A Look Back at 2015 on The Plastic Hull
A Look Back at 2015 on The Plastic Hull starts in the spring as winters frigid cold had a strong grasp up until mid April. Although it was freezing cold out the Indoor Fishing and Kayak Expos went on. Attending 5 and representing Jackson Kayak at 3 the itch to get out fishing was growing incredibly strong. The introduction to fly fishing was fascinating. Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) and Steve Monahan were kind to bring me on board their team for the season. Paddle Sport 2015 was 3 days of fun and was able to do my Yak Action Seminar on camera mounting and shooting video. Its great meeting so many like minded people there whom were interested in the sport of Kayak Angling.
The early days of the mid to late Spring out bass fishing was phenomenal for a few weeks. Every time out fishing fish were caught! This year breaking a record for the longest day fished from sunrise to sunset! Just after the Jamaica Bay Kayak Fishing Classic the big Blues were everywhere and Bass fishing became tough. A few bad weather days with fog and wind but found a way to save most of those days by relocating out of the wind. However the majority of days were perfect conditions with light and variable winds along with warm sunny days. It was great to see Justin Vail catch his first Striped Bass. That is what its all about!
It wasn’t long before kicking off the first NJ Heroes On The Water outing at Lake Denmark along with a special overnight retreat at the Picatinny Army Base Cabins. An opening to an incredibly successful HOW season that consisted of over 20 events including the new Midweek events. Also holding my record of bad weather at HOW events I have coordinated. Cancelling the Port Monmouth event was one of the hardest things to do after everyone who showed up and having a donated lunch already paid for. The program is one of the best for helping US Veterans and their family’s have a good day to smile and enjoy the simple things in life. I am proud to be apart of this amazing group of people and to continue on donating time for something that is very needed in our sport.
Opening day of Fluke/Summer Flounder and landing the first Fluke of the season in an area that the thought never came to mind to target them! Fishing the back bay more over 2015 and traveling much more than previous years. Managing at least one keeper Fluke on every trip it was the first season I did not fish at Sandy Hook. Took the opportunity at targeting a bucket list fish down in MD/VA. Mattawoman Creek was the destination and Snakeheads were on the list. Mark Wheeler made the drive up from VA Beach and we bade a day out of it unfortunately not landing one snake head but the LMB were a ton of fun!
July came fast and on a whim deciding to participate in the Sunshine Foundation Fluke Tournament. The weather was great but only short Fluke were caught. This being a kill tournament no keepers were caught therefore there was no winners for the kayak division. It was a great tournament with good people and a nice experience fishing a new area. The pulled pork was awesome!!! Looking forward to fishing it again in 2016!
It was now time for the Elks Fluke tournament. There was a decent turnout with 38 kayak anglers. Again had amazing weather. A few of us fished the Manasquan river where the bulk of the guys went up to Raritan Bay. However the ocean prevailed producing a 27.5″ fluke and a bunch of others over 20″. Chris Baggott cleaned up again as he did in 2013 winning 3 of the 4 divisions and even winning the bucktail raffle.
Following the tournaments a phenomenal limiting out day fishing the Back Bay with Brian Pickard tops the list of Fluke fishing 2015. Although late it was September just before the closing of the season. It was fish after fish! These days are the ones we could only dream of!
Camping became the norm in 2015! Embarking on trip after trip I was literally not home on weekends for 3 months. It was great to get out and be away from everything there. Which brings me to the excellent camping trip of the year! Round Valley Reservoir. This slice of beauty is situated 20 minutes from my home but is incredibly wilderness camping. The first time kayak camping and was an excellent time. Put the 65 QT Orion cooler to the test. Towing a canoe loaded with firewood and gear over the 2.5 mile distance across the reservoir. Camping with good friends in the wilderness is incredibly relaxing and great times! Camp fire cooking and dinner at sunset!
After the close of the Fluke season I ended up hanging more with Ricky at his camp Chips Folly in South Jersey. That place is a little slice of heaven! Bass fishing Great Bay and the Mullica River in some top secret spots. Its such a thrill to get out of the ordinary and explore! Fishing these areas extended my knowledge of fishing different techniques that you wouldn’t tend to use in my home waters of Raritan Bay. Fishing these types of backwaters and sod banks is a Kayak Anglers dream.
The final get together in Cape May typically closes out the season with laughs stories and good brews. Tautog fishing was insanely good this year and that is always a plus! The guys at The Kayak Fishing Store do a great job as always providing a great weekend for over 100 anglers. Really nice raffle prizes that benefit the NJ HOW Chapter!
Fishing November in Delaware was a treat as it was a first for me. The ability to meet anglers out of state and the realization of the divide between saltwater and freshwater anglers. Hopefully more salt guys will join in on the KBF series tournaments as they are well put together and a ton of fun. This also works both ways as the freshwater guys I hope come out to the big saltwater tourneys in the future!
Fishing a number of tournaments over the year including J-Bay in Queens NY,Sunshine Foundation in Tucketron NJ, CBKA in Kent Island MD, MAKBF Delaware, and Commissioning the Point Pleasant Elks Kayak Division for my 2nd year. Fresh water fishing was on my list of improvements and have put in more time.
2015 had many incredible days spent on the water! Im stoked that 2016 is to be even better. Please do drop me an email if you would ever like to get together and hit the water! Trust me its a blast.
Thanks again for reading my articles! I hope they inspire you to get out there and fish!