Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, May 28, 2012: I was wrong. I had so suspected it would light up on the striper front this weekend. I based that on the insane number of anglers out there, the damn-good water conditions and, more fundamentally, the fact we’re approaching the height of the spring run. Just can’t say it happened that way.

While I didn’t get any real skunk reports, thanks to fluke and bluefish, I heard what was close to some grumbles of stripering dissatisfaction on the boat angler front – even though there was a decent drop in fuel prices for the weekend so it wasn’t costs alone bugging folks.

As for how to find the scarce better bass, it truly is persistence over brute luck. A couple semi-trophy fish taken through the LBI suds were caught on bunker – and after a couple days of trying, per the lucky ones.

Oddly slow are usually sure-fire small stripers. There is a scattering, though. Those fish are pretty much plug-oriented or more apt to take smaller bait offerings, like clam or bloodworms. Keep trying pompano rigs.

As for artificials, try going back to simply Fin-S Fish, gracing a ¾ to one-ounce leadhead. I still swear by Kalin, though many other brands are perfecting the required viciously sharp hooks.

As for plugs, think smaller swimmers (three treble varieties) in simple colors or blends: Pure black, mirror silver or “Smokey Joe” tones.

The LBI Cup, despite a record number of entries, had scant few weigh-ins – almost weirdly so. Congrats to the big-buck winners, Chris Eastburn and, famous captain hereabouts, Ken Nutt. Their combined-fish weight of 59.1 pounds took home a juicy $8,230. Yowza. Thanks to all my website readers who entered that contest. 

While I’m never big on hyping fluke -- since they need to fanfare to get flotillas on their scaly butts -- I had a couple buddies bang the heck out of them down LEH way. I hear that bite went all the way down toward Little Beach. I got emails from three separate vessels taking a dozen fluke each.  

This warm snap could be why the inside inlet areas are alive with fluke. The problem with that set-up is how finicky the fluke bites get inside those inlet/outlet zones. That’s not just my read but also that of researchers who have used transmitters to mark summer flounder hunkering down (in huge numbers) near inlets -- seemingly hungerless, as anglers drift by overhead. Some theories indicate that quick water temp changes – be it tidal or meteorological in nature – present the fish with digestive variables that put them off the hunt until bodily temperature stability is reached. Hey, that’s why researchers get the big bucks.

Bluefish remain also swams. As often as not, anglers will say they “didn’t catch much,” even when they coolered a decent take of small blues.

I had a fellow try his hardest to catch a sheepshead off the Big Bridge (anchored up). Nada, though he was duly impressed with a couple tog he took – and quickly released. When we get the fishing dock associated with the new Causeway bridges (I say with great doubt), it’ll be fun day fishing for piling fish – and night fishing for bigger game.

Kayak sales are fairly decent, with fishing models being very popular. I just hope newbies realize things can get a tad hairy when fishing from a yak, as oppose to just paddling around in one, which even a 5-year-old can do. Be it tipping over while trying to do the many small things associated with fishing or, more dramatically, hooking up with a fish larger than planned, it takes some pre-training to go the full angling route, i.e. the ocean or inlet areas. For some insights check out http://www.kayakfishingmagazine.net/ or YouTube “Kayak Fishing” to see some hands on examples of yak angling

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