Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, June 05, 2016: Today was all over the board … by midday! We had NE winds, showers, fog so thick you could filet it and then a hot sun on the wings of SE wind switch. Those southerlies look like they mean business for the entire day.
There is an ongoing threat of junked weather into tonight. However, things don’t look as nasty as first predicted. Instead of a day-long hit, it'll all come at once, later.
By tomorrow, we’re going to get into a somewhat unseasonable flow of west wind for much of the week, including some honking NWs mixed in. This will make for good casting for surfcasters, though the ocean could calm too much, becoming flat and clear … not the best for plugging, except early a.m.
Boat bassers are in for decent times during any lulls in the westerlies. The winds will smooth the sea and allow for sight-fishing on bunker pods. Kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders will definitely see some chances to launch from the beach. Just realize you have the wind at your back going out and then need to fight it coming back in. Take it from someone (me) who has needed to paddle madly until dark to fight the gusts back to the beach.
The chopper bluefishing has finally fallen off, though medium-sized blues are showing in the surf and bay.
As you’ll see below, stingrays are showing up already. Considering how cold the water still is, it could be one of those ray-packed summers. I’ve offered recipes for cooking these winged warriors – some involving Jim Beam whiskey, to be poured on the ray meat … though it will likely work even better if drunk before the meal.
Fluking is not all there. Again, chilly waters might be slowing the flow of flatties into the bay. Largest fluke I’ve seen this season was taken by an angler jigging for big blues. If I understood his Vietnamese, he was mighty dang excited about his fluke. He actually had a decent iced cooler for storage.
Below: When the fish are there but not biting ... sure water temp influence.
The ocean temp has settled nicely in the low 60s while the bay is still hanging around 70. Was out on Saturday with the Dereck Bonk party from Toms River. With flat seas at dawn, the 10 mile run up the beach at 35 mph was over in no time. While most in the area were looking for bunker and bass, I was really worried about the bunker and making bait. The snag and drop bite has not been all that so far this season but that is OK with me. Some live bunker, good tides and structure is all I needed to get my fares into some hot action. Fishing the inlet area we landed 3 bass from 30” to 24 lbs. Attached is a picture of Dereck with his personal best, the 24. In between the bass blues from 8 to 14 lbs keep the drags screaming. Can’t really speak much about fluke, I know they are in, the bay just needs the slime grass to clear some more. Two and a half more weeks left to school at which time I will be guiding full time. In the mean time I am still available for the next two weekends and afternoon / evenings. If interested in a personalized charter give me a call.
On the nature side of things: Recently some of my AP Environmental Science students and I released 6 baby diamondback terrapins into to Barnegat Bay. I was raising the 8 month old turtles as part of Project Terrapin which is headed up by DR. John Wnek. Diamondback terrapins are the only brackish water turtle found in the world. Barnegat Bay is one area where they can be found living the summer in open water adjacent to the salt marsh. Since terrapins spend much of their lives in water which may have high salinity concentration from saltwater, they have adapted one unique way to get freshwater to drink. After a rain they will come to water’s surface to drink rainwater which is floating on top of the salt.
Barnegat Bay, NJ
Richie S.can now check this one off his list. His 1st keeper fluke!
Richie also told me that he hit the jack pot in his crab trap catching about 10 blue claws. He is providing tonight dinner with his fish and his crabs.
Here's an interesting catch this a.m., via Surf City B&T ...
10:15 AM Update- Brian just stopped in with this nice 14.5 pound Black Drum he landed this morning from the Ship Bottom surf on a clam bait. Brian also caught a bluefish there this morning. Nice fish Brian & thanks for stopping in to weigh your fish. - John
Did a visit to the Dike to get a closer look at all the dredging equipment being stored there. I’m guessing that’s for the upcoming Double Creek dredging, set to begin this fall. It definitely hampers fishing the Dike’s north end but I have to think it might also act as structure to attract baitfish.
Here’s a look at a rare tiger beetle, an insect I’ve been studying for over 20 years, initially taught by the late Howard Boyd.
Seen on the sands of High Bar Harbor state park area (6/4/16) ... a relatively rare Kirby's oblique-lined tiger beetle, Cicindela tranquebarica kirbyi (ss LeConte?).
This one is fresh out of the ground -- where Cicindela pupate -- as indicated by its fully intact antennae and plentiful cilia (hairs), used in its search for food, mainly other insects. As a fierce predator, tiger beetles start to look worse for wear as the summer progresses.
By the by, LBI is one of the last areas where the highly-endangered -- extirpated in most US areas -- northeastern beach tiger beetle
(Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis) still survives. Can't disclose that site.
Here's a look at the prohibitively rare beach tiger:
Here's why you don't mess with an acid-spraying bombardier beetle (found in Jersey) ...
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Our Memorial Day weekend saw some good fishing, but strong South winds dramatically cut down on the bite and left many boaters with heavy fog to contend with at most inlets. The first few days of June should see a rebound as the wind has switched Northeast and should warm up the water temperatures. Striped Bass have been caught in a variety of ways from snagging bunker to trolling spoons, but the key is getting out early. Fluke fishing has been a little tough with higher than normal amounts of slime, snot grass, or another “S” word fouling most lures. It’s not a question of the fish being there, just a matter of getting a clean offering down to them. There has been word of Weakfish hitting soft plastics and bloodworms which hopefully is a good sign for the season. June is a great month as there are so many species for anglers to target, but you have to get out there and fish.
So here’s the rundown:
Gates Bait & Tackle of Point Pleasant Beach reports some Fluke in the Manasquan Inlet, but anglers have to fight through lots of weed to get to them. The Manasquan River has been producing an ultraslow pick of keeper Fluke. Bluefish are still hitting off the rocks, so throw those metals or use chunked bunker. There has been some Stripers off the beaches at night on Swim shads and plugs. There was word of a decent snag-drop bite in the beginning of the week off Spring Lake.
Jason from Fisherman’s Supply of Point Pleasant reported a slow week out-front on Fluke on the Manasquan Ridge and the East end of the Sea Girt Reef due to the cooler water temperatures. The fluking inside the Manasquan River has been “non-existent” from the colder water temperatures and loads of slime. The bite off the Shrewsbury Rocks has been very good for trollers working the 3-mile line and the river has seen some Bass in the low 20-pound range. The Route 35 Bridge to the Point Pleasant canal has been pretty good on Bass for anglers throwing 8-inch Tsunami Shads and S&S Bucktails tipped with Otter Tails.
The MIMI VI out of Point Pleasant had some good wreck fishing for a good number of Sea Bass making it over the rail along with Winter Flounder and Ling. The boat has some open-boat trips scheduled for June, so call the boat or check the website for details.
The Norma K III out of Point Pleasant had some action on the morning trips with some keepers and short Fluke coming up. The afternoons were a little tougher due to the South winds which chilled off the water, but this should rebound with the recent change in direction. Anglers bouncing green or white bucktails seemed to pick out the keepers. The Friday night Bluefish trip picked a few fish in the 6 to 10 pound range.
The Gambler had some quick drifts over the weekend and beginning of the week from the heavy South winds. But persistence paid off as the boat picked away at some quality flatties to 4 pounds along with keeper Sea Bass to 3 pounds. The boat will be working the night shift for Striped Bass on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays leaving the dock at 7:30pm and returning by 12:30am. Check the boat’s website for details. Betty and Nick’s of Seaside Park had a good number of reports from Island Beach State Park regarding Bluefish blitzing. They weren’t showing on the surface, but if you threw a popper it was game on. The bay is also still loaded with Bluefish, but the inlet seems to have slowed. The boat scene has had good days on Striped Bass with Seaside to the Lavallette area having the greatest concentration of fish.
Dock Outfitters of Seaside Park reported go action over the weekend and beginning of the week on keeper Stripers and large Bluefish. Bluefish continue to be taken by shore bound anglers both with bait and artificial lures. Cut bunker and clams remains the “go-to” baits, while poppers, swimmers and metals are the lures of choice. Crabbing off the dock remains a pick and Bluefish of mixed sizes have been roaming Barnegat Bay. It’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Fluke are being taken in the inlets by no word about the surf yet. Although the “snot-grass” is a definite issue with fouling most offerings.
Capt. Ted of the Super Chic in Barnegat Light said, “It’s time to get started as the fishing has been very good for monster Bluefish. The Sea Bass fishing has been good as well at his local snags. The boat has a few open dates for June and July.
Carolyn Ann III of Barnegat Light had some mixed results and it all depends on the ocean conditions with the recent South winds. Fishing has been consistent, but you have to work for them. Fresh clam has been the ticket and most anglers are picking anywhere between six fish to limit on any given day.
Creekside Outfitters of Waretown reported good Bassing through Memorial Day weekend with the majority of fish being caught on trolling spoons and Stretch 30’s. Island Beach State Park to Lavallette out near the 3-mile line had pockets of Stripers moving through. The Fluke scene has been a little off due the big presence of “snot-grass” which has been making it hard to show a clean offering. There has been some word on Blowfish near the west side of the bay towards Barnegat.
Andy from Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin reported a good troll bite on stripers 10 to 15 miles north of Barnegat Inlet in 30 to 60 feet of water. Bunker spoons and Stretch 30’s accounted for the majority of the harvest. Barnegat Inlet and the south bar just outside the inlet still infested with bluefish. Fluke fishing has been frustrating in the bays with all of the brown slime a.k.a. “snot grass”. Hopefully, most of the lure-fouling slime should breakdown and flush out within the next week. Andy spotted two threshers just south of Little Egg Inlet in twenty feet of water harassing some bunker.
Riptide Bait & Tackle of Brigantine reported good fishing over the weekend as many anglers were out fishing the beaches. The shop heard of multiple Bluefish blitzes over the last few days. Stripers have been hitting the surf with fish ranging between 15 and 20 pounds. Bunker chunks have been the hot bait. The NE Gazebo area had lots of weed, but mid-island has been much cleaner. There hasn’t been much word on Fluke in the surf as the water temperatures dipped considerably with the recent South winds.
Absecon Bay Sportsman had good fishing with some decent Fluke being weighed in, but you have to work hard for them. The shop’s tournament for Save the Summer Flounder had some decent weigh-ins with boat “Took it To the Limit” weighing in 5 fish for 12.15 pounds. Second place was Dave Pharo with three Flounder totaling 7.55 pounds and third was Keith McCarthy having 2 fish with a combined weight of 6.35 pounds. Striped bass continue to be had in the back and out front with more fish moving up the coast. There have been a few reports of Weakfish caught and the shop has some good size shedder crabs.
One Stop Bait & Tackle of Atlantic City continues to report “Banging” conditions for the area. Anglers have been doing extremely well on Striped Bass from the Melrose Avenue jetty on fresh Bunker. There has been some Flounder from the jetties, but it has been a little slower due to the cooler water temperatures, but that should start to change. The shop is fully stocked with minnows and Nowell’s favorite Flounder rigs. The shop recommends hitting the marshes around Route 322 and 40 for Striped Bass and Flounder.
Fin-Atics of Ocean City reported good Bluefish around Corson’s inlet with anglers throwing plugs and chunked bunker. Flounder has been off to a good start in the Kennedy Park vicinity showing some fish up to 6 pounds. Rainbow channel and the 9th Street Bridge area have also had some decent action on Flounder. Minnows and Gulp have been the hot baits this past week. On the beachfront, there has been some small Stripers and Bluefish hitting bunker baits. Surfcasters using bloodworms have been scoring on Kingfish.
And to round out our southern Jersey reports, Jim’s Bait & Tackle reports the drum bite remaining solid in the Delaware Bay with fish up to 78 pounds hitting the scales. Most of the boats are still fishing right in the Bayshore channel a few miles out of the Canal. The shop is still getting reports of good Striped Bass catches in the Bay as well. The water temperature jumped 10 degrees which will make these fish move out. There has been Stripers caught on the beach while not in blitzes, but there’s a good chance for a nice fish if you put in a little time. Bunker seems to be the best bait in the surf right now. Croakers are starting to show up in the Delaware Bay and in the Canal. Sea Bass fishing was a little spotty this week which had a lot to do with wind and sea conditions. There are fish on the reefs but the best is still in deeper water.
A few nice Weakfish are starting to come in from several different areas: North Wildwood, Cold Springs Inlet Jetty, Higbee’s Beach, and the Point Jetties. Most of the reports are on Bloodworms, but some are on bucktails and pink Zoom soft plastics.
Fishing Forecast for Southern New Jersey
The early bird gets the worm if your targeting snag-n-drop Striped Bass as most bites will only last until the Sun brightens the sky or fish them late towards dusk. Sea Bass continue to be a great option as anglers can put a decent catch together. Target the reef sites and lone wrecks with fresh clam and it doesn’t take long to get your limit if you find them. And for “flatty” fisherman, use the sonar to find the warmest water which will make the Fluke or Flounder more active. If “snot-grass” or slime is an issue, use slimmer profile baits or naked jigheads tipped with minnow or gulp to target. Good Luck, Be Safe, and Tight Lines.
I was so moved by Vincent Lee and Reuben Reynoso's post on the challenges of being a professional photographer in a world where everyone is a point and shoot Ansel Adams, I had to add to the thread. I'm also re-posting my thoughts below.
With the advent of easy to use Hero video cameras and full featured DSLRs for cheap money, we have a world filled with so called ‘“professional” photographers and videographers. Just because the digital world of film/video offers instant gratification and results, it doesn’t offer instant inspiration, creativity, or even mastery of the new golly gee wiz camera they hold in their hands. How many people take the time to even read the manual? Sometimes our competition is cheap -- “I have an uncle with a really expensive camera” -- but cheap or part time “pros” gets you a point and shoot “P” mode, one trick pony.
You can buy the best cameras, lenses, and accessories, but you can’t buy years of experience, passion for the art form and the determination to get that one shot that tells the story, sells the product, captures the moment, moves the soul. These days it’s more important than ever to present the client with a portfolio of work that will help convince them, that while you might be more expensive, the results will surpass their expectations.
In simple terms: “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”
Here's a shot of a striped bass with interesting lighting. It was easy ;-)
(That sign might also include: "And it breaks his heart to be left at home.")
Below: Here's a video with a look at Daniel Di bringing in large ray. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ARURA5Vl68
Tropical Depression Three has formed and is expected to become Tropical Storm Colin before threatening Florida with flooding rain and rough seas on Monday. Heavy rain will also spread to southern Georgia and the Carolina coastline.
The depression will track from near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to the eastern Gulf of Mexico through Monday.
Environmental conditions should be conducive enough for the depression to strengthen into a minimal tropical storm prior to reaching northern Florida on Monday evening. The next named storm in the Atlantic basin will acquire the name Colin.
The system will likely track into northwestern Florida, in the vicinity of Perry, and then race across northern Florida and southeastern Georgia on Monday night before moving into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean by Tuesday morning.
However, residents and visitors will face impacts well before landfall.
Seas will build throughout the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico into Monday as the depression organizes, creating hazards for boaters and swimmers.
Dangerous rip currents will develop, especially along Florida's west coast. Drenching rain will likely deter many from attempting to enter the pounding surf on Monday.
Regardless of the strength of the depression, torrential rain will push across Florida and southern Georgia from Monday into Monday night.
Localized downpours will also erupt over other parts of the southeastern United States on Monday with heavier rain developing across the coastal Carolinas from Monday night into Tuesday.
"Since we are dealing with a fast-moving storm system, this should cut down on the duration of the rainfall," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
However, a total of 4-8 inches of rain is still expected in the corridor from Fort Myers and Tampa to Jacksonville and Tallahassee and northward to Savannah, Georgia.
Flooding is a serious concern with the majority of that rain set to fall within 12 hours. Residents should prepare for possible evacuations.
The depression will likely not ramp up into a strong tropical storm or hurricane, but there could still be wind gusts capable of causing sporadic power outages and tree damage in northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and along Florida's west coast.
An isolated tornado may also spin up east and southeast of the system's center in northern and central Florida, as well as far southeastern Georgia.
Winds driving water from the Gulf of Mexico onshore threaten to flood Florida's west coast beaches, near and south of where the system comes onshore.
There is concern for a 1- to 2-foot storm surge along the west coast of Florida, from Florida Bay to Indian Pass. However, the surge can rise to around 3 feet from Tampa Bay to near Apalachee Bay.
Seas will also build later on Monday into Tuesday at the Atlantic beaches from Florida to the Carolinas, as the system approaches and then moves into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean.
Coastal flooding is a threat at high tide along the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas. Seas are already running high from the Perigean Spring Tides.
When the system reaches the waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, Kottlowski is concerned that it could strengthen further.
"Even if it does not become a tropical storm before it hits Florida, it has a higher chance of doing so off the Southeast coast," he said. "I could not rule out that it may become a hurricane off the Southeast coast, but chances are very small of that happening."
Wind shear that may temper significant strengthening in the eastern Gulf of Mexico should relax for a time when the system is in the southwestern Atlantic.
Wind shear is a rapid change in direction and speed of air flow at different levels of the atmosphere. Wind shear can prevent a tropical system from forming or cause an organized tropical system to weaken.
The strength of the system over the southwestern Atlantic will determine how much rain and wind impacts the coastal Carolinas. Residents should prepare for areas of flooding.
After impacting the Carolinas, the system will be swept away from the rest of the United States by a cold front that will usher fresh cool air into the Northeast.
As this point, the system will lose its tropical characteristics; however, it could still bring rough seas, gusty winds and drenching thunderstorms to Bermuda at midweek.