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Author Topic: 2021, Nov 18 ~ Big Perch and Heavy Crabs ~ Dividing Creek to Port Norris  (Read 638 times)
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CaptWilliecrab
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« on: November 19, 2021, 01:39:00 PM »

 2021, November 18                     ~ Big Perch and Heavy Crabs ~
 
                                                             A Capt Williecrab Creek Adventure

There's magic in the water that draws all men away form the land, that leads them over hills, down creeks and streams and rivers to the sea.         Herman Melville


8:45am:  The 16’ Sundance Skiff powered by her 50 horse-4 stroke Tohatsu power plant cruised the twisting creek maze out of Dividing Creek NJ.  Capt Williecrab was now living in adventure #15 of the 2021 season.  The Creek Ship Madison Rose was loaded with 12 topless Williecrab traps with chicken necks for bait.  Also on board were 2 perch fishing poles, some grass shrimp, 6 jumbo bloodworms and high expectations.
 
The ship headed to the outer edges of the Crabmuda Triangle just before Turkey Point NJ.  It was breezy and the flood tide was higher than normal.  The tidal coefficient rating at 8:24am was 6.5.  That means the flood tide at that time would be close, but not enough to reach the Owls Nest Parking area.

The Capt deployed his traps through a deep a ditch at depths of 5 to 6’.   He then dropped the stern anchor and began to fish.  Not a single bite.  The Capt has been in a perch slump all season.  He then began checking his traps.  Small throwback crabs came in at a steady pace.   This went on for several trap runs and only 1 nice keeper was caught.  It was time to move on and explore some other areas.

The Capt made several stops with no success.  Then he made the decision to head for the dependable Grasslands Critch.   He stacked his traps and lashed them down.  He brought the ship on plane and headed at creek warp speed to his destination.  The Grasslands Critch has produced all year, crabs that is, only 1 perch caught there all season.

Now in the Grasslands, the Capt deployed his traps in 2 main areas.  His best crab catching here is almost always in an ebbed tide that is just beginning to flood.  That was a few hours away.   He decided to let the traps soak and tried some fishing.

The Capt did run into an interesting situation.   In one section of the Critch as he cruised he went through a wall of cold air.  One moment he is in warm air,  then the wall of cold air,  then back to warm.  The area of cold was about 30 yards wide.  This stayed this way for hours as he was moving about.

The Capt then ran the ship up into a reed packed meadow bank and began to fish.  He baited up his two poles with pieces of fat jumbo blood worms.  This was once a nice fishing spot for the Capt, but he has caught nothing here for two seasons.  He said a little prayer requesting he catch some nice perch.  Sweet Cindy Marie loves perch and so do the grandcrabs.   The more he thought about it, the more he was getting hungry for some nice fried perch filets.   Sweet Cindy Marie has a way of making them or any other fish without using bread crumbs, and they are so goooood!

Pole number one began to jump and bend,  the Capt reeled in a big fat perch!  He was thrilled and then pole two had a big perch.  Then two big ones at the same time and the Capt began to get reel reel busy working two poles and bringing in large perch.  The Capt had found a whole herd of fat fall perch.  He reeled in a 12” heavy boy and the holding tank for fish began to fill.  

This thrilling fall fun went on and on.  The Capt began to wonder if he should stop and check his crab traps.  It is never wise to leave a hot spot in the middle of a perch run.  He waited and waited, but then did it, he left them biting and checked his traps.   His traps yielded a few nice fat fall crabs.  He went back to fishing, and the hot spot was still hot.  

The Capt had to leave his perch spot again.  It was time to retrieve his traps as the water was low and his traps were in only about  foot deep water and draining lower.  He stacked his traps and went back to fishing.   He reasoned he would deploy his traps closer to the Delaware Bay as the tide began to flood later.   He had 8 very nice big crabs in the holding tanks but now he wanted even more fish.

The big perch fishing slowed down and then the little perch took over.   The Capt was satisfied with his cooler of perch and would now finish the adventure with more crabs.  He headed up a creek and right near the bay he made U-turn.  In the turn the Capt hit a big bunch of mud and muck almost in the middle of the channel.  The engine sucked it in and gummed up the cooling system.  The Capt tried the usual wire in the drain hole trick, but it did not work.  

The engine would run and the Capt could move it a bit and the overheat alarm never came on.  The Capt did not want to take any chances but there he was in a creek next to the bay with a clogged cooling system.  After trying some ways to clear the motor the Capt made a call.  
He called the owner of Whale Creek Marina in Sea Isle NJ where he purchased the engine.  
Whale Creek Marina is closed for the season but Morgan the owner answered.  The Capt hated to bother him, but Morgan said it was no problem and he would be happy to help.  He gave the Capt instructions on what to do and said to call him back and let him know how he made out.

The Capt began to remove a couple of hoses and clear the cooling system.  He used a wire and some lung power to work to clear the system.  Then per instructions he started the motor with the drain hoses off.  It took several tries, but suddenly water began to pour out.  
The Capt was thrilled, but then left over gunk clogged it again.  It took a few more minutes, and the Capt had his cooling system back!    The Capt sure was thankful Morgan patiently explained to him what to do. Morgan saved the day!

It was getting late now and time to go home.  There was no time to catch more crabs.  The Capt only had 9 heavy fall crabs in the holding tank.  It is not easy to be called Williecrab and only have 9 crabs on an adventure, but he does have a cooler of fat fall perch.   He will wait for another warmer day and go get those crabs, and maybe more perch.

The Capt navigated into the Delaware Bay and headed to the Owls Nest. The Bay was a little rough but the ship handled it well.  He was now back in the creeks and moving at creek warp speed again toward the launch. The Capt then trailered his ship and headed home.

It was now dark and the Capt hooked up his fish and crab cleaning spotlights.  It took a lot of time fileting those perch and in addition cleaning up his traps and ship.  It was still warm but just as he finished the wind picked up and the rain hit.  

It was a great way to live a creek day and the very tired and happy old Capt was too tired to even eat.  It was time to go into a deep sleep and prepare to feast the next day.

Capt Williecrab, Creek Explorer in the 21’rst and 20’th centuries.

The hope of the catch, nevertheless, is the string upon which all the pearls of delight are strung……….Gifford Pinchot, Fishing Talk

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CaptWilliecrab
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 01:40:13 PM »

photos
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Hawkeye
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 03:45:14 PM »

what a great report.  Morgan sounds like a great guy!  Glad the engine made it back with cooling intact (and your lungs too).
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coins1101
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2021, 10:08:54 PM »

Good report as usual. Maybe full moon phase contributed to the perch biting.
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U / W HUNTER
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2021, 03:58:13 AM »

Great report & Pix as always Capt.
Thanks for sharing , I haven't had a good perch day where you're at
in a couple years
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2021, 12:01:01 PM »

Great job CaptWilliecrab glad to see you finally got on some nice perch. Always an adventure with you and perch fillets are my favorite too. Enjoy the catch.
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2021, 05:11:13 AM »

You did well my friend,,  NICE looking perch !!
Happy Holidays to you and yours !!
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Capt. Frank
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2021, 09:46:33 AM »

Nice job.  THIS may be last NJ Report of 2021.  You're famous.
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Capt. Frank
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2021, 08:16:48 PM »

Great report, Captn!  I have a framed picture in my upstairs hallway that  looks just like your first photo, but taken at a different angle at low tide.  I obtained it during a Bay Day festival about 10 years ago.  Wondering if this is the same spot taken by another crabber?

Glad to hear that your engine is ok and you were able to get home safely.  Any thoughts on why perch fishing has been so slow this year?  I recall other years when fisherman in that general area were filling coolers without much trouble.  Also, is there a particular time of year that is best for perch fishing in that area?  It is depressing to know that crabbing is pretty much done this year but maybe I can convince my crabbing buddies to try some perch fishing before really bad weather sets in.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the others on this site!
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I have a fever....
And the prescription....
Is more crabbing !!
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 07:28:13 AM »

We really should name a creek or a ditch or landing after you, Capt'n WillieCrab.  No one personifies that entire area better than you.  You have kept up the tradition for over 60 years.  Maybe each year you should cut the ribbon across the Owl's Nest boat ramp unofficially starting the crabbing season.  The winter months are going to be rough without seeing some of your reports and pics.
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I have a fever....
And the prescription....
Is more crabbing !!

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

CaptWilliecrab
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 08:10:51 AM »

 Any thoughts on why perch fishing has been so slow this year?  I recall other years when fisherman in that general area were filling coolers without much trouble.  Also, is there a particular time of year that is best for perch fishing in that area?  

The perch fishing is not really slow this season, they are just not as many in the area I have been catching crabs.  I know several fishermen who have been having great catches.  In this last report I was fortunate to have caught nice perch right near my traps.

On an adventure, normally you have to decide if your main objective is to catch fish or crabs.  Sometimes you are able to catch plenty of both.  

The perch are always somewhere.  I had one day where in shallow water I could see huge perch all around my ship, their fat hump backs rippling just below the surface of the water.  They ignored me as the water was already filled with minnows.  

I have had days I have spent searching for perch all day,  then at the end   I find a school and fill the cooler.   Same thing with crabs.  They are all somewhere.
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blueclawfever
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 11:10:00 AM »

Thanks for the information, Captn!  Makes good sense....

BTW....my crabbing buddies and I are thinking of organizing an "End of Crabbing Season" party at the Owl's nest on a nice Saturday early afternoon in the very near future, probably do a 1-3pm kind of thing.  We would bring a grill with some burgers, dogs, have tunes playing, libations, snacks.  All sharable of course.  Even though it would be outside and a bit chilly we would hope at least a couple of fellow crabbers might show up and exchange some stories and develop some new friendships.  We would certainly love a visit from Captn WillieClaus if even for just a short cameo. 

Do you think you might be interested along with maybe Admiral Ed, SaltHay or any other of your crabbing brethren?  Anyone else reading this is certainly welcome to chime in as well.  At this stage we are just thinking of the idea and would make an official announcement probably by a Wednesday for the upcoming Saturday.  The weather would be a huge factor of course....
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I have a fever....
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Is more crabbing !!
blueclawfever
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2021, 11:44:21 AM »

And the crab paparazzi will be in full force of course.  I need some photos for the cover of my Christmas cards.....
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I have a fever....
And the prescription....
Is more crabbing !!

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


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