(It’s that humbling time of the year where I ask for donations to keep this blog up and running. It is a time consuming enterprise but I enjoy it. It’s kinda therapeutic. I hope you find it fun – and functional. I’d also like to take this time to sincerely thank those who email or phone me with tales, fishing reports and questions. It’s energizing. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. (Being Type A I don’t always have the time to mail Thank-you note but, believe me (!), your donations are fully appreciated. J-mann)
Monday, October 12, 2009: Waves: Building north swell.
Just a quick blog to say the Classic is off to nearly too-fast start. I thought the Kenny De’s 36-11 set the bar high, now our buddy, Mike “The Judge” Kane, has taken things to heaviness heights seldom seen in the first days of the tourney. He used a bunker head to best a 53-inch, 44-11 cow that had been casually cruising North End waters. It was apparently the only fish taken in very large zone thereabouts, meaning it was the definition of a rogue bass. I hate to do it but I’m hereby charging Mike with Contempt of Classic for being so aggressive from the get-go. Ah, what the heck. Charges dropped. Congrats to Mike, who puts in tons of time. Now, it’s up to his to knock the lead out of him.
My theory: This could be a real important stretch for surf casting mega-bass. When the seas settles and the water cools, big bunker balls will form well off the beach. We’ve seen these dinner-bell baitballs draw stripers from the suds and into the deeper water – where boat anglers nail them as we look out longingly – and cursingly. Right now, the big bass seem to be sniffing out the surf for migrating bait, while gobbling down the old stand-bys of crab and clam, which is being found in the bellies of kept fish. With winds whipping out of the north, tonight and tomorrow could loom large in the big 8-week Classic picture. On the other upbeat hand, we might be in a Classic that lives up to its name. Of course, this means I have to resort to using bunker heads. Yawn.
I have to note that I talked with guys that fished since yesterday, right through the night and much of today (holiday) who didn’t have so much as a minor striper to show. Again, it’s rogue bass time. With that in mind, it’s not the worst thing to actively seek stripers instead of waiting for them to come for you. If your bait rods aren’t active one place, haul on down the beach a ways. When a bass finds a sweet spot, it stays there. It’s up to the angler to home in on that bass’ desirable dining zone.
Saw a big-ass tog taken today. If you’re only allowed one, let it be a five-pounder-plus. Interestingly, tog is one of the few fish (along with fluke) that loses none of its flavor or texture when it gets larger.