I was supposed to run the Trade In today wreck fishing for tog, but we could not snag a third man so we had to bag it. Instead I hopped on for a ride with a friend of mine (Keith) on his Viking to go chunking for stripers in the DE Bay. The air was crisp and calm at 6:30 am as we made our way out the Cape May Canal with Wednesday’s lingering Full Moon. This was my first chunking trip of the season which was weird for me to think since usually that is what I spend the majority of my November doing. We got setup with a hard incoming tide not far from the Canal, and the water was dirty and our lines would come up covered with grass. We quickly moved to a different spot about 2 miles away and had the same issues, but managed to snag a keeper bass out of there.
At 9:45 am the tide slowed down and we decided to move out towards the middle of the bay into cleaner water. After looking around we finally found some solid bait and bass marks on the sounder. We had to wait for the tide to get moving and it was about 40 minutes when we got our first bite. We managed to go 2/5 at this location. Today was the day of mechanical failures with tackle. We had some freshly spooled reels that turned out to have a bad batch of braided line on them as they kept popping at random places in the line. I have never had this happen before, but it happened on all of them so it was safe to make the conclusion that the braid was bad. We also had a few reels just seize and/or break on us as well. It go to the point where all we could do was laugh since it was becoming so rediculous and unexpected.
We had not had a bite in about 45 minutes and decided to pickup and look around. We searched through 3 different places before we stopped and setup for our last hoorah. As the outgoing tide slowed, we started getting some action and finished off the outgoing tide 3/6 on keeper stripers. At the end of the tide we had a water temperature of 46 degrees. The stripers made us work hard for them today, but we were able to pick at them randomly throughout the day and put together a decent catch. Couldn’t have asked for better weather, and I had a blast fishing with a fun group of guys!
I am sure most of you are aware of the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and it has really put a damper on the early part of the Fall Striper Run in NJ. That being said, it truly has devastasted so many people, and I feel fortunate that I personally still have a place to live and am able to fish after what i have seen from New York and Northern NJ. I haven’t been out at all this Fall Striper Season, and I was excited to get back on the water after almost of month of being on land (longest streak on land for me in years). After a decent report from Prissy Wicks (Cape May Rips) my friend Vinny and I wanted to spend the day tossing bucktails in the Rips for Striped Bass. This is by far my absolute favorite type of inshore fishing. It truly is an art, and there is no feeling like when a striper hammers your bucktail and it starts screaming drag off of your reel after you slam the hook home.
We got an early start and dumped the boat in the water at Spicer’s Creek Public Ramp at first light. We were fishing by 6:45am in the middle of the incoming tide and started off searching different Rips until we found a spot that produced a few keeper fish for us. The water temperature was 49 degrees which is colder than the past few years during this time of year. The bite wasn’t consistent so we continued to look around. We tried a few more areas and finally found the school. Every drift we were getting hooked up. We had it to ourselves for about a half an hour until other boats caught on that we were catching and came in, but the bite was HOT and we kept catching even after everyone came in on top of us (very common in the Rips in case you didn’t know). By the time the tide slowed down at 9:15 am and the melee was over, we had caught 16 stripers all ranging from 30-38 inches.
We waited out the slack tide (usually unproductive in the Rips unless you troll a little or know where to move during certain stages of the tide) by eating an early lunch on the boat then went back at it for the top of the outgoing tide, but we only had a few bites without any connections. We decided to quit while we were ahead and got back into the boat ramp before the tide got too low to get the boat back on the trailer. The hot baits were 3oz. white ‘smilin bill bucktails’ ,also known as the ‘Andrus Rip Splitter’, with either a pork rind or a 6″ chartreuse sassy shad. This is pretty much all we ever throw in the Rips, and it has produced for us year after year.
Cape May Rips Striper
Vinny with a bass on his favorite – white bucktail w/ a pork rind
It amazes me how they inhale this lure almost every time!