Monday, December 29, 2008: Waves: Small. Water clarity: Good.
Did that burst of 70-degree air feel weird or what. If you were on the island you might have missed it since the south winds were off the ocean so despite high temp records falling all around the state, including mainland A.C. (airport) it was brisk most of the day. However, I was woodsing Zone 22 and about 3 p.m. the winds shifted more westerly and despite cloudiness I recorded a 70.3 air reading. It had a smell and feel identical to arriving spring so I had to fight off falling for the false reading, knowing full-well that winter has not only just begun but there will be some frigid air by as soon as New Year’s Day. As has happened in past winters, that infinitely small sign of warm weather had some insects flitting about, especially what I call “whirly bugs,” which get in squadrons that pretty much hover in place and just swirl around in beams of sunlight.
As for fishing, some one must have shouted encore. The fat lady has come back to sing again. Not only have some surfside bass come to shore (all sub-keeper) but what amounts to a massive biomass of schoolies is off Barnegat Inlet – in numbers challenging a few weeks back. No, this isn’t an equal opportunity bite. It’s seemingly fairly localized, so you have to troll for the schools but once on them jigging can commence. This resurgence is a bit odd though I had read about large schools of schoolies just to our north as recently as last week.
Here are reports:
There still here! Fished on the Miss Barnegat Light off of Island Beach Park today and we were into the stripers most of the day. Had around 18 people fishing, with at least 200 fish boated, and 5 keepers in the mix. Another great day of fishing on the Miss Barnegat Light with Capt. Lenny and Yo Mate, two guys who always work hard to put you onto the fish! Dave S., Delran
The Doris Mae IV had excellent sea bass fishing last weekend. This coming week the wrecks will have been sitting undisturbed for 2 weeks. The wrecks should be teaming with giant sea bass. Doris Mae IV has availability December 28th, 29th, 30th, and the 31st. Fishing should be at its peak, so now is the time to get some great action. On our last trip 12/14/08 most anglers onboard had their limits. Pool winners were cod: 9-lb by Peter Bartolo and sea bass: 6-1/2-lb by Steve Thoresen. For Doris Mae IV reservations call Robin at 609-494-1692. ~ Capt. Charles Eble, Doris Mae IV (headboat)
Jay, Went out to test boat after reports and heard of action. Grabbed a Sassy Shad umbrella and dropped it in and had bass for the next three hours. Good thing for cell phones since I told my wife I was just zipping out our lagoon for a “few minutes”. She would have called Coast Guard since her dad almost died once when testing a boat and getting bounced off the bottom and knocked unconscious. She was not only relieved to find I was OK but didn’t mind a bass for super. Boat has to come out, though. This made for an amazing last trip …
“Jay, Just to let you know there are still some stripers in the surf. Right near that spot you told me about. I just wanted to remark about another email you had concerning guys taking small fish. I know you said it’s hard to tell a small fish at a distance so I give the benefit of the doubt but I saw a couple guys keeping everything. Even if the size was legal – and it wasn’t – the numbers were illegal. However, I agree fully with you that it’s not worth ruining a fishing day by getting crazy over it and getting all confrontational. I did try to call the state’s “Hotline” but I’m not sure my message even got through the answering machine gauntlet.
(Perfect action, D. I never suggested that obvious violators shouldn’t be reported, I just think it’s dumb to go nose-to-nose with such violators. I picked that up down in Florida where even little old illegal fishing ladies are carrying, i.e, packing heat. Up this way, confrontations almost always end in bad blood -- and hours of internalized anger, ruinous to fishing peacefulness. Also, we aren’t paid to be bass police. I’ve also had my problems with the so-called DEP Hotline. J-mann)
Joe H. report:
Since the first full weekend of December, I have been fishing the surf on the better weekend days. I haven't reported, since quite frankly, the fishing sucked. I think from December 10th to the 21st I caught about 4 or 5 short bass on ava jigs. Not very good. The last few Decembers have been great for me on the beach. No Christmas bass for me this year. My log book shows I had bass of 19 and 23lbs both caught on Xmas eve in the last five years. Plugging the low tide slews were automatic in December for double digit short bass sessions. Not this year. The fish seemed to stay just offshore with the bait. The boat guys I've talked with said it was all time out there.
Anyhow, me, my family, and extended fishing family are headed once again to the "mecca", Cape Hatteras for the Holidays. I will be down for 10 days or so casting my ass off. Fishing is pretty good off the beach now with red and black drum, specs, and flounder. The water is starting to fall there and the first bass (to 40lb) have shown at Oregon Inlet, a bit north of us. I'll be on the surf scene night and day. I'll be sure to send some reports and pics along.
Once again, thanks for another super year of reading and a great website. We'll see you on the LBI sands in early April. Happy Holidays,
(There are major bass already showing down that way. Per one email: According to staff at Chris’ Bait and Tackle, striped bass have shown up very strong lately, with fish up to 59 pounds caught near buoy 18. A lot of fish were also found near buoys 36 and 38. Fish continue to bite well at the high rise and at the 3rd and 4th islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The local piers are also seeing striped bass action with a 37-pounder caught at the pier at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and several 25- pound fish coming in from the Kiptopeke Pier. Louis.”