November 2003 Report

Reports Archive

November 30, 2003 - Jersey Shore Salt Report

Managed to hit the salt today. The surf had a minor swell when we arrived and laid down as the day went on. However, the water color was about the same as the Schuylkill after a rain. Not promising looking at all. But we managed to get into some fish. Mostly sea herring in various sizes - up to about 20" as well as one striper. The bass was dredged out of a nice looking seam on a pink jiggy. Lots of silversides still around and I would guess there are still lots of bass to be caught. We are in the home stretch so get out there.

something smells fishy?

A fiesty late-November bass.

November 26, 2003 - Jersey Shore Salt Report

Tough, tough day for the salt…we hit the last three hours of the in-coming and fished our way through the full outgoing...with only one short to be found. Not much of anything materialized until partway through the outgoing. Then we began to notice schools of bait here and there. Finally one pod had some fish on the inside edge and within casting distance. It was then shortly there after we produced a fish. Otherwise everything was too far out. The only bait noticed was peanut bunker - pretty small in size and pretty tough to see when you got to spot it beyond the outer bar. It also seemed to be hanging kind of deep at times. Awesome visuals with 8-10 slot and larger size bass cutting through a cresting wave.

Fish On!

A fat late-November bass.

Talkin' spey.

Definitely still some fish around, you just got to put in your time from here on out….


November 23, 2003 - UPDATE

It is weather like this that keeps us fly fisherman from hanging it up for the season. Bigger streams are a no go, but if you search out the smaller waters you can come across some fantastic fishing. Pictured immediately to the right shows the effects of this unbelievably wet pattern we have been in - with the word being it is going to continue right on into December. This past year must have re-written the record books. The graph located below-right shows one of my favorite streams in the area and where it flow stands in the wake of the recent rainfall. As you can see the ground is charged with water. Evident by the higher cfs tapering off point. Normally Valley should be at about 20cfs, now it is level; clean and cold at about 50cfs. AMAZING stuff!


We still got some more salt action left in look for some more feedback from the NJ coast in the few days. It seems to have slowed down some, but you never know unless you give it a shot. It just might lead to a scene like we ran into a few weeks ago with bait right tight to the waters edge and nervousness everywhere. All the usual bait suspects are still around along with a greater presence of sea run herring which can actually be quite fun on a fly. Now is a good time to have a seven weight rigged just in case they are around. They really seek out the moving water and migrating eddies. I've seen them in the past completely torment schools of spearing that were tightly packed against a jetty. When the larger game fish are not around, which will happen this time of year, sea-run herring can save the day...see ya.

Anywhere you see a black dot means the gage is reporting a record high reading for the day. Anywhere you see a blue dot means
the reading is in the top
10% of readings for that day.

The trend continues...

November 16, 2003 - Jersey Shore Saltwater Action

Lots of bait showed up toward dark last night and the bass rolled in and out in seconds...noticed two waves of fish. Just enough time to hook up and land, then hook up again. Mostly schoolies, but some larger boils were scene. Yellow Poppers - Bob's Bangers - on an intermediate line were the ticket and the bass hit agressivly. Strip-strip-strip-pause. The action should continue to be HOT! Just throw!

just outta reach.

November 13, 2003 - Jersey Shore Saltwater Action

The Jersey Shore salt scene continues to hold strong. As of Tuesday there was still a ton of bait packed in tight along the beaches. Especially as the tide dropped and the bowls became more pronounced essentially trapping the bait with nowhere to go until the tide rolled in which enabled the bait to escape. Either way, with the bait running the beach or packed in the bowls it was being ambushed by some gator blues. Not many bass caught - still mostly bluefish. We will have to wait and see what this big-time W-NW blow is going to do. Regardless come Thursday there will be a serious blow-out-tide. This is definitely a good time to check out the beaches to find all those deep holes in tight to the beaches that can hold fish during normal water conditions. This weekend we will be back at to see what the migration brings our way.

Lots of times fly fishers not familiar with fishing the salt always ask how far you need to cast. Well, pictured above shows you need not cast far to get into the action. This is what makes the fall migration so great for us shore-bound anglers. The bait in this picture is peanut bunker. You still got time so get out there and poke around. Send us an email if you would like any helpful tips.

November 9, 2003 - Jersey Shore Salt Recap

On Sunday FFPA along with Tony and Jerry from TCO Fly Shop in Reading hit the salt. First light produced some really tough conditions - a stiff north wind, cold temps and some roughed-up surf greeted us. And other than the bright-sun, conditions remained about the same. After a couple of hours of fishing hard we only managed one slot-sized striper on a clouser. This was a little dissapointing since the day before was on fire. Later in the day on the out-going tide some nice size pods of peanut bunker began to show. And every so often some bass would roll through them. This definitely got you pumped. Which was a good thing, becuase the surf was relentless and it took some pretty aggressive casting to get your fly into the 'zone.' Persistence did pay off though in the end with another nice bass inhaling a chartreuse popovics jiggy. Throwing the spinning rod produced fish with greater ease. Baitfish seen - peanut bunker, bay anchovies and silversides. For the amount of effort put forth by the crew results should have been better.

First light bass

Afternoon bass

November 5, 2003 - Update

Pictured here are a couple of good color schemes to tie up the next time you hit the bench. They are a must have in your box as well. Popovics Jiggies are durable, especially when tied with synthetic materials like Superhair in this case. Pre-wiring a few of them will mean less down-time on the water. Also, another little tip is to carry a small moustache comb to straighten the fibers of the material. Sometimes they can get all kinked and tangled after being abused by a few teeth.

Recently, mountain freestone action for wild browns and brookies has been fastastic. Especially with the warm weather we have been having. Fish might still come up for a dry or two, but your best bet is to give a couple of nymphs a swing or even a dry and a dropper rig. Colors, both up in the trees and on the fish should be sweet. However, the former will be coming to end relatively soon. This is also the time of the year where you might run into some larger browns trying to bed up. All we can say in this case is to just walk away. And keep an eye out for the hunters.

Larger waterways are still on the high side - so since they started that way, then what the hell, they might as well end it that way. This has only got us more pumped for next year.

Confirmation has also been received that the relocation of the roadway, from inside FEW reservoir, has indeed started. Now hopefully sometime in the near future we can begin drawing up a recreation plan on how to best utilize this impoundment. For some more info on FEW and great photos go here.

November 2, 2003 - Jersey Shore Salt Report

Whatta Day!!! Thousands of blues in the trough, absolutely shredding the peanut bunker and leaving the beach littered with flipping baitfish was the scene this afternoon. Fall, Jersey shore blitz action at its finest! Being able to locate baitfish is the key to the game and the ability to find it with very few signs can be tough. Yeah, you can stumble across feeding-frenzies this time of year, but there are things to look for along the way to help you out. Telltale signs today were the distant dark patches about 200 yards offshore. When the light and swell were right, you could make out huge rafts of bait. It was then a combo of the high tide, a very-light east wind and some pretty big waves that brought the bait over the outer bar and in tight. Then it was all-out crazyness. There were numerous hook-ups and beached fish. The blues ranged from 4-9# and were a blast on the fly. So many blues, and no bass only means we still have a while left in this season.

I would tell you about Saturday, but there is nothing to say since it was dead! Go figure…but that is the deal with fishing the migration. However, putting to use some observations tools can help make the day.

Memories of a Fall Blitz

The aftermath.
Click on the image above for more photos of the HOT action we witnessed

This could be the November to Remember. Blues usually preceed the bass, so hopefully this year that is the case. Other than the push of bass we had a couple of weeks ago we have not seen to many large migrating schools, feasting on the abundant bait along the Jersey coast.

Now is the time for you shore-bound fly rodders.