Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday, April 29, 2007: -- Clammy bass and shrimpy blues

The wind got way testy today, especially late day when the gusts turned on accompanied by some odd showers with isolated bolts of lightning, mainly mainland.

I was deep woodsing it in search of vernal ponds to record for state studies. It would be sunny one minute, rainy the next, sunny the next. Kinda weird.

Bird life is in full swing. I’m pretty good ID’ing the likes of raptors, warblers and even shorebirds but those ten thousand little-bugger birds, flitting every which-a-way, are far beyond my humble identifying capacity. They’re still interesting to hear, as the males noisily claim territorial dominance, all 3-ounces worth of dominance.

Back home, toward dark, it took some time to catch up to all the fishing reports that had arrived via email, phone calls and through our secret decoder rings. You don’t have your secret decoder ring yet?! Pity.

Anyway, there are some stellar striper reports from folks anchoring near the sod banks, inside Barnegat Inlet. The keepers are a tad tough to come by when using clam (as bait and chum). Obviously, livelined herring are the surer way to tease to 28-inch-plus fish.

I’m told that some boat folks are pulling ashore, west IBSP, to fish from the shore, placing rods in spikes and such. I can relate to that. Sometimes it’s easier to fish the bank casting outward than to anchor up. That’s especially true over on The Dike, where I’ve been in the midst of a banner bass day while drifting (and even anchored) boats can’t buy a bite in the exact same zone – until they come onto the sedge banks, cast out and begin banging bass.

Bluefishing is increasing very quickly, though it’s far more bayside than ocean – though an observation by a fall fishermen focused on blues cornering some baitfish (likely small herring) on the south side of a jetty. He said the blues were “good-sized.”

I had an email I’ll use in my weekly column from an angler who caught a blue that regurgitated a couple semi-digested large shrimp, far from grass shrimp. I’m trying to figure if those shrimp might be local ocean shrimp (if there is such a thing) or Carolina shrimp that somehow were still in the bluefish’s belly. That doesn’t seem likely considering how fast blues digest food, still, I guess it doesn’t take more than 36 hours for a blue to make it up here from, say, Hatteras. That could leave Carolina belly matter in the system, so to speak.

Here’s a captain report: “Jay, hope all is well. Barnegat Bay water temps continue to creep up as is evident by the arrival of the first bluefish. The west side of the bay is a solid 58 degrees and is the place to look for them Already arriving in really good numbers it looks like we may be setting up for a great run this spring. I had steady action on poppers with fish ranging from 3 to 6 pounds. My best success was blind casting in water from 3 to 6 feet deep. In addition to blues, I have been able to find some short bass willing to take poppers in crystal clear shallow water or BKDs in the channels.

Capt. Alex F. Majewski, Lighthouse Sportfishing, Barnegat Bay, NJ -- www.LighthouseSportfishing.com”

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