Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Playing Hookie at Sandy Hook

Where was that seminar I was supposed to attend? Ok, so it wasn't a seminar nor anything other then an excuse to get out of what I was supposed to be doing to go fishing. I just couldn't resist! My last four trips to Sandy Hook were lovely days on the beach with sunny skies and mild temperatures but those kind of conditions aren't exactly prime for Striped Bass. Yesterday was perfect it was cloudy, rainy with a nice breeze coming off the ocean.

I arrived early in the afternoon and hit the beach running like an excited little kid. On about the tenth cast my first striper of the day hit. Amazingly, the fish followed my lure, (a yellow bomber) right into the suds nearly at my feet before it hit and then ran straight out peeling off about 30 feet of line before turning up the beach. After a few short runs I was able to land the 24 inch bass and cut him loose to fight another day.

For the next half hour there was not another hit. I then switched gears and changed lures to a metal crippled herring. After several casts I got the second hit of the day and much to my surprise, after an impressive little fight, I landed a 17 inch Atlantic Herring! Go figure I caught a herring on a crippled herring... Cannibal!

Walking back down the beach I opted to switch back to my trusty yellow bomber and within a few casts I had another striper follow my lure and hit it at my feet in the suds. Once more I found my self just holding on to the rod as the fish tore off line and headed out to sea. This fish was just loaded with energy and it took me a while to get him tired out. After several long runs and and a leap right out of the waves I finally landed it. This fish was about 25 inches and was good and chunky. See photo below:

My Second Striped Bass of the day 25"
Catching stripers on light tackle is always fun and challenging in the surf. After I landed my second bass the cheap Okuma reel I was using simply gave out and my day was over. I could only imagine how many fish I would've caught if i could've fished until dark as intended. But none the less I had a great day of fishing and playing hookie was at least in my mind justified! My only regret was that I couldn't share the day with my favorite fishing partner and love of my life Tracy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sandy Hook Sunday

Sandy Hook Fishing Report November 6, 2011: What a gorgeous fall day down on the Jersey shore! Tracy and I spent the most of our day fishing the beaches with no luck for most of the day. Somewhere about nightfall, Tracy did the Cherokee Indian fish catching dance and upon its conclusion the rod started to bend! Go figure! In came a 22 inch striped bass which saved the day from skunkhood. Not exactly the monster I had hoped for but at least it was a little excitement.

Gonna fish the Connecticut shore this weekend, hopefully we will get a little more lucky!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sandy Hook Adventure

Hi folks, yes we are back! I am not a hot weather person at all and spent a good part of my summer underground. Now that things are cooling off I have once again returned to my fishing follies and this weekend Tracy and I took to the coast. Yesterday we geared up and went down to Sandy Hook, to try and find a stripper or two. Thinking it would be overcast and rainy, I was looking forward to a sunless day of catching, but mother nature wouldnt have it. The sun came out brighter then ever and sent the bass deep during the day. We managed to catch one 4 pound bluefish the whole day and I found myself shucking clams when I got home as we had a ton of leftover bait.

We still had a great time though and had dinner at Sissy's over by the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor. Its nice to be around that area as it just has fishing written all over it. I miss the days of party boat fishing and all my old friends who have long since passed.... especially Jules Navarro, Louie, Brooklyn Joe, Chester "Crunch", the list goes on and on. Those were the days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where did all the fish go? (Ramapo River)

New Jersey trout fishing report 6/14/11: Went down to Glen Gray Rd after dinner today to try out some new casting techniques I learned for fly fishing. I did infact attempt to find some rising fish but that simply didnt materialize. After a while I tied on my trusty brown maribou muddler and came up with one brown trout. Seemed like there wasnt a whole lot of fish left at that spot.

I headed down to the stretch behind the Oakland Rec center and saw at least two fish rising in the riffles. I was unsuccessful at figuring out what they were eating.

I may try another trip to Roscoe on Friday as I am out for trout revenge based on poor catch numbers last week. Stay tuned!!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dismal Day in Roscoe, NY

Catskills fishing report 6/10/11: I dont even know where to begin. I guess I will start at the Sunoco station convienience store where I usually pick up a couple of slabs of beef jerky. Yesterday it was dryer than a cedar plank! You could've made a briefcase out of it!

On a good note, the weather was just absolutely gorgeous. The Beaverkill was very wadeable and the water temps were in the mid 60's.

We started out at Junction Pool in Roscoe just to try to get some fish at the end of our lines and man did we have to work for them. Tracy caught her first trout on a fly rod using a olive spinner, and as the day progressed I found some fish sipping the banks and caught two on a size 16 black ant. And that was pretty much it! We tried worms and hardly got a bite. There were plenty of fish around but they were as locked jawed as a machinists vice.

After lunch we took a ride to the West Branch of the Delaware, and fished Hales Eddy. We fished worms there and after a dismal two hours we had one bite and one fish. Mind you Hales Eddy and Junction Pool are usually places we kick the hell out of them with worms.... AND TODAY DAMN NEAR NOTHING!

Leaving there and looking forward to the evening hatch and rising fish, we headed back to the Beaverkill. We hit the big pool below Junction pool and waited for the hatch to start.... and waited and waited!!!! If I saw three sulphers and one or two spinners that would be an overstatement. There was no rises at all! It was as dead as my beef jerky!

Overall the fishing was a huge let down. Oh well I hope perhaps with the rain and cooler temperatures we have today I might get another shot at trout fishing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last trip on the Ramapo for spring trout fishing?

New Jersey trout fishing report 6/6/11: Well folks I think today was it for me on the Ramapo barring another rain event big enough to fill and cool the stream down. There are plenty of trout around still however you can see the effects of the warmer water temps starting to take a toll. It seemed that revival time was a little longer and the fish seemed generally more stressed after catching. But if today was the last trip then a hell of a trip it was ending the day releasing 7 trout, 4 browns and 3 rainbows.

I think the final overall round of trout fishing for spring will be on Friday up in Roscoe with Tracy. I can hardly wait! Til then keep a tight line as some anglers would say.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Had to work for 'em today on the Salmon River Ct.

Connecticut trout fishing report 6/5/11: It could not have been a more beautiful day here in Colchester Ct. Today was somewhat overcast with temperatures hovering in the high 60's and coming off a cool night made the water temperature perfect for catch and release. With spring stocking complete we had to walk off the beaten path and hunt our quarry were few have troden. Seemed like rainbow trout were the domninant catch today, Tracy caught 2 rainbows and I caught 3 with a smattering of salmon parr once again.

I've got just a couple of more trout fishing trips planned as rain seems to be alluding us once again. I hope to get up to the Ramapo in Jersey once more during the week, and Thursday night Tracy and I are heading up to Trout Town USA! (Roscoe NY) for a one time appearance at the Beaverkill. Also planned for next week is a saltwater trip out on Long Island Sound aboard the Shamrock with my buddy Mike.

Stay tuned for more fun and adventures. I will be sure to take lots of pictures next time around.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Riffles, Sniffles, Salmon and Trout

Connecticut Trout Fishing Report 6/4/11: Well the title tells it all! I am suffering from allergies like never before. With a runny nose and water itchy eyes, I still managed to don my waders and head to the river. That is the the Salmon River here in Connecticut. We only had an hour or two to fish before darkness set in but we made the best of it. Tracy caught a nice brown to start the evening and I caught an 8 inch native brookie and a brown. Also plentiful tonight were the Salmon Parr. They were chomping the roostertail and just about anything else they could latch onto.

I should've had the fly rod out tonight as the caddis hatch was just insane with fish rising to the occasion. Also about were some sulfers, cahils, a few little green stoneflies and some slate drakes. Seemed like the caddis were the main attraction for the fish. Oh well I will try the fly rod tommorrow we shall see what happens!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Canoeing at the Monksville Reservoir

New Jersey fresh water fishing report 5/29/2011: Today we gave the trout a break and took my canoe out on Monksville Reservoir for some warm water fishing. It was another beautiful day with a cool breeze blowing off the lake. Tracy and I caught a variety of fish including bluegills, white perch, yellow perch, a golden shiner and one largemouth bass.

As the rivers continue to warm, we will begin to shift more of our attention on bass fishing and perhaps some saltwater fishing.

I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderfull memorial day weekend. We shall see what tomorrow brings as of yet there is no plan but I may try to get a little more fishing in.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Gorgeous Day Fishing the Ramapo

New Jersey trout fishing report 5/27/2011: Well folks as far days go it couldnt get better than this for this time of year. With the Ramapo River running somewhat cool and the air plenty warm,wading in the water was the perfect activity to stay comfortable. Tracy and I fished a good eight hours today and found fish in three different locations. We started out by the RR bridge in Oakland  and worked our way up to the 287 bridge, followed by the Area below the Mahwah 287 bridge. We found a smattering of fish everywhere with Tracy and I releasing a grand total of  16 trout. Tracy had 2 rainbows 2 browns and a brookie, while I had 4 rainbows, 5 browns and 2 brookies.

Tracy caught a nice 14 inch rainbow to which is photographed below and I got a chunky 12 incher below that.

It has been one hell of a season and having Tracy along is just a dream come true. I never in a million years thought I would find a girl who would enjoy trout fishing as much as I do.

Anyway I hope to get a couple more trips before the river temperatures come up to much as to not stress and kill the fish. So keep an eye on your stream thermometers before you head out if you plan to catch and release.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Electro Fishing for Suckers Columbia River Wa.

I thought this video was pretty interesting. Video courtesy of USGS

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Snakes and Stones at the Ramapo Reservation

New Jersey trout fishing report 5/24/2011: Took a ride after work today and brought the camera along. I tried fishing for a while and caught one brown trout at the reservation but the bites were few and far between. As I was fishing at the bridge some kids and there father decided it would be a good idea to through large rocks from the bridge right in the area where I was fishing. I dont even know what to say to this except for God's sake some people cannot even comprehend what the concept of consideration is.

I wanted to return to photograph the stick I saw yesterday with the Ants on it (read previous post) however the ants were completely gone. While I was messing with the camera some folks on the bridge stopped dead in there tracks and were looking down... I know that meant only one thing.... SNAKE! I got the camera and followed the 40" black rat snake to the river bank and cornered if for a photo session. Here it is sticking its tongue out.

Black Rat Snake

Back at the Ramapo!

New Jersey trout fishing report 5/23/2011: You may wonder why I have primarily fished the Ramapo and Salmon River's this year. The simple reason is time and timing. Between school and now having a day job again has really knocked down my fishing time. My best day that I go is Friday and my other favorite rivers are closed for stocking. During the week, the Ramapo is about a 20 minute ride to get to so I go there alot. Since Tracy lives about 5 miles from the Salmon River in Connecticut, we go there when I visit. I hope to get out and fish some of the other rivers soon as my Saturday class ends.

Yesterday after work I drove up to Oakland and fished the Ramapo behind the recreational complex. I got 4 browns there and then headed up to the Reservation were I caught 2 more and lost 2 others. All were on brown roostertails and Berkeley Gulp worms.

For the fly fishermen: I watched a fairly active spinner fall just around dark with several trout rising to the occasion. There were some large sulphers coming up off the river as well some blue winged olives. Also worthy of tell was an interesting little saga that I noticed. There was a stick coming out of the water about 2 feet from the bank and it seemed to be moving oddly in the water. There was something swirling underneath it and occasionally sipping the surface. Turns out as I got closer the stick was covered in black ants and there were several trout that seemed to be deliberately swimming into the branch as to knock the ants into the water to eat them. It was really cool to watch.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sunset fishing on the Connecticut's Salmon River

Connecticut fishing report 5/21/11: Well thankfully the world hasn't ended today as some predicted! With the fire and brimstone staying at bay, I decided to take a trip up to see my honey and of course, FISH! Well I didnt fish all day, as a matter of fact I spent a good part of the day stuck in traffic on a bus. Upon arrival at Mohegan Sun, I got my 3 free bets and headed for the wheel. Now lets see, my bus ticket cost 30 dollars and when you get there they give you $25 worth of bets and a $15 meal pass. As I took my turns on the wheel my free bets turned into $70 cash! After a good hearty meal at the casino buffet, we finally left and headed back to Tracy's house.

Oh yeah back to the fishing! We decided to take a ride to Salmon River State Forest for about an hour and in my casual non trout fishing attire, I managed to come up with 3 trout, 2 browns and a rainbow all caught on my infamous brown roostertail. The water is looking great after the rain this past week and I hope to get a little more fishing in tomorrow before I have to go back to work on Monday!

Connecticut fishing report 5/22/11: Well the end of the world happened after I lost my last brown roostertail! It happened early on in todays outing from a bail malfunction while making a long hard cast. I attempted to fish every other color with nary a bite. I finally tried a little tiger and managed to interest a couple of fish into looking at it. After a few casts I caught one brown. Since I am new up here in Connecticut I drove all over the place and couldn't find anything resembling a bait and tackle shop. Oh well looks like more rain is coming so we should get a few more weeks of fishing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

High water trout fishing at the Ramapo

New Jersey Trout Fishing Report 05/20/2011: Ok I couldn't resist and after completing training today for my new job, I went home grabbed a rod and headed for the river. The water was running high and fast still but the fish were on! I fished the Ramapo Reservation just around the bridge and managed a catch of 6 browns all on Berkley Gulp worms and roostertails. I caught some of these fish where I would normally be walking on land! With the high water the fish were hanging close to the banks in the slower waters. I watched them actively feeding on nats, ants and some small caddis. I wish I brought the fly rod today as that may have turned out to be a bonanza. Can't wait to fish again next week.

At the Ramapo without a fishing rod.

New Jersey Trout Fishing Report 5/20/2011: Ok the river was high and I thought things would be too rough to fish but as it turns out, they still stocked yesterday and fish were biting. Although they weren't biting my line because I didnt bring one! I watched several anglers catch trout on spinners one after another. Oh well thats the breaks sometimes. I hope perhaps if I get some time later on I could get back up there with my rod this time. Here's what it looked like flowing at over 1300 CFS today.

Oh well, I hope I could get a line wet later today. We shall see!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ramapo River Rising Fast!

Looks like there will be no trout fishing for a little while mother nature continues to deliver needed replenishment to our rivers. Here is the flow chart as it was May 19th, 2011 for the Ramapo courtesy of the USGS website.

If the rain abates, next week we should see some decent fishing. You can bet once the waters clear and recede a little I will be out there fishing muddlers on my fly rod or roostertails on the spinning gear. Anyhow this is a good time to check your gear, watch River Monsters and spend some quality time with your spouse.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rainy day at Connecticut's Silver Springs State Park

Well folks, today I gave the trout a break as the rivers are swollen from the past two days of rain. Thankfully we got that rain as all the rivers needed a shot to sustain the trout fishing for the next couple of weeks.

So today Tracy and I took a rainy day walk at Silver Springs State Park, near Milford Connecticut. We thought the rain had abated and we took only partial raingear with us... Needless to say that was a mistake! Although our tops were dry our pants and feet were soaked big time! Anyhow, thank goodness for K-mart as we purchased the other half of our raingear and some dry pants that saved the day.

Ya have to be careful with cheap raingear as it doesnt hold up very well to bending over as we discovered today! At least it lasted long enough to keep us mostly dry... :)

Somewhere along the way we were checking out some wading birds when we came across MARSH CHICKEN!!! It took us a little while but we finally identified the beast as a clapper rail.  Click here for a detailed description from I didnt get a great shot of it but at least I got enough to get the ID. Here it is lurking in the wetlands.

Also out and about was this big gobbler trying to cross the road. He was having a rough time deciding how to negotiate that fence!

Anyway Im gonna try some fishing perhaps Friday if the rivers come down to good wading levels again. We shall see!   ........Stay tuned

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shoreline Fishing at Round Valley

New Jersey Trout Fishing Report 05/14/2011: Tried like hell yesterday to get something out of Round Valley Reservoir but just couldnt find a connection. Tracy and I casted Rapalas, Roostertails, Gulp Worms and Salted Minnows until the rain soaked us to the bones and our arms ached without one damn bite! Oh well next time I will have the canoe with me so we can cover more water.

It wasnt a total loss though as I had the camera with me and saw some birds to keep me busy like this praire warbler pictured below although not worthy of a flickr upload it still is neat to see.

Also spotted was some pine warblers like this one:

Back to the fishing, I am happy to see some rain today as the streams needed it. Looks like we may get plenty more so with a little luck trout fishing will stay good for another few weeks!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another fine day on the Ramapo River with Tracy

New Jersey Trout Fishing Report 05/13/2011: Today Tracy and took a long walk to the farthest reaches of the Ramapo Reservation to put together a decent catch of trout. Sometimes the popular spots aren't always the best spots as they tend to get fished out rather quickly. So we managed to find fish in the spots that everyone else today were too lazy to engage. By days end Tracy had 6 trout: 4 rainbows 1 brookie and 1 brown. I caught 5 trout: 4 rainbows and 1 brown. The weather was absolutely perfect with a cool breeze, overcast skies and 68 degrees temperatures. Once again we need some rain and the forcast looks good for us to get some this coming week. Keep your fingers crossed!

I spotted a pileated woodpecker today and almost had a photo but just as I got the camera ready it flew off! There were plenty of other birds around as well including baltimore orioles, common yellow throats, grackles and redwinged blackbirds.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Beautiful Day on the Ramapo River

New Jersey Trout Fishing Report 05/10/11: Went fishing today with Dave at the Glen Gray stretch of the Ramapo River on what amounted to a gorgeous spring day. Water levels are dropping and it was clear that this section was hard fished. Still though with a little work and coaxing we managed to put together a fair catch of trout. By the end of the afternoon Dave had 4 trout, 2 brookies a rainbow and a brown, and I had 2 rainbows and a brookie. After Dave quit for the day I headed behind the Oakland Recreational Complex and fished above the railroad bridge where I came up with 2 browns to end the day with 5 total.

All rivers by now can use a shot of rain so do what ever dance you can do or cast whatever majic you could cast to bring on the wet stuff! I'll be fishing some more come Friday so stay tuned for the next adventure!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Connecticut's Eight Mile River....running low on water!

Connecticut Fishing Report 05/09/2011: Stark contrast in water level since I last fished this stream in Devils Hopyard State Park. We have to get some rain back in the forcast or trout season is gonna end early this year. Anyhow, I still managed 3 rainbows and a skinny little pickeral! Had to work for them though and trod the woods to find the remnants of the last stocking.

I was going to try to hit the Salmon River again but got stymied when I discovered that I couldnt open my trunk. To make matters worse, I went to access it through the back seat of my car only to discover that my key doesnt work to drop the back seats down.. I was rightfully livid about this! Oh well, just another thing to fix.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Jersey Trout Fishing: Ramapo River with Tracy

New Jersey Fishing Report 5/7/2011: Hi folks! Today I got out with my sweetheart and newest fishing partner Tracy. We fished the Ramapo River by the Ramapo Reservation in Mahwah, NJ. I suspect the fish got pounded a bit today as catching was not quite as good as the begining of the week. Still though with a little work Tracy managed 2 rainbows and I took 3 rainbows and a brookie. Those fish were reluctant as hell to take a worm however the brown roostertail made a suitable alternative today as most of the catch was taken on that lure.

Cudos to Tracy for being a fast learner and finding the joy that I do in fishing for trout. I will probably have another go at the Salmon River on Monday as I will be taking Tracy home tomorrow night. I think this time it will be all fly rod fishing for me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Awsome Day on Connecticut's Salmon River!!!

Slicing its way through Eastern Connecticut is the Salmon River. I dont know all the specifics as to where it begins or ends but a great stretch crosses under Rt 16 with good fishing on both sides of the bridge. The northern stretch above Rt 16 is fly fishing only with only a small portion near the bridge being open to all anglers. The area south of the bridge flows into Salmon River State Forrest and has plenty of access to fish with any method. This is a spring time fishery as the locals tell me the river gets quite low in the summer doldrums.

Connecticut Fishing Report 05/06/2011: Today I fished the Salmon River just outside of Colchester CT in East Hampton CT. What a day it was as I caught three really nice fish among the nine total that I nabbed throughout the day! The breakdown was 3 browns and 6 rainbows. I had one brown estimated to be about 20 inches long with a hooked jaw and another about 18 inches. I also took a nice rainbow about 17 inches all on a brown roostertail. All the rest of the fish were roughly 12 inches or less. I managed a brown and a rainbow as well as a small salmon parr on the fly rod using a size 6 brown maribou muddler. Pictured below is the big brown with me smiling as I heft him up!

Here is the big rainbow

Here is the other big brown

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Saddle River: Bergen County Fishing Fun!

Fishing the Saddle River is not always the easiest experience. It is stocked from the NY State line down to Dunkerhook Rd in Paramus. In the lower stretches the river is sometimes cut between steep dirt banks which are treacherous to climb down. When you finally get into the river you are greeted by soft sandy or muddy bottoms that like to grip your boots like quick sand! There are some nice bends and deep holes though that make it worthy to fish. The northern part of the river is a little more rocky and more natural looking however access is tough as it runs through some quite expensive private properties.

NJ Fishing Report 05/05/2011: Today I fished the Dunkerhook Park section of the Saddle River and managed to catch 4 rainbow trout and 1 native brown. YES I DID SAY NATIVE BROWN! I wish I could've snapped a photo but the little bugger was eager to get back into the water before I could get the camera ready. It was a surprise to find a wild born fish down that far in the river. My guess is that he was spawned more near the NY side and high waters brought him down to Paramus. The native was about six inches long with a deep bronze back and loosly spaced black and red spots. It is always something special to catch fish that were wild born rather then hatchery stocked even if it was just a little guy.

Tomorrow I will be up in Connecticut to try my luck at the Salmon River or Eight Mile River again. Stay tuned for more fishing reports!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Jersey Trout Fishing at the Ramapo River

I've have fished the Ramapo River from the NY State line to Oakland, NJ for over 30 years. The Ramapo offers some of the finest trout fishing in the north eastern part of the state. With a variety of pools, runs and bends this river has plenty of good water to fish. Spring and fall are best especially if the water temps stay down and there is a decent amount of rain.

Fishing Report 5/02/11: This Monday I took my girlfriend Tracy fishing and she managed to catch (and released) 4 rainbow trout and 2 brook trout. I caught (and also released) 4 rainbows and 1 brookie although one of my rainbows measured 17 inches and must've gone 3 pounds. We used mostly night crawlers and roostertails to catch them on. We fished behind the Oakland Recreational Complex and just upstream of Halifax Rd. Here is a photo of the big one however due to the limits of my cell phone camera my head is missing!

Fishing Report 5/03/11: Tuesday I fished solo and managed 15 rainbows and 5 brookies. It was a hell of a day fishing as well as just being a nice spring day. I fished the Ramapo Reservation and behind the Oakland Recreational Complex to put together this catch. All were caught on night crawlers.