GREATLY APPRECIATED: It’s that annual humbling time when I seek donations to keep this site running through the coming year. I have no sponsors -- outside those who read and support the site. This is my only fund-drive. Any and all donations go toward the website. And financial support is needed.
222 18th Street
Ship Bottom, NJ
Monday, November 10, 2008: Waves: Moving toward flat. Water clarity: Very good. Winds: Down for the time being.
How about that bass count in and around Barnegat Inlet? You can catch as many bass as you care to – if you don’t mind being forced to release just as many. In fact, the keeper count is on par with the height of the schoolie season. However, we’re not there yet -- perish the thought. Basil at B.L. Bait and tackle assured, “The bigger fish are still down there.”
A couple near-40-pound bass were taken off headboats, attesting to the presence of trophy stripers.
Why should headboats have a catch of bigger bass? The patron count aboard a larger boat simply thins out the “rat” count, allowing the law of averages to reach basking cows down below.
By the by, I always hated that “rat” expression for smaller stripers but I now ascribe to it. Considering the insane numbers of these smaller striped bass, they may very well be approaching levels on par with rodent-level pests. The sooner we can thin out these schoolies (keeping at least one between 20 and 28 inches, the sooner you’ll see a healthy influx of larger stripers. It’s called culling and it is a proven conservational tool.
Boat fishermen have stayed with using live spot but are turning to jigs when the live stuff plays out. Wildeyes and those other plastics with imbedded lead do the trick. Avas also work well. Swimming and diving plugs area; cutting it – just yet.
The bluefish just keep on keepin’ on. Be it the still-mild ocean water temps (hanging in that bluefish-favorite 50s zone) or a highly recovered fishery overall, blues are showing again today at a fairly steady pace. Once again, these are fish between 10 and 13 pounds, below average but super healthy. This could bode well for next fall, as blues gain very significant average bodily weight in a single year, especially with the astounding stocks of bunker arising since (seemingly) nearshore commercial bunker harvesting has been curtailed.
Quick note on that 47-2 taken by Jim Braak last Friday. The fish was hauled of the beach and driven to the BL Bait and Tackle. Seeing it was still alive during weigh-in, the fish was placed overnight in the shop’s live-well tank. The next morning the boys found it not only alive and well but fled in a blaze of glory when released into the lagoon. No, it’s not expected that all big bass be revived and released, it’s just if the opportunity presents itself, go for it.
Though I’m far from inundated with weekend reports, I did quite a few check-sees along the beach and there was next to nothing going on during by midday run. Site regular John Parzych managed a fine 28-5 using bunker in Holgate yesterday.
Fished all over the place over the weekend. Found some nice bluefish in the BH surf on Saturday. They were caught on bunker and just short of Tourney length and released. Sunday, I buddied up with my neighbor and we went looking for fish in the southern island surf. We both tried many spots from Spray Beach south. I fished Holgate for two hours. It was a dead ocean. As I was pulling back into my driveway, the cell rings. It was my neighbor. The fish are blitzing the beach at the end of our street, he yelled into the phone. I burned $30 worth of fuel today, only to find the bass and blues a 100 foot walk down the street!
Maria and I found a few guys catching a bunch of bluefish and keeper sized bass when we arrived at dark. The fish were pushing large anchovies right onto the dry sand. I put them on a fish finder rig and Maria hooked up right away. She caught our only bass of the day. It was 26" and released. The fish shut off after dark.
I have to put a plug in for a surf fishing buddy, Tim S. I met him years back and like so many folks I interrelate with on the beach, very little was exchanged about what he does in the real world. It wasn’t until I got this insanely cool box of world-class tulip bulbs from Connecticut that I made the correlation between Tim and one of the finest tulip breeding/growing businesses in the U.S. and the Netherlands.
Those of you who frequent this site likely notice many references to my herb-growing and garden activities. When I got this multi-bulb donation (and a more traditional donation), I was thrown into a bulb-burying surge that carried over to my friends’ houses. The spring tulip showing was an astounding rainbow burst.
In all seriousness, if you want a perfect gift for that green thumbed special someone, check out www.colorblends.com.
Make sure to read the history of the company and its Netherlands (dare I say it?) roots.