Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Nick Handley This is a still captured from a video I took with my GoPro camera last Saturday. I should have video up later today.
Saturday, August 11, 2012: Well, the ocean isn’t very friendly today; the inlets aren’t all that nice; and even the bay is a bit windblown and bitchy.
I hate to bring it up but we really don’t have that many weekends left until school-based summer is over, in fact a number of college student have already departed.
I’m not going to get all sentimentalish at this point – bemoaning the August exodus of the seething masses. Still, it sure seems only a few days past that we were just launching into the season.
With even a modest showing of fluke, weakfish, spot, kingfish and blowfish through the rest of the month, Summer 2012 will be rated as super-stellar for those species. If you want to contest that, you’ll be going up against an army of anglers having an excellent fishing summer.
THANKS, BOB: I had a load of tailor-made blues left off at my home – left for making jerky. Before smoking or jerking, I always give fresh bluefish a small sushi taste – they’re not real good overall. I was stunned at how mild these blue are. Usually, by this time of year, fast-foraging blues have bunker oils all but oozing out. Not so for the fish I got. It was easily the mildest, most spring-like flavor I’ve ever tasted in summer.
In spring, the dominance of grass shrimp and crab essence flavors the meat. I have to wonder if the current batch of tailor blues (Loveladies area) are feasting on copious spot and kingfish – as sweet as fish meat gets.
To avoid overpowering the mellow-flavored filets, I’m backing off my usual ultra-heavy spicing (of the marinade).
SPOT ON: I’ve been watching the many Jingles Facebook pics of spot being caught and was thinking, “They sure seem to be getting bigger.” I had that confirmed by a fellow who has been loading up on both kingfish and spot. He said he hasn’t seen spot this large except in North Carolina in the fall. He’s from the south. I can always tell when he compares the size of the spot to “huge bream.” Bream is the goofy word they use to our south when talking about freshwater sunfish. Southern bream are surprisingly good tasting once you’ve worked around the truly choke-worthy bones. Spot aren’t even remotely as bony -- and way better tasting.
I recently had an email asking about freezing up spot for chunk bait in the fall. I’ve never done it. My guess is it wouldn’t be the best to freeze since it takes a lot of oils in a fish to overcome the tissue breakdown associated with freezing. Anyone ever freeze spot for chunking in the fall?
On the shark fishing front, I’m told that fresh stingray chunks make deadly shark bait. It makes sense. And man can you get some sizeable chunks from cow-nosed rays. I was also told that the thinner part of a ray’s wings make super fluking strips. That makes sense, too. I’ve never tried it, mind you, but I’ll bet it holds the hook amazingly well. Interesting report to our north:
”Squeteague (Weakfish) have returned to Rhode Island waters this year, especially in Narragansett Bay. This is good news. Keep in mind that the regulations for CT/MA/RI are on fish per day with a 16" minimum.”
It was another amazing week of weakfishing on Barnegat Bay this week highlighted by Wednesday’s trip. On that day Bud and “Hottie” got into a hot bite catching and releasing over 50 weakfish. Most fish where in the 16” to 23” range and they chewed on both sides of the tides. Several times the team was doubled up with nice weaks. Early Friday I took out Dave Werner for a quick shot at the fish before the t-storms moved in. After a couple adjustments we found what they wanted and landed several nice fish before heading back in by 7:30. If you do not want to miss out on the best weakfishing in a very long time give me a call.