Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, July 27, 2012: The front passed with virtually nothing to show for it. Considering all the Facebook hoopla – dozens of various weather maps showing the progress of massive storms -- even I was waiting for the rafters to rock. In Ship Bottom, nothing rocked whatsoever – including my rain gauge, which registered merely a trace this a.m. – though some nearby areas got a bit of a drenching with a second system actually only slightly related to the first line of stormage.
The ocean is adjusting very nicely to the west winds this a.m., which will die down even further as he day goes on. While some brownish patches are still pressed in close to the beach, that cleaner water is about to prevail. The panfishing could pickup again as the surf drop further over the next day or two.
If you want to try that super fun light-gear panfishing, every shop out there has organized rigs, bait and such. They can get you up and running in nothing flat – even offering hot times and places.
I’m told that many community bayside fishing docks have had decent fishing action – where usually it’s only crabbing.
At noon, the lifeguard radio frequency warned of the potential of bluefish in the surf, based on heavy dolphin activity in the surf. While the odds of being bluefish bit aren’t real high, it has happended on beaches all up and down the coats, though mainly in Florida. It has to be fully recognized that these are snappers. How do I know? Read just this one news report from Deerfield Beach.
Note the last line. “A tourist from Poland, a couple from Montreal and two local youths were bitten on their arms and legs when the hungry fish with razor-sharp teeth swam into shallow water during a feeding frenzy, fire rescue officials said. No one was seriously injured or required hospitalization.”
I see you smiling at my point. You get bitten by a bluefish over even a few pounds and you’re not going to be laughingly refusing medical treatment.
FLUKES AND WEAKS: I’m so immersed in the WMIT – go to www.thewmit.com -- that I’m barely able to field other reports, or to surf the web for fishing info. However, I got a fun report from a neighbor who absolutely mugged fluke just west of Barnegat Inlet – and from the bank much less. He was jigging GULP! and taking flattie after flattie in the shallows, including a spattering of keepers.
I bring that action up because I got one of those grumped out reports yesterday, while down at the club (Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna). One of the club elders lambasted my reports that fluking has been good to excellent. His words “There are no fluke out there.” And I actually can’t argue his point because I have no idea where “out there” is. His site-specific fluking area just might be a holdout, unwilling to accept the truly massive biomass of summer flounder in our region. Also, he works waters a bit south. I get four reports from Barnegat Bay to every one report out of Little Egg (down to Great Bay.) Maybe the hot hooking is just north of wherever he’s fishing -- though I see plenty of reports from Margaret at Jingles proving a goodly number of south end folks are hauling in things that sure resemble nice fluke.
I’m sure I’ll also get disclaimers about the current wet and wild weakfishing. Still, I’m sticking fully with my assessment of scalding hotness on the sparkler front. What’s cool about the scald is the number of respectable-sized weaks now mixing in with massive numbers of spikes.
Of equal coolness is the widespreadedness of the arriving weakfish biomass – which, I now believe is a combination of two “waves,” based on that recent showing of larger fish. Those lookers weren’t around when things turned on a couple/few weeks back.
Those bigger weakies also enhance the chance of a spawn, though a couple experts question whether or not these late-arriving weakfish are on a spawning run. Still, folks keeping their one weakfish say they have found ripe fish.
As for targeting weakies, it’s a slam-dunk if chumming grass shrimp, particularly in east Barnegat Bay. However, drifting on a jig can also nab larger weaks.
As it has always been, finding quieter waters to chum or drift -- and minimizing boat bottom knocks -- greatly helps the weakfishing cause. What’s more, the night bite for weaks has already begun. This little-attended action can be found on just about any bayside street end where there is slightly deeper water and (in-particular) bright lights, be it backyard spotlights or overhead municipal lighting. I prefer good-old pickerel spinners (silver), though small, slow-retrieve surface plugs or very lightly weighed plasticized jigheads work well.