Southern NJ Sheepshead Stampede 2016 Continues…

Prior to their release…Live well loaded with Sheepshead heading for the weigh station.

Not Florida, Not Louisiana… Southern New Jersey . Year after year. There is no other place in the world where trophy sheepshead gather in such numbers and can be caught with such consistency. This one caught by Mike Prosceno coming in at over 13#s with even bigger fish still roaming the tides…

For more then a decade I first only watched on my Aquaview underwater camera and fish that seemed so elusive and at the beginning uncatchable.

With the white and black bar they would roam in tightly packed schools in so much that three or four fish would appear like a solid mass. Not dissimilar to a herd of zebra migrating across the killing fields of the savanna.

Like the buffalo devouring mega wolves of northern Canada to the  Prince Edward Island  1000 pound Bluefin tuna; The largest predators of the stock with always seek the furthest boundaries of their range for large prey.

With the huge risk/reward factor involved long migrations, once there, competition from other species is little to none.

 

Insomniac Guide Service LLC
Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff

 

 

 

 

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Summer Schools Have Arrived

Summers schools of Striped Bass have arrived right on time. Large crab eaters from the south roaming the flats, in one foot of water, destroying a top water plugs…

 

The Majority of my summer fishery revolves around the Chesapeake Bay stock of fish that  call southern New Jersey home up until the fall migration kicks in. What most refer to as ‘resident striped bass’.

Some are very large. Like the south western portion of the lower Chesapeake. These fish ply the grass beds in search of prey. This time of year they are looking for shedder crabs on our vast grass flats here in Stone Harbor/Avalon NJ. More on that and this unique in the near future..

Insomniac Guide Service LLC
Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff
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The Night Shift…

What I really cut my teeth on when learning to fish the back bays. The Night Shift.

Over a decade ago, when I first got the boat I spent the first year exclusively fishing at night. The amazing things a saw and came to realize stuck with me. Not only the fishing but much of the wildlife that can only be seen lurking at night. During the course of a year the change of seasons , spawns, and migrations you really get an understanding of your quarry, it’s behaviors, and everything else that makes the marsh one of the most productive ecosystems in the country.

That will be revisited in a future in depth article. Now on to the report…
Last evening…Howling winds, huge tides and racing currents. An absolute awesome bite with staggering number of fish.

No matter the conditions this a special time of year.

Several all out Events going on at once that cannot afford to be overlooked. With the new moon tides ushering the spawn of just about every edible source in the back bay. 6 inch spearing , crimson cinders worms, and bay anchovies being devoured by huge coordinated wolf packs of striped bass.

Insomniac Guide Service LLC
Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff
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Summer Striped Bass Slamming Top Water Plugs on the Back Bay Grass Flats

Last two days have brought a flood of striped bass into the back bays and grass flats.
Fish are slamming top water plugs as they patrol into a film of water hunting blue claws, mullet, and ripping through schools of peanut bunker.

Starting at the top of the tide the fish are following the bait out of the sounds stopping at each creek at just the right time in short 20 minute windows before moving on to another one further down the water way.

Towards the end of the tide the bass are setting themselves up in open water in a foot or so depth. We’re working the sand pot hole edges around the thick grass beds.

Fishing that shallow once a bass sees the plug it’s done. Fish on a flat are there for one sole reason alone. To feed. Strikes come quick and violent.
Once hooked, bass porpoising out of the water while grey hounding on the flat and somersaulting are the norm. It’s one of the most exciting ways to target these fish.


Insomniac Guide Service LLC

Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff
Join Us On Facebook!
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One of the most phenomenal years to date for NJ sheepshead

A little update on what we’ve been doing. Mullet have been in great abundance in the back water. Most of them have been in the 3 to 4 inch range.
Cast netted they are a phenominal Big flounder bait for some of the lager resident fish that we find all summer.

The main attraction has been large Sheepshead in numbers I have not seen before. Ranging to almost 13 pounds and many in the 10 to 6 pound range. They’ve been very consistent.

A few worthy of the weigh scales before being released back.

Insomniac Guide Service LLC
Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff
Join Us On Facebook!
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Backcountry Sheepshead & Striped Bass

We’ve had some real interesting tides and trips this last week. Some days we’ve covered miles and others just a few small stretches of water.
These are our summer resident fish.

I think they’re finally finding their way around the marsh. The mullet are starting to mature and comb the bank in schools and the peanut have started getting some size and
can be seen getting pushed up into the banks by bass on some of the flood tides and blown out creeks. We have a plethora of southern sting rays and crabs on the flats
and the grass beds have come in beautifully.

Yesterday morning I had some long time clients Billy & Billy out on the boat at sunrise.

Tide was just about out when we started and the first area we had 2 misses then poled a flat that was about a foot deep with some laid up inactive fish that the we pushed off while
poling the boat along.

After a few more moves we got on a grass bed were the fish were much much more active.

We spent the remainder of the trip in this area with some excellent strikes and landing bass and landing fish the remainder of the trip. Southern rays and crabs moving around. Crystal clear water and just a plethora of life on the flat.

Once I dropped off my morning trip I met up with my cousin Chris @ the dock and we headed out to do some much needed field testing of our new BottomSweeper Jigheads.

There is nothing like a sheepshead as far as fighting ability goes. Powerful runs , their akin to a wreck permit or a 10 pound bluegill

We had some great fights and the jigs stood up to the test ; out performing anything we’ve ever used.
They are pretty much ready to go into production. Bottom fishing/Live lining their performance is awesome.
We have really have something totally unique to the market and I’m really looking forward to getting everyone on board
with some of the new techniques we are using now that’s changed our fishing game.My schedule is opening up a bit after this week if any of
you would like to get on the boat with us for a trip. I’m looking forward to this month as everything is really coming together.

Insomniac Guide Service LLC
Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff
Join Us On Facebook!
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6/16 Schools of Flood Tide Striped Bass

We were greeted today with an incoming tide and just the slightest breeze from the east.

We ended finding our first few fish on single point that had a nice flow of water coming through. We then jetted off towards quieter water were we’d happen to find severel schools of bass inside
the basins and the open water just outside.

Some really awesome strikes with many fish following coming all the way to the boatside and going airborne as Brandon retrieved his surface plug.
After working several schools and catching several fish the tide was full and we started working the open water. Many times after the sun gets high the fish will pull of the banks onto the flats were they’ll hide in the grass beds. Once on the flat we saw a plethora of southern sting rays.

It’s a great indication of fish being nearby. Where there’s these rays typically there’s an abundance of life within a vast barren open flat….

The bass were right nearby.. We had a slightly breeze now a chop to the surface and took them on a variety of of surface plugs. Strikes came at an instant

Insomniac Guide Service LLC
Capt. Dan Schafer
Year Round Striped Bass
Shallow Water Back Bay
Fly & Light Tackle Fishing
in Stone Harbor NJ.
(609)-780-5124
insomniacguide@live.com
G.Loomis, Shimano, Yeti, Lowrance, Tackle Direct Pro Staff
Join Us On Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Insomniac-Guide-Service-LLC/127841563899334