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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday, July 29, 2007: A slow-go but still worth it

Sunday, July 29, 2007: Waves: 1 to 3 east swell. Water clarity: Very good. Water temps: 70-ish.

During my daily close-coverage of the Beach Haven White Marling Invitational Tournament I also got to talk nearshore fishing with quite a few folks. What I heard on many front was the slowness around the south end. This is not to say there hasn’t been plenty of small gamefish caught – along with the occasional super fluke, bass or weakie -- but it has been a slow go to the point a few captains are calling it a pretty crappy summer.

The Barnegat Inlet end of things is marking a generally good to very good summer, with a few captains having perfectly followed each arriving fishery to date – those captains are often the charter experts.

Onto specifics, the fluking remains real decent (especially north end, oceanside up off Seaside) but the grumblings over next year’s proposed fluke poundage cutbacks make each good day bittersweet – and wrought with rages like, “Look how firkin good the fishing is. And they say the fluke are not plentiful.”

I agree with the gripes but I also have to point out that the very good fluking from LBI northward into the Raritan is sure sucking down the allotted poundage for this year.

A wild fluke tale was passed to me right before 10 a.m. mass in Surf City. Keyboardist Paul P. was working Barnegat Inlet and after some serious effort hooking into the day’s first major fluke, a fish in the 5-pound grade. And we’ll never know the fluke’s size even though it was landed. As Paul pulled in the flattie, and was about to have it netted, at least three gator blues literally shredded the fish leaving nothing more than a head.

While that was one of the few cases of slammer blues the cocktail blues are a-cruise in many inlet areas, north and south. If you really need on – when all else fails – use larger Fin-S Fish with a larger jighead – and a small piece of metal leader.

Weakfishing for spike remains a west bay thing. Also, the chumming is indispensable.

Striped bass are dribbling in, a few from the beach including an exact 28-incher caught on clams early a.m. Boat bassing has picked up a bit. oceanside stripers can still be tracked down near bunker baits. B. Inlet jetties have bass, especially the North Jetty.

I had a bunch of folks asking about all those bluefin tuna being caught during the WMIT. I really can’t let on too much except to say many of the fish came from big name location south of LE Inlet. The main bait is ballyhoo, Islander style. The real trick has to do with bright colors to attract the fish.

Shark-email:

I know you are going to think I'm nuts, but here goes...I'm in my kayak (Hobie SUV) yesterday fishing with full size bunker. Looking for large stripers, blues, etc. I often catch large Browns as you can see in my profile picture. I feel a "bump" and seconds later the bait clicker starts spinning letting me know I have a pickup. I spin the yak around, engage the reel, and set the hook. I feel something on the end, but only briefly. I think "nuts" I lost my bunker. I reel in about 80 yards of braid, almost to the yak, and all of a sudden the line goes deep and is moving past my yak. Here the fish when I set the hook must have been swimming right at me. So I do my normal and pull up hard. A Shark with a black back and white bottom comes flying out of the water right next to the yak. It had to be 6-7 foot long. All I can think of is "this ain't no brown" and its too close to the yak. I free spool the reel imediately thinking "just get away from me!" The fish darts past the Kayak and comes completely out of the water clearing the surface by 3 feet and he's spinning while he's jumping. He wraps himself in the line in the mean time. He makes one more half jump and disappears headed for the open ocean. I watch the line continue to go out thinking what I was going to do next. Finally the line stops and I gently engage the reel again not wanting to repeat what had just happened. Nothing on the end. Pulled in the line and fortunately he broke the braid somehow without me putting any pressure on him. What the heck was it? Would a Mako come in this close with the water this warm? Do Bulls ever jump like that? Thx Bill

(Great hookup. Throw all else out the window (water temps, closeness to shore, etc.) and you have yourself a surefire mako. If I've learned anything about sharks over the years (of fishing, diving, surfing) it's the fact that any type sharks can show up anywhere. J-mann)

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