Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stripers at Sunset

Dad, Ryan, and I headed out for the afternoon yesterday. We got back on the fish right away and caught several to 18 pounds on jigs. Pro Tip: Fish where the fish are in the water column. The fish were in the top 1-3 feet of the water. We had to change to lighter jigs and throw weightless soft plastics to hook up. Heavier jigs were out of the strike zone immediately and got no bites.

Thirty Plus Stripers

Fished yesterday with Jim and Megan. We hit the ocean and found the fish right off the bat. We had birds and fish on top. We jigged up thirty stripers up to 24 pounds on jigs. It was very good. Pro Tip: Learn how to use a dehooking tool. There are several different types that work. Using a dehooking tool is easier on the fish and easier on you. The days of the wet rag and pliers should be over.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Trifecta: Troll, Jig, Fly

Fished yesterday with Peter, Anthony, and Tyler. We hit the ocean and started out on the troll. We caught two big stripers right off the bat. One was 44" and weighed well over thirty pounds. The second was 41" and weighed 27 pounds. We changed locations and found more fish on the troll, but quickly switched over to the jig. We jigged up a bunch of fish to 24 pounds. Peter broke out the fly rod and caught a striper on a clouser. We had a total of 18 striper releases. It was a great day. Pro Tip: Being prepared opens up options. We were ready to troll, jig, and flyfish. When conditions changed we were ready to take advantage of each situation and catch fish in different ways.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fished with Nick and friends today. We went out front trolling. It was an absolutely beautiful day! We just fished the morning before the thanksgiving festivities. We had one fifteen pound striper on the troll. Nothing better than striper fishing in the morning and thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon! Pro Tip: Learn to read your fish finder. Knowing the difference between bait and fish can make the difference between catching and not catching. Not everything that shows up on the screen is fish. We lingered in the only place we marked actual fish and it produced. We marked bait everywhere.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Striper on the Fly

Fished with Mike this Saturday. Mike is a stage four fly angler. We headed out front looking for fish to catch on the fly. The problem was the bite was on the troll. No fish on the fly in the ocean. We changed gears and headed into the bay and caught two stripers on the fly. There are still bass in the back but the best bite has been on the troll in the ocean. Pro Tip: Larry Dalberg said there were four stages of angling. Stage one: you just want to catch a fish. Stage two: you want to catch a lot of fish. Stage three: you want to catch a really big fish. Stage four: you want to catch fish the way you want to regardless of whether it is the "best" way. It is important to know thyself. It is also important to communicate your preferences with your guide. Today Mike wanted to fly fish. He has caught lots of fish other ways. We could have trolled and caught fish but he wanted to catch them on the fly. Might not make sense to you now, but someday it might.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Big Stripers

Fished this afternoon with Doug. We started in the bay and couldn't find any bass to eat our lures. Then we headed out in the ocean to try trolling at sunset. Good idea. We had two keeper stripers and missed a third. The largest was 37" and 17 pounds. The second fish was 36" and 16 pounds. Pro Tip: Persistence pays off. Stripers are famous for only biting at certain times. There was a bite this morning at first light and then it shut off. Since we didn't cash in early, I wanted to be in the same area at sunset. It paid off. The change of light was the key and the fish chewed at sunset.

Ocean Stripers

Fished this morning with Ed, Jeff, and Bob in the ocean. We trolled the ocean and came up short. The striper bite has been sporadic, but when it's on there have been some nice fish caught on the troll. Pro Tip: In windy conditions trolling down sea or up sea usually presents trolled lures the best. Throttle down when headed down sea and slightly throttle up when heading into the waves. This helps to maintain the optimum speed for the lures.

Joe Hughes

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Back Bay Stripers

Fished today with Pete and Jeff on the bay. The ocean forecast wasn't that great so we decided to stay on the bay. It was a good idea. We caught ten stripers in the bay. Nine on jigs and one on a spot. All shorts but lots of fun. We also saw two bald eagles. That seems to be getting more and more common. Pro Tip: When fishing a jig, use only the rod to manipulate the jig. The reel is there just to pick up the slack. This allows better contact with your lure and a more appealing motion for the fish. And yes, I did use both boats today.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Fished with Kevin and Zack today in the ocean. We started out trolling for stripers but we were hoping for albies once the ocean settled down a bit. The ocean did calm down and we did find the albies. We had a bunch of shots and ended up catching and releasing six on lures. It was a blast chasing them down and sight casting for them. Pro Tip: Use more than one source for your weather information. Comparing multiple sources gives you a better idea of what will really happen. Check your sources often and keep track of their accuracy. Experience will tell you which ones to trust. The Weather Channel got it right today when others got it wrong. Their hourly wind forecast has proven very accurate. Using that information delayed our leave time today and that gave us the conditions we needed to be successful.

Friday, November 6, 2015

CBS News

I was interviewed on the news about striper fishing today. Here is the link and the associated video.

Here is the link

Joe Hughes

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sea Isle Albies!

Fished today with Doug and Mike in the ocean. We headed out in search of albies and found them. They were schooled up on the surface for great run and gun action. Think you have to go to Montauk to catch albies? Think again. We had 22 albies on lures while sight casting to them here in Sea Isle. We also pulled the hook on a few more. It was very good. We even had a few double headers and a triple mixed in. We took a break and had drop and reel sea bass fishing. All we wanted. Then we went back to albie fishing. Pro Tip: Be prepared. Having rods rigged and ready for fast moving opportunistic fish like albies can mean the difference between catching and not catching. Trying to rig in a blitz can rattle anyone's nerves.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bald Eagle

This picture was taken this morning behind Sea Isle. I saw him flying around on Saturday, but was unable to get a good shot. This picture was taken from a cell phone through a telescope. Photo courtesy of Dustin Laricks. Pro Tip: When taking pictures of fish in the water with a cell phone, position the camera lens so that you are shooting through your sunglass lens. Now you are shooting through a polarized lens and your picture will be much clearer. It works great.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Back in Sea Isle

I'm back in Sea Isle for the November/December striper season. There are still fish in the back bay and stripers are beginning to show up on the ocean. There have been a few sporadic good catches in the ocean and some nice fish have been caught already. I went out on Saturday in the ocean and scouted around but came up empty. That won't last long. The fish are beginning to fill in and things will soon explode. There are stripers in the back bay and we are catching them on lures as well as live bait like spot. Pro Tip: Try trolling live spot very slowly along the deep sod banks in the bay. Some really large stripers can be caught when the ocean fishing is a bust. A great day saver when the wind blows.

Joe Hughes