Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, August 12, 2016: Honking south winds today and tonight but backing off ...

Below: As tryouts for the cheerleading squad get down to the final few candidates, it becomes apparent to Danielle that she'll most likely be selling hot dogs over at the student body snack stand.   

Every cat's mortal dread: a balloon changes into a cucumber!

Friday, August 12, 2016: Honking south winds today and tonight but backing off some by tomorrow morning.

The hard side-ass winds have led to some significant changes right along the beachfront.

Expectedly, it’s cooler there. Walking to the beach with my infrared thermometer, I went from near 90 degrees in west LBI – yes, we have a west side – to barely above 80 right next to the water.

Below: West meets east. We photogs will do anything to get the shot. 

That brings up the bigger change, namely the water color/quality and temp, as it drops out of the 70s and into the upper 60s due to minor (and only minor at this point) upwelling. Problematically, things have gone turbid, taking on a brownish coffee-with-cream low visibility.

The loss of clarity is not overly conducive to surfcasting, though larger baits (bass, sharks, etc.) help the bigger gamefish cause; red floats add visibility for kingfish rigs.

Higher tide fishing is going to be a near necessity since the low tides have been very low, a combination of astronomical conditions and all the sand from replenishments drifting around – and seaward in many cases.


Pro report: Relentless, that is what I have to say about to say about the SSW winds the last 3 days. For  over 72 hrs. we have not seen the wind go below 15 mph for an extended period of time (4 or more hours). It has made bay fishing difficult to say the least.  There are some spots you can get a break from the wind and chum up some weakfish but only when the weakfish deicide to chew. It has been hit or miss but they are in the bay which is good. Fluking has been good on incoming water and almost nonexistent on the ebb with the bay around 84 degrees right now. The amount of 2” or so peanut bunker in the back bay is off the charts, for real. One toss of my 8’ cast net in 3’ of water resulted in a net too heavy to bring in the boat. Also every time I have been around the inlet I have seen it packed with small to medium bait.  Small 1-3 pound blues have been taking advantage of the full plate of bait, yo.


For the week coming up I have some open dates for bay / inlet fishing, chumming weakfish, off the beach sharking or inshore trolling.  Should see a break from the wind in a day or two which will make fishing even better than it has been. 

Screaming drags, 

Capt. Alex


Barnegat Bay, NJ



Daniel DiPasquale

Some true epic footage on this one, underwater has to be the coolest!https://youtu.be/L56XGT-MAf4

DEAD DUCK DOLPHIN: I haven’t brought up the now nationally seen attack of a sick dolphin by what I think was surely three or more sharks. I closely watched hard-to-interpret videos of the mayhem and, using stop action, have to peg one of the sharks as at least 10 feet (plus), based on the huge dorsal fin that clearly surfaced now and again. It is mere guesswork to ID a shark by fin along but I will suggest a massive sand tiger. That said, there is absolutely no ruling out a white, based on attack posture and location in the water column. There were also smaller sharks in play, based on the shaking of the doomed dolphin while being hit from unseen sharks below.



That close-to-the-beach incident truly warranted the clearing of the water of swimmers by lifeguards. The famed “frenzy” mentality of sharks on a kill has been proven beyond any doubt.

While sand tigers, browns, duskies, spinners and other coastal sharks present no natural threat whatsoever to bathers, they can become entirely different animals when blood blinds their thinking. Anyone of those near-in sharks – of any size – will begin biting at anything in a very wide vicinity when bloodlust is coursing through their veins and brains. Making matters worse, they’re in what might be called a full-blown bite-and-shake mode, they’re not just tasting around, they’re eating.

It’s not the best of comparisons, but I’ve often taken bluefish during blitzes that have obvious bites from their brethren -- brother fish that would otherwise travel around, all friendly like. There are apparently no friends during frenzies.

With sharks in mind, I have been getting as many as half a dozen calls per week from fishing folks who are taking “huge” sharks from the surf. After the media picked up on the first few in a big way, the just-caught shark subject has gotten a shewed up and worn out. However, I have been willing to display some photos in here. The problem is many callers want the whole SandPaper stop-the-presses shebang, as evidenced by more than a few offering, “I have a cover shot for you!” Sorry, we’ll be suing a cover shot of people getting married on the beach. If I had a wooden nickel for every call I get to do a story because, astoundingly, their daughter is getting married “on the beach!” I could open your proverbial wooden nickel shop.

Below: "That dress cost how much!?" 

Below: The proverbial rocky start ... The diamond sleeps with the fishes. 


Below: Powering through an excruciating ice cream headache, Dexter wasn't going to let this windfall go to waste. 

LION TIME: A buddy of mine, Allen L, is among those on a cougar recall trail. If you didn’t see his comment at the end of yesterday’s blog, it reads,  

“Well, here we go. My best friend's older son was driving down Caranza road near the Wharton Tract one morning a few years ago and had a deer come running across the road very fast and right behind it, a larger Cougar and a smaller one jumped into the road chasing it. He hit the brakes and said the bigger one stared right at him in the road for about ten seconds before resuming the chase. He said it's the truth and only wishes he had a camera to prove it. His father is a registered hunting guide and he is a hunter also.” 

The couple I’m going to talk to in Bass River asked me to keep their names and location hush-hush because – I love this – “We’re trying to sell our house and we don’t want people thinking they’re going to be eaten by a cougar when the walk outside.”

Sounds like a deal-buster to me. I promise it’ll all be on the QT.

Which, by the way, brings up a very important point to folks considering offering data or photos to this blog. While most contributors have no problem with my offering names and places, I instantaneously go black ops if you want me to keep things confidential when it comes to IDs, exact locations and such. Ask for anonymity and it shall be so. Again, the huge majority have no problem with my using names and general locations. In some cases, if I think it might burn a site, I’ll go very general with a location, even when the contributors might not mind. 


Jim Hutchinson Sr.





There are decent numbers of fish in the inshore waters off Beach Haven, but these fish are spread out, especially the fluke. The captains who belong to the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are benefitting from that organization. The boats are fishing in different areas and sharing their results with each other. In this way, all of the captains and their anglers benefit from that information.


Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” reports a noticeable increase in his fluke action. There are enough short fish to keep everyone busy pulling in fish, and every trip been providing at least one fluke for the cooler. His most recent trip resulted in seven nice keepers.


Captain Jimmy Zavacky and t he crew from the “Reel Determined” took Boy Scouts of American Troop #112 from Jacobstown out on the “Star Fish.” The larger boat was needed due to the 18 active anglers. With this many lines in the water there were many fish brought over the rail, and sea bass and fluke to take home.


Captain John Lewis reports that after a couple of disappointing trips last week, he is back on the fluke again. The fish had moved and he notes that with cooperation from some other captains of the BHCFA he has had some very good numbers of fish recently. The catch and release fishing is very good with a number of nice keepers providing fish dinners.


Captain Carl Sheppard reports he has been running the “Star Fish” on two 4-hour trips a day. He says they are catching a mixture of bluefish, sea bass, fluke and porgies. Some have been good sized, but for every keeper, they average four to five throwbacks. As August warms the waters, he expects to start running more full day offshore trips for pelagic species.


Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.


Received this communique ... 

I’m writing to let you know about a rare good-news story about the ocean fish off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic – a story I think will interest, inform and surprise your audience as they stand on the beach in these dog days of summer. What’s up:


-          Today was the conclusion of a four-day meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which manages ocean fisheries (fishermen operating from 3 to 200 miles from the shore) between New York and North Carolina.

-          The Council made two decisions that will make a big difference for health of the region’s ocean ecosystems:

o   Unmanaged forage fish. Forage fish are the little fish (like silversides, krill, and squids) that serve as food for bigger fish and animals – and for which there are no rules on how much fishermen can catch. They’re not currently targeted by fishermen, but with no catch limits in place, they were at risk for wipe-out if that changed. Removing a great number from the ocean would affect other species that depend on them (like striped bass, seabirds, and whales) and destabilize the food web – and could’ve escaped notice because fishermen were not required to report their catch of these species. When the Council overwhelmingly passed an amendment about this, they ensured our region will not have to deal with this avoidable problem in the future. As only the second Council (of eight around the country) to take this kind of modern approach to important bait fish, they’re leaders on this. Here’s theCouncil’s news release on the decision.

o   Adopting an “ecosystem approach” to managing fish populations. Although this is less concrete than protecting forage fish, the Council also approved a guidance document that lays out how it will move away from old-fashioned management that viewed each species of fish in isolation, toward a modern view that recognizes fish as part of an ecosystem. The Council will make management decisions in light of the fish’s role as food for other animals; its habitat needs; how its environment may be changing (because of climate change, for instance) and its interactions with other species in the food web. Here’s the Council’s news release on that decision.


-          Resources for you in reporting this story:

o   You can use all or part of the Public News Service story about the unmanaged forage fish amendment, with proper crediting.

o   Interviews: I can link you up with people who could talk to you about this – from the Council Chair to fishermen to Pew’s Mid-Atlantic Ocean Conservation manager, Joseph Gordon.

o   Imagery for you to use, free of charge:

§  NOAA has a great public domain image of a bobtail squid (another one here), one of the forage species covered in the amendment, plus a sea butterfly (from the Arctic, but same order as the Atlantic Ocean ones, so still relevant).

§  NOAA has a fantastic (and public domain) video of a bobtail squid, one of the forage species covered in the amendment. Public News Service also used this video in its story.

§  You’re welcome to link to this animation that cartoonist Jim Toomey did for Pew to help people understand what forage fish are or embed it in your site, with proper crediting.

§  And here’s another video animation we made about forage fish that you can use, with appropriate crediting.


Please let me know if I can help in any way, and thank you!



Description: pew-mark-smallChristine Fletcher
Communications Officer

The Pew Charitable Trusts

901 E St, NW | Washington, DC | 20004

p: 202-540-6908 | c: 301-466-4849


Below: Leading to the Davenport Kennel Club to begin intense testing for performance enhancing dog drugs ... 


Michael MortonSaid the hell with the tuna, let's go fluking.


Greg O'Connell 

Changed the target specie of the day... And learned a few things....

1- The new line of RH Composite blanks is killer for the backwaters of NJ.

2- the boys are getting pretty good at catching flounder! I just release all mine and let them put the meat in the cooler.

3- the flounders ability to change color and match the bottom their on is pretty amazing cause that fish wasn't that color when I caught it!


This sandbar shark measured in at over 7' making it the biggest of the season thus far! Full report available in bio.
— at Apex Anglers.


Robert Kokai 

In the bay tonight! Toothy ones!
Robert Kokai's photo.
Robert Kokai's photo.
Robert Kokai's photo.
Todd Avery
Holy crap ,despite the bugs ,crowds ,and grass ,and a guy said he fell in, another victim ,my son Alex finally got to see jaws and catch and it kicked our asses ,the tail knocked Alex on his ass and me I almost lost my foot and then my hand ,these sharks mean business, pics might come Alex is shy but the pic of my son with this fish is stupid omg it made my son look like a 5 yr old yeah buddy ,so happy I fullfilled my son's dream seeing catching jaws,1 hour sleep and I feel great tight lines

(I like the way these single hooks actually blend with natural fin formations ...)
Larry Wentworth @ Bigfish Bait Co, made a couple of the savage tadpole poppers for me with some extra tail weight for reaching albies from shore. I did extremely well on the .5oz version last season, these weigh .75oz and I think the action is even better. 
Rigged a couple up with the owner single inline hooks, now just waiting on the albies/bones to show up.


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