Doing Good In Mike's Name...
First, some shop news…
Based on the popularity of the “Quit Breathing My Air” sticker, the Grumpy team got together to discuss what our next sticker could possibly be. Someone mentioned maybe do a sticker of Ponytail Mike, specifically the iconic picture of him overlooking the water that is displayed in the rod building area of the shop. For those who don’t know, Mike was an owner of the shop, the shop’s master rod builder and, most of all, a very good friend. We lost him in 2016 to cancer. In further discussions on this project, we decided any money raised for this should go to a charity that is fighting cancer. Someone mentioned that Mike would want the money to help kids, and we figured we could do both. Jenni worked her magic on the sticker and here we are.
The Ponytail Mike Malek sticker costs $3.00, and all of that $3.00 for each sticker will be going to Ocean of Love, an organization based in Toms River, NJ that supports the families of children fighting cancer. Ocean of Love is a non-profit, charitable 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to helping Ocean County children with cancer and their families. Their purpose is to assist the children through their illness. Ocean of Love provides financial and emotional support so that they can experience the "normal" joys of childhood, knowing their lives are significant and meaningful to each and every one of us.
So help us help the kids and their families.
We got in an order from Nomad Designs this week, and in it was a new product for our shop. The Nomad Designs Vertex Vibe lures, specifically the Max Vibe and Swim Vibe. While they may look like a glide bait or a rattle trap in the pictures, they are actually a soft bodied bait that has some hard bodied bait characteristics. Think the offspring of a swim shad and a lipless crankbait. What makes these unique is how they are fished. The vibrate on retrieve, and have a slight wobble on the sink. I could write a whole paragraph or three about it, but Nomad does a better job in their Vibing 101 Video on Youtube.
While we have had these in the shop for as long as the shop has been the shop, we finally got the Deadly Dicks on the website. We have 5 sizes and 4 colors available of the Long Casting / Jigging Lures. They are fantastic for bass and bluefish, but they catch so many other gamefish species. Even false albacore, who normally avoid lures with lots of hardware, regularly ignore the treble hook and barrel swivel on the lure and take these with abandon, so there must be something to how Deadly Dicks swim.
We received some more Van Staal VSX2 spinning reels. The 200’s have come in. In the shop we have both black and silver. We also have a lefty silver. In case you don’t feel like making a ride, we made a left Silver 200 available online. We have not had any gold reels of any size show up yet. When they do, we will start calling those on the list for them. No need to call the shop asking about them.
As far as the fishing goes, fluke season is winding down, but no one has told the fluke about it. They are still regularly being caught in the surf and on the boats fishing off the beach to a few miles out. Bucktails and Gulp!...
Small bluefish have been moving in and out of the surf. They are hitting metals, poppers and mullet fished on a mullet rig.
We are still hearing reports of blowfish in the bay, and we have started to hear reports of small striped bass showing up in the back bay spots.
The blackfish are in their inshore spots, and also being caught from the local jetties when conditions allow. We have green crabs available for those who want to try.
Here are some notable catches:
John Glatz strikes again with another nice surf fluke!
So, we are not going to pick on Ray in the usual manner. How will this be different? Ray cannot claim we are making this one up (unlike almost all of the other completely true reports on Ray). Ray did this to himself. So, early last week, Chaka (our rod building apprentice), decided to get one of those “one-chip challenge” chips for Blackcloud Bob. For those unfamiliar with the one-chip challenge, it is an extremely spicy chip (sort of, but not quite like a potato chip). The challenge is to eat one and not drink or eat anything else for 10 minutes. Bob beat the challenge easily. When Scott and Ray saw this, they decided they wanted to do it. Bob went out and got 3 more chips. Frank was going to take the challenge with the 3rd chip, but when it came to the day of the challenge (Tuesday), he “noped” his way out of it. They offered the chip to me, asking if I would do it. I said, “I would, but I don’t wanna…”. Jenni and Connor also passed on it.
So on Tuesday when we closed the shop, both Ray and Scott ate their chips and waited their 10 minutes Neither looked like they were enjoying the experience, but they both finished the challenge (though Ray at one point looked like he was gonna reach for the glass of milk Bob placed tantalizingly close.). Here they are holding their “I beat the challenge” banner. Look how happy Scott is.
And here is a close up of Ray. This is foreshadowing. If you want to know what exactly it is foreshadowing, you are going to have to ask him.