May 3, 08: Blues trying to work their way back in -- wanted or not
Saturday, May 03, 2008: Well. It’s time for me to turn it up a notch in here. Please send me everything and anything you can contribute, i.e. questions, answers, odd tales, spottings and sightings. As you know, stuff from in here may also end up in my weekly SandPaper Blogs. (By the by, I marvel at the number of people that read these blogs. I have gotten emails from literally all over the country. Still, it’s the folks who send me snippets and sound bites that make it all doable). \
The bluefish remain scattered in many of the zones where they had been thick as blue bricks before the blow. However, I’m still hearing insane reports of choppers just to our north (a fish per cast until arms give out). While those fish re generally migrating northward, they are also running into good eating around here so there is a high likelihood they’ll hang near Jersey for awhile. The cocktails are also out there, so thickly that fishfinders are marking them for miles on end, at all water column levels.
Speaking of bluefish, Asbury Park Press outdoor column-writing legend John Geiser recently wrote that a majority of folks up his way are barely responding to the blues. Though locally we seem a lot more appreciative of these super fighters, I have also seen crass indifference to the blues this spring. I have to wonder out loud if it is the gas-versus-catch issue arising. I say that because I have heard on three different occasions (three widely differing fishing personality types) the near-exact words, “I’m not going to waste fuel on just bluefish.” I have to think that’s tip of the iceberg.
Today: Talking with Margaret at Jingles, short bass and smooth dogs are in the South End surf today and some decent bass have occasionally been in the mix, dating back over the past week.
Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle told of small bass in the suds with bookend blues and weakies, both right in the 3-4 pound range just inside the inlet. The weaks are best in low light. Word is also out about some tiderunners being dropped – after being seen. It’s actually the larger weaks that have the famed and testier thin skin, from which the fish gets its name. What happens is a hook penetrates the skin then hits fairly tough mouth part (bone) that repels the hook tip. The hookup is then all skin. While this also applies to smaller weakfish, the hook can more easily penetrate the bone or moves along the bones until it breaks into any of the various openings at the jaw joints. If you’ve ever had a fairly tough time getting a hook out of the so-called weak mouth of a weakfish, the hook has most like driven into one of those joint areas.
The latest batch of north wind should not be as problematic as the blow earlier this week. Still, it was really chilled over along the beach by late day today as the onshores turned it up a bit. Here in Ocean County the winds could shift to the south at any moment.