Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
FB report: "Great day today. Fished at the stink house to mikes and had no end of action on the outgoing tide. croakers everywhere some to 15" i caught around a doz. and kept 3 of the largest for the table. No pix because who cares about croakers but I’m told they are good eat. 37 years fishing and i didn't know what i had and had to ask a passing boater who was shaking his head when he pulled away. He said you not from around here huh. I told him i was new to fishing and waved good bye. I guess i don't blame him but i only targeted the big fish during my trips. Had a lot of fun with the croakers and so did they when they were barking at me. Can’t wait to do it again. Just when you think you know it all you don't."
This apparent croaker presence is intensely interesting, especially considering their arrival, en mass.
These fine tasting drumfish were massively present about, what, ten years back. They offered a great option to summer’s otherwise somewhat-limited gamefish selection.
Although they’re closely related to black drum, they’re hundreds of times more numerous. Bycatch reports from shrimper indicate they may be among the those populous fish out there, mainly from Delaware south.
Also, croakers are very mobile, meaning they move all over the place – again unlike black drum, which are site-oriented for almost the entire summer.
If there is a down side to a huge croaker presence – and obviously we can’t sure a huge presence is here for the summer/fall -- it’s their tendency to muscle out kingfish. They don’t hurt them or anything, they simply take over the bottom area where we fish for highly-prized kingfish -- below -- especially in autumn. j-mann)
Amanda Horner added 2 new photos.
You're looking at the current leader of the tournament for now! 5.22 lbs. and only keeper I caught
Look at that beauty, I'm a lucky guy!
Great crew with some tuna skipjack n mahi mission accomplished!
Dave Howell of Montgomery Center, VT, caught this Stingray in Harvey Cedars on 6/25/14 at night. The ray's body was 3 ft long, with a 4 ft tail, measuring approx 7 ft.
Joe Casarella is smiling big for getting this 20" striper on a salted clam today
On a rare husband and wife trip: Jennifer Taylor and I had a chance to fish together - she ended up putting a nice fish over 6 lbs in the boat - caught on the 3/8oz S&S BigEy
Secret exit off LBI -- see more at http://thesandpaper.villagesoup.com/
SACRED LBI SECRET REVEALED: My conscience has finally gotten the better of me. I’ve seen how badly folks leaving the Island on Sundays have suffered when getting mired in traumatic traffic jams. So, as a Ship Bottom resident and a troubled soul, I have decided to come clean regarding what many a caught-up motorist has apparently long suspected, because I see so many of them angrily turning down Ship Bottom side streets to seek a secret escape route to the bridges. My friends, there really is a secret side road in Ship Bottom, whereby you can adroitly break from the grip of bumper-to-bumper Boulevard back-ups and speedily proceed straight onto the Causeway. I only ask that you promise you won’t share what I’m about to tell you with too many others. I’m already going to catch hell from fellow Ship Bottomers, who have kept this secret Causeway access under wraps for all too long.
As you nudge your way along the packed Boulevard and into Ship Bottom, be on the lookout for a fairly well concealed side road, heading due west. It’s called Delusion Drive, but locals simply call it Double-D, or just D-D for short.
Don’t be looking for a steel-poled “Delusion Drive” street sign marking the road. We lost that bugger way back in the ’62 March Storm. In fact, I happen to have that green and white “Long Beach Boulevard/Delusion Drive” street sign in my room. Quite collectible.
To mark the Double-D roadway, the town has placed a very small, hand-painted, curb-high “D-D” sign on the Boulevard. Maybe you’ve seen it but haven’t given it much thought. Well, you should have. That “D-D” spells escape – minus the e, s, c, a, p and e.
Now, here’s what to do: As you’re barely creeping along the Boulevard toward the Causeway, discreetly, but quickly, make a turn onto the Double-D. Other folks in the outgoing conga line of congestion will think you’ve turned down a private road, so they won’t follow – especially when they see you disappear through the line of laurel bushes we cultivate to camouflage the road’s entrance.
Once the branches part, things will clear nicely and you’re now zipping down the good-old D-D. Welcome to Localsville, pilgrim.
Proceed a couple hundred yards through the open meadows until you come across an old, white picket fence fronting a decrepit, cedar shack, set back a-ways. Slow down at the west end of the fencing. You’ll find a dusty driveway. Turn into that driveway – but make damn sure to use your turn signal. The Ship Bottom Police Department heavily patrols Delusion Drive, mainly to control hot-rodders and to prevent off-duty lifeguard quads from tearing it up.
Once on the driveway, proceed very slowly toward the shack. Stop (!) near the porch. That’ll be old Bucky Cramer sitting there on a ragged rocking chair, with his faithful coffee-can spit-bucket at his side. And, yes, that’s a fully loaded shotgun napping on his lap.
Now it gets a tad technical. Hey, do you wanna sidestep all that Boulevard traffic or don’t ya?!
Bucky will say, “And where ya think you’re goin?” You’ll smile and answer, “We were hoping to use the secret Double-D Bridge.” To which Bucky will say, “Oh, you were, were ya? Says who?” In this instance, you’ll say, “J-Mann sent me.” To which Bucky will most likely spit into the bucket, wipe away the drool with the back of his hand, and say something like, “Hell, I knew him when he was just J-Boy.” He’ll then offer you a bite of chew. Politely turn it down, to which he’ll say “Fine, more for me.” With that, he’ll commence to rockin’ and lookin’ straight ahead. That means you can proceed.
Warning! Pull… away… slowly. For heaven’s sake, don’t kick up any dust. We Ship Bottomers know all about that. I can’t count the number of back windows I’ve had to replace in my truck after Bucky blasted ’em to hell and back because I kicked up even a tiny bit of dust. Hell, one time he shot out my side window before I even began moving – said he was “just suspectin’” I’d be kickin’ up dust. Damn, fool!
Once past Bucky’s place, drive about 50 yards to the base of the old Double-D Bridge. Stop again. There you’ll be greeted by none other than Bucky’s weird-ass boy, Big Bo. How weird is Bo? The man once ate five entire horseshoe crabs … raw … shell, claws, tails and all. It was disgusting to watch. I could barely keep counting as he tore apart the fourth one. Poor animals.
I should warn you that Bo is one enormous individual. You won’t be seeing arms that absurdly oversized outside World Wrestling Entertainment rings. Admittedly, his beaded, dreadlocked facial hair can make him a tad intimidatin’.
Big Bo will walk over to the driver’s side window of your vehicle. Roll it down – or he’ll simply punch it clean out. If there are any females in your vehicle, ignore Bo’s openly gawkin’ at them. He’ll eventually get his fill of starin’ and ask, “So, whadda ya like?” Without smiling, answer, “I sure as hell like Double D’s, Bo.” He’ll instantly start laughing his ass off. He thinks that’s just about the funniest thing anyone can say. Importantly, you might wanna laugh along. In fact, it might be best if everyone in the vehicle laughs along.
Oh, whatever you do, don’t stare too long at Bo’s right bicep tattoo of Fred Astaire. He’s overly sensitive about it. I once suggested, all friendly like, that he get Ginger Rogers tattooed on the other arm. Crazy mofacker chased me over the bridge, clean across the meadows and into the bay. Good thing the dumb ass has never been able to swim a lick.
Anyway, Big Bo will eventually walk away, likely still laughing and shaking his head over the “Double-D” thing. That means you’ve made it. You can now mount the Double D Bridge.
Yes, the Double D Bridge looks a bit risky and wobbly, especially when the wood planks on the surface commence to groaning. Trust me, it’s plenty solid and safe … sorta. Just don’t be gettin’ too close to the east edge of the bridge. That’s the side where Porky’s buggy went off when the railing gave way. That buggy is still stickin’ ass-first outta the mud. Porky wasn’t hurt but Bucky banned him from ever using the bridge again. Brutal.
Once over the bridge, you’re home free, my traffic decongested friend. Now, simply follow the dusty road for maybe half a mile, picking up a pretty good head of steam, until you suddenly come out at the Causeway Bridge. You’ll easily be able to merge with even heavy traffic since oncoming drivers will instantly give way, being thoroughly freaked out to see a vehicle suddenly come bustin’ outta the weeds and onto 72, all Dukes of Hazard-like.
I hope this secret Ship Bottom exit strategy helps over-trafficked folks. I feel better now that I’ve shared it. I’d also like to tell all ya’ll about the two-lane bay tunnel connecting Beach Haven and Tuckerton. No can do. I’m no longer a resident of the Queen City. You’ll just have to ask some Beach Haven folks about the town’s secret tunnel; maybe ask George over at public work