Monday, April 18, 2011

The Beach At Last

Pat immortalizes Rob, myself and Union Beach via his cell phone.
When: Sunday, April 17th, from 7am to 11am
Where: Union Beach on the Raritan Bay, Monmouth County
What: Trying to clam-up and early-Spring striper with Rob and Pat
Weather: Cloudy, high near 60. Windy as sin. 20mph+ from the WNW.
Moon: Day of the full.
Tide: Outgoing. High at 7:30am.

This was overdue.

Not only had Pat and I been talking about hitting the beach for much too long, but I hadn't wet a line with Rob in almost a year.

It was about time.

It's no secret that the shallows of Raritan Bay are beginning to warm up this time of year and that it's one of the first places where New Jersey anglers have a shot at catching a Spring striper. When Pat and I were kicking around where to fish this weekend, we decided to give the largemouth a rest and see if we couldn't beach ourselves a bass with long black stripes.

'Tis the season.

Pat put the word out to Rob, who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his 21-foot Contender. Rob committed late on Friday and Pat and I couldn't have been happier to have him along for a day at the beach.

Our day started bright and early with the boys stopping by my digs in Garwood. We were at Fred's Bait and Tackle in South Amboy by 6:30am and arrived at Union Beach with clams and sandworms by 7.

Spikes were quickly driven into the sand with a little help from The Punisher and bait was in the water shortly thereafter. It was apparent that we were going to have to deal with a stiff wind, but at least the mini-gale strength blow was coming from the West. With our backs to the land, we were somewhat protected. Beyond the point near the north-end of the beach, however, we could see that the normally placid Raritan Bay had white-caps that could rival the Bering Sea.

Despite less-than perfect weather, we stuck it out for 4-hours, getting only a few bites but no fish. I guess that really didn't matter all that much since the three of us hadn't been fishing together in so long. Just hanging out on the beach was good enough. We passed the time sharing our optimism about how the fishing could turn-on at any moment, talked about rods and reels and planned our future outings. It was truly a wonderful day.

By the time the bait ran out, the wind was still whipping and the fish had not started biting. Since we had gotten a little hungry, we opted to forgo the bait-run and took the rest of conversation to the diner instead.

Next Up: Brian Martalus is back from Africa and a gaggle of us are fixin' to be standing in a river this Saturday.

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