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Cold wind + Cold water = No Fish

What had been a promising week soured by 4am this morning.  Despite wishful thinking, sacrifices, and other totems…the water temperatures in the bay retreated a bit in the face of a stiff west wind.  As the graph of water temps dipped so did the hope of the bass bite starting in earnest.

For the second week in now, I hit the beach with clams and more hope than confidence.  The ridiculous daylight savings time changes also made it more problematic.  Had sunrise been at 6am, there would have been a whole extra hour of sun to warm the mud.  Alas, that was not the case.

Dawn broke cold and clear over Raritan Bay and lines were in as the first purplish hints spoked out over the horizon.  Three poles deadsticking clams in a known early season spot produced some possible nibbles but no real hits.  For two  hours before low and for forty minutes after, the pungent odor of clams drifted in the currents.  Nothing was interested.  As the wind began to go from breezy to gusty to downright unpleasant, we packed it in.

Still, I remain optimistic.  Reports (words no pictures mind you) from the local tackle purveyor are of “small bass here and there.”  The week ahead looks good on paper with warmer air temps, but there will be a pesky northeasterly flow to contend with the first part of the week that might keep it cool.  As of this report, the bay hasn’t recovered to its previous 47degree mark and has been holding steady at 42-43 all day.  If and when that changes, the first outgoing at sunset will see me out there.  Until then, I’m digging out my freshwater gear.

Word, from an extremely credible source, has the local ponds ramping up now that it is ice-out.  I, for one, might consider some pan fishing or even a bucketmouth trip as balm to soothe my frazzled salt-stained heart.

It is early and a darned sight better than a year ago when a Nor’Easter tore up the bay and set fishing back two to three weeks.

If you consider yourself spiritual in any way, I encourage you to pray to the deity of your choice for one thing this week…A south wind.

March 2011
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