Friday, March 23, 2018

Nickel, Dime, and Wider Time

Fred and I planned on fishing the Meadowlands for striped bass this coming Tuesday, until he found out he has to work, which might be a good thing, given the cold weather and the drive it takes to get there. We hope to go in April.

Reading Angler's Journal. Faraway places and not so far. Dorado in the Bolivian jungle interesting to contemplate, and to consider a lodge hundreds of miles from civilization back in the bush, locals from the forest holding guiding jobs and doing that with excellence, precision, and perfect English.

I think of the treats money can buy, but that doesn't denigrate so much nickel and dime fishing I do, nor the relative expanse of places like Hopatcong and Round Valley. Maybe I'll walk over to the pond on Monday and cast that bucktail spinner again, or else drive up the highway a mile to Bedminster Pond, but I think I'll wait until a really mild day for the latter. Fewer bass there, although the pond behind the units across the way suffered a fish kill not many years back. Ice thick, pond shallow.

We're away to Ocracoke, NC, in August. I'm on the fence--but leaning conservatively--about shelling out the money for an offshore charter. Boats travel a mere 10 miles or so to reach the Gulf Stream, so not a whole lot of a venture is spent getting there and back. Inlet fishing is excellent. But our biggest fish, so far, is a six- or seven-pound Sheepshead, and a six- or seven-pound cobia. On last occasion, big reds came in out during the time we visited, but on the day of our venture, we found none.

That's not to say catching 60 blues and Spanish mackerel on one of the charters wasn't a riot.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Trout Stocking

I got an email last night with Jim Stabile's recent Daily Record column pasted into it, reporting on the Pequest Open House at the hatchery scheduled for this weekend, and then came home from work to an email from the Department of Environmental Protection announcing its cancelation due to the impending snowstorm. June 2nd now. Last year, it was cancelled until June 4th. I took my son to the hatchery when he was a young boy, and the memory remains a very good one. I also introduced him to largemouth bass guarding beds, acts of wild reproduction, at an early age.

A large portion--184,140--of the coming season's 570,150 projected trout total (more will likely make it)--are poised to get stocked. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

An earlier column of Stabile's, also pasted into the email, reports on a number of things. The most interesting to me claims New Jersey's coyote population is about 4000. Love those animals. But they can get vicious and I don't like that.

Here's the link to the article with trout information.

Monday, March 19, 2018

First Cast with the Bucktail Spinner

First cast with the bucktail spinner, given to me by Tom Savko, and a largemouth whacked it. I missed the hit. Sun was setting, a little of its presence yet on the shallows I cast, water warmed somewhat there, but I doubt the temperature got quite to the mid-40's. Temperature here in Bedminster at 4 pm was 46. The bass left a nice surface swirl after it vanished.

The blade is homemade. It's not a spinner crafted entirely by marketed components. And it works, an excellent choice for Bedminster Pond on a mild day. Last year, my son and I went there and fished for about 15 minutes, catching bass, but I lost a spinner I made during the 1970's for this purpose of slow shallow retrieve. Bedminster Pond is also shallow, and has residual weeds to retrieve over.

What fortune. Last year, after losing that spinner, I figured that fishing is done with, because I'm not going to make more...even though my mind has bugged me a little, as if I might. Along comes Tom Savko and solves that problem for me.

Day Off

Another day off, and maybe I will do that spinner fishing over here at the pond. Replied to one of The Fisherman editors, who let me know he has several openings for the Freshwater column, so I sent him ideas. And I went on NJ Freshwater, fascinated in the catch of a nice rainbow right over here in Far Hills, just before the stream closed until Opening Day. The guy used a really smart tactic. Just let current hold in place a tiny Rapala down pretty deep. I'm still trying to figure out how to catch early season trout on flies, and wistfully wish the season hadn't closed. Mike Maxwell tells me about Jesse Sullivan, who fly fishes trout all winter, averaging about one fish every 10 hours at them. Noel Sell was doing better than that, using Power Bait, during the mild weather of this recent February.

More snow on the way? To get bummed over lingering winter would be a dumb emotional strategy, when I know warmer weather inevitably comes very soon.

Now to work. On writing. This sort of work I love doing.