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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday Nov. 29, 07 -- Small but sassy striper action

Thursday, November 29, 2007: Waves: Building south swell to a couple feet. Water clarity: Good. Southerly winds have arrived as expected, making things chilly but putting surfside bassing very high on the potentiality list; schoolies like a bit of a stir to get them near the beach.

I’ve had a big burst of businesses stuff yesterday, including readying for this Saturday’s Christmas Parade, which Don Myers and I MC. I bring that business up because I was apparently one of many who couldn’t make the beach yesterday – and missed some major fish action. From Nebraska Avenue northwards, there were bass and birds and bait and you-name-it. Number of cashers in: zero, at least for a large stretch of sand and time. I got word of the splashing fish from oceanfront workers – pounding nails and such.

Boat bassing is remarkable – providing you’re in it for the numbers and not the meat. As expected, there is a massive showing of schoolies bass, of which we simply may have too many in the ocean. The troll routine remains a prime technique though dropping live spot on the drift in prime waters is a sure thing. I know Barnegat light Bait and Tackle has live spot. Any other shops with them please drop me a line (jmann99@hotmail.com) and I’ll mention it in here.

As for overall surf fishing, it’s fine if you simply like to see the line move. Chunk baits are finding plenty of small stripers, some ever so close to take-home. There have been a few lookers, as in a 17-pounder taken on bunker in B.L. yesterday. A couple other meatier bass have come out in the Terrace area (per less-than-specific reports). Small plugs and (especially) jigs are working well, mainly alter in the day. Poppers don’t seem to draw a glance, though needlefish plugs are coming into season. Try a smaller yellow one if you have it. As I always note, these are “idiot plugs” only because they do nothing, no tricks like popping or swaying or sashaying or diving or snaking. I do offer a little ‘action’ by retrieving in spurts, with a goodly stop in-between. Still, using them is like reeling in a stick , BUT (!) bass blast the bejeezus out of them.

Black drum remain a player worth pursuing. They’re still being caught near the inlets by folks using clam chunks. These are smaller fish (up to 15 pounds), including edible size. Smaller is better with drumfish. I’m kinda surprised there haven’t been many (if any) black drum caught in the surf. I say that mainly because we had a banner spring for this species. Some folks, like Bill F., caught over 100 drum (many in the 50-pound-plus class) as they came into our backwaters. Then, during the summer, the smaller fish were very plentiful. Last week, some Barnegat Inlet anglers were fully nailing the drum, by the dozens. Still, no sing of them in the suds – where they love to grab clam gobs. A fellow I talked to refuted low-edibility rating of these bottom-feeders. Actually, I’ve always said the small ones are excellent and clean as a whistle. In fact, even the larger ones (to, say, 30 pounds) make fine fare. However, I fully stand behind the well-known fact that the larger drum get, the wormier, to the point of kinda disgusting. Twice I did the famed sit-out test on black drum meat. Worms issue forth, profusely. I’ll even admit that these worms, when cooked, are totally and completely and fully harmless. Still …

By the by, (and I probably shouldn’t tell some of you fish eaters this), a winter favorite, cod, are also famous for exuding inner parasites. Again, the parasites are beyond harmless – and may even have nutritional value. Speaking of worms issuing forth. Have you checked out and of the YouTube videos on pork covered with Pepsi or Coke. Try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6prQaZSce-M or go to YouTube and type in “Pepsi” and “Pork” and look at the dozens of stomach-turning worm risings. Yes, I will do the same test on some cod this winter.

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