I am sitting on cramped LIRR seat at 4 AM banging on the phone keyboard…what could possibly get under my skin to take such a drastic measures?
Something we have discussed many times over the years. Here is the thing, if it helps one person I’ll be happy. But the point of this blog post is more that we educate those new to the sport than to increase our catch.
We are in the middle of the fall run in northeast. You can blame water temp or lack of bait or reduced striped bass stocks or President Trump. But none of that will increase your catch. As of this writing this has probably been one of the worst seasons in general since moratorium in early 90’s where I fish. Obviously, people in Cape Cod Canal would disagree with me (and you). But then again so would have people fishing Block Island during the moratorium.
I think it’s obvious that striped bass stocks are not what they used to be. Less fish competing for food will result in less places they will venture in to get it. If you get to the restaurant and there is 2 hour wait, most likely you will leave and find another place to eat. It might not be as plentiful or delicious but it will do. Same goes for seals. Part of the reason they are spreading from Cape is because there are so many of them, they are going further away from the main group looking for food.
What does this have to do with the fall run? I thought you’d never ask!
In days of abundance you did not have to go anywhere. The fish were going to be at your beach as SOME point. There were so many of them, everyone had “resident” fish ( basically throughout the season) . What happened to most of these fish? Well, we ate most of them in my opinion!
So you went to your local beach and you knew that you can pick few residents, and when big migratory schools come down the beach in fall..…oh boy!
Some guys become fixtures on the beach, some even got nicknames like Shiny Bob or Jetty Steve or whatever. They could be counted to catch their share of fish because they were dialed into the place AND they were there every day. They never moved!
They are still there every day, the difference is they are not catching. In a lot of instances they are not caching anything, a huge difference from years past. And they still hammer their honey hole while saying how good water looks, how warm are temperatures, how all they need is bait.
Don’t be that guy!
Chances are fish will not come to your local beach at all this fall. If you hear of consistent action few miles away, go to it. Yes , I know it will kill the most guys to be THAT Guy that chases reports but I am telling you it’s the only way you might fulfill your need for a bent rod.
The striped bass schools are smaller and with less competition for food, they might feel less need or desire to feed in shallow water on the beach if they can instead stay in the deeper water.
Years ago we all “knew” there was a bite in Mtk for example, or few miles east or west but we never moved from our local spot. There was not need as we all had plenty of resident fish to keep us busy be that in NJ or RI.
Those rules in my humble opinion do not apply any longer. You will need to move and possibly even do stuff you are uncomfortable with, like fish inlets with Jetty jocks if you are a sand dude. And you might not like it, but you’ll have a fighting chance.
Game has changed, you have to adapt.
Some will rather not fish than move on to the places they are not comfortable of fishing in. I respect that. But most that want to catch fish will go where the fish are. And this will create even crazier crowded conditions than you are used to.
That will definitely be the worst part of this. (Of course, if you subscribe to the notion that there are plenty of fish…. they are just in deep water because the water is too warm, you just wasted your time reading this, my apologies)