Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday June 12, 08: Bunker hanging off mid-Island; Weather looking ideal

"Damn it, Myles, the guy asked you not to look into the camera." Thursday, June 12, 2008: Waves: Generally 1-2 feet from varying direction as winds switch as much as 360 degrees throughout a 24-hour period. Yes, I realize 360 degrees is a total circle but that’s the trend right now as nighttime offshores blend into north and northeast after sunup, then to east midday, followed by south late and back around to offshore after dark. When this land and sea breeze setup plays out, it usually means light winds and very good fishing conditions, weather-wise. Whether the fish realize it’s great fishing conditions always remains to be seen. The warm-up of the ocean (surface water) continues with some mid 60s, though generally 61-ish on average. Weather looks good into Saturday when heavy rains will show late-day or at night. Again, ideal boat fishing conditions and suited to fluking when winds get enough speed for a decent drift, oceanside. Fishing pressure remains light to very light midweek but will surely pick up today and tomorrow. Bluefish remain the main game, though it’s very much the bluefish choosing the angler than the other way around, since most folks have bass on their minds. I notice way more folks are netting bunker this year, keeping them in live wells. I think this is both to keep the action fast and furious when a bite is found and also to keep a single hook in play should a record-challenging bass come along. As most of you know, snag-and-drop is notorious for uncertainty about how well the snagged bunker is on. It definitely leads to a lower hookup rate when snag-and-drop is done in its purest form, whereby you just feel that a snagged bait is on and allow it to drop without checking how solidly it has been snagged. I can tell by the number of snag hooks (special weighted gangling hooks) being sold that many folks are gangling a load of bunker then fishing them. It’s all good when there is so much bait out there. A large stretch of nervous bunkies was mid-Island yesterday, There were bass and blues under them, though it took some poking around to find the better fish. While a couple bass in the solid 40s were taken, the fish were averaging 20 pounds. Blues were in the teens but not overly prevalent. That mid-Island action should continue in palce with only slight changes in venue based on wind shifts. Surfcasting is frustratingly slow when hearing (and seeing) the boat action. Still, I had two reports of take-home fish caught on chunk bunker. Daylight is finding more and more bathers and beachgoers in the mix. By the by, if you’re one of the many paddle-powered anglers – using kayaks or canoes – keep those PFDs at the ready. It’s the law. I’m told a number of paddlers have been seen going over, which is part of the game, actually. It’s hard to believe (for me) but I have never capsized big-time, outside in the waveline or deeper water. I have had my kayak roll right as I reached the beach – thanks to shorebreak waves, as I was trying to get out. I’ve had very close calls, mainly when paddling in when a swell was running. Paddling out, I get a better read on what wave action is coming, so it’s easier to time things to get past the waveline. Coming in, though, you have look seaward, pick a seemingly good lull, and commit to paddling in. If you’ve mistimed an arriving set, there’s no turning around once you’re atop the sandbar and paddling beachward. Not that a roll is all that worrisome. I secure everything before I break beachward (or head out). If my yak takes a tumble, nothing falls out – theoretically. I should mention that seabassing has had some very bright spots, per some charter skippers. However, it (like all angling) is hugely hit-or-miss. If you’re early to a wreck, structure or reef good things have been happening. If you slept in, the fishing may have been used up by earlier arrivers. For anyone still working the outback – be it fishing, tracking, hiking or biking – the biting bugs and buzzing insects remain insane, damn near intolerable even for biking. On LBI, backyard mosquitoes are also atrocious. Gnats may be an early morning factor with these light winds. IMPORTANT: Not to sound like mommy, but the sun has been fierce of late (humidity was down to 20 percent yesterday) and I had three more fishing buddies diagnosed with non-malignant skin cancers this past winter. It’s no joking matter any more. Even a benign skin cancer, especially when on the nose or lips, is an ugly removal. Those big-ass hats with neck flaps are the ticket, especially on boats where there’s simply nowhere to hide from the sun beat-down. The back of the neck is the forgotten zone when lathering up with SPF 20 – and way up. Below are the results of the Berkeley Striper Club tourney. It shows the intensity of angling just to our north )Island Beach). Sorry, but that’s the way it’s playing out right about now, geographically speaking. Congrats to the winners. The Berkeley Striper Club Spring Tournament was held from 5/30 to 6/8 and was for those fishing from the shore only. Todd Callan won the grand prize along with both striper calcuttas/pools with a 42 lb. 12 oz. bass. He won a total of over $2000. in cash and merchandise for that fish alone. He also won an additional prize for placing second in the bluefish category with a 14 lb. 5 oz. one. Todd and his father Dennis fished very hard throughout the tournament, fishing both the dawn and dusk high tides while predominantly using bunker heads as bait. Dennis place 6th in the bluefish category with a 13 ½ lb. fish. 91 entrants competed in the tournament and about 20 bass, 30 bluefish and 1 weakfish were weighed in during the tournament. Most of the fish were caught at Island Beach by those fishing bunker heads but a couple were caught on Long Beach Island. Several of the bigger bass were caught on plugs by anglers fishing the jetties of Monmouth County. However, few of those who were entered in the tournament were in on the blitzes that occurred there. The tournament raised money for the club’s striped bass defense fund. A check for $1500. was sent to Stripers Forever. BSC Spring Tournament Final Results Thanks to all those who participated! Striped Bass 1st Todd Callan 42 lbs. 12 oz. 2nd Dave Arnold 36 lbs. 3 oz. 3rd Jerry Taylor 31 lbs. 11 oz. 4th Tony Grubiak 30 lbs. 12 oz. 5th Eric Green 26 lbs. 2 oz. 6th John Gilles 25 lbs. 2 oz. 7th Charlie Koller 24 lbs. 9 oz. 8th Phil LaGrossa 24 lbs. 3 oz. 9th Scott Pullen 23 lbs. 14 oz. 10th Dominick Talerico 23 lbs. 11 oz. 11th Paul Haertel 19 lbs. 12th Chris Bender 18 lbs. 12 oz. Bluefish 1st Christopher LaGrossa 16 lbs. 2 oz. 2nd Todd Callan 14 lbs. 5 oz. 3rd Chris Bender 13 lbs. 13 oz. 4th Tim Burden 13 lbs. 10 oz. 5th Bob Misak 13 lbs. 8 oz. Weighed in 1st 6th Dennis Callan 13 lbs. 8 oz. Weighed in 2nd 7th Brian Vocke 13 lbs. 8 oz. Weighed in 3rd 8th Drew Ciok 13 lbs. 6 oz. 9th Rodney Erdo 13 lbs. 3 oz. 10th Chris Burnett 13 lbs. 11th Scott Pullen 12 lbs. 12 oz. 12th Dominick Talerico 12 lbs. 7 oz. Weakfish 1st Arthur Santerre 9 lbs. 6 oz. 2nd Andy Ciok - won drawing Big Gun's Striper Calcutta/Pool Todd Callan 42 lbs. 12 oz. Paid $750. Striper Calcutta/Pool Todd Callan 42 lbs. 12 oz. Paid $495. Bluefish Calcutta/Pool Christopher LaGrossa 16 lbs. 2 oz. Paid $435. Weakfish Calcutta/Pool Mike Went - won drawing Paid $255. Paul Haertel BSC Tournament Director

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