Bonfire under the full supermoon.

Bonfire under the full super moon.



It was a different type of event this year for the 7th Annual Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree. 2016 marked the passing of a kayak fishing legend Jon Shein. In dedication to him to remember him and his influence on the what is now called the kayak fishing industry.

A new venue! The camp ground we previously occupied wasn’t really ideal anymore due to price increases and the distance between people staying there. The Kayak Fishing Store had agreed with event staff from Jersey Cape Kayak Fishing (JCKF) to host the event at the shop. Camping as we call it J-Bay style allows all of the attendees to hang out and share the along with stories, food, jokes, pranks, and the commodore that Kayak Angers share. J-Bay style also means the camp is right near a launch area which is walk able. Most anglers will rig their kayaks up for a full weekend of fishing. Some will keep their kayaks ready to hit the road to fish in other places.

The Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree is like a boondoggle. It is geared up to bring friends and family together for a last hurrah before the weather turns freezing and most do not fish. While raising money for great local charities


For me this year was the easiest commutes to Wildwood for a Jamboree as living in Delaware and working in Lewes its a ferry ride away.  Although the ferry is about 1.25 hours its relaxing. On the way over I spotted Amy and her husband Gus and hung out with them for the ride over. Following that hit the Cape May Brewery for a sampler and a growler fill of a beer called Turtle Gut and a six pack of Devils Reach! Excellent!.

It was great having the venue being the Kayak fishing store. I arrived around the same time as many others. Scattered around were RV’s tents and car campers being set up on the grounds of an old boat grave yard which also houses the Kayak Fishing Store. There were kayak anglers from many walks of life and places. They came from as far north as Maine to as far south as Virginia. Captain Jim had arrived with the newly patched old moldy his pop up camper which we would call home for three nights.  A bonfire was set and a Dutch Oven was placed into it. A 1/4 cooked roast was offered then there was a half stick bang to start off the festivity’s and fishing.  The 7th Annual Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree was officially underway!

The next morning it was fishing time. Awaking prior to the sunrise the night temps must have went down to the low 30’s. As a few anglers were already out fishing with my camera in hand i awaited the fiery sunrise. The wind was stiff and cold.

As more people arrived we went out and fished the Herdon inlet Rock walls. The fishing was pretty good with our whole crew limiting out on Tautog. I had a beauty at 17.5″ Its not hard to limit out as each angler is regulated to keeping one fish over 15″ The tide starting moving again so we headed in to enjoy a fish fry along with some fresh steamed clams Dee raked from her home waters on Long Island. Fellow anglers stopped by our campsite and enjoyed some of our catch. Moving around camp there were some other excellent meals shared among the attendees present.

Saturday Morning meeting Charlie (Lunchbox) LaBar at the 2 mile launch we fished a bit in search of Stripers. While waiting for the tide to flow out hues of the sunrise glistened from the East. Marking fish was nonexistent along with no strikes on the line. Over the radio was one casualty a fellow angler went into the water trying to rescue a fishing rod. Fortunately he was ok. October presents cold air and water temperatures which for kayak anglers is a risk. The tide changed and we were sucked out the Cape May inlet. No paddling really necessary. Once at the tip of the southern jetty wall it was game on. Green crabs and sinkers at the ready drop a line. Around 15  total anglers made the trek to the ocean. Many tog were landed and it was a great time. A nice black drum was also landed had to be 25 lbs or so.

Just about the last ones out there we quit and headed back. Charlie was running his Torqeedo on 0% which amazed me because I have never ran mine past 20%. But he made it and kind of against the tide. IT was about 30 min before slack.  Loading up and headed over to charlies summer home for a much needed shower.

Back at camp traded stories of the day. There was drones flying by taking the effect.  Gary ward and Larry Newman were still fishing. I don’t think they even enjoyed a meal the entire time. They fished hard and wanted that calcutta more than anyone. The evening set in and it was time for dinner and prizes. The iconic seafood pasta and roast beef was served once again as a yearly feast. Three tables filled with prizes and a Pelican 120 kayak were up or grabs plus the Wolfpack beer raffle. This night the bonfire was amazing and photoed above. All kinds of strange graffiti appeared on a red ford. Ribs were grilling. The sole owner of everything ate everyone’s food and all was good.

Sunday morning was a pack up day for most.  Best of all the calcuttas were awarded to Gary Ward and Larry Newman respectively as they got the bass and blues regions. I never got a final list of  Calcutta awards but its a non tournament. All for fun and that’s they way it should be. If you have ever been to a boondoggle the jamboree is the same just the northern way.

Excellent job by Chris Parson The Kayak Fishing Store Prostaff team and JCKF!

Looking forward to october 2017 for the next one. Hope to see you all there.

Wrap Up: 6th Annual Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree

Its hard to believe 5 years present at this gathering! Missing the first occasion in 2010 due to the weather. Great times and this year topped the rest with good weather and excellent tog fishing. The 2015 or 6th Annual Cape May Kayak Fishing Jamboree is run by Jersey Cape Kayak Fishing and The Kayak Fishing Store benefiting Heroes on The Water New Jersey Chapter.


My adventure began Thursday night as the plan was to meet Ricky at Chips Folly Campground. The camp is about 2/3 of the way to Cape May NJ. After my work and dentist visit I headed straight south arriving at the camp just at dark making great time as Ricky had also arrived about 10 mins prior. Ricky began to get things together for fishing the next day and then we were off to the shooting range. Unfortunately we didn’t know the range hours were till 8 PM so there was about a half hour enough time for me to take the safety course that the range requires then left back for camp and dinner. Becky being awesome once again had prepared dinner that Ricky brought to camp. It was excellent she made mac salad and Buffalo Chicken sandwiches! MMMM so good! We hung out for a bit more then crashed out early anticipating a long day.


Ready to leave pines_TPHArising at 8 am had some coffee. Ricky had to finish loading up. We wanted to be in Cape May by 11:30 to catch the slack low tide. I tried to help out loading up as much as I could splitting firewood and loading that into my truck. Finally around 10:00 AM we left camp to hit the Bait Shop in North Wildwood then to the Kayak Fishing Store where we planned on fishing for the day.

The bait shop had plenty of green crabs for us to purchase as Blackfish (Tautog) candy. Also decided to pick up a pint of shucked clam since we were to be fishing in the ocean the next day. Also picked up a few tog rigs and some pink soft baits.

finally fishing friday cape may_TPHOff to the Kayak fishing Store. We were to launch asap but as it goes you have to say hi to everyone.! Not that that’s a bad thing. IT was great to see Chris, Bob, Lunchbox, and Seaflea part of the crew that volunteers to run the Jamboree. Among others whom haven’t seen in a while. I begun to gear up my yak and prepare for fishing. I had a lot to do as i didn’t rig any rods or anything prior.

Finally out fishing. By this time it was a bit rough and the tide was screaming in. It was warm and sunny though with no clouds in the sky. I motored out against the tide with the Torqeedo on the Jackson Big Rig. The area of North Wildwood and Cape May due to the strong currents having a electric motor or a hands free propelled kayak can be clutch! I’m not saying paddling is impossible but for keeping stationary over rocky areas that it is easy to be snagged its either anchor up or suspend your kayak.


Togging the Rock Wall at Hereford Inlet NWW

Anchoring can be acquired by using a 3lb anchor tied off to the nose and line zip tied to the top. Along with minimal  100 feet of anchor line this will be used to anchor the stern of the kayak away from the rock wall or jetty. A disposable weight such as a 20 oz soda bottle with the top cut off and filled with concrete and a looped coat hanger or an actual jetty anchor made of light gauge rebar with the ability bend out straight to allow unhooking.

Togging the

Togging the Pre-Fish

My attempt to anchor up failed due to not having enough rope and plus the heavy wavy conditions the anchor probably would have pulled anyway. There for trying to suspend with ton of current and a lot of waves was impossible. The effort yielded no fish but a few nibbles. I decided to haul back to the creek Ricky was fishing for bass. He was about to give up anyway and my buddy Brian had arrived.

Back at the ramp I decided to give it another hour and fish the bridge with Brian for Blackfish (Tog). The entire hour went by with only 2 hookups that unfortunately resulted in snags. Blackfish once hooked will dive hard into the structure that they typically hang around. The only way to avoid this is set the hook and reel as fast as you possibly can to hold them away from the structure. If not the fish will get you snagged up. They are masters at de-hooking themselves also. Best thing to do is let the line slack wait them out Sometimes they will swim away from the structure or others they will drop the hook allowing you to un-snag your rig. Then sometimes your just completely snagged. Best thing to do is cut retie re bait and add new weight.

Skunked on the pre-fish and for the first time in 2015 fishing season. With that called it a day loaded up our kayaks and gear. Back at the campground by the time my tent was pitched it was time to sign in. After the captains meeting we all hung out and ate food along with some beverages. Ricky had brought pulled pork which was awesome and the Chamberlains brought venicin that they cooked int heir camp fire which was amazing! Time flew by getting to bed a little late around 11:30, 4 am was to come way too soon.


The 4 AM alarm sounded. It was a cool wet morning. Some people were up and getting ready to go. I woke Brian up and he met me at WaWa for coffee and breakfast. We then made it to the drop in around 5 am. After rigging up and launching in the dark we proceeded to fish the bridge lights. The tide was ripping out to the ocean. My first cast with a paddle tail soft bait small hits revealing a shredded swim bait we knew it was small bluefish. I switched rods to one rigged with a small cast master metal lure. Casting into the bridge lights 2 cranks and fish on. Small Bluefish up to 13″. Fun to catch. Unfortunately leaving the WiFi function on the GoPro turned on the prior day the camera battery had died right after taking the photo on the left.  Morning twilight was soon to be upon us. Brian was looking for tog on the bridge as I fished the sod banks for Stripers.sat morning good morning

As it became dawn it was time to head out to the ocean. The 4.5 knot tide was ideal as it was outgoing. Basically you get sucked out! Casting plugs and jigs on the way out the inlet but no hits unfortunately. Upon crashing through the waves into the ocean wasn’t reading many fish so switched rods for trolling. Trolling for about an hour and a half  managing 2 bluefish up to 14″ a small striper at 22″ and a dogfish. The sun had risen fully but was blocked by large clouds. Combined with the damp NW wind it was actually pretty cold out for most of the morning. Fishing was slow. By this time there were approximately 10  kayaks togging the South side of the inlet jetty. 20151024_111511One guy already had landed a 21″ Blackfish.  Joining them within a minute I had a fish on. Another dogfish on crab. Was able to manage a good position and next fish was a nice one! 18.5″ Blackfish! Managed around 12 landed and 3 snags that couldn’t be shook loose. We even had a ton of entertainment with a boat trying to anchor to the jetty for at least 2 hours. Charlie loosing his paddle then someone finding it! Amazing!!

tog fishing wallHad been drifting clam for over an hour in hopes to pick up a bass or a bluefish which resulted in a bunch of small dogfish.Around 12 noon looking around it seemed everyone had left.  Brian and I were the only 2 left in sight. The tide had turned to the incoming and the ocean suddenly became big. I was ready to cruise back in. Brian took a few more casts and then retreated. It was a quick getting back riding the tide in. Reaching the launch it everyone had landed and was packing up. Brian and I left with a Blackfish apiece as the limit is one per angler.

black fish

online-store-1446684056Almost the last to leave the launch we headed out and since it was my birthday after grabbing a bite to eat Brian and I proceeded to the Cape May Brewery!  Upon entering the tasting room was packed! Music was playing and people were having a good time! We took the “Self Guided Tour” while starting off with the IPA.  Then we moved on to purchasing the tasting kit which allowed 5 4 oz samples along with a souvenir glass for an extra 5 bucks. It seemed they actually may pour around 5-6 oz when you get the glass. The line to the bar was long due to the crowd there. We made a system to get our sample fill then get back to the end of the line. By the time we would get to the bar we were ready for another sample. Particularly I enjoyed their Belgian Double and the IPA on Nitros. I never had an IPA that had the smoothness like a Bodingtons Pub ale or Guinness porter.

food lineIt was now getting late as we left the brewery around 4:30 and the dinner was to begin around 6:00 back at camp. Upon our return a bit of socializing and it was time to eat and run off the dinner and raffles. The all familiar Tader Salad, Roast Beef Sammiches, and the famous Seafood Pasta was on the menu again! There was in total an estimate of around 70 people for the dinner! The Calcutta winners announced and the raffle commenced. I found out the hard way why measuring and snapping a photo of every fish caught is a good idea. A 12″ fish won the Bluefish Calcutta pot. Caught a 14″ fish that I had neglected to photo! Lessons learned.

manley rod to vetDuring the Raffle Brian Swingle of Manley Rods Prostaff Raffled a nice Manley Rod off to a veteran. Frank Patla a US Veteran and Kayak Angler won the rod respectively! The raffle contained a ton of donated prizes such as rods, reels, kayak gear, tackle, and a ton of swag.

The Wolfpack put on their annual craft beer raffle again this year. To enter you need $5 and a six pack. Winner takes all of the beer home and the $5 is donated to HOW NJ! Rory won the raffle this year and donated the beer to everyone!

In all a great time. Everyone went to there respected campsites for camp fires beverages and to reflect upon the day of fishing. It was great seeing new faces at the event to add that the sport continues to grow in good fashion. New friends were made and life long fishing partners.

Hope to see you all there next year!

The 5th annual Kayak Fishing Jamboree was a special one for me as Friday October 24th was my birthday! I departed late morning for the 2 hour drive down to North Wildwood. Upon my arrival in picking up bait was on the top priority list. After purchasing 2 packs of clam 2 packs of frozen mullet and 2 doz green crabs running into friends of mine whom had just met up to go back out fishing. The decision to join them was an easy one. I slid the Big Rig off of my truck loaded it up with a heavy rod for Tog fishing and took along a half a dozen green crabs.

2104_10-24-fishing collage (Large)

Tautog feed along structure. Their diet consists of crabs mussels barnacles and other critters with hard shells. To rig up a green crab you will need a Tautog or Blackfish rig. You can tie your own. I typically buy them since they are pretty cheap. The rig can be a single or hi low rig with a loop or a snap swivel at the bottom for the sinker.  Each green crab can be cut in half to make 2 baits or even the larger ones can be quartered. To get them on the hook you will typically cut the legs and claws off and feed the hook through one of the leg sockets then turn the hook around and bury the tip within the bait. This seems to be most effective and the bait stays on the hook better.  Fishing around structure such as rock piles jetty’s and bridge pilings poses a challenge. These fish are experts of stealing bait snagging you up in the structure and de-hooking themselves! The best way to keep them from diving between rocks and crevices is set the hook and reel in slack as fast as you possibly can! These fish fight hard so a heavy rod with a reel with a fast retrieve is best!

20141025_070244After about an hour and a half catching a half dozen fish at the bridge the tide begun to slack up. I rode the tide out the the inlet break wall. The break wall is a great location for catching Tog. At slack tide we are able to boat keeper fish for every boat. This time of year the New Jersey fishing regulations only permit one fish per man at 15″ min.

Fishing the Cape May area is always a challenge. In the fall typically the lunar tides are more current and higher rise and low fall. This year the event fell right on a New Moon. Just before the tide went slack riding the outgoing to the southern rock wall of the Hereford Inlet. Ended up fishing the area with 5 fish under 15″ for about an hour.  Once the tide swung and the incoming started it was around 4PM by now. It was time to load up to attend the captains meeting at the campground for 6PM.

After signing in purchasing calcuttas and receiving a captains bag Charlie ‘Lunchbox’ LaBar explained the rules and answered questions. That wrapped up around 7:30 and I joined friends Val and Shawn for dinner at a local diner. The decision arose to fish or not to fish at night. After all it was my birthday so the decision was made to hang out with friends and go fishing early in the morning.


raffle tables 10-25-14 (Large)Arriving at 5:00 AM for the drop in at cape may inlet with Lunchbox. The tide was incoming. Launching and the 2 of us having minor motor problems we headed out into the inlet trolling Tube n Worms. The tide was ripping in and i had the throttle at 75% just to hit 1 kt. Lunchbox had his maxed out. It took us an hour to get to the  beginning of the rocks. At this point lunchbox was having problems with his electric motor and told me to continue out to the ocean if i wanted to. So an hour later i made it out the inlet where i found wind and 2-3 foot waves. Not marking any fish and drifting way too fast after an hour it was un-fishable without anchoring. Also I was worried about the tide switching to the outgoing while being outside and not being able to make it back in. With that in mind heading back in the inlet and back to the bridge at the drop in within 20 minutes. Drifted some clam on the way back in and as the tide slacked up and it was time to fish for Tog at the bridge.

The Tog bite begin slow for me. The slack tide lasted about 20 minutes and it was time to hold on again. one leg up on the bridge piling. After landing 3 tog all 13-14 inches and loosing a few i hooked up with a keeper! 15.25″ dinner! By this time the tide was ripping hard and the it was time to call it a day.

Loaded up and headed up to where a majority of the attendees were fishing. Reports of some striped bass a good amount of Tog were said to be caught. Heard a story of a few yakkers being sucked out the inlet and one getting run over by a boat. Most of the better fishing ended up to be in the back in small creeks and on the flats.2104_10-24-dinner and awards

Back at camp Captain Jim was frying up some Tog that we caught! It is one of the most excellent table fare that comes out of the north east salt. After cleaning up  Val and I went to hang out with Capt Jim and a wait the dinner.  At 6:00 we went up to the “rack”s which is a large storage building and makeshift hall type of shelter for a seafood pasta and roast beef dinner. Both are excellent and many look forward to the meal. It has been the same food since 5 years ago when the Jamboree was started by Jersey Cape Kayak Fishing and its crew. This year there were a total of 106 registered anglers!

After the dinner the raffle began. All proceeds from the raffle including the real tree Ellie kayak benefited the NJ Heroes On The Water Chapter.  This event completely funds the chapters gear. Including kayaks.

Needless to say I never win the raffles. I ended up winning 2 times on this one!  Won two nice bomber lures and a nice bomber hat also a T shirt that I gave to Shawn. After the raffle we went back to the cabin and walked over to where a few of our friends were staying in the cabin I stayed in last year. Hung out with them for a bit. A bunch of people came over a shot of cake vodka and a few beers to celebrate what would be the end of most kayak anglers season.

Sunday was too windy to fish so we slept in till around 8:30 then packed up checked out and went to breakfast. After breakfast it was the drive home. Till next year!



2104_10-24-friends collage 2 (Large)

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