Monday, November 25, 2013

Island Beach State Park, NJ - The surf fishing season almost ends.

On the web I saw good fishing reports of Island Beach State Park, NJ last week.  So I decided to go there in the early Saturday morning before the arrival of the really cold weather.

I caught a shad, but I didn't catch any striper, neither did fishermen around me.
I guessed either most of the fish had already gone or they didn't come to the beach last Saturday.
I got another chance - a strong strike, but I missed the fish only a moment later.
The sand eel fly went with the fish when the blood knot of the tippet had come loose.  I probably did not tie the knot securely enough in the early morning as my fingers were numbed by the cold wind.  

Later I thought about the miss.  After casting, I wasn't able to start stripping the line right away because I had to free the end of the running line which became tangled on the butt grip of my two-handed rod.  Because of the delay in stripping, the fly sank deeper.  When I started stripping the line, the strike came.  It makes me realize that in some cases, even in surf fishing, I should do a countdown for the fly to reach a certain depth of the water, rather than starting to strip immediately after casting, even though delayed stripping can cause real trouble:  the incoming wave can push the line toward the shore and create an irretrievable slack line. It is difficult to control the sinking depth of the fly in the surf by countdown, but it is worth trying.
I have surf fished in the ocean side of the beach several times since the stripper run started.
Although I caught only one schoolie, I become used to fish in the ocean side and learn something about it.
I hope to do better next season.

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