Thursday, December 29, 2011

Father's Day Crabbing Trip

I apologize in advance since I'm bouncing around here right now in the beginning until I get in the flow of this blogging thing.

So for Father's Day this year (instead of playing baseball which I prefer to do) I went crabbing with my father-in-law.  He picked me up at 3:00 AM so we could head on down to the Chester River for our first crabbing run together.  We saw a beautiful sunrise over the water.

We then proceeded to set out the trot line.  For those who are reading who don't crab, a trot line is a length of nylon rope (in this case we were running 1250' the maximum allowed) with bungee cord snoods attached every so many feet (5-10 or so).  The snoods have a loop on the end so you can attach the bait (we were using chicken necks).  You anchor down the two ends of the trot line with a length of chain in the middle of the line to anchor that down.  As you run alongside the trot line, you pick up the line and net any crabs that are hanging onto your bait.  Pretty basic concept, takes a little time to get used to the execution.  When you get to the end of the line, you unhook the line from the boat and head back to the other end to do it again.  After a bushel of crabs, you head home.  We busheled out around 1000, took the boat back to its storage area, cleaned it off and headed home for some much needed rest.

That afternoon, we all got together for a crab feast!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Striper Charter with First Light Charters

Had a charter with Capt. Cook of First Light Charters on Saturday, November 26.  This trip was booked in the spring with thoughts of giant stripers and lots of them.  The fish didn't exactly cooperate but we had a good time and had a Captain that was willing to work and put in time to get us a keeper.

We met up with Capt. Cook at the dock at 300 PM to hit the water.  After launching the boat and talking a bit, we decided to head out to some rips in Delaware Bay to see if we couldn't entice some bigger keepers since Indian River Inlet hadn't been giving up anything.  After a 14 mile ride, we were on the first rip and experienced the most beautiful sunset ever.  I took a picture, but was unable to do Mother Nature any justice.

We worked hard drifting eels over rips anywhere from 60 feet of depth to 20 feet of depth and everywhere in between with only a dogfish of several feet of length to show for it.  After a couple hours of drifting, we decided to make the run back to the inlet and see what was happening in there.  Besides the delicious smell of french fries off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, the ride in was pretty uneventful.

We worked the new and improved bulkhead around the Coast Guard Station in the inlet with my brother-in-law picking up some schoolie stripers and some shad.  I didn't hit anything.  We then moved out and were casting plugs over the submerged end of the north jetty.  We almost immediately started hooking up with fish in the lower 20's (keeper is 28 inches).  The blood on the sides is from sea lice, these fish were fresh from the ocean and the sea lice were falling off as we were boating the fish.

My BIL hooked up with one that we thought might be a keeper, but came up short at 26 1/2.

The time for our trip was about to end, but since we were hitting fish and had spent a good deal of time out in the bay, Capt. Cook was willing to let us stay out longer to see what we were able to do.  Thankfully, we stayed and casted plugs over the submerged rocks.  I was able to bring in a 30" keeper that was our only boxed fish for the day.  I was pumped as this was my first keeper.

This was my second year in a row out with Capt. Cook.  He's a very knowledgeable Captain who will work hard to get you on fish and makes you feel very safe in his boat.  I'm looking forward to getting out with him again next year when we take on a new adventure for me, tautog fishing.  Get the tackle ready Capt. Chuck!

PA Fly Fish Saltwater Jam at IBSP

Ok, I'm a little late to the party on this post, but I'm trying to revive my blog after one mediocre post way back in May.  Saturday, October 22, I traveled to Island Beach State Park in Seaside Park, NJ to meet up with some guys from the board for a saltwater jam.  I met up with three of the guys at Betty and Nick's for breakfast at 7AM to fuel up for a full day on the sand.  After a great breakfast, we split up and I headed to the first bathing beach with another member before we were going to all get back together at 10.  I geared up and hit the sand and almost immediately had an undersized fluke (we were fishing in NJ so trying to keep terms correct) with the other guy hitting a small fluke as well for almost a doubleheader.  After that, action slowed and the other guys started showing on the sand.  We had a talk from a more experienced saltwater fly fisherman (thanks FishIdiot) and then worked the area around the first swimming beach again.  I hit up with another small fluke, and that would prove to be my last landed fish of the day.  We decided to head to the southernmost post parking area and fish the beach on our way to the jetty at the inlet, which was about 1.5 miles from the parking area.  We worked the beach hard with nothing to show for it.  We then worked the jetty for a while and I connected with a much larger fluke, but lost him shortly into the battle.  That would be it for me.  Worked some areas around the jetty, then trekked back to the parking area.  Found an awesome shell for my daughter, then hit the road back home.  A great day spent making new friends, that's what fishing of any type is all about.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack

Tiring of a vest, I bought a chest pack.  I worked through several chest packs each one better than the previous in my opinion.  Tiring of not being able to see my feet when I was wading, I made the decision to switch over to a waist pack.  There are a lot of packs out there, but talking with my local fly shop owner, I decided on the Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack.

This pack is awesome.  There are two large compartments to hold whatever you want.  I set up one compartment for dry flies: two fly boxes, leaders, floatant, mono tippet.  The other compartment holds my nymphing needs: two fly boxes, leaders, sighter pens, some split shot just in case.  In the fold down working tray there are interior pockets that hold my stream thermometer and a flashlight.  There are two drink holders on the sides capable of carrying whatever cold beverage you prefer on the stream.  I have my hemostats in one pocket.

This pack is very comfortable with a large support band that helps distribute the weight.  The packs swings around easily from front to back as well, so you can swing the pack to the front, do whatever work you need to do, then flip it around to your back, out of the way so you can fish without being bothered by a pack in front of you.

I have made several fishing trips with this pack so far and am very happy with the amount of gear it holds, how comfortable it is to wear, and also the colors, as they are muted and earthy.  I would recommend this pack to anyone looking to get away from a chest pack or a vest but not certain they will be able to fit everything they "need" into a waist pack.  They only thing I'm struggling with on this is where to carry my net if I feel I need to have one with me.