Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday August 4, 2006 -- Major T-storms settle in

Saturday, August 04, 2007: Waves: 2-3 feet out of the south. Water clarity: Poor; the rains and winds have stirred in some ugly, weedy water that should blow out quickly when the wind shifts west tonight. It was already cleaning up midday as light east winds allowed that great water of a couple days back to move back in.

For most of the summer LBI has dodged some serious “isolated” thunderstorms, a number of them drenching as nearby as Manahawkin while barley dampening us. Well, last dodged not – and the summer sky made up for lost time. A major thunderstorm blasted mid-Island around 3:30 a.m. For 20 minutes, at the peak of the storm, there was a bolt of lightning, on average, every four seconds. Count that out to see how active this cell was. There were also those proverbial backyard blasts, so close you feel the compression from the thunder more than the sound. A couple inches of hugely needed rain also kept the lighting and thunder company. I was finally dozing back off when I heard some fire truck sirens, likely someone did actually have a house hit, most often not an overly serious thing.

Then today, mid-afternoon, another strenuous cell formed right over Ship Bottom and hung out tossing out many a bolt of cloud-to-ground lightening – and some decent rain. Hopefully that cooler will move in by tonight.

The fishing was again at the mercy of the skies. The morning saw some fine boat fishing – pre-lightning – but the surf simply sucked. The muddy water also had a double load of weeds and grasses. Hard to believe the ocean water of the year – blue, clean and warm -- was in here only a couple days back.

I had a few reports of tons of small fluke. Oddly, that showing is taken two ways – half full and half empty. Here’s an email along those lines:

Jay - I have been sorely out of touch with fishing the area this summer, but took an afternoon on the bay to beat the heat on thurs. Margaret at Jingles put me onto the gulp shrimp deal...and they do fish very well....opposed to the minnow squid combo. In short time...at the end of the high we caught lots of fun junkfish...sharks and sea robins. Constant action....we did boat about 25-30 fluke 14-16 1/2"....lost one real good flattie at the boat. Topped off the afternoon when the winds kicked up against the tide....by chasing small blues as they were pinning spearing behind a sandbar in skinny water. ALMOST grounded the boat. A fun time was had by my party....although "skunked" for the table....the bay is alive with life. P.S. - I heard the morning crowd did fairly well out back with the incoming tide. We were a little late on the tail end of the tide. Geo. H.

( George, Great report since you were willing to take the "aliveness" as fun fishing. You can't believe how many folks would have reported piss-poor fishing in the very same scenario because no "meat" fish were caught. I can't fathom that thinking.
One of my fishing buddies and I often create a scoring system on days like that: say, a point for a sea robin, 2 points for throwback fluke, 3 points for bluefish, 4 points weakfish, 5 points keeper flattie and so on. We then try to outscore each other. Winner gets treated to the Chinese Buffet that night. Hyper fun. J-mann)

There are some kingfish showing as scattered hookups around LE Inlet. Hard to see where that action might go.

Weakfish are still in the far west bay, mainly B. Bay but also Great Bay and Little Egg Harbor. There are only a few sparklers sizeable enough to dine upon though M.M. had a rogue weakie in the 6-pound range (released after photo). It was caught on a Spro-GULP combo. You better believe I’m mentally mixing various combos of Spros and Gulps to use in Holgate – and though the fall.

I’ve been mentioning the super showing of cocktail blues – an all-summer bite this year. Many of those “eating-sized” blues are still showing up with grasshrimp in their bellies. I still have to wonder if that’s because of the choking weds covering eelgrass beds, where the shrimp usually hang out – and successfully hide from the likes of blues. I say that after a horrific federal study indicating our bays are in very bad shape, endangered by pollution and over-nutrification from run-off form build-out areas. One of the findings focused on dead algae that settle on sub-aquatic vegetation, driving out indigenous marine life.

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