Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, June 19, 2010:
Gorgeous weather. It’s so nice you have to hope the pendulum doesn’t swing the other way right as summer starts. It’s tough to believe but we’re still a few days from summer’s astronomical starting gun. It’s pretty easy to see why many folks are already foreseeing a scalding hot summer based on both the bad winter and the hot weather we’ve already been seeing. I’m still looking around for odd affects of volcanic dust (still circling the northern hemisphere) and also some very hot water temps in the tropics (hurricane zone).
I’d like to say there was some astounding reports coming in but just the opposite. Pretty much a predictable pick of keeper fluke (among many hookups, plenty of blues once found (they have to be tracked down), decent seabassing at best, stripers still showing near baitballs (not in the surf in any great numbers), some goodly numbers of weakfish as secondary catch or in a one-and-done vein, some shark activity (though that fishery is complex, regulation-wise – as browns now also get heavy protection).
Go a tale of a fellow checking out then weakfish showing and getting popped for something virtually all grass shrimp dredgers are guilty of: Undersized blue crabs mixed in with shrimp. Also regular grass shrimp haul by-catch no-nos are small flounder and small seabass. At something like $75 a pop per violation, it’s mandatory to pick out each and every non-shrimp item going into the bait well. Also, make sure you get that annual permit to pull/dredge for grass shrimp.
While the east side of the bay is light on grass shrimp, the west side is absolutely loaded. That is fairly common as the spawn lets out. If you’re wondering why folks collect grass shrimp if weakfishing is all but dead in the water, these little baits are kick-ass for chumming up not only stripers (near inlet areas) but also – and I can vouch for this -- you can anchor up in prime fluke areas and attract fluke to the boat. This is a seldom-used technique but it can really work on days when the winds won’t allow for a drift.
Late getting this Joe H. report out due to Hotmail misdirection of email. Always good info even when a bit late.
Got a chance to fish a bit over the weekend and early in the week mainly in the south BH surf with some customers as I have been getting back to doing some guided surf fishing trips. I had a party of 4 out Saturday night and we got into some huge bluefish. They were the biggest spring blues I have seen inside of the canyons in 20 years. We landed 6 or 7 in the 10-12 lb range, but we had two that were over 18lbs. Legitimate fall tourney contenders. Released them all but 2 fish just under 10lbs. We also released a 40" bass that probably weighed 20 or so lbs.
Thousands of sharks as well. Two of the anglers were first time pre-teen surf fisherman and all they wanted to catch were the sharks...go figure.
Monday I had another guided trip. We had a pair of bluefish to 6lbs and no bass. Tons of sharks. All for now.
Pro report: The Reel Fantasea fresh out of dry dock after maintenance hit the ground running this week. We welcomed the Phily.com crew along with hosts from "Down The Shore " Amanda and Emily. The Down The Shore Host were featuring Barnegat Light this week and Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters was fortunate enough to be picked as the featured charter boat of Barnegat Light and Barnegat Bay area. It was a real honor to be the featured charter boat in our area and for those interested the webshow will be will air Thursday June 24th on Philly.com on the "Down The Shore" segment . The Wayne Pollock Party was out in hopes to find some Trophy striped bass action. Although we had to do some searching we finally found some feeding stripers on bunker schools to our North. After a few "Swing and a Miss" Wayne connected with a freight train and the Battle Royale was on which began to dump 400-yards of 40-lb braid! Unfortunately just as Wayne started to put some of the line back on the spool the hook pulled ending the fight early.Ouch! that really hurt! Finally the guys were able to sink the steel home and stayed fast to put a nice 30-lb striper in the box before trips end.
Regulars Jay Simmons and Ernire Rosenberg were joined by Jays younger brother Chris for a combination of back bay and ocean fishing. The guys started the day picking away on a few throw back fluke in the back bay from there we found 2 to 4-lb class bluefish ravaging our artificials on light spinning tackle up at the inlet before heading out in search of trophy stripers. The guys experienced a full throttle wide open striper bite on live bunker with bass ranging in size from 30 to 40-lbs. To add to the excitement, with the deck busy and two anglers doubled up with big stripers a huge whale breached just 100 ft away from the boat. As we all stood there in amazement of the shear size of the whale and what just happened we were immediately drawn back to the matter at hand with rods doubled and a tug of war still raging between the 2 anglers and big bass. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to my camera fast enough to record the event with everything going on. The whale continued to surface and feed in the bunker school looking more like a submarine than a living creature. With ocean temps continuing to rise the stripers will most likely continue their sojourn north turning the page on what could be remembered as one of the best 1st half to our striped bass seasons.