Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

July 17, 09 -- Garbage tourney begins today

GO TO::::: http://www.garbagefish.com Friday, July 17, 2009: Waves: 2- to 3-foot south swell; medium period. There is a swell running today. Actually, it’s been a fairly brisk wave season, seldom lake-like out there. As we head into the tropical season it should make for a roughish summer into fall. That’s not the worst thing for angling but it does keep the inlets a tad testy, and downright risky near the Beach Haven Inlet shoals and the B.L. shoals, south and east of the inlet. The waves keep the surfline stirred, which would be good for bass if there were any out there. Not a whole helluva lot, though. That’s not to say they’re AWOL. Rouge bass to 35 inches have shown from a few beach points (mainly bass just large enough to keep) with the zone around Barnegat Inlet offering some better hooking for those knowing the tricks of the trade – namely, persistence and a willingness to get up early. There are Barnegat Bay areas showing a plethora of species to chummers laying out grass shrimp or even clam slicks. I can’t give locales but tackle shops are a tad more chatty. One fellow had a highly edible medley of (mainly) large triggerfish, large kingfish, small bluefish (just 2), small weakfish, fluke and (how weird is this since I recently wrote about the seldom-seen species?) a large sheepshead. That’s now three or four sheepshead being taken. I’d like to see someone try the pylons near the big bridge – though the folks catching the above-mentioned mixed bag are a long way north of that span. I used to be a regular participant in that chumline fishing inside the bay and it might have been damn near the most fun fishing I ever had. However, this is real early in the season for such variety. A little later the porgies and small seabass kick into the mix. Speaking of porgies, they seem to be showing at many locales, mainly ocean. Fluke fishing in and on reefs is picking up. Though some folks claim that you need to fish right atop the reefs to find fluke, there also seems to be something of a halo of life around reefs, out as far as 50 yards or more, where fluke abound. Years back, Bill Figley confirmed this, based on underwater studies be conducted while building reefs. I had two emails about way above average fluke fishing in the surf. I’ll say this, surfcasters seem a lot less critical of undersized fish than boaters. The folks I’ve talks along with the emails all say how much fun it is to coach even undersized flatties. In fact, not one report mentioned any keepers, though one north end caster said he had a dozen fluke, the most he had ever taken in the suds. On a whole, this persistent hot weather and sun have driven the larger fluke out of the bay. The oxygen demands of larger fluke is very high, thus the need for cooler ocean waters. However, nature offers a high-sustenance niche for smaller fluke, which can easily tolerate the warmer bay waters, especially those that get flushed daily by incoming tides. I’ve gotten a load of reports on how fat the fluke are this year, even the throwbacks. Always a good sign. I would be very surprised if we didn’t see a huge relaxation of fluke laws by next year. If not, fishery management has lost all tough with ecosystem management and is instead trying to over nurse a single species at the expense of other species. Despite my concerns that the stocks are getting hit too hard, seabass are filling many a cooler. OK, so maybe they’re not “filling” coolers but a goodly number of these tasty fish are making it onto the ice of every boat that hits reefs or nearshore wrecks. Please cook these fish in the round, skin and all. You’ll literally double the amount of meat you get off the fish. Same goes for triggerfish. In fact, you get less than 30 percent of the available meat when you try to fillet triggerfish. They cook perfectly in the round. After maybe 15 minutes in a hot oven or BBQ, just peel back the skin and engorge. A single large trigger will fill you, whereas it takes 3 or 4 when filleting. The final steps in conservation essentially take place in the kitchen. The entire upcoming week will be tricky, sky-wise. Serious thunderstorms kicked up late yesterday, accompanied by astounding rainfall from Tabernacle directly eastward to Little Egg and out into the ocean -- likely 2 inches plus of rain in under 30 minutes, especially around Parkway near Stage Road where it dropped driving visibilities down to near zero. .

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