Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, October 18, 2007: Waves: 2-3 feet out of the south, weak wind swell, light south to north current; Bottom hold: 2 or 3 ounces. Plugging potential: High this morning with light winds but dropping to moderate as SE winds increase. Preferred plugs: Poppers giving way to shallow swimmers (swum slowly) for those wanting to target the very few stripers out there; slow helps avoid the blues (sometimes). Water temps: Ranging from 63 to 66.
A note that larger bass are nearby, but out a ways. I had one this a.m. All 21 inches worth. That was my only take for a ton of slow Smokey Joe retrieves. Oddly, not one blue came knocking. By the by, very savvy Boat fishermen are finding bass, big bass. Can’t say more.
H.M. called to question the story we ran in The SandPaper on the precipitous decline in weakfish. “This had to be the greatest weakfish year I have seen,” he said. Yes, and no. We have actually been totally bucking the trend, hereabouts. Many areas of the Delaware Bay/River are at an all-time low in weakfish stocks, some areas all but out of the weakfish-catching business. We have an odd situation here. We have what seems to be a building stock and a relative lack of accessibility to the fish. Yes, Barnegat Bay is one of the heaviest traveled bays in the state but the demographic is such that many anglers don’t heavily target weakies (we have torrid flukers, though) and you have to be fairly well-off to ply or oft-pricey domain.
The spearing run remains insane. We are into the second month of a veritable river of migrating Atlantic silversides (the spearings more technical name). I have never seen so many of these fluke favorites. Could that be why we are still seeing dozens and dozens of large fluke in the shorebreak zone?
Why so many dead jellyfish? I can’t even muster a theory.
A Joe H. email noted how fiercely bass hit needlefish plugs.
I responded: Joe, I once wrote about the ferocious attacks on needlefish plugs. I call them idiot plugs because the damn things do absolutely nothing when retrieved. The reason for the attack energy by bass is the escape mechanism needlefish use. When threatened they instantly jettison straight out of the water, faster than even a bunker or mullet. And once on an escape roll, they can skim across the surface of the water at the speed of a cigarboat. A bass has one shot and it had better be a kill or no meal.Kingfish are going for fake-o baits but seem more inclined to scarf up small pieces of mullet. That’s to say the couple kingies I’ve caught went for mullet micro-strips.