Archives for December 2012

2012 equipment clean up

Well,you probably quit fishing by now and put your equipment in a corner without doing anything. IF you want to be ready for a 2013 season without missing a beat I like to do some winter clean up as Bass bite will probably be early again this year

SO, start with rods and follow these simple steps
#1- wash and wipe down rod with a 50/50 mix of Salt Away and water
#2- take good wax cleaner and clean rod
#3- Now take a good wax polish, I like ,Collinite Boat wax and put a thin coat of wax on the rod and buff to a gloss
#4— take a cotton tip and check guides for cracks and repair now or take to someone who can repair DON”T wait until you lose a fish in Spring
#5- clean reel seat and than put a light coat of oil on reel seat
Put rods away in dry area and when fish start biting you will be ready

Look for a later report on reels


OCT is always best month of the year and bite generally starts around 7th and builds as month goes on. First Oct Bass came in boat on 3rd but than nothing until 8th. Water temp 67 and bass began hitting surface poppers.I had a full supply of fully trained Live Spot but nothing was hitting the Spot. Surface poppers and trolled bucktail was doing the trick. A steady daily pick but nothing real exciting and bass were running 20-25″. 16th saw the size get little bigger and Spot was working with bass runnng 22-29″ .Popper still worked early but only at sunrise .Live spot produce 3 legal size fish at 29″. There was a steady pcked through 26th,nothing exciting and not as hot as years past but steady, Total bass for Oct was 43
I also manged to find a few out of season fluke and Bluefish but nothing all that exciting
Major league Storm heading this way and I pulled boat on 26th ,some heros were telling me I was a wimp BUT this storm had potential of the perfect storm . sunday everyone was pulling as the forecast were as I sai on Friday “perfect storm set up)
Strom arrived Sunday night and flooding was massive in south Jersey,we were lucky as eye of stome came right over this area putting the worst of the storm and wind to the north, The rest is history
I wanted to get back in on 3rd but another storm ,a coastal nor’easter prevented that and getting to dock was tough due to roads blocked by sand.Finally got back in on 6th. What I found was chocolate water and a serious water temp drop to 47 degrees. Conditions were not good . I tried every day in Nov the wind would let me out but finding a bass was on the impossible side. A typical Nov for me produced 60-70 bass but not this year,Total bass for Nov was 2 ,but fish legal at 29 and 30” but just 2
Finally pulled boat on Dec 2nd as water was just not clearly up ending the worst year I have had in 55 years
Hopefully things will improve in 2013
In future blogs I will give some tips on cleaning equipment and being ready for a Spring bite


Sept was the normal dead month for decent size fish. Bass were just about non-exisitent with only 2 getting tagged both on the Full Moon
Flukle bite continued slow with only 33 being caught including 4 between 19-21″ but once again the normal 2-3 year class of 13-17″ fluke was way down from previous years. A pattern is beginning to take shape as my tag returns started coming in. Historically my returns have seen 11% being recaught 10 or more miles further north than first caught. Revieiwing 2010-11-12 data I find 39% being rcaught 10 miles further north or more and as far north as N.H. .This seems to now be a trend and will need to be watched.Fluke typically travel East West and spawn on continental shelf 60-75 miles off shore and they generally return to same areas but not the past 2 years. I mentioned this in the Fluke advisory council meeting and heard NH had the best fluke fishing in history in 2012. This will have to be watched in future
I did find 3 trout (weakfish) in my area all over 20″ which wouid have given me a winner in one of the annual tourneys I was in but because they were full of roe they went back with a tag.
Few Bluefish but nothing exciting.
Picked up a couple of kingfish and one Pompano
The Spots I had penned up got ripped off and I lost well over 100.think I know who did it and will be looking for them next year. I went back out for Spots and put another 100 back in pen,the bast@#$ who I think stole them left the marina and I never had any more lost.
This area did not produce as it has in the past and I’m beginning to think it hqad something to do with the 3 month dredging that took place over the winter on 2012 but just a theory


AUGUST was a strange month and water temps were between 77-80 most of the month
There was a Bass bite on 1st and 2nd with bass running 18-26″.They were not holed up in one spot and you had to keep moving to find them ,starting on 3rd No Bass , Another bite started on 16 th and 17th where I found bass from 20-27″ and than no bass . On 30th I found another bass of 29″ . There clearly is a pattern here as all 3 bites were around the moon,either Full or New. Bass were moving quickly north it appeared.
Fluke fishing was less than desirable,the normal 2nd run of undersize fluke was not showing up,there were a few but no numbers like years past . Did manage to put 4 keepers in the box between 18-21″
Bluefish,another usual August fish were few and far between and no schools of any size.
Sea Bass was filling up the back bay waters and I managed to tag my usual 100 for science.
Spots also were showing in good numbers and I began filling my bait pen in preparation for a Fall Bass run.
Tried several hours for Trout (weakfish) but could only find one. There was a night Trout bite a little further south but I was always too late getting there.but in my normal areas no trout
The lack of undersize fluke is a concern as this represent s 2 year class missing or greatly reduced. There is however some indication of the Fluke migration moving much further north than in years past. More on that in a later report


July 2012 saw the highest water temps in recent memories. Temps settled in between 77-79 with occasional day in 80’s
Fluke fishing was slow and there continued to be a serious reduction in 13-17″ fish .A typical July has had strong runs of 13-17″ ,every year for past 11 years but not this year, Don’t get me wrong there were a few but not the numbers of years past.This represents the potential of 2 year classes missing or reduced
There were a few legal size fish but nothing over 21″
The surprise of the month was Striped Bass.First week of the month saw a steady catch of bass in the 22-25″ size, than there was a void with nothing..The last week of the month saw an influx of larger fish up to 33″. Clearly this was unusual given water temps of 78 both weeks. the fish apparently were on the move north and just stopped in for a “snack” The average size of the bass for the month was over 26″
July continued to be worst than previous July’s . Black sea bass began to show up along with Spots.
Tried several times for trout but could only raise one 22″er


Water temps early June were a major concern and highest I have seen in 50 years this early in year.
Fluke bite was dropping off and the normal influx of 13-17″ undersize fluke was not being realized .Fluke bite was hit and miss the entire month.There were some decent legal size fish caught but no numbers like years past. I managed to get 34 fluke with 7 legal fish up to 24″
Striped Bass bite was also hit and miss with wind playing a big part in ability to find fish.Bass were on the move,one place one day and not there the next. I got 22 bass with largest being 27″.When wind allowed the surface popper provided most action otherwise it was a trolled bucktail.Drifting eels was not producing. A few Bluefish were caught but no big schools of Bluefish that you normally see in June.
As month ends water temps are pushing 80 and a major concern for balance of the year
Spent several hours looking for Trout (weakfish) but no success
Not one of my best Junes ,more like my worst June


Opening day for fluke was May 5th, I spent first 4 days of May looking for some decent spots for legal fish but overall size remained smaller than normal. I had 3 spots picked out for opening day. Opening day saw a DENSE fog and NE wind .I left dock heading for my first spot using my GPS as Fog was dense. Got to first spot and due to NE wind the drift was horrible and boats were arriving from all diesrctions in this fog. After a couple of shorts and wall to wall boats I headed to spot #2 where I found 5-6 boats BUT they were not in my exact spot. I hit my spot and quickly landed a 5.9oz Fluke and 2 more legal size fish.Next day was too windy but on 7th I went out o spot #2 and managed to get 4 fluke including 2 over 4lbs .Not bad for an opening weekend with lousy weather
Balance of the month fluke were plentiful but still smaller than normal on average.Total month for Fluke was 88 with 24 over 18″ . The 5.9lb held up all year in Rodmaker’s tourney for 2nd place
Bass were scarce and only managed 3 for the month with largest being 24″
I made several attempts at Trout(weakfish) but could only find one a fat 22″ which went back with a tag. This could have been a winner in rodmakers tourney but it was full of roe and ready to spawn and given the trout population decline I put her back
Clearly not my best May and disappointing thing was the decline in catches as the month went on which is just the opposite of a normal May.
Water temps were little higher than a normal May raising some concern for future
Next report will cover JUNE


Over the next several days I will recap the 2012 fishing season I had. Clearly this was my worst year in 50 years
My first bass of the year was caught in Tuckahoe River ON March 16th was 15″ .Launched boat April 7th but wind kept me in port until 12th and first day out produced Bass and Fluke. 13th -16th the bite was excellent with steady pick of bass and fluke.The surprise was the fluke which usually average over 20″ in April were much smaller running 14-20″ with average around 16.5. Bass ran 20-33″ with the 33″ actually holding up as tying for my largest of the entire year
Boat developed an electrial problem on 17th and I had to pull,put back in on 26th
Bass were gone when I re-launched and I could not find one as water was warming quickly.Fluke bite continued steady with a few larger ones showing up up to 26″but average was still under 18″
Water temps were 3-5 degrees warmer than normal already and Fluke season was going to open first week in May. I now have a couple of good spots for keeper size fluke for opening day
Total for Month was 17 bass Largest 33″
72 Fluke largest 26″
All Fluke caught on Gulp Shrimp ,Bass were caught slow trolling small bucktails with twister tails
Next report will cover May