Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, June 05, 2010: Just another typical torrid summer weekend – the only problem is it ain’t frickin’ summer yet!
Sizzling preseason assaults aside, it truly is fine fishing weather and the early-out today show it. Lots of chatter and lots of action at the boat launches – though, nothing exceptional until you factor in how early in the “summer” season we are, as in over a couple weeks to go before start.
I had a number of hits jigging good old Fin-S this a.m. and have to think they were fluke, just the way they hit so fast and missed. A fellow I ran into about to throw clam said he’s been doing “pretty good” in recent weeks, with half a dozen take-homes. “I already have the freezer pretty full down here so now I get a fish or two for neighbors back home (eastern Pa.)” His only complaint has been some seriously buggy session, via biting gnats, late-day. I can attest to that “bite.”
If you’ve been doing sunrise session you’ve run into that astounding wall of cool (near cold) air right along the beach. This a.m. saw fog to boot.
I had a Little Egg fluker doing way above the rest in keepers and he attributed the success rate to large presentations beginning with “large” mainly white Spros and (I never heard this before) small whole squids. His brother works the docks “down south” (I think he meant Cape May) where they occasionally get in the smaller squids. He grabs a load of them and freezes them for fluke season. We were chatting at the Tuckerton Wawa so he didn’t have any with him to show me. I still don’t know how small he was talking. Of course, whole squid are used in many fishing areas, especially New England. They just don’t seem real popular in Jersey. That story reminds me of the guy I met off The Dike who gathers (nets) mantis shrimp, up to big-enough-to-eat size. He uses whole small ones for fluke and the large ones for big bass and weakfish. He said there is simply no better bait anywhere. I can see his point but not the slack tide effort needed to catch them in decent numbers. I’ve caught them (intentionally) using gag hook dragged along the bottom. Not enough to write home about.
I see from the weigh-in slip that Dante Soriente took a fine 36-8 bass in the Simply Bassin’ 20120 tourney. While Dante is no strange to such bass, he apparently took the cow on a pencil popper. That’s quite cool, as was the water. Meaning he was likely popping the offering slow and tantalizing. With small everything out there now (small herring, mackerel, etc.), a seemingly wounded baitfish splashing atop the water is fishing from the hatch, look-wise.
On the subject of baitfish bassing, the action has heated again off IBSP northward. Snag-and-drop has given way to trolling spoons. While bunker spoons rule, umbrellas with plastics can be used again, as the bluefish count has dropped. Lots of big bass are being caught and although the keeping is high the releasing is way better. I’ve heard dozens of chatterers talking about keeping “a couple small ones” and letting the big gals swim off. In fact, I even heard “It was hard finding bass small enough to keep.” What a problem to have, eh?
Just getting started for the summer, going after seabass this weekend. One quick question. I’m glad we can go after seabass again but does it make sense to allow a 25 fish bag limit?????? …”
(I can answer that: No. It makes no sense -- even with a large closed season. I know charters and headboats need that top-end number to make patrons happy – and the number is seldom if ever achieved. However, I’ve talked with scuba divers who work (dive) the reefs and wrecks ( I used to do that almost weekly, before my ears threatened to leave me) and they say they continue to see a huge decline in seabass, right up through last fall. By the same token, with tog off-limits and scup (porgies) beyond unpredictable, seabass is all the heads and charters have to work with on wrecks and reefs -- though the halo of fluke around structure allows a mixed bag on a given outing.
WORD TO THE WARY AND WISE: For whatever (funding or what?) reason, the cop action has been extreme of late, especially on LBI. Traps are showing all over the place – aimed at speeding, pedestrian stopping, seat-belt, DWI. And I’m not talking the usual patrolling. A so-called “trap” is marked by a group of officers set up for the sole purpose of targeting motorists for a specific violation. Most often, the traps are part of a larger state or even national campaign, as in going on with “Click-it or it’s you ass” program. However, individual towns, often responding to public pressure and complaints, will also set-up traps to stop ongoing bad behavior by drivers. Why now? To get word out before the bad behavior carries over into the always dangerous summer roadways. I could bring up specific traps set up in specific town (I’ve seen firsthand) but the boys in blue might not be wild about that – even though they’ll swear that the main part of ticketing (citing) is to get word out. And I have to admit is works. You can’t believe how quickly word gets out about even a just-set-up trap. Still, I saw some angry stopped motorists awaiting officers writing them up in my hometown. Might wanna take it easy coming onto LBI.
I know what you’re saying: “I always drive well.” Oh, yeah, then why do you drive so differently when there’s a cop behind you? Hmmm.