Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Let’s see, I think it was Irish band Thin Lizzie, something like 1976, hit the top of the charts with “The Blues Are Back in Town,” a worldwide smash.
Ok, so maybe I’m not totally versed in pop rock, being a life-long heavy metal aficionado, going back to the Black Sabbath and the rowdier Jimi riffs.
Be it “boys” or “blues,” I know the “back in town” part is correct since a fully reliable source had 4-pound blues today, while fishing in a weakfish hole that hadn’t even been able to offer any sparklers yet. Those blues buzzed Great Bay a couple days back. This coming week should see some late-day surface play as the blues prowl Little Egg harbor.
Obliviously, weaks and blues aren’t bosom buddies. Still, the last five or so years have seen spring weaks (tiderunner-grade) just about large enough in inhale weakly spring cocktail blues, so the weakfishing won’t suffer much with the toothy ones arriving by the loadful.
The super down side to the power arrival of our local piranha is how quickly the massive bayside bunker will clear out, even though the blues are fully geared to shrimp eating for many weeks to come. I think the bunker leave on principal alone – “There goes the neighborhood,” type of thinking. And they’re right.
The surf has bass, still, but nothing stunning or even targetable. That means you might have luck today at your street end but tomorrow will dawn bass-less.
I have a slew of folks asking where exactly to seek stripers, since, as they put it, “I’ll only be down today and tomorrow.” Go wherever. Let me know how you do.
Both kingfish and blowfish are trickling on-scene near the south end of the Island. Some head up the beachfront and other turn into the bay. Both these fine panfish are spawn-ready.
More reports of small weakfish. Again, this is a tad odd – and maybe not such a good thing as the serious tiderunner anglers are napping in so\e they came do serious night trips after weaks in the 10 pound and up grade. I have not heard of any near that large BUT that dark time crew is so shut-mouthed only my night-vision binoculars know for sure. Sorry, they’re not telling until the spawn is over.
I just got a late email about some very brisk striper fishing North End. Shorts are super predominant.
Clams are so much the answer that finding them can get tough and the return to shop to buy more is commonplace.
I have next to no mega-drum reports except for some small take-home varieties. Make sure to email that catch-and-release photo when you conquer an eye-opener.
Here’s a tackle e-report: “ … to my previous report...i meant to mention the difference in the bait situation.. for the past 3 or 4 years there have been scads of crabs and
glass minnows along with a fair number of shrimp in this locale but very few
fish...used to be an early big weakfish hotspot...but that died....this year
i'm seeing NO crabs an occasional pod of killies a lone spearing or two and
some shrimp. .i'd love to know what these schoolies are so excited
about...i'm guessing shrimp....ron”
Here’s yet another one of those very fascinating dock-fishing reports: “Hi Jay,
Figured I'd sneak in a few casts off the neighbor's dock before work this morning. No bait so I tossed a twister tail jig, not expecting much, but figured it was good to exercise the casting arm -- Bang! 1st cast (I love when that happens on the 1st one!), a 24" striper. That convinced me I was going in late to work. But not another touch for 30 minutes till I was about ready to leave, then a hit and miss - felt like another short. I will be up a little earlier tomorrow. But the good news is, at least in the bay where the water is warmer, s-l-o-w lures along the bottom can get some hits today! So I can fish early and don't have to go into the office smelling of clams or bunker! -- STEVE”
Here’s a charter report:
Hello All. Well, the new boat is in the water and if this week is any indication, it catches fish. Between the raindrops, I managed to get four trips in this week mostly splitting days between winter flounder and striped bass. The flounder fishing has continued to be good, providing double digit numbers of fish for just a couple hours of trying. For example, Captain Alex joined me last Sunday for 15 keepers before we went bass hunting, and I had regular guests George Selph and Bob Keller (picture) out today and they bagged 15 keepers before we switched over to bass after a couple of hours. Most of the flounder I cleaned today still were pre-spawn, so as long as the bluefish don't invade we may still get another week or so of good flounder fishing in the bay.
Stripers were another story. We did pick our first keepers of the year this week (as we always seem to the last week of April), but the number of fish seems a bit down right now. Water temps are just about perfect and there's a lot of bait around, so this fishery is just going to explode any day now. The slime grass is a bit of a problem, but this happens every year around this time and we just have to deal with it.Full moon this week, so we should start seeing the weakies and blues any day now. Still several mid-week dates available in May and early June, so let's go fishing. 'Til next week. Capt. Jack Shea
"Rambunctious" Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters www.BarnegatBayFishing.com.