Fishing Journal 2015_08-21
Utilizing a 1:30 PM Friday departure from my day job I set out to arrive down the shore at Chips Folly Campground. Joining Ricky and his lovely wife Becky for a fun filled weekend of camping and Kayak Fishing Great Bay and the Mullica River! Having a few extra things to pack I was able to be on the highway at 2:30 after grabbing a sandwich and coffee at the local convenience store. Hoping to escape the dreaded Friday shore traffic following Waze. A major set back of living in the northern part of New Jersey is the hundreds of thousands of people that head south on the Garden State Parkway to the shore points. The 100 mile ride down wasn’t bad at all with pockets of traffic but not too bad. I ended up being early so decided to stop and pick up some snacks and drinks on the way.
Arriving at Chips Folly Campground stopped at the camp office to check in and as soon as that was completed Ricky and Becky pulled in. Perfect timing! Soon after we went out for dinner. Ricky and I had pizza which was really good. I haven’t had pizza on over a year. Becky had sausage and peppers which looked amazing! After we finished eating we went back to camp hung out for a little while and went to bed early in preparation for an early day of fishing. Although the wind forecast was not looking to be in our favor we were to go fishing anyway even if we were to cut the day short.
The arrival at the beach around 6:00 am the sun was rising. I brought my new Canon Dslr with me and took a few snaps in the morning at the beach. A breezy but beautiful day had begun! Ricky and i started fishing top water lures first. We found some action with bait schools scattering and jumping. The Stripers were present!
Rod & Reel Setups:
The rod and reel setups i was using for the day consisted of a Spinning Setup and a casting setup. The spinning gear was a 7′ St. Croix Mojo Inshore Medium Power with Fast action Spinning Rod paired with a Shimano Spheros 3000 reel spooled with 20# power pro spectra in green. The casting setup was a custom 7′ Bull Bay Tactical 20# Medium Heavy Power with Moderate Action Casting Rod with Fuji K guides and an Abu Garcia Revo Inshore low Profile Casting reel spooled with 20# Cortland C16 Spectra Braid in lt blue color.
The Spinning rod was set up for top water with spooks poppers and plugs. The casting rod was set up with a Chartreuse DOA C.A.L. – Jig Head – SHORT – 1/8 oz. & 3″ C.A.L. Shad Tail with a pearl body and Chartreuse tail.
Fishing in 3-5 feet of water casting towards the bait fish had a few hits on the spook and popper. Changed over to the soft plastic couple casts and bam fish on!
A nice 24″ Striper! Got my pose in and released him back into his natural habitat. Not exhausted at all swimming away with a flick of the tail. As the day went on the wind stayed 5-10 sith some gusts of around 15. Overall not a bad day. We called it quits around 1:oo PM with only the one bass caught and a few missed.
Back at camp Becky had made a banging German Potato Salad and some salmon burgers for us! We devoured that then it was time for a power nap. I got about an hour and a half which was real nice. Ricky slept till 5PM. While he was sleeping I took it upon myself to assemble a fire before it got dark.
Ricky and I took a walk with our cameras in hand to photo the sunset! There is a point that juts out into the river which is the perfect spot for shooting photos of a sunset. Becky cooked dinner while we were out walking the dog and snapping photos.
Dinner was excellent Becky made up chicken and veggie kabobs and rice. We enjoyed the fire and when it died down it was time for bed and an early rising at 4:30 AM to find the Bass again. These times now enjoying entire weekends away from home I feel the true feeling of freedom. There’s nothing else really like it.
4:30 AM comes quick. Up and out stopping at Wawa for a quick bite to eat. We were able to drop in before sunrise. This we believed would yield a better Bass bite. The winds for the day were 5-10 N-NW which was to be lighter than Saturday.
Meeting Al ‘Yakman’ Stillman and his son Jake at the drop in. All setup with his tandem Hobie AI on the beach and ready. We dropped in and immediately started searching for bass pressuring bait fish. Fishing began pretty slow. The fish we found were finicky. By this point in time Al gave up and went sailing. I was feeling exhausted but eventually Ricky hooked up! He had a nice striper. About an hour later Ricky Hooked up again with a smaller Bass but still was a good day.
After a little break and a PB sandwich Croakers were on my mind! I went to deeper water to find some. I had a few hits but it was slow. Ricky came over and guided us towards even deeper water. Using a Fish Finder rig with a high low hook 1/0 Gamakatsu bait holder hooks and red beads a rig I had whipped up in Delaware baited with small cut pieces of beach clam i managed to find a Croaker! A rather nice one! They were hard to find but managing a small Porgie around 9″ a bit later.
By this time the wind had shifted to a NE 10-15 out of our direction to the drop in. Managing to tow Ricky in most of the way while being soaked by the water thrown off his kayaks bow. The Torqeedo was a paddling for hours saver on this one!
It was a great weekend of fishing even though fishing wasn’t the best. Being out on the water with friends and good company is the real reward. I’m hoping for a few more weekends like this until the weather turns cold.