Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
More later ....
Sat/Sun Aug. 16/17: Got that little spurt of south winds on Saturday, just in time to make it rough for afternoon boat anglers. The westerlies returned today
Chatted with some folks who have been seeing some periods of unusually clear bay water, especially inside Barnegat Inlet and all the way over toward then mainland. I’m guessing it might have been the onshore flow before the insane rains last week. However, it might also be a chronic clarity. While clearness might look nice it is absolutely not the summer look we want in the bay.
The traditional brownish murkiness we usually see in the summer bay is often a sign of healthy phytoplankton presence and also a good algae growth.
Complicating the look of the bay water visibility is the radical runoff we had after the recent deluges. That type of muddy look, similar to the healthy look, can be a highly unhealthy look. Of course, it takes lab analysis of bay water to get its exact chemical character. That’s when the ugliness shows, albeit in chemical terms.
A more angler discernable indicator the bay is not at its best it’ll be a general lack of blowfish and kingfish in coming weeks. We know these popular panfish came to spawn in real decent numbers. In a perfect-bay world, those post-spawn fish would hang around to play out the summer, feeding and fattening contently. If there’ve already bolted out of Barnegat Bay, something most likely didn’t feel or taste right to them. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the spawn failed, though the hatching young might also be turned off by their surroundings. The thing is they have nowhere else to go – but belly-up. Oh, you can add weakfish to the above scenario.
If it seems I’ve gotten alarmed over bay stuff, you’d be right. I hate the reports I’m reading, also being read in Trenton. The Gov has as much as said Barnegat Bay is dying. I hope to rally folks to join the Save the Bay troops. It’s almost all our locally grown gamefish at stake.
TASTE TO-DO: I got into a minor word tussle with a seafood lover who insists he won’t eat bay fluke because, and I quote, “They have a muddy taste to them.” I’ve also heard that about winter flounder. Well, I have taste buds like a hawk has eyesight. I would be able to taste a single molecule of bay mud a mile away. There is no such taste in bayside flatfish, period.
My guess is this fellow’s fluke aren’t getting thoroughly rinsed before the cleaning process begins. Another possibility is inexact cleaning which allows some of the fish’s innards to get onto the filet. Always remember that a fish’s gut contains some vile stuff, which even the fish was trying to offload. There is always the need to keep things very clean when fileting a fish. That is surely not always done.
Keeping a fish-cleaning area whistle-clean quadrupley applies when handling fish bound for Sushiland. Working raw fish entails dealing with a who’s-who of bacteria and such.
During my sushi classes in Hawaii, the sensei (teacher) dedicated much of the first class embedding the laws of proper sanitation into what he portrayed as our impure American kitchen ethics. I was a bit violated on a nationalistic level, until I took his thinking to heart -- and shortly thereafter began to turn down any and all invitations to grassroots sushi dinners.
I did get a few licks in on the sensei’s unsanitary Americans attitude by frequently dropping little conversational inserts like, “after we won WWII” and “We’re Number One!” That last one I’d strategically shout just as students I was competing against where being tested on cutting paper-thin slices of costly tuna. “Oops, sorry about that folks. Uh, there are bandages in that cupboard.”
Over the years, I’ve gotten less germaphobic than when I was graduated from that sushi class – most likely just to get rid of me. Nonetheless, I still can’t overemphasize the need to maintain an almost angelic cleanliness when slicing fish for sashimi purposes.
Another great week aboard the Debbie M. I amazed my friends by doing an inshore trip the Ridge to cash in on the hot bite. Although I am best known for my back bay and inlet expertise, truth be told that I have extensive knowledge and experience trolling, casting and chumming / life bait fishing for speedsters like bonito, false albacore, and Spanish Mackerel. The Field party (Brian, Corey 14 and Tyler 11) of White Plains, NY got to see the proof! Trolling spoons and flat lined small chugger and skirts be boated 16 bonito, one chicken dolphin, and one 25-30 pound BFT all on light trolling gear. See the attached pictures has well as the video like below:
Here was some of what Brian had to say “Both the Mahi and the Bonito were delicious, and my boys were thrilled about catching something other than fluke, rays, blues, and robins in the bay.
I know multiple families that visit LBI and look for advice for things to do, so I am going to recommend they all contact you for fishing trips.”
Also had Larry Switaj and grandkids Justin Switaj (6) and Alexandria (9) from Mansfield, OH for some back bay fluking. They boxed two keepers and released many shorts. This is there second season out with me and Alexandria has managed to box fish both times. Looks like we may have some inlanders getting hooked on saltwater fishing.
Back at it tomorrow.
Here is one of the tuna we caught on a recent trip.Boy I'm old.Not like me to post a pic. of myself.
He does go fishing sometimes. 5 lbs or better.