Fishing Journal 2017 04-21:

Well if your from Delaware or PA or NJ, and you haven’t heard the big Bluefish are thick at Cape Henlopen South Side then you must live under a rock! The daily posting has been crazy on Facebook. Planning the Delaware Paddlesports Crew and a few others decided to hit the bay on Friday April 21st Bluefishing Cape Henlopen. This would be my first time launching in the park and out on this body of water atop my Big Rig.

Cape Henlopen BluefishA good evening:

It was a cool calm evening meeting up with the DPS crew. We all launched around 5:00 PM from the beach by the pier. Some guys were still on the water from earlier. As the DPS guys were all grouped up and taking photos with their cell phones I broke out my DLSR. And took a few pictures of them posing on their Hobies. We fished for a while trolling. No fish for about an hour and a half. Then suddenly the clicker on my Abu Garcia Screaming Fish On! The SP Minnow was on! An excellent fight producing a bluefish just over 28″ in length. Bernie the River Stick guy landed 2 nice ones on a top water hard bait. Joe Hosler had a real nice one in the 42″ range on an SP minnow also. Kevin caught a 16.75″ founder on a large rattle trap. Although the fishing was slow it was a very nice night out.

I’m looking forward to Bluefishing Cape Henlopen and also fishing with the DPS crew again in the near future!

 

 

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.

Thursday:

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.

Friday:

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.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR8403.

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.

Saturday:

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!

Fishing Journal 2015_09-19

With the days getting shorter and the nights getting cooler the Bass have turned on in the Manasquan river.
manasquan river bassin15Its Friday Sept 18th and Chris Johnstone had reached out about fishing early Saturday morning. Early Saturday morning meaning 1:00 AM! For me the Manasquan river is an hour drive each way and was hesitant as previous trips have resulted in very windy conditions. If there is one thing disliked over everything else it is driving to a fishing spot over an hour to turn around and drive an hour back.

After studying weather reports of a SE wind at 5 and the temps were going to remain in the low 60’s it was a no brainer. Sent Johnstone a text at 5 PM I’m in. Only problem was most of the tackle shops were closed but fortunately he managed to find live eels!

Our plan was to meet up 0n the water at 1:30 AM to fish the slack and then outgoing tide. However it was not easy to find sleep for a decent power nap. I remember looking at the clock reading 10:45 and had to be up at 12 am. My alarm chimed in at 12 AM and making a bad decision decided to take another 10 minutes. Well that turned into a half hour. Getting up at 12:30 and running to pack up my cold water ice and a few other necessities. Finally out the door and stopping at a store to get some coffee and a bite to eat then proceeded to realize my truck was low on gas.

After the fuel stop and about 45 minutes had gone by and Chris is texting me that he is catching fish. Im 10 mins away. Arriving at the Glimmer Glass drop in scrambling to get my gear lashed bungeed and leashed. This time around had rigged all of my rods prior to packing up. Great choice as many times getting stuck tying rigs and lures on in the dark attempting to be speedy which doesn’t mix with tying anything in the dark! Prior rigging saved a lot of time and.

Another huge time saver is the Torqeedo Ultralight 403 which allows me to maintain a speed of 3.5 mph. Since the fishing area location was not far from the drop-in the extra usage on the battery would not matter. The tide had started outgoing so that also helped getting out of the drop in area but slowed a little getting up past the railroad bridge. The area of the Manasquan river that we Eel nights for Stripers is a very dangerous area of the river. Between boat traffic and the typical 3-4 knot tide makes this place only for experienced kayak anglers. If you plan to fish these types of areas that are traveled by boats and have bridges I would suggest taking the Coast Guard Boaters Safety Course or at least familiarize yourself with safety and on water navigation. The main safety concern is visibility. On kayaks we sit very low. Having a 360 degree bright light such as the Yak Attack visi pole is a necessity. That along with the Yak Attack Nite Stripe brings up the visibility.

Meeting up with Chris he already landed a nice 31″ Bass. He gave me the 3 eels that he picked up for me. Using a custom heavy moderate action rod and ad Abu Garcia 7000 C3 along with a eel rig that consisted of an inline 3oz egg sinker beads a swivel 40lb floro and a 5/0 Gami Octopus Hook.  To hook a live eel using a rag grab the eel from the back of his head. Its best to keep the eels on ice as it will slow them down making it more manageable. These eels weren’t really that lively so it was easy to hook one through both lips from the bottom jaw through the top. You need to immediately get them into he water as they will squirm and tie themselves into a ball with the leader and everything. This we call an eel ball. Once you have an eel ball you most likely will be retying a new rig. Getting the ell into the water asap the eel will swim and not tie knots.

About 10 seconds after the sinker hit the bottom  a bass hit and hes on! Great fight but turned out to be a small bass at 24″. After removing the hook a head boat moved in. It docks right near the bridge were fishing and of coarse spooked all of the fish. I had one more on after an hour and Chris had 1 also. Ended up catching a few snags also.

I decided to change up bait after we ran out of eels and switched to a storm shad. Kept hearing the mullet jumping by the bridge ice breakers. Threw a few casts there and bammm fish on. A pretty good fight the fish turned out to be a 25″ bluefish. After that fish fishing seemed to die out. Boat traffic was increasing as it was now 5:30 am. We decided quit fishing and not too long after reaching land the fog rolled in thick. It was perfect timing to quit!

As it gets cooler the fishing will heat up even more at this location. I am looking forward to fishing there again in the near future.

 

 

 

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