I make a goal list every year, most years its just a basis by which to plan trips off of, I’d say at least 50-60% goes completely un-attempted or failed and subsequently passed onto the next year. Low on funds I set my goals on a few highly prized, yet highly doable individuals. I kept my ventures local, but my trips high impact. With deadly efficiency I whittled away at my target list. At this point there is a grin on my face, because I’ve caught approximately 10 lifers this year, but all of them were highly coveted targets which brings me to my next local high impact target…
I’ve been working crazy hours lately, so with that comes limited time to enact fishy plans. We woke up and were on the road by 2 AM. We arrived at our target lake before the sun was even peaking up, we assembled our gear cloaked in darkness and eagerly made our way to the banks. Upon arrival I quickly submerged my worm into the water, it was instantly taken by what I now know to be a Banded Sunfish, the fight was shockingly fierce for what I assumed to be nothing more than a minnow. This happened time and time again, I battled micro sunnies back to back until the sun fully rose to take its place high in the sky. Stunningly vivid Banded Sunfish readily complimented the glowing Bluespotted Sunfish, even Kyle’s Mud Sunfish sported a weird bright flavor of brown. My big regret is only bringing Iphones to photograph them, a mistake I’ll remedy in the future.
What Lurks in the Surf at Night
We left the sunfish at the perfect time and made our drive further south. Once we got there we explored a bit and then descended upon the moonlit beaches. The first hook up was short and glorious, my feet entrenched in warm sand, the ocean was equally as hot if not hotter than the air surrounding us, the shark at the end of my line was a worthy adversary and I knew I reached the closest to Nirvana that I’ll see this year. The tides from the super moon provided us unique opportunity to basically have a miniature salt pond behind us, we used that for photographing the first Dusky Shark, however it quickly dissipated as fast as it came. Action wasn’t steadfast, it was extremely separated so with that, I went back to the car to get food and drinks at this time Kyle hooked up with a little spinner shark. These sharks are usually found in Florida, but due to the above average water temperatures were currently being caught in New Jersey. We quickly photographed the newborn specimen and released him back into the surf. Next up was my lifer Clearnose Skate, most people are appalled by skates, but I was equally as excited to see this new lifer, as I was the shark that came before it. After a long wait Kyle hooked into a nice specimen of a Sandbar Shark also known as a Brown Shark. It was the biggest fight of the night and readily dragged him left back to the right eventually succumbing to the pressure of the rod. With that Kyle beached his first real shark.