Fishing Takes You Places

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You keep a blog a while and you start hearing negative stuff about “bloggers” in general and you start slacking (guilty). My drafts are many in queue.   This  has always been a place to kinda say out loud what I hold in my heart. That part of fishing you hold close. If you’re blessed enough you meet some others who can connect on what it does to your soul and how it sustains you.  It is an endless passion. Thank you for letting me share this with you through the written word. I am truly grateful for the experience as humble as it was.

It was a plan in the making to travel back to a place that set dreams on fire and gave me many sleepless nights throughout my life.  Back when life was an adventure through the heart and mind of a young girl just old enough to go jump waves on her own.  Adventures it seems as I look back now full of many good memories of life outdoors.

A gazebo by an Inlet held some of the most significant memories for me. To witness Fishing Boats pass through, loaded down with people and gear.  Out they went, people standing on decks smiling and waving.  Their hopes upon the bounty they would bring home for their families. My hopes were set in motion witnessing  that kinda happiness and it filled my thoughts with wonder.  What would they see and catch out there, what happens, how deep is the ocean, what if the fish is bigger than the boat. As a child I was sure each trip was full of white marlin grey hounding and mako’s throttling themselves out of the water for the delights of  fishermen.  In reality it was most likely a trip to find summer fluke for a quiet sunday dinner. But my imagination was active and running whenever I witnessed such a big boat.

The beach was fun I loved being in the ocean. But it was that spot along the rocks I remember with most clarity. Buckets of blue crabs live lined up those rock next to that spot. Tipping over of same said buckets in the car on the way back on the parkway.  A day at the beach was simple,  happy, filled with laughter, shell collecting, eating a packed lunch on the sand, an occasional trip to the boardwalk before heading home, and not wanting for anything more than to be on one of those boats.   With those thoughts deep seeded plans of fishing were created left dormant for a very long time to experience. My life now, I pick those dreams off when possible, keeping them as simple as when I was a kid. As many  boats I have been on, as many fish I have found from sand and deck. I wanted to have that feeling of being that boat passing the spot. To see the faces, experience the perspective of a memory from long ago.

It was the first time since my childhood I went back to that area. A flood of good thoughts entered my mind.  Prior I was nervous I was not  prepared. My gear, my expectations, my knots, metal, clothing – was it right? Could I come to this place held inside for so long and feel satisfied by anything I was about to do. I held it close to heart and just hoped.

By chance I took my place in the spot I would have the best view of that gazebo and it ignited  hopes it was still there.  And it was. The sun was not up yet but there it was like a beacon of light from my childhood held onto for so long. This time I was on the other side and it was right then I saw myself as a child in my own mind I welled up and smiled.

Dreams do come true.

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If I just was able to do just that it was satisfying enough. But I got to do more. We had  mackerel and albies around. We pot hopped. There were tangled lines and sea robins and skates. My knots were good and my gear choice correct.  My love of bucktails runs deep and  threw in lots of  shiny things like AOK Tackle T-hex’s (one of my very favorites all year round) , Kastmaster, S & S Bucktail product’s and a few others.  Within me a lil smile – because I am figuring this all out.  Not just fishing different applications, but myself.  On the way back in for a minute I forgot for a moment and then there they were, people. Standing, watching the fleet return. Which made me feel like I had accomplished something very personal quietly.

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This one was special and experiencing it made me realize how much happens in life, how quickly it goes, how important it is to hold onto dreams. Most of all your life is your story. There are many versions of it. But yours is the unfiltered autobiography of truth.  Holding onto who you are at heart without letting people, life, situations, tragedies take that away can be difficult. Keeping that light lit inside you – is up to you. Fight hard for it on the darkest days. Go grab your life and live it and cheer on the people you love and hold close to do the same.

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Invictus

By  William Henly

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

 

 

 

My Gravitational Pull

Fishing.

It’s been a while and I apologize. My last post was entered in May and time just slipped through my fingers. Or line I should say.. line slipping through.

Not only have I learned a lot about surf fishing, marine biology, the history of the area and night sky (yes) I have grown to understand life more.

I’ve learned to forgive and have patience with myself on the water.

This journey, our journey each day gives us a chance to  make it right, safe,  and embrace what sets our souls on fire.

Try not to ever let anyone or thing take that away from you. ♥

JUNE 2015

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I am overflowing with words I do not have.”
— Adam Falkner

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JULY 2015

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“No one has it all figured out, especially not the people who are acting like they do and judging you because of it. Pretending to be something you aren’t because you’re trying to please a bunch of judgmental hypocrites and shitheads is not the way to be happy. Living the life you want to live is. It really is that simple.”-TM

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AUGUST 2015

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It is a basic human need that everyone wants to live a happy life. For this, one has to experience real happiness.
The so-called happiness that one experiences by having money, power, and indulging in sensual pleasures is not real happiness.
It is very fragile, unstable and fleeting.
For real happiness, for lasting stable happiness,
one has to make a journey deep within oneself and get rid of all the unhappiness stored in the deeper levels of the mind.
As long as there is misery at the depth of the mind all attempts to feel happy at the surface level of the mind prove futile.-S.N. Goenka
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SEPTEMBER 2015
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As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. –  John Muir
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OCTOBER 2015
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You never know when a few sincere words can have an impact on a life. – Zig Ziglar
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NOVEMBER 2015
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Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.-Cheryl Strayed
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Troubles that may come and go
but good times they’re the gold.

Bucktails, Stripers and The Red Light Special

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them-words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” – Stephen King

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Staying up late to finish this as it has been in que for a while.  I was holding on for a bit because while I had this whole new write-up for Surf Fishing Beginners (which is what I am) I am myself immersed in the process of learning.

 I was doing a lot of thoughtful thinking. Walking the sand surf fishing challenges you one on one. I have come to realize how our lives are all connected each and everyone you encounter. Even you reading this.. something brought you to this page. The universe is always working to give us these gifts. When you get to the place in life when you can be quiet with yourself and accept them you find a freedom to honor yourself.  To pursue your passion that lies deep within you. It is the most complete feeling I have ever experienced.

If you told me just how wonderful it was going to feel to live in this place in your heart of surf fishing I would never have believed such happiness could be achieved. But I committed to it through perseverance, laughter and tears this past year. I made mistakes, – some big ones. I walked a million miles. My daily adventures to the sand through rain, snow, heat, bitter cold, ice and fog fulfilled a self-concordant goal. There was no deadline just personal on level so deep. To get a striper from the surf in one very particular area.

I was often told there were no fish there. I was asked to join people all over to “better holding” area’s. I was on bites in different, but close beaches and did not get anything but blue fish – but I kept going. The more I went I learned. I learned from the people who have become mentors and friends. I read everything and watched a lot of videos. At night I would often work on leaders, knots,  gear, plugs, metal, bags, belts, moon, tides and learning about the striper patterns for the area. If that was not enough I was also painting Morone saxatilis in my sleep. My life is fully immersed in this with great love for the passion – it’s not  sport. It’s something so deep within you. It’s a calling undiscovered until it embraces and takes hold of your every thought.

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Last week I stepped out onto the sand at high tide.  I packed my bag with SP minnows and one very special bucktail. I carried out the rod my dear friend had given to me. I just started walking like I do almost every day. There was a slight chill in the air and the clouds would have their way with the sun. I walked past one clammer to the long trek I have been watching when the tide was blown out and stated throwing out the SP.  My visual site markers behind me let me know I was off a bit, I readjusted and kept throwing. I was not looking for a blue fish. I knew the big ones were around. I also have caught so many and particularly in the last year – I wanted to get under them. I knew somewhere my beloved stripers would be.

And there they were. I almost could not believe the first one I reeled in. As I went to grab my phone to take a picture it popped off. I stood in the surf and the tears just came like a steady stream. I collected myself enough and called the people who have been along this journey cheering me on. I pulled myself together got the bucktail in the water and for the next hour and about  half had fish after fish after fish. All returned safely to keep going on their  journey.

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Almost a week later and my heart still feels like it’s about to burst. My journey now expands to find bigger fish as they make their way here. I am hopeful but am also still a student of the sand. Everything in time.

With those words now written the very first part of my small contribution to starting off surf fishing is  going to be re-posting the valuable information I was given by members of the community.

At that start of this I had no idea of any of the terms used when it came to gear other than very basic knowledge.  So if you’re thinking this is something you are interested in here is a short list of the must have lures to start picking up. Next up on the write ups I’ll go over with the help of others Rod, Reel, and some basic things to have on you to get started other than  the lures. The future will be more in-depth about metal and touch on some bait also.

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10 MUST HAVE LURES THAT CATCH FISH

By JM Basile

   One of the biggest mistakes fisherman make myself included, is bringing to many lure choices to the surf. I have found that the fewer choices you have the more you can actually concentrate on the physical act of fishing.The key is to bring the right lures that will produce in most circumstances. When it comes down to it ,in most cases 10 lures should cover most surf conditions in New Jersey. When choosing lures keep in mind they should cover all water depths, top water,mid-water,and bottom. Always observe what the fish are feeding so you can pick a lure that best resembles the baits profile ( Match the Hatch). The 10 lures I would suggest for a Surf fisherman getting started would be the following:
Gibbs wood pencil popper ( white, yellow or Chartreuse)
Gibbs wood metal lip Danny swimmer (white or yellow)
Super Strike little neck popper (white or yellow)
Super Strike needle fish ( Yellow or black and purple)
SP Minnow floating ( Black back silver sides or bone)
Yozuri Mag Darter(Bunker or black)
Storm Shad (soft plastic bait)
Tsunami Eel ( soft plastic)
Cast Master (2oz metal)
Ava jig green tail (007 to 017)
   All of these lures produce and cover most bait profiles. If your going to fish nights I would darken up your color choices. Always watch the Sharpies to get a good idea on what to use.
Remember try to keep it simple!
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Chasing Striped Bass

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It’s been a  while and I sincerely apologize. Life has been nothing short of an adventure in fishing and  lessons in marine biology hands on these last months. Started off chasing tuna to slipping into the rhythm of fishing everyday, searching for striped ones.  They still are what gets me to the water daily. The bait fish have been plenty and no shortage of bluefish either. Learning every aspect of the water and what surrounds me I am a student of the sea and sand. Many times I am rewarded with fish I have never seen before.

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If I could list all these wonderful, successful fishermen who have been so kind to teach me all about the craft the list would run off the page. I have a profound respect for people who pay-it-forward in the fishing community. They are a wealth of knowledge. Its been very humbling to be around some of the legends and record holders of the community. But also the guy on the beach who says.. use this today.  Watching them and taking everything they teach and implementing it.  Something just clicks and you find things you learned in the past are void and now you are doing it correctly. It’s often an a-ha moment.  Simple things like leaders, knots, line, bait, moon, tide etc…things become easier and the fish more plentiful. It’s you vs. the fish. It’s the way it has been forever and will always be. Remember that.

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Days of present are filled with the anticipation of  stripers. The journey continues. Which often leads me to ponder – did you ever stop and think about all the people this fish has a hold on? How many books written?  How far people travel to be romanced by the run? Just how satisfying they are to reel in often let go? Like life taking in and letting go.

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Everyday is a lesson. I watch the changes of seasons sweep by me along with all the treasures nature offers up. Even on rainy days I wonder what will I learn today there.

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As I write this it is the wee hours of the morning. The first rays of light are starting to find me and I smile. There are often days I think how blessed I am to have arrived here alive. Life surely has shown me the very worst and best of mankind. The one very valuable lesson I learned is that there are far more good people in the world.  Embrace and surround yourself with those people. People who teach you things, nourish your soul, encourage you and help you on the journey. And be yourself there for others to walk beside them, hold them up and share all the goodness at your fingertips. Just walk outside and let nature take you in. May this Fall find you wrapped in happiness with life and the journey of the run. ♥

If two points are destined to touch, the universe will always find a way to make the connection – even when all hope seems to be lost. Certain ties cannot be broken. They define who we are – and who we can become. Across space, across time, among paths we cannot predict – nature always finds a way.” – Touch
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Opposing Winds

 “Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”  Steve Maraboli

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 “My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”

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It seems like the closer I get to stringing a bunch of insanely good moments together the quieter I become. Maybe it’s the peace that rests within after years of living in fear and pain. The next step is a big one and I am not sure how it will be received. I feel like it’s important to pay it forward now …. time. The idea started not long ago and was greatly received by someone who filled their days as a quiet hero to many not only as her profession but way of life.  She believed in me and this idea when I no longer believed in myself. She understood that I had to wait until I got to where I am to do what is next on the journey. She lost her battle with cancer recently quickly… not months, weeks. She left behind a legacy besides being a wonderful wife, mother, daughter. There are people who you encounter that change you, help you, protect you… she truly was a saint among us. Many of us were blessed to call her our friend and she will be greatly missed.

Lots of lessons this past year, not all fishing. Humanity, truth, healing  and compassion. I am the sum of my experiences humbled by the ocean. The vastness of the shores that reach beyond my vision compel me to do something worthy. To live up our potential of why we are all here. To not just exists in the safety of silence but to whisper to others “keep hope alive”.

Fishing didn’t just save me… it sustained me and continues to. This blog helped me to connect with some really brilliant and successful people in the fishing community.  I will take the words and give them a voice.

Next chapter.

 

 

 

Another Super Moon?

This will be 2/3 tonight with the last on Sept 9, 2014

The bite is all over the place.. lots of YFT, flying fish and mahi. Bait fish are stacked in the back.

Find someone sweet and take their hand tonight and watch the sky work magic!

Enjoy!

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Life becomes more meaningful when you realize the simple fact that you’ll never get the same moment twice.”

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I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” -Roald Dahl

Snap The Clip

 

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That sound set the tone for mayhem to take place again recently. Reeling in all the other lines and working the fish to the boat.

Making some memories.

It’s Tuna time and since my move it’s tuna time all the time last couple months. But it’s also been learning time. Learning the correct way to do things from reading the water, identifying species, actively participating in running of a boat and rigging my own gear. With that being said I would like to share a link from my friends over at USiA   and the IMPORTANCE of knowing some basic information that could save your life/crew or your captains. It’s titled What if You Were Suddenly in Command? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of being out there. But a responsible Captain will always be sure to have a well-informed crew, radios on, up to date safety gear and legitimate float plan.  The Boaters safety course is another thing for your crew to attend.

https://usia.com/2014/07/what-if-you-weresuddenly-in-command/

My evenings have been filled with wonder. I feel like everyday is lesson full of  hands on material. I find myself packing the bird book with the surf gear and camera. Getting  into some areas when the tide is out that are a little slice of heaven.

The last couple weeks the   juvenile Osprey have become quite vocal. At the first sign of light I hear them outside calling for fish to be dropped in the nest. It’s been great watching them grow daily. The bird that has my attention the most has been the Black Skimmer. To see them glide the shoreline at sunset, beak open, in unison with others is a beautiful dance on the water. The Common Turns and Least all have chicks that sit on the beach and wait to have food dropped into their open beaks. The have no fear and will come sit right beside you and cry while waiting.

The ocean has given up many of it treasures along the shorelines and I always find myself putting something in my pocket. Some not though and I take a picture and research as much as I can about it.

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It was no surprise to see so many Lions Mane Jelly fish last week with the water temperatures as low as they were from the upwelling.

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Just last week fluke fishing out on the ocean we saw the water filled with jelly fish and a week later they were all over the beach.

Comb jellies are named for their unique feature: plates of giant fused cilia, known as combs, which run in eight rows up and down their bodies. The combs act like tiny oars, propelling the comb jelly through the water. Many microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, also use cilia to swim—but comb jellies are the largest known animals to do so. The comb-rows often produce a rainbow effect. This is not bioluminescence, but occurs when light is scattered in different directions by the moving cilia.

Many comb jellies have a single pair of tentacles (often each tentacle is branched, giving the illusion of many tentacles) that they use like fishing lines to catch prey. They are armed with sticky cells (colloblasts) and unlike jellyfish, the tentacles of comb jellies don’t sting.

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We are all born with particular dispositions–likes, dislikes, talents, etc. We move towards certain things and away from others, and those preferences–and our response to them– determine our fate. – Sara Eckel

 

Sometimes I get so excited about all this I want to take everyone by the hand and show them.. these simply things that can bring so much happiness into your life that are happening all around us.  Conversations with friends lately about how wonderfully simple nature is. Which leads to conversation of getting to this place in life of surrounding yourself with whatever and whoever brings you peace and happiness. That those things will only contribute to an already happy you. I don’t know what the answers are .. I know I was laying on the dock looking up at the super moon a while back and no one was around. It was so quiet and yet I could hear fish jumping….the shore grass rustling… and looking up at all those stars I felt like the universe  just gives you the greatest hugs sometimes. I am grateful.

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