Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(Note: I’m getting a lot of info fed me during the day so some daily reports will have updates throughout the day – check back)
In fact: Midday: Fuse found on the beach after the heavy surf in Surf City/Ship Bottom. To be expected, actually. Good thing the beaches were fairly bare -- and it wasn't some toddler playing in the sand, uncovering a piece of metal and offering his best "Mommy, what is this?" look.
Friday, June 15, 2007: Waves: large but slowly dropping – it still take a load of lead for surfcasters to hold bottom during higher tides; low tide just south of jetties is doable though ounce-age is essential.
Boat fishing had picked up as winds backed off. Some decent fluking inside inlets and bay, though the smallness of flatties is very bothersome in many areas. However, some very good keeper drifts are mixed in. Again, it’s strange the way you can have numerous drifts with undersized fish abounding then pull off a keeper drift to beat the band.
NO LICENSE IN CONN. – FOR NOW: I’ve gotten word that the politicos in the state of Connecticut have rejected an initial bid for a saltwater fishing license.
I’m sure they had good reason but it is simply staving off the inevitable.
As I read it, the Magnuson-Stevens Act irreversibly demands a fisherman census, per each coastal state. Any state that doesn’t develop one, the feds will step in, do the census-taking and will eventually keep all census-related revenue for D.C. to do as Congress sees fit. That’s not a good thing, as you might guess.
It seems important that Jersey drag out its census-taking for as long as possible, primarily to see what other states do – and the results.
As with most saltwater anglers, I see a perfectly-crafted saltwater licensing law (or regulation, as the case may be) as a great chance to get severely needed revenue into the Division of Fish and Wildlife coffers. Anything else, as in licensing monies directed back to the state’s general fund, is so unacceptable I’d just about rather see the feds get the bucks, just to prove a point to Trenton.
By the by, the behind the scenes scuttlebutt in Trenton (Legislature) is the politicians are eagerly eyeing of the saltwater fishing license as a money-raiser for the state’s bloated budget, i.e. the aforementioned general fund. I have that from very reliable authorities. The fight to get those funds directed exclusively back into fishing will be monumental, though anglers have the voting power to win such a battle.
My guess it an eventual compromise, with a goodly chunk heading into the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Unacceptable in my eyes is hitting up out-of-state anglers with (much) higher license fees. I can use the same concept as those folks fighting the saltwater license – though I’m not sure what they’re thinking when it comes to eventually fulfilling the Magnuson-Stevens Act. They point out the huge revenue are already being put into the state by anglers. Out-of-staters put huge chunks of change into the Jersey economy. Driving them away with high license rates would be horrifically counter-productive to the state’s economy. And I’ll admit that a great many of my fishing buddies – including club members and friends to Holgate -- come from Pennsy and NY.
Arrived on the island tonight just as the wind was laying down. Decided to fish a BH spot that has been good to me in the past. Didn't mind the larger surf, but the north to south current was worthy of 8oz to hold bottom. Anyhow, right before dark the bite turned on fast and furious. I caught 3 legal stripers (30-33-38") in the first 45 minutes. Missed two others. I kept the 30"er for dinner and released the other two incase the "cash cow" came a knockin'. The 38 may have been pushing 20lbs, but checking the board before I left revealed a 23lb or better is hanging on to 8th place. It was in good shape so I set her free.
Just as I was thinking of calling my buddy into the red hot bite, it shut off just like that. The sharks moved in and took over. Bluefish were a no-show. Around midnight, the sharks finally drove me off to a mid-island location. The spot looked prime, but I was just too tired to fish. I headed for home.
My brother was on his way down around 3am so hopefully he'll have a decent report. I believe he was fishing 3-11am.
The bass I kept was LOADED (28) with sandfleas and a few whole mussels. I just may try them out for bait this weekend.
(Joe, I have caught many many small stripers while fishing sand fleas, a.k.a. sand crabs, especially when I fished the "Tennis Court" jetties in North Beach in search of big blackies. I have never come close to anything sizeable striper-wise; maybe a just-keeper fish or two. Sand crabs as bait greatly reduces the chances of catching anything else -- except the aforementioned blackies (providing you're near a jetty) and rarely a sand dog. That's helpful if there are a load of bait-stealers around.
What amazes me when fishing fleas is how bass can steal these tiny things off the hook. When you find them in a bass belly, the crabs were obviously all but inhaled. My guess is the fish suck in a hooked bait, then the line hits the fish's lip and essentially holds the bait just inside the bass mouth; the inhaling action sucks it off. I've often fished immaculate water near jetties when togging and clearly watched the bass as they go after the bait. I wait for the hookup that never comes and haul in a perfectly denuded hook. That also gives you an idea why it's nearly mandatory to hold a rod when fishing with sand fleas. j-mann)