Saturday, December 27, 2008: Waves: Small. Water clarity: Good.
The skies are being super friendly. Quite a few fishing folks trying for schoolies. Very few reports.
Low tides continue, including some super low tides over the past couple days. Some folks are working mainland bayside low tide mudflats for clams. That doesn’t happen too often. By the by, I still question the advisability of eating such clams on the half-shell. Steamed they’re absolutely fine.
I’ve been picking up some residual chatter about tog fishing -- by that I mean I was hanging around listening to numerous tales of recent blackfishing trips. The upbeat talk added to what is already a plethora of prattle about world-class blackies, well beyond five pounds, taken at a serious clip.
It’s good to see those breeders are out there in goodly numbers, though the biomass for this species is not where it should be, overall.
Anglers are also noting an impressive number of smaller tog, also a good thing.
One fellow told me the captain of the headboat he frequents (out of Point Pleasant area) has tons of diving experience and used this knowledge of blackfish schooling behavior to perfectly position his boat over structure. That captain is so exacting when parking that the fares often get grumbly over how long it takes him to maneuver (and re-maneuver) before finally signaling to begin fishing. That prissiness disappears when jumbo blackies begin arriving over the railing.
Issue: I’ll likely catch heat for this but I don’t like the “hot hand” method of filling bag limits aboard headboats. That’s when the fishing folks who “stepped in it” that day quickly surpass their bag limit and start passing on their excess to those who can’t seem to buy a keeper, much less limit out. Sure, I know that headboat captains have to make sure all fares leave happily fish-heavy– especially with the charter and headboat industry fighting for survival – but I don’t like the way many anglers talk about this hookin’-for-everyone behavior as if it’s fare wampum. Not so. Catch as catch can. That’s true fishing.
I have a few folks asking about white perch fishing down Mullica way. I called some folks I know thereabouts and they said there have been some hot hooking zones but, and I quote, “Not at the regular places.” I can only guess they mean not at the The Cove – which only leaves about 20 miles of river to search. Still, those better perching sites are apparently offering goodly numbers of always highly tasty winter-fare fillets. I used to explore the Mullica for perch and always liked to work various holes and deep spots searching for the fish, which often mark well on finders. I should not that it’s not the worst thing to keep the Parkway landmarks close at hand.