Wednesday, June 03, 2009: Waves: 1 foot, southerly wind swell. Winds: West, early a.m. Water clarity: Very good.
Nice a.m. conditions. Please email any observations or reports. I have a lot of emails to catch up on. Here’s just a handful. :
“Hey Jay. Fished solo yesterday after work. Had one hit and landed a nice 31 inch striper. Decided to take it home for dinner. Can't wait for that! Winds were blowing about 17 mph out of the SW, waves were about 1 to 2 foot with windblown tops, and the bait was bunker. Looking forward to more stripers in June!
Here’s the results of the BHM&TC’s Striepr evtn from this past weekend:
Lucky Stripes (Capt. was Mike Greene) won 1st place with a total weight of 71.9 pounds. BOR (Capt. James Ryon) was 2nd with 64.1 total weight. Locals Only took 3rd with a weight of 51.0 (Capt. Diamond Sprague)
Heaviest single fish was Lucky Stripes with a 44.1 striper caught by Mike Greene.
We had a total of 44 boats. A big thanks goes out to all of the volunteers that made it a success! A special thanks to our sponsors - Fisherman's Headquarters, Barnegat Light Bait & Tackle, Oceanside Bait and Tackle, Lippincott Excavating, Atlantic Concrete and Tandem Associates.
Fished around Little Egg Inlet, the old Fish Factory and Middle Grounds for fluke. One almost-keeper and some shorts. But the big show was put on by various pods of dolphin swimming well inside the inlet -- as far in as the Fish Factory! We counted at least 12-15 total. Two even followed my boat, swimming IN the wake no more than 20 feet back for quite a while. Never saw them in that far this early. Thought the water would have to be a whole lot warmer for them, though this was just before full low tide, so the water was as warm as it was getting i guess. Great show to make up for the poor fishing!
(Hey, it’s great to see you can switch gears, mid-fishing session, to enjoy some of the finer natural things in life.
I have spent many a profound moment near dolphin. During a short stint when I was commercially crabbing in the Indian River (Central Florida), a pair of pet-able dolphins followed me to every trap for a handout of used bait. I would talk to them and they tried their hardest to understand and talk back.
Up here, I’ve met up with less sociable pods while surfing. I have also seen them in full fun-making glory as they rode waves in the shorebreak of Barnegat Light, all but grounding themselves in the process. I swear they knew if they got into trouble, humans would come and help them back in the water. And, no, there was absolutely no baitfish involved. Just ask the B.L. lifeguards, who frequently see the dolphin cavorting in the surf just for fun.
Now, the downside. Dolphin are far from an angler’s best friends. They’re most often the kiss of death for angling action. This is not to even remotely imply these amazing mammals should be shunned or assaulted (against federal law, not to mention public attitude), they are simply something in natural that has its place, like sudden vicious winds or an instant thunderstorm. You just have to live with it.
Personally, I have lost count of the number of times I was happily hooking fish to notice an instant stop in the action as dolphin – sometimes only one -- arrive. It most often occurs near where you were fishing, namely BH and LE inlets. I must admit I’ve squealed a couple less-than-friendly communiqués to the passing marine mammals. I find its best to stick your head underwater when cursing them – an odd sight to behold I have to admit. Makes me feel better though. J-mann)
Jay, Here's the scoop. I'm a trout fisherman here in PA. Catch & release lots of fish and generally have a great time. My problem is that nothing translates to SaltWater (for me anyway). The only thing that gets caught when I hit LBI is me at the tackle shop. Hell, the guy could tell me to use dog crap as bait and I don't know enough to dispute him. Need some help: Hitting LBI next week for about 10 days and would love to finally catch a striper. In the surf I've caught a few blues, skate, and of course sand sharks----any tips would be greatly appreciated. Should I spend a few bucks and go out on a charter or continue to throw bunker, clams, squid, mullet, & my money into the surf? Will this be the year??? Cheers, Scotty W, Bethlehem, PA –
(Do it all, Scotty. Grab your rods and hit the beach – near a jetty – to bait fish with bunker and clam. Go at about 4 a.m. if will allows. Make sure to plug a bit right as the sun shows. Use black Bombers or Redfins retrieved ever so slowly. Also try a few casts with a jig, bounced from 9 to 12 off the bottom . If you’re using circle hooks, place your bait rods in while plugging, if not, bring bait rods in during plugging. Next, take some time to walk the New South Jetty at Barnegat (Inlet ) State Park. Throw plugs and jigs, retrieved a tad faster than the morning sessions. For at least one day, take in a headboat or charter trip. Finally, make sure to repeat you’re day in the surf as the sun goes down. Use same technique as a.m. session. I don’t want to jinx you but dollars to donuts you catch stuff. J-mann)
Captain Adam Nowalsky from the Karen Ann II reports this is the peak of the spring sea bass fishing. He says the number of keepers is limited only by how fast you can get your line back down to the bottom.
Some of his recent charter highlights include the Robert Wilson charter with 75 keeper sea bass including a number of 3.5 to 4 lb. fish. On the Safa group's half-day charter some 50 bluefish and sea bass were boated with a 5-pound sea bass in the mix.
Other groups included Zuccarrello with 55 keepers, Preczewski with a nice mix of sea bass and released blackfish to 10-pounds, Tom Siciliano with 75 keeper sea bass, Jim Sutphen with 90 keeper sea bass, and Mike Dahm’s half-day charter, with 20 keeper sea bass out of over 100 caught.
Captain Adam said there was an improvement in the number of keepers on the fluke scene this week. All fluke fishing remains in the back bays, with the 50-degree ocean water temp still too cold for a good fluke bite.
Captain Carl Sheppard had two good parties over the weekend. On Saturday the Capanna party started with wreck fishing and boated 42 sea bass in less than an hour. Captain Carl got a tip about a large school of slammer blues in the 10-12 lb range about 22 miles further out. The fish were on the bottom, in 80-100 feet of water. He used trolling valves to reduce the speed to under two knots and used a pound of weight with the pony tails to get them to bite. Action was nonstop for 4 hours although they only kept a few.
On Sunday Captain Carl had the Tom Phillip’s party along with a couple of off duty captains-Vic Bertotti and Tom Masterson. They fished in 60-70 feet of water and drifted a number of wrecks. They ended up catching over 80 sea bass, but were plagued by spiny doggies.
Captain Fran Verdi on the Dropoff had an open boat trip on Saturday. He had no luck looking for bunker and tried anchoring at Wreck Inlet for striped bass but had no luck. He then headed for the reef and some wreck fishing. That action was drop and reel with double headers every pass. For one and half hours they hammered away at the fish and were able to put 15 keepers in the box out of over 50 fish caught. He did see some pods of bunker at the reef but no bass under them.
Captain Fran also ran open boats Sunday and Monday and once again tried to find bass but to no avail. On Sunday his group managed 17 keepers at the Garden State South Reef. On Monday he had John Henderson out, and they found a real hot spot on the Garden State South Reef with John putting 11 keepers in the box.
Captain Dave Wittenborn on the “Compass Rose” fished the LBI Cup, a striper tournament held by the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club. He first looked for bunker with no success and chunked bunker at Wreck Inlet in the white water. When that produced no action, Captain Dave headed north and tried trolling an umbrella rig and a bunker spoon. They managed one knock down in about an hour on the troll. Then a spell in Little Egg Inlet chunking those rips resulted in just some very large dogfish.
On Sunday Captain Dave fished in Great Bay for fluke using Gulp Minnows and squid. He had plenty of action but all the fish were short.
The “Miss Beach Haven” with Captain Frank Camarda had a good weekend on the ocean. Fishing both shallow and deep water, they found a lot of life on the wrecks and reefs but had to weed through the shorts to get keepers. Despite a keeper ratio of 10 to 1, most anglers took home dinner. Joe Muir was high hook Saturday and Scott of Beach Haven on Sunday, all quality fish. The pool winner Sunday with a 3-pound sea bass was 10-year-old Richard.
Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com