Archives for November 2014


I always look forward to Sept arriving,less boat traffic and usually starts the Fall run. This year Sept started rough with lots of wind almost everyday and as the month went on the Fall was not shaping up as years past. Couple of things caused me to wonder what was going on #1 Sea Bass remained very small unlike past years when by Sept 10-13″ seabass was normal #2 no kingfish. every year for past 9 I had a good run of Kingfish on small bucktails not this year. The water was cyrstal clear like it has been most of the year. Sept has me changing my techinques and I spend a lot of time looking for new places for fish to hide. Bottom line it turned out to be an interesting but not all that rewarding month
FLUKE were hanging around in significant numbers ,Total of 101 were caught in the month and MOST ,well over 80%, were caught in water less than 5ft deep. They were feeding on small shiners on flats LARGEST was 23″ but majority under 18″ and the average was 14.5″..Light bucktails 1/4-1/2 oz in white and pink tipped with a Gulp minnow in similar color was most consistent bait

BASS–Bass was an early morning bite on surface plugs for most part. Smacki Jr was the surface lure of choice worked slow.. Total bass was 11 and largest was 23″ with an average of 18.5 …Interesting note to make here is the typical spots for Sept Bass did not produce,why I have no idea BUT did find a couple of new spots for future reference. There also was a significant lack of mullet and peanut bunker ,oh there were a few but nothing like years past in Sept

Bluefish —Bluefish remained in the area the entire month and while I tried to avoid them I still ended up with 26,largest was 23″ and average size ended up being 14.75″

As I closed out the month I began ro wonder why this Fall was not shaping up as previous 9 years and was not coming up with any answers.
No major storms but as I mention in beginning lots of wind
MISC–I did catch ,land and tag 2 sharks over 4ft and one Starglazer was caught
EVERYTHING caught in Sept was tagged and released to fight another day


August is not my favorite month to fish and I only fished 14 days. However it is a good month to search out different areas that potentially hold fish. Water most of the month was cyrstal clear, few mullet showing up along with a few peanut bunker
FLUKE as usual were on small side and I didn’t spend a lot of time fishing for them. Did catch ,tag and release 15 plus one legal fluke of 19″. Most of the fluke were found in small creeks leading out of shallow bays as the shallow bays were loaded with bait . In August I put my “bucktail willie rig” away and go to a single bucktail with Gulp.Reason being the waters get invaded with small aggressive sea bass and you will spend more time baiting hooks than fishing. White continued to outproduce all other colors,white gulp shimp with white bucktail was hot

BASS— August produces short resident bass usually very early in morning or after dark. 14 bass were caught ,tagged and released with largest AT 24″ . 6 caught on poppers and 8 on trolled bucktails ,once again WHITE was the color

BLUEFISH– they were everywhere and really a problem when looking for bass, Total caught ,tagged and released 21 with largest at 19″.. They hit about everything I threw or trolled .

WEAKFISH—- I looked every morning for weakfish as when weakfish were abundant few years ago August was a hot month. HOWEVER all I could catch,tag and release were 3. Did have 3 others almost in the boat but lost them after seeing…. The interesting thing here again was White was the bait of choice, I tried numerous other color combinations but white was the bait of choice… Water clarity has to have something to do with this as I continue to see the clearest water I have seen in Summer

Clearly 2014 has been a strange year and after reviewing 30 years of logs I cannot find another year similar and with water so clear. Also fish were being found in different locations than the past,this indicates some bottom changes taking place. You need tobe flexible and willing to check out new places for nice rewards


July was a disappointing month and nothing like past 4 July’s … The past 4 years had legal size bass being caught first 2 weeks of Month and in good numbers .Not this year
Hurricane Arthur went by little offshore beginning of the month

38 STRIPED BASS were caught with largest 25″ and average size of 19.39″ 17 on surface poppers early AM and balance on trolled buctails with twister tail .White out produced every other combination. Clearly a down month as compared to previous years,very disappointing

16 -BLUEFISH were caught primarily while trying for bass.largest was 25″ but average size was only 16.68″…. Bluefish most plentiful in 5 years

75 -FLUKE were caught in the month and largest 18.5″ and average size of 13.09″ . This was a typical July with the influx of very small and aggressive Fluke.. Most of the larger Fluke that arrived in April are now moving to ocean lumps . Most of fluke caught are now being found near and in shallow bays . The shallow bays and sunds are full of bait

WEAKFISH– found weakfish on 2 days after 7 days of looking largest 24″ and average size was 22.56″ Total was only 5 … There were more being caught further south but bite was in darkness,,, They clearly didn’t take up residence in my area but a good sign for future

To keep things interesting in July I landed 2 Butterfly Rays well over 50 lbs. Also landed 2 large sharks of 5 ft in shallow water

One thing that is becoming very clear is the best color has been WHITE, in years past Chartruese was best color in July for everything not this year. I suspect the water clarity had a lot to do with White . Following the Hurricane going by beginning of month the water got real clear and you could see 3-4 down, Very unusual for July



jUNE was a disappointing month,overall size was down on most species from years past
Month started out with water temps of 70 and increased to 74 by month end
FLUKE– total caught tagged and released was80, largest 3 at 24″, but overall average size was down at 14.38″. Was tough to find a legal size fish second half of the month as influx of small fish arrived mid-month.
The bucktail wille 2 hook rig with bucktail on short leader and long leader with 5/0 gold hook was the rig of choice for fluke in June. Bucktail had a Gulp Shrimp on it and 5/0 hook had a Gulp minnow in pearl,or pink . occasionally a strip of fresh bluefish. Bucktail jig , was as light as possible, rarely over 5/8 oz so as not to drag bottom,the fluke generally come up to get the bait . Color of bucktail was interesting.I usually start out with white and that generally is most consistent but there were days in June where nothing hit white but hit pink or green… i have yet to figure why ??

BASS— Total 19 caught , largest 26″, average size 19.96″ Bass thinned out as water warmed up but those that took up residence were caught on surface poppers in early morning .

Bluefish — Blues were still hanging around in June and I tried to avoid them .Total caught ,tagged and released 13 largest 20″ average size 17.85″.. Most of these were caught on poppers when looking for bass but a couple bothered me when searching for weakfish but they were thinning out…

Weakfish —I spent several hours looking for weakfish, there was a bite south of me before sunrise several mornings but I never made it down that far for varies reasons.. I did catch ,tag and released one weakfish 24″ and lost 2 others at the boat .While this is an improvement over past few years .going back 1o years June would produce 8-12 every morning . Maybe they will continue to build As I said June was a disappointing month as it had been the best month of the year the past 4 years. I think increased water temps may have had something to do with the results
21 days on the water in June
July recap next

Bucktail Willie’s 2014 recap April /May

I’m going to recap the year a little different this year. I will break down the year by months and species
The year started out tough, I was finally able to launch April 15th but never was able to fish due to wind and weather until April 21st
First day I finally got out I found Fluke but only caught 7 for month with an average size of 18.2″ . in April This was a considerable change from years past as the past 3 years larger fluke in good numbers were caught in early April. . Best bait was gulp shrimp on small bucktail worked slow in New Penny color… Wintered over Striped bass began to come alive on 25th and I managed to get 18 for month .As is usually the case these fish are small and average size was 16.65″. These fish were aggressive as the water temp climped over 50. All caught trolling 5/8 oz White bucktails with white twister tails. Tried Chartruese which usually was best color early but no takers .There was an indicator here.
May arrived and weather began to improve. Fluke in May were numerous and I caught,tagged and released 129 fluke but average size for month was down to 15.62″ .However first 10 days of the month average size was 18.39″. Preferred bait most of the month was fresh cut bait on a small bucktail . Few caught on Gulp.Largest fluke for month was 26″
Small agressive Striped bass still around as water temp was having diffiuclty getting much over 52. 48 bass in May with average size of 16.93″ Same troll combination worked best but I did get 2 on a poppers late in the month. Largest bass24″
Bluefish which the past couple of years were hard to find in any numbers arrived on their normal schedule of a couple of years back and I caught 62 with average size of 16.68″ ,largest being 22″. Most were caught while trying for bass and they actually became a pain in the A@#
Opening Day for Fluke was interesting as it opened on a Friday and crowd wasn’t quite as thick as it normally is on openign day
Month ended with water at 62
So far this was shaping up as a different year as all 3 species were found in some different locations
Osprey arrived right on schedule and there were 2 sea otters in Whale creek along with a couple of dolphins late in the month
This recaps my first 38 days of 2014….
Feel free to ask questions


You can view my over 20 years of fish tagging by clicking on Tagging and than clicking the first tab
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As mentioned yesterday in upcoming coupld of weeks I will recap 2014 by species


BUCKTAIL WILLIE IS OFFICIALLY OUT OF THE WATER AND SITTING ON DRY LAND . In my old age I decided it would be (wiser??) for me to get her out of water and cleaned up before the stormy weather instead of what I normally do and wait for the ice making the Spring launch that much harder
I did get out this morning and found 2 bass on top of the tide ,nothing before and nothing after but on top of the high I found 2 bass 24 and 26″
Given the water temps still in mid 50’s I would not be surprised to see bass being reported caught into December but not by me this year.
I will recap my year in upcoming weeks and also provide some what may be new tips from this year’s experience so watch the website if interested .. This was the strangest year I can remember
I launched on April 11th and took her out Nov 11and fished 136 days ,down a little mostly due to the lousy 2014 weather and wind that seem to never stop
If you are still fishing good luck and to all have a Great Holiday Season and I’m looking forward to providing daily reports again next year


You could not have asked for a better November morning,little cool at 37 but no wind and it warmed up into mid 50’s quickly . BUT no one told the fish it was a nice day. I fished top of the tide in morning and picked up 2 bass and that was it. Tide started out so called it a morning with an idea to come back on bottom of tide which I did. I fish the last 2 hours of outgoing and managed to get 1 bass…. All 3 were shorts at 23-26″
Extremely disappointed given how nice it was and knowing it is not going to last as strong winter storm is on horizon so before coming home I went to the bar . Maybe if I’m luckly I will get 2 more days in
The interesting thing today was one fish on an eel, one fish on a Spot and one fish on a bucktail….Go figure
Unless there is a change in 10 day forecast I will be calling it a year on Wednesday and pulling the boat as current 10 day forecast is for below freezing temps at night and some wind. I’m getting too old to deal with that kind of weather


This has been a strange week , Friday bass would only hit an eel ,Sat they wouldn’t touch an eel and hit bucktails .Both days I drag Spots and nothing hit them. Today I only had 2 hours to fish and put 3 Spot on board and went looking first dragging an eel nothing ,than a bucktail nothing ,Put a Spot and BANG I got a 24″er followed by 2 more 24″er’s on Spot. Out of Spot and could not raise another fish and my 2 hours were up and headed home
The Moral of the story is like your Boy Scout training BE PREPARED
Looks like a couple of decent days next week BEFORE a major cold front comes through


A rather cool morning and I had ice covering the boat this morning but light wind. first stop my eel never hitt he bottom when I was into a 26″er and I’m pumped up but than nothing for next hour. Tide got down below the top of the sod bank and I found some bass and proceeded to land and tag another 7 bass between 18-25″ . Nothing was hitting my eel and all but first fish were caught on bucktails .. fish were not all that aggressive in the 52 degree water and every one was caught on a drop back drifting with the tide ,nothing against the tide today. Bite was real light hits almost like you were hitting something on the bottom ..Won’t fish tomorrow but hope to get a couple of days next week before a strong cold front comes through which could be the end but hopefully not as I would like to stay in until Thanksgiving
One other note the ONLY color bucktail working for me is WHITE with whote twister tail