The mid-Atlantic fall run has brought big smiles and tight lines to striped bass enthusiasts up and down the New Jersey coast. Whether by boat or by surf, the 2023 fall bite has been certifiable. So far this season I have made it out thrice—once by boat, and twice by Ship Bottom surf. Naturally I have zero fish to show for it. My cousin, however, photographed here, had himself a banner day by center console. Too bad I was not there with my camera.
One thing we did catch, however, cold hands aside, was a fantastic 12 November sunrise. During a brief pause in pre-dawn plugging I made this exposure with my 35mm. Given the excitement of fishing, a fiery sunrise, and frozen fingers, I missed precise execution on this frame. Given the sluggish shutter speed the focus is softer than I planned. The good news is that I rather enjoy the effect it’s laid over the final image. It lends a painter’s touch and the 1/15 second exposure gives the foreground sea wash a sense of motion, grounding the sense of place. This is fall run surf fishing at its finest. If only there was fish on.
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