Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, July 27, 2007:
I had another fair night behind the rod, not so much the size of things but the fact darkness brought blues, weaks, a wayward 24-inch bass, herring and (you won’t believe this) a fish I simply couldn’t identify – it had a huge mouth, darkish splotchy markings on a tan background, was no more than 8 inches long and healthy as all get-out. My guess is a juvenile something-or-other from down south. We actually get quite a few such visitor brought along on currents and what-not. I recall a similar fish in Florida. It was called, like, a mangrove snapper (or whatever). I was so tempted to keep my weirdo fish to make a full-fledged light-of-day ID but couldn’t bring myself to kill such a healthy little bugger just for the sake of my idle curiosity. I think I’d recognize a picture of it but very few books show juvenile versions of a fish. As you know, there can be a huge look change as fish go from y-o-y to bigness. Anyway, my small spinners and very small jigs (that the mystery fish sucked in) seem to get a ton more action than the usual saltwater-sized offerings. One of my weakfish was keeper size and almost had to come home since it inhaled the white, pickerel spinner. I freed it pretty well and think it made it through the trauma.
Speaking of weaks, there are completely mixed reports now. Some very good takes and other complete skunk times. Tides seem to play a huge role, which is kinda new to me since I always worked on premises like plastics colors, time-of-day and (very much) the amount of boat traffic. However, on that boat traffic thing, I’m always amazed at how -- almost instantaneously -- the bite resumes after a passing boat-buzz is gone. I get a good read on that when kayak fishing.
I had a slew of emails asking about where the guys are getting those huge bft. I know the thinking of many of those questioners: The ocean is so smooth even their smaller boat can make it out to the usual bluefin tuna areas. Well, I assure you no one is talking at all with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, but I know the flow once outside the inlet is to book southeast for a few hours. Get the maps out and triangulate that data with the named spots.
Fluking this weekend will be the same as last weekend. Virtually everything fishing-wise is the same. If you have to stay in-bay you’ll be best served by either being satisfied with a 10 to 1 ratio of throwbacks to keepers on the south end, a 6 to 1 ratio north end – or, use larger baits and Spros to improve rations. The ocean off Barnegat Inlet is good, though the inlet itself has some bright moments, though the zipping-about boat traffic is maddening for folks like myself, I spend half my time yelling at guys who are using the unchanneled south side of the inlet and have to go by, full-bore, less than a couple boat lengths from where folks are drift fishing. Inconsiderate shits.
But on to happier things, Hey wait a minute I’m all out of time – we’ll make happy next column. Make sure to check out today’s (late evening) update report on the WMIT. It really is an exciting event.