Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bustin' Out the Big Guns - Barbie Rod Challenge

Here's a look at my 37" striper caught for the Big Doug's Saltwater Shootout Barbie Rod Challenge. Thanks to Rich T who was my wheel man.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fishing with Jersey Justin

This season has been pretty unusual, both in the unpredictability of the local fishing and several of the locations I've fished. Just a few days after returning from Utah, I found myself heading (a bit) south to do something a little different from my norm. I had an opportunity to head down to Jersey City to meet up with Fishing with Jersey Justin Capt. Justin Suarez and friend Mike Prete from Plum Island Baits to do some fishing with my brother Doug and son Danny. Now, I typically associate Jersey City with an exit off the Jersey Turnpike, refineries, landfills and the Newark airport that I sometimes have to fly out of. None of these paint a very pleasant picture of Northern New Jersey.
Right across from Manhattan, tucked away off I-78, however, is Liberty State Park and Liberty Landing Marina. A block or two off the interstate and you're in a whole different world. Danny and I met up with Doug at Liberty Park Cafe & Diner for an early breakfast before hitting the water. I can't fish on an empty stomach, and the diner is open at 6:00am with all the standard breakfast fare.
We met Justin at the marina two minutes down the road. The morning was beautiful, with light winds and the seas settling down to just 1-2 feet. Headed out of the marina, your looking straight at the Lower Manhattan skyline, and as you turn to starboard, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. How cool is that? We ran out through the Verranzano Narrows past Ft. Wadsworth in Gateway National Recreation Area, past Sandy Hook to see what we could find. Our first location yielded more dogfish than anything else. Now, little do most know, but dogfish are actually good eating and make up a large percentage of the fried fish sold in British Fish & Chip shops. However, they rip up gear and are generally a pain in the ass. The next few spots we hit yielded a mix of keeper and short black sea bass and a few fluke, and this proved to be the dominant pattern for the rest of the day. Despite the sea bass limit being two per angler, there seems to be no end of short fish carpeting the bottom of most of our Southern New England and New York waters.
Plum Island's FLUKUSHIMA 'OG' 6.5" in Block Island Green proved to be the go to color, as Danny was sticking bass pretty consistently, including some nice keeper sized males. I eventually surrendered my pearl rigs, following Danny's lead and picked up more fish as well. Uncle Doug was as entertaining as always, trying to figure out how to hold onto little, flapping fish.
While the fishing wasn't on fire (we ground through a ton of locations), the day itself was awesome. I love the opportunities to get out on the water with Danny and my brother Doug, check out new locations, and fish with guys like Justin and Mike. I was so taken in with the surroundings that I forgot to get pics with Danny and some of his fish. I think Justin may have a few. I did manage to snap a pic of Danny enjoy the result of our trip last night. If you're in the New York area and looking to get away for awhile, give Capt. Justin a shout. He'll certainly show you a nice day on the water.
REMEMBER - TACKLE BOXES, NOT X-BOXES!!!!! Take your kids fishing!!!