Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
While this is not a full-blown bass alert, it’s close to it. I have three different reports from three different surf front zones where bassing is virtually nonstop hooking. The latest report had to do with mid- Island (southish) where a two angler team pretty much lost count of the take, the catching starting minutes after hitting the beach and going straight through to clams-out time (translation: no more bait). The best of that day was a 28.5-incher but the fun level was keeper-plus.
It was de ju ditto form the other two slightly earlier reports. “Jay, Right after I talked to you (Wawa) we hi the beach and had bass Before I got my second rod set up. (My partner) Got a keeper his first hookup. That was the last we saw of bigger fish until my last cast at dark when I got one of almost the same exact size. Neither of the keeper had anything in their bellies …”
The above report was (kinda) north end.
From the south, it was a load of small stripers to the point of bait loss. That emailer was not fully going with my read that a stripering session with nonstop fish is a great thing. He wanted meat and never came close, maybe a 26-incher – and one blow larger fish). He soon did manage some take-home meat via a beachfront black drum of maybe 12 pounds. I couldn’t tell from the email if that was during the same trip with all the small bass.
Here’s a very interesting email reflecting that somewhat odd push of bass into every bayside crook and cranny. There is something awfully bassing going on out there and I think anglers are not complaining – except for the smallness.
“Hi Jay, haven't written in a while. Been on a crazy slinking around in the dark weakfish schedule. Only got 4 weakies so far, largest about 30". The bass action has been absolutely absurd. No bullcrap, I landed 380 bass so far this year, all on artificials. Granted more than half of them were from Oyster Creek back in March/Early April, Including a 12/5 a 15/5 and a 19/6. But everywhere I go there is an unbelievable number of 10" class micro-bass tearing up my weakfish offerings. (and I'm out there almost every day or night for 2-3 hours, beats going to the gym) I don't know how any life survives in the bay with the number of bass out there. Lots of bass in the surf too, though mostly very shorts. Enough keepers around for dinner. I only keep a couple a month as this is plenty for the two of us to have fish dinner once a week. Got a few decent blues that were more then just heads. TJ from Barnegat”
Clams are the main bass bait, many folks are fishing them off fishfinders.
The bluefishing around Barnegat Inlet and north off IBSP is blistering hot when you locate the birtdplay. These are not small fish, per Bob N., who had heftier models to over 10 pounds. Bob noted that the biog blues were not all heads. He also gave in sight into why they’re chunkier that usual for spring. They were regurgitating rainfish. That spearing-like baitfish is loaded with fat and oil. Obviously, the smaller inlet and bayside blues are shrimp and crab eaters. Rainfish are primarily an open-ocean species, only nearing our shores in fall.
The bay blues are blasting surface plugs for a high fun level when fishing them. If you just have to have few blues, think Fin-S, even though the tear-up rate is high – hell, I once managed 13 blues on a single “perch” colored Fin-S before it was so shredded even the blues ignored it (As a plastic, you know you’re shredded when blues don’t want any part of you.)
Weakfishing is turning it up a notch. That’s all I’ll say now, expect to once again implore folks to release those mama sparklers now showing in greater and greater number. I swear to you the flavor is not that good this time of year. It’s biology. The female fish are putting so much into producing the eggs, the rest of their body in essentially running thin on essential elements, including those that instill filets with flavor.
Tog reports indicate a real decent showing of fish right into the bay, where L.L. had a large tog while fishing the last of the winter flounder near The Dike.
Not to jinx it, but we may be in for another kick-ass black seabass year. Wreck anglers are finding immense schools of these feisty bottom feeders. The size is not up to the jumbo level we saw a few years back but many fish are way above keeper with some 5-pounders in the mix.