I just can’t seem to get these out before the last few weeks of the month. Oh well.
I’m sitting here listening to the trees sway in the moderate South West wind behind my house, and it’s pretty humid in my office. However, this past weekend was the first real weekend of fall. Driving home in the middle of the night (after a skunk) the temperature dipped to 59-degrees according to my car thermometer; this was the first sub-60-degree night I’ve seen since June. Earlier in the week, I found clouds and clouds of peanut bunker in the surf, as far as I could see in either direction. It’s one of my newest spots, but it’s exactly the same pattern I’ve seen in this spot for four-years now. The last moon in August really is the first moon of the fall run.
It’s “deep breath” time for me. Last week I only fished twice, and tonight will be my last night out until the weekend; and I may not even fish then, either. It’s all about recouping, planning, and saving up time, money, and energy for what is the craziest eight-weeks of the season for me. True, I tend to fish even more in May and June, but September and October involve a lot more running and gunning, last minute decisions, long drives, and all-nighters. And in truth, my entire September is already booked. With the exception of two weekends and one 5-day stretch towards the end of the month, I have a fishing trip planned for every single day from the 6th through the 4th of October.
Anyways, for those of you in New England- and really in New York, too- you should be taking a little time to do some planning this week and through the holiday weekend. Think about what has been working, what hasn’t, and what your goals are going into the fall. Do you need to set aside more time for trout? Maybe you’ve exceeded the number of fish you’ve ever caught in the surf, and instead want to go all-in on one giant for the next 10-weeks. Perhaps you’ll finally chase some pike on the fly this October and November (like I’d like to do), or fish the canal hard until Thanksgiving. The point is, it might be summer right now, but the fall is a “blink of the eye” away.
I am in a hurry more so even than normal (I have nothing together for tonight’s tide, it’s 2:30 and I have to leave at 5:30, and have an appointment at 4:00), and so am going to get right to my updates. However, I just wanted to throw something out to everyone reading this: be careful with the hordes of schoolies in the fall. Don’t just rip out the hooks, don’t kick or throw the fish back (put them in gently), and if a fish requires a long unhooking give them a break by holding them in the water for 30-seconds. In the fall, it’s easy to do a lot of damage as you get into larger schools of fish, get all pumped up, and in a rush to get fish off your line and back into the action. Those “annoying” or “waste of time” schoolies are the next 50-pounders. Investing in their health, is investing in your fish of a lifetime.
Surf Scenarios will be back for the winter of 2022!
It’s official! I’m already getting IG messages and emails asking when, what, and how much. I’m collecting the individuals I’d like to interview, and planning out the instructional sessions as we speak. It’ll most likely be 10 sessions total this year, starting after New Year’s and ending in early- to mid-April. The format and most of the details will remain the same this year. I’ll give more updates in October when I open registration.
Among the many things that will be new this year (in full disclosure, much will be the same/similar as last year) I’ve been testing out a lot of new plugs and soft plastics this year, and look forward to putting in serious experimental time this fall. This will all be relayed in the next edition of Surf Scenarios. Also, I’ve had a couple of serious epiphanies over the last two or three years, and one of them is going to make it into the “bait behavior” section of the series. I think it helps round out the understanding of how to deliver your plug in the most natural way possible; which is one of the pillars of my success.
So many more details to come.
August was somewhat of a light month for me in terms of publications. However, the number of BIG things in the works- and the foundation laid for the future- exploded in August. I think the next couple of months are going to have some amazing updates. So stay tuned! There will be some big names on this list.
First, in The Fisherman, I had a couple of weekly columns for you to catch up on. Remember, these are sent to you via email each week with your subscription to The Fisherman. It’s a pretty awesome resource to have WEEKLY articles to accompany the reports, all for pretty damn cheap yearly subscription cost.
These short articles covered presentation in the surf. They are- in essence- a two-part series, and detail what I call the “panic retrieve” and the “dead stop”. These apply to both fly rod and spinning rod, and really apply to most fisheries; not just the surf!
I also had a full-length feature article in the monthly magazine, which was about fly fishing for Largemouth from your kayak. This is something I’ve been doing for a long time- I was fishing out of a kayak long before fishing kayaks existed. Particularly at night, this is a great way to stalk fussy summer fish. And I don’t mean small fish. I’ve caught plenty of 5-pound plus largies on poppers with my six- and eight-weights at night in the yak. It’s an awesome fisherie that most don’t even know exists, and it made largemouth fun for me again starting about 8-years ago, after over 10-years of basically walking away from them.
Lunkers from the Yak, with the Fly: https://www.thefisherman.com/article/long-rod-lunkers-kayak-bassing/?region=new_england
In On the Water this month, I wrote up my take on keeping a fishing log. I got some great feedback on this one. In particular, readers seemed to really like the idea that a fishing log wasn’t just a tool, but a journal of life events. That is, you can include in your log a lot more information than just how to catch more fish. It can be a time capsule, and I look forward to turning mine into a book one day; and reading it over when I can no longer fish (that though quite literally just choked me up). Find my article and photography on page 32 of this months magazine.
August Edition of On the Water: https://secure.onthewater.com/aug-21-ne/
The September edition of Surfcasters Journal is all set and in production, and I think it’s something you should look forward to. This one, as usual, will be a good one. It has a lot to take with you into the fall!
When next you read an update, we’ll be half-way through the New England fall (let’s face it, I won’t get my September update done until the end of the month again). Don’t sleep on your planning. Stage III of the 2021 season is here!