaker and a pair of light grey sweats sufficed for clothing. As I drove out of the garage I was pondering where to try. I supposed I could have gone back over to New Brooklyn Lake where I normally go for a quick trip but then again I was also hankering for a new spot.

 

    So the desire for adventure and something new won out. I headed east on Berlin Cross-Keys road towards Berlin. Once past the at times hideous Berlin Circle I turned north on route 73 and my destination was Lions Park Lake in Voorhees. On the drive up I noted the Shoreway Marine and Discount Tackle Sign and vowed to stop in on the way back.

 

    It was around 15 Minutes to get to the park and upon arriving there I was somewhat curious as to the sight I beheld from the parking lot. Looked like a nice place to picnic. Even lots of volleyball nets around. I decided to re-connoiter prior to committing by unloading the gear. I walked past the picnic tables towards a line of trees I could see and once I got o somewhat higher ground I saw the water. Well... It was a lake... Sort of... I'd say that from one end across the longest way it may have been 50-60 yard long and was maybe 30-40 yard across. I think that a serious guy with a surf rod could clear it from end to end. I walked around the perimeter of the lake and found a small stream no wider than 2-3 feet across but it had cut deep into the ground. I'd say at least 2' in some areas. The stream was teeming with minnows. A close walk around the edge of the lake also showed me many minnows darting about.

 

    Ok. So at least there are fish around... Now what kind? I suspected that this lake would more than likely have Bluegills. Heck anything larger than a puddle seems to have bluegills. I usually drive by Camden County Technical School and it has a fountain in the main drive way but I see people fishing there all the time. I suspect that there are Bluegills there too but then that's for another trip... So anyways, where was I? Oh, yeah... So I know there's probably bluegills and perhaps sunnies as well. But would there be Bass? On my way back to the Cherokee I was walking along the little stream and I noticed a large shape moving in the water... I crept close slowly keeping low to see if I could ID the fish. Well sufficed to say it was now a Blue or a Sunnie. I'd seen enough of those... This one definitely looked "basslike". I watched it all the while moving closer so I could get a better look. Then the paranoid litte bugger saw me a bolted. I walked back to to the Cherokee with a renewed determination to see what was in the lake and perhaps try to drift some flies in the little creek.

 

    I got back to the Jeep and as I looked at the mess of rods in the back I fished out my fly rod (8wt Diawa Black Widow) and my vest. I was tempted to try the spin gear but more and more I tend to go with the fly fishing gear if I can. I love the whole casting aspect and the "pure" nature of trying to get the fish to bite a fly. Heck! No fancy action, smell, feel or anything that might event tickle an infomercial director. Just pure guile and wit! After threading the line through the rod as I walked back to the lake I searched the fly box for a likely candidate... I am still new to fly fishing as I had said previously (See introduction) and I am also trying to learn how to tie my own flies. Til then I am living through the kindness of others. One of the fellows I work with named Tom Fink is a FANTASTIC fly tyer. He's actually gonna get some of the stuff he did in a book coming out soon! His work is just fantastic. Very well crafted and REALISTIC! Even I had to resist the urge to hose them with Deep Woods OFF. He gave me a bunch of stuff that he wasn't using and my fly box had some of these beauties in it as well as an assortment of Bargain Flies (I am just now learning the difference).  I remember having an Black Ant pattern from Tom and I found that tied this on. I really have to learn some more knots. That Trilene knot I use is sure "long winded" to tie.

 

    The reason I went with the ant was that I had noted that there were not too many flying insects around anymore. Could be that the frost was doing a real number on them so I thought that terrestrials would work well. The ant was the only terrestrial pattern I had in the box. (I really must get that Thompson Vise and some smaller hooks!) Once I reached a likely spot I tried to just drop the ant and line on the water of the little creek and let it drift but the tiny stream was too clutterd with dead fall and overhanging branches. After about 15 minutes of this I moved to the lake.

 

    The lake looks like it was the victim of a liability suit as it had signs warning of no swimming or boating or skating!!! Heck I thought that was one of the reasons for a community park! So anyways I started to side cast the ant into the water and not too long before I got my first hook up. Sure enough it was a Blue. It was also quite small... I started to get that feeling that this was all I was gonna see this day. So I started to work the edge of the lake in various spots until I found my first "Honey Hole". This was a productive location. I was pulling in Blues that ranged from 5" to 7". Un fortunately I did not have a scale... I kept casting into this area until the tree ate my Ant! (Hmph!) All this time the winds had been coming and going and that made casting a challenge!

 

    I worked this hole for about an hour solid and brought in fish after fish. Then I moved along the bank bringing in small blues and pumpkin seed sunnies. The second "Honey Hole" was better than the first. This produced some large sized Blues and Sunnies and My FIRST EVER Largemouth on a Fly! I worked this spot for about an hour loosing one other fly I had tied on before I called it a day.

 

    It was a marvelous day. I fished from 11:00-3:00 and then headed for Shoreway Marine to check out the tackle. And that was also quite good as they had a part number for my GPS that would allow me to plug it into the Cigarette lighter and into my notebook! I can finally download all of my way points off the handheld Garmin GPS III! I also got a chance to wind the Penn 6500ss and 7500ss as well. I really like these two reels but I absolutely fell in love with the Finn-Nor AHAB Size 20 Reel. Instant Auto-reverse and an action soooooo smooth. But heck! For $209.00 bucks it damn well better be!

 

    Well that's all for this rant. Now I am gonna show the pictures from the trip!

 

Til next time: "Tight Lines and dry Bottoms!"

 

Michael

 

P.S. All of the fish depicted here were caught and released successfully! Let 'em get bigger. Think if it as sharing with your kids!

 

See photos here...

 

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