Friday, November 23, 2012

Unexpectedly Good

This is the time of year where you just never know what to expect. Most fishermen have given up on the oceanfront as there has been almost no one fishing all week. I reported that the fishing was dying out over a week ago, but I was wrong.  Earlier in the week my son Ben called me from the oceanfront.  He was out fishing and tried all the usual late fall hotspots with no success.  He asked if I had any suggestions where he might find some fish.  I told him a story about what happened to me about 20 years ago.  At the time, late November, the fishing had been pretty much dead for a week and everyone gave up, but I decided to go try anyway.  I went on a whim to a location off the beaten path where no one fishes in late fall.  And, yes, I found fish, tons of them.  I told him to try that spot.  Two hours later he called back reporting he caught a good number of stripers.  They were all schoolies but some were near keeper size.  I went down the next day to the same location and on my third cast a keeper grabbed my shrimp fly teaser.  I got quite a few more schoolies that evening.
So, you just never know at this time of year.  Just when you think the fishing is dying out a pod of fish comes through, and it can be hot for a day or two. It will continue like this for the next couple of weeks along the oceanfront.  You have to just get out and give it a try.  My suggestion is to move around a lot and look at different spots.  Schoolies will be the fish that are most abundant and they will readily take single hooked jigs (Cocahoes on jigheads or small bucktails) that will cause little or no damage to the fish.  However, don't be surprised if you hook a keeper or a large bluefish in the mix.  It can happen at this time of year.