Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday May 10 -- Winds down but not out

Monday, May 10, 2010:

The wind has finally stopped to catch its breath. It reached 50 mph at a number of gust points and has created scallop tides. Those are blowout conditions that leave bay scallops high and dry – and highly pickable. Remember, you must have a shellfish license to collect scallops and they count toward the 150-a-day allowable shellfish take for recreationalists.

The boat fishing was pretty much blown off the map but quit a few windbreaker-clad surfcasters tried their luck and came out nicely blued for their efforts. Bluefish were making impressive passages up and down LBI, though mid-Island seemed to be a prime passage point. These were cocktail/tailor blues to about three pounds. They were in goodly numbers, when around. There were even some blitzish conditions, now and again, as baitfish and birds marked the bluefish schools. Nice thing about blues is the way their hits will easily show on bait rods that are being bent over by gale-force winds.

As all bluefish aficionados know, 2- to 3-pound blues are gastronomically choice. While springtime blues often have a milder flavor, as they fatten up on bayside crustaceans, including grass shrimp, this year the blues hit oily forage fish at the get-go, so they’re a tad richer in flavor. Regardless, blues are one of the mildest tasting gamefish, despite inexplicable beliefs to the contrary. I constantly hear bluefish non-appreciators allege, “They’re too fishy.” Absurd. Still, a Latin expression goes De Gustibus non disputatum est. That loosely mean There’s no accounting for taste.”

As for bassing, it’s a lesson in frustration, for both recreationalists and charters alike. The bass are here, there and everywhere but the skies won’t oblige. Sure, we had some bass from the surf, but for such a prime bassing time, it was pathetically bass-free on most fronts. With today’s drop in westerly winds, boats can finally get out and stalk striper schools. I’m thinking many captains will be heading north of Barnegat Inlet. Surfcasters can also work the suds with less wind interference. Mid-island beaches are showing signs of being prime clam and bunker baitcasting areas.

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