Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, June 16, 2007: Waves: Rebuilt to about 3-5 feet today; a bit of a surprise increase in the wave action. It lead to my contacting the weather Service to increase rip current warning levels from “low” – that it seemed it would be when I called in at sunrise – to a healthy “moderate.”
I’m not sure why the swell surged so much but it did make surfcasting tough. Also, the rock and roll for boats out on the ocean – also contending with 15 mph southwards – made for less than ideal fluke drifts.
Fluking is very cellular, meaning there are some nice cells of flatties but they can come and go quickly. It is very tough to find a pattern.
During volleyball on the beach today, I chatted with longtime surfcaster Manny, as he was being frustrated by what seemed to be stripers offering some serious swacks to his clam bait. We chatted bassing and Manny talked about the not-too-distant days when eels could nab every cow bass in the vicinity. He had a right-on theory on why eels have fallen out of favor with the fish. Noting the stocks of American eels is way done (very proven in recent stock studies), Manny feels the fish simply aren’t as familiar with the creatures. It is a “fishing from the hatch” concept. This is not to say bass won’t still suck in an eel, they simple aren’t tuned to them – or their common place in the water column. Live bunker are far-and-away the ‘hatch’ now and the bass have their eyes tuned to them. Should a huge surge in eels come along, these slippery baits will return to glory.
By the by, there was a very good showing of bass in the surf despite the muddled water and still-strong currents. That bite should persist through tomorrow’s 6 p.m. conclusion to Simply Bassin’ 2006.
Here’s a reality check email from the height of the wind swell:
Hi Jay. Fished from 4:45am to about 12:30pm today. Fished a
favorite Beach Haven spot early and moved towards Holgate after about
an hour. A wicked North to South current was dragging my 8oz of
weight down the beach in minutes. Plus, every cast resulted in a
ridiculous amount of weed accumulation. Not a single touch. Only
sign of life was a single porpoise swimming North about 200 yds out.
Not knowing that I was licked... I moved to a spot in between Brant
Beach and Spray Beach. The jetty provided me with just enough
current defection to fish a nice hole on its South side. I fished
here for about 3 hours without a touch. I finished the day back up
down in Beach Haven again dealing with weed and current. No touches
Tough day, but no complaints. That's fishing. I guess I should have
fished with Joe last night. Hope to give it another go sometime this
REEF LETTER BLOG: I want to print Bill Figley’s recent letter to the Press of Atlantic City regarding artificial reefs.
As you know, Bill built the state’s artificial reef program. Now that he’s retired (but still active with the building effort), Bill is embroiled in a battle to keep commercial fishermen from essentially destroying the angling experience at the reefs. The professional fishermen are overloading the reefs with commercial gear.
It should be noted that gear from scant few commercialites is causing headaches for thousands of anglers headaches who paid for the placement of the reefs.
Bill’s ‘Letter to the Editor’ is a bit of an update (and further) explanation of his efforts to make the reefs the exclusive domain of anglers.
I’ve know Bill for a good many years – including his tenure with the reef program – and I want to note that he’s long been an excellent writer, as this letter shows. However, it’s going to take a lot more than craftiness with a pen for Bill to win this battle so stay tuned to ongoing, widespread efforts to save the reefs and get seriously involved. I will keep you posted on just what can be done.