Saturday, March 16, 2019

Changing Seasons

There are a lot of glowing fishing reports of backwater bass and even bluefish. I don't know who is catching them, as we spent a couple days scouting local waters and only saw one guy fishing. The beach was empty again, but the loons were feeding inside the bar and I think it is time to try the surf. The wintering seals and sea ducks are leaving the area and the first oyster catchers were on the beach. The old timers down here say when the "spring peepers" start singing fishing season begins. Yesterdays mild weather had the little tree frogs chirping, so it won't be long now.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Duluth Trading Co.

They have their winter clearance sale going on now, and it's worth a look. 140 dollar jacket, good for fishing on sale for 22 bucks!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

National Geographic Day

We hit the beach on a lonely cold morning. With the temperature at thirty degrees, there was no wonder no one was around. We headed down to the inlet to explore, and a short way into our hike we found a snowy owl. Down at the inlet were all the usual winter visitors ( scoters and long tails) and we got a great view of a flock of common eider. Back behind the jetty, towards the bay, we saw a seal hauled out on a rock and found a trail leading back there to check him out. As we got closer, we found more taking in the sun on the rocks about 250 yards out. There were harbor seals and huge gray seals, the ones they call horseheads that had to be at least 500 pounds or more. The cool thing was all the noise they were making, grunting and barking at each other. I could only imagine how many fish they eat in a day, and how big the sharks are that eat them. Cool stuff to do in the winter while waiting for fishing to start.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Spring Training

The first spring training games of the winter are on TV this weekend, reminding us that baseball and fishing are only about a month away. The Snowy owls continue at the beach and trying to find them is a fun way to spend a nice morning. The Bass Pro Shop has a big sale this week and it is always nice to go there as you can spend a day looking at all the cool stuff. Fishing in the ocean stinks as it usually does this time of year. About half a dozen fish for thirty anglers is a good day. Stripers usually start biting when bay water temperatures get to fifty degrees and we are looking forward to catching the schoolies. I don't expect too much in the way of flounders as there have been hungry seals around all winter. Lets hope we have an early spring this year.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Up and Down

The weather has been normal this winter, with warming temperatures ahead of low pressure systems and then plunging after the passage of a cold front. The water is cold, as it should be this time of year, but the half way point of winter has passed and there has not been much snow. We were able to get out this week and explore the beach. Usually, you don't expect to see anyone out in winter, but it was really cool walking five miles and never seeing another soul or even a boat or ship out on the ocean. It was like going back in a time machine! Saturday, we took a ride to the NJ Maritime Museum. I call it the "shipwreck museum" as it is full of artifacts claimed by divers from many of the spots we fish. I found it very interesting and will go back again. Capt Steve is out this morning on the Ocean Explorer and I will get a report later. Spring training starts this week, it won't be long now.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Ugly Cold

Damn, it's cold. That was a wild little five minute, white-out blizzard that brought in the cold air yesterday. Now we are stuck in the house with single digit temps. It was not too bad the other day, so we took a ride to the lighthouse. When I stepped from the truck and looked in the water, a big face was looking back at me. At least three big horsehead seals were hanging around the inlet. There were also a lot of birds but we did not find any winter exotics. We drove down to the other end of the island to check out the beach at Holgate. Everything was shut down, all the beach access was closed, the parking lots were chained shut and it was like "go away, we're closed." LBI is the real New Jersey part of the shore, crowded and over built like the rest of the state. I would not go out there in the summer for anything.  It is the opposite of the Bayshore area where we live on the mainland. Well, today I am sure the bay is frozen again and we have two more months of this winter to look forward to.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Worst Time of Winter

The long month of February is the worst time of the year. Football is over, baseball is a month away and fishing is over until the water temperature gets up around fifty, about early April.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Winter Adventure

We had to get out of the house after the recent cold snap and headed to the beach. Driving out over the causeway, the Barnegat bay was completely frozen over. The winter beach is a wild and lonely place, and I almost wished I had brought the fishing gear, as the surf was clean and green and it felt mild in the sunshine. Instead we had the binoculars, and were ready to discover the snowy owls that winter over in the park. We headed south and there was enough cloud cover to make excellent viewing conditions. A little less then two miles in, we found a large male snowy on the second dune from the beach, close enough to get a picture. They are magnificent creatures and it never gets old finding one. We picked up some interesting shells on the way back to the truck. After lunch, we went on some trails on the back side and took pictures of the frozen bay. It looks like the mild weather will continue for a few days, and if enough anglers are interested we will go after the blackfish one more time.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Blood Wolf Moon

The strange winter storm passed, bringing in the coldest air of the season. The NW gale has been raging for two days and combining with the full moon, it is causing the lowest tide you will ever see. I am sure there are going to be all types of low water issues. It would be perfect for clamming, but with the high temperature at 15 degrees and a forty knot breeze, I ain't leaving the house! And speaking of the moon, I got up to watch the eclipse and wasn't too impressed as I have seen the "blood moon" in the past and this one didn't compare. Fishing was good the day before the storm as it usually is. Capt Steve ran the Ocean Explorer and came in one or two fish shy of a full boat limit. Maybe we can get one more crack at them before everything shuts down until April.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Weather Forecasts and the Government Shutdown

Last week, all the media outlets were ranting over a snowstorm for the weekend. Now that the weekend is approaching, no one has a clue. NWS website says they are effected by the shut down, but they still give a forecast. I was thinking of trying the surf tomorrow but media outlets are calling for a low of thirty degrees overnight with light rain. Huh? That doesn't add up to me. Well the Weather Channel says the storm will start tomorrow but it is still in California today. Another huh? Well I guess we will be keeping the boat in this weekend, see what happens, and check back next week.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Settling in to Winter

This week was cold and windy and not much happened. Yesterday was the only nice day and a few boats sailed. Capt Steve had the J II out to the mudhole and made a little catch of assorted bottom dwellers. The blackfish on the inshore grounds were picky, but they bit Friday in the gale of wind. We took a ride over to the Lacey High School fishing flea market and found nothing but junk and cheap old men. The place was packed. We will try to make our blackfish trip next weekend on the best weather day, so be prepared. Right now, it is cold, calm and snowing lightly on the Jersey shore.

Monday, January 7, 2019

A Nice Start to a New Year

It was a beautiful morning on Lake Atlantic, a pleasant change from all the bad weather. Onboard were a bunch of old friends from back in the old "Pioneer" and "Palace" days. The forecast called for wind, and it did scare away a few anglers, but the wind never picked up until the last drop and ride home. It was actually the nicest day on the ocean in months. As for the fishing, it was typical for winter, you had to wait for the bites and three dozen nice sized blackfish up to eight pounds were boxed. Better then sitting home watching the weather channel (there will be plenty of time for that) and we will try another trip Sunday 1/20.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Next Fishing Trip

Start off the New Year this Sunday, January 6. Come and join us on a deepwater wreck trip for jumbo blackfish. This time of year offers you the best chance at a double digit sized tog. Let me know if you'd like to go! Happy New Year.