Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Wednesday, September 15, 2010:
Weekly blog is in place at Ning site: http://jaymanntoday.ning.com/.
It is gorgeous out there. If you can break away just to take in some personal quality time, do it. I was in Holgate early on. Very little to show fishing-wise, though I scratched up a few dozen eatin’ clams in nothing flat, though the tides continue to remain high bayside, due mainly to astronomical conditions.
You’ll read in the weekly update about the barracuda being taken on small metals. These cudas have been as large 20 inches – estimated. All have been relased, though a couple were thought to be garfish or needlefish. Not a chance. By the by, there have been falls in the past when a larger barracuda or two have been caught on artificials. What’s’ more, when I used to seine to beat the band – selling exotic tropical fish, mainly butterfly fish, to pet stores (up in Camden County) – I would come across dozens and dozens of tiny year-class cudas. One day I must have released 25 or more only to later find the pet shop would have paid 10 bucks each for them – and would have bought every last one. Do you think I could find a single one after that?
As I noted in my weekly column, my guess is the larger barracudas have worked their way up from the Carolinas, via the ICW. The bay waters, near 90, could have drawn them up this way -- really not that long of a swim as the crowfish flies.
One also has to wonder if we’re seeing global warming eco-impacts like those now being experienced in California, where warm southern waters have screwed up the cool-water fishing usually found off the Left Coast – replete with the arrival of fish species usually found further south.
Along with barracudas, I’m also seeing a massive showing of spot, sailor’s choice, pompano and other more southerly species hanging around here this summer. Obviously, that might be a one-season thing, sparked by 50 days of temps over 90 degrees. Still, it’s harder to overlook the now annual presence of coquina clams, pelicans and even live sand dollars, none of which were around 20 years ago.
Back to normalcy, the bluefishing was decent yesterday. I had a few two-pounder on larger plugs and was taking swipes from smaller snappers on every retrieve.
I keep hearing about small a.m. stripers but none have come my way just yet. The folks I’m hearing from know their stuff so I’m sure there are bass out there. Looks like I’m going to have to pull out some of my T.W. custom plugs.
Kingfishing is very iffy. It has been bubbling up here and there but many folks targeting them are missing the mark.
Migration salutations go out to what has to be the largest monarch butterfly showing in decades. I was driving well below the Boulevard speed limit today just to give the thousands of monarchs a better chance to get back to mainland after being blown over to LBI by west winds. The thing is the westerlies were not that strong at all and still there are thousands of butterflies fluttering about. And, yes, it helps to go maybe 35 instead of 40. I’ve noticed just that modest drop in forward speed allows the air pressure from a moving vehicle to literally blow the butterflies out of harm’s way, i.e. grill’s way. I’ll be making a call to the monarch butterfly people – yes, monarch butterflies have their own “people” – to see what they make of this year’s population explosion.
We’re seeing a fairly significant showing of lion’s mane jellyfish in the nearshore waters. They are large and bright this year. Wrongly or rightly, I always equate that brightness with more stinging capacity. Whatever the shade, you don’t want to mix it up with any of these nasty stingers. In fact, you don’t want to have any part of them either, as even the tiniest broken off piece can sting you to itchy hell and back. I once read that the toxin in a lion’s mane is actually far more potent than the feared Portuguese man o’war. I’ve been stung more times than I can count – sometimes in a single surfing session. Oddly, these are a coldwater species, indicating there must be some coldwater eddies not that far north. The stir from recent near-miss hurricanes likely loosed these jellies, knocking them into warmer currents now flowing our way.