Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Convinced it would soon become an Olympic event, Calvin practiced day and night ...
The old "If a tree falls in a military ceremony and there's nobody around to ..."
The winner of the "What the hell did you expect!?" award goes to ...
Saturday, August 12, 2017: Very unusual to have a calm wind day in the heart of summer but I can attest to the quietness – after eight games of beach volleyball in quick succession. There were some rolls of thunder to our south but chatting with the Weather Service, that thundery cell is holding well to our south.
I chatted with a couple surfcasters who were taking advantage of noncrowded beaches to cast out. Both were throwing out bait and settling in for some R&R. Not ironically, both men had free times since their wives had gone out to do cloudy day shopping. No fish.
The glassiness also held ocean fluke drifts down, forcing some power drifts, marked by small motor thrusts just to keep the bottom baits moving. That’s not for me, along with the fume thing, fluking should be done in quietude, not saturated with motor noise.
I should not that there are still medium-sized bluefish in the mix. Somewhat surprisingly, they seem very thin.
As is usual, the photo of a trigger fish – caught in Barnegat Inlet -- garnered an email or two about how to fish for them. If you can bait fish for blackfish, you’re also rigged for triggers, which also love crabs and grass shrimp. Like tog, triggers have smallish mouths, though I’ve also caught them on fairly large hooks, as they pecked away at larger bait chunks. As to food value, they’re right up there near the top. And the only way to appreciate that superb white meat is to cook them in the round and pull off the cooked skin. After I fork one clean, you can study the exact skeletal structure of the species. Cooking whole also sidesteps some of the most impenetrable fresh skin in the business. Filleting is an insult to a triggerfish’s taste value.
Upon being asked, I can’t recall ever seeing a triggerfish taken in the surf, though I imagine some were caught by jetty fishermen, when jetties once roamed freely on LBI.
I realize nobody wants to talk winter right about now; as we technically have about six more weeks of summer. However, this growingly bizarre stint of below-normal summer temps might very well be an early sign of a cold-ass winter. And there’s some fairly reliable science behind the possibility – and providing El Nino remains almost utterly absent, as it is now.
When toying with past winter weather history, I like to look at the past DC and Baltimore data. If you’ve ever watched winter storms (of significance) we’re in lockstep with that zone, so much so that snow starting to fall in DC is a sign it’s a couple hours from us, almost inescapably.
Anyway, there are pretty compelling findings that non-Nino years result in cold and dry winters, marked by those famed Alberta Clipper storms that miss us, snow-wise, but nail us with the tailing cold fronts and the bitter air behind them.
For you weather buffs, here’s the Weather Service printout:
El Niño and Washington DC-Baltimore Winters:
El Niño, which is a climate phenomenon characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, can influence the winter weather across the United States. Looking back at past winters since 1950, approximately 23 winters were influenced by an El Niño episode.
The figures below are composites of average December, January and February (DJF) temperatures and precipitation, as well as seasonal snowfall at Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. During El Niño years (independent of strength of episode), both DJF temperatures and precipitation averaged near normal while seasonal snowfall averaged above normal.
These composites are further broken down by the strength (weak, moderate and strong) of the El Niño episode. Based on the small dataset, there appears to be some historical correlation between the strength of the warming in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (i.e., El Niño episode) and seasonal temperatures, precipitation, and snowfall locally at Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Weak El Niño winters averaged below normal temperatures and precipitation, while strong El Niño episodes averaged above normal temperatures and precipitation. On average, the stronger the El Niño episode, the warmer and wetter the winters have been. These findings can partly be linked to a stronger than normal sub-tropical jet that typically occurs during moderate to strong El Niño winters, which would favor more active storm systems from the south that draw warm, moist air northward as opposed to the drier Alberta clippers from the northwest. Seasonal snowfall averaged above normal, especially for moderate El Niño episodes.
Take it from someone who once pained over trying to research El Nino and la Nina, there are now so many data points and interpretations of what these oscillations mean and do that it has gotten even more quagmire than hurricane forecasting – which is saying a ton. At the same time, the research is ferreting out some highly usable weather trend that occur during all Nino/Nina phase and intensities. For instance, this just came out via www.livescience.com.
El Nino's Absence May Fuel a Stormy Hurricane Season
The hurricane season is likely to be extra active this year, thanks to a likely no-show from El Niño.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released an updated hurricane season outlook today (Aug. 9). The new prediction ups the odds for a blustery, extremely active hurricane season – and possibly even the most active since 2010.
"We're now entering the peak of the season, when the bulk of the storms usually form," Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. "The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is, in part, because the chance of El Niño forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May." (El Niño is a climate phenomenon most distinguished by the shift of warm water from the western to the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.) … “
Some say strike while the iron is hot. Well looks like the Debbie M’s iron is hot. Thursday I had Tom Foote along with four kids Thursday for some fluke fishing. It started off slow and I had to make few moves to find the bite. Before the fluke turned on they did get to battle a southern sting ray that was about the size of a Civic’s hood. Boat side knowing it would never fit into my net I tried. After seeing the tail on this beast and remembering Steve Irwin I put enough tension on the line to break it free. No way did I want to be near its business end if it meant business. Once on the fluke the kids had steady action landing over twenty shorts and some small blues and sea bass. With the kids slowing down it was time for Tom to fish. Well even though he got one fish it was a quality flatty coming in at 7.9 pounds. It was until Friday’s trip with friends from Oregon, Kurt and Alison Albrecht, and Brian Farmer from Florida. All three are seasoned fishermen and fisherwoman. In the last few years Allison has really dialed in the saltwater fishing off Oregon’s rocky coast. Over the years Brian has fished with countless times when back in NJ. Around the jetty we did not find the blues cooperating even after seeing them surfing cresting waves. They are still here but since the ocean got into the mid-70s have not been feeding all day long. We did mange some blues and a schoolie bass for Alison. Switching over to fluke we went big looking to target keeper. Brian and I each got a fish a little over 20’” but it was Alison fish that had the hot iron striking. Using a ultralight St Croix, the best rods on Earth, spooled with 6 pound mono the doubled over rod and screaming drag was all we needed to know the fish of a lifetime was on. Alison fought it like a pro, letting the fish take drag when it wanted to and pumping the rod and reeling keeping the pressure constant all the time. During the fight the fish went under the boat against the current and managed to tangling two other lines. Brain worked on freeing the lines calmly while I just wanted them cut so we did not lose the fish. Tired from the fight the beast came to the surface sideways. Lucky I am all practiced up with my netting skill’s ;) Alison’s fish pulled the scale down at Bobbie’s Boats to 10.1 pounds. A true doormat and the second one for Lighthouse Sportfishing in the last eight days. Also, don’t let it overshadow Tom’s 7.9 pounder which is also a quality fluke. OH, Alison also got a Barnegat Bay slam.Was supposed to run an off the beach shark trip today but cancelled based on forecast.
Have some dates open for the next two weeks. Remember all trips are customized. Still some time for fluke and if are looking for a big fish I am dialed in right now. No positive word on weakfish in the bay. Spikes should be congregating off the beaches by now. Hoping the ridge open up this week. I will let you know and if it does will offer those trips as well.
Barnegat Bay, NJ
Capt. Brett Taylor
Fluke still remains “on-fire” with the Ocean producing much better action as compared to the bay. For example, we had a 3 man limit of 9 keeper Fluke to 25.5 inches in just 2 hours and 20 minutes!! Epic Fishing to say the least!! I understand some get sea-sick and have to stay in the bay, but I highly recommend running to the Ocean as there tends to be more quality fish and less short fish. The bay bite is still good for the young ones in terms of action with most trips producing a steady 30 to 40 fish, but only 2 to 5 keepers. Although we haven’t been targeting them, the jetties are still producing Bluefish, Striped Bass, and even some small Weakfish further off. Reminder: We continue to run 7 days a week until September and we are now starting to book our Fall Striped Bass trips.
I had return clients Eric Haase, his wife Mary, and their friends Craig Fordyce and his girlfriend Caitlyn Torres on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. We had very tough conditions with higher than predicted winds, and wind-against tide situations at quite a few spots. But the charter stuck with it and with repeated drifts the crew caught over 30 Fluke with 5 keepers to 22.5 inches on the S&S Bigeye bucktail. Awesome job for a challenging day! August looks to be as busy as July as I'm booked nearly everyday. See you out there!
I had return client Tom Dillon Jr and his cousin Mike Kelly of North Jersey on a 4hr Bay/Inlet charter. Tom's dad was supposed to go, but got caught up with work so Tommy's cousin jumped on. We worked some of the same areas as last week's trip and had steady activity at most of the spots. The two released over 25 Fluke with very close to 18 inches, but they were able to box 3 keepers at 18, 19, 19.5 inches. Nice Job!! I look forward to seeing them for our fall Striped Bass fishery.
I had return client Tim Murphy and his son Kevin of Jamison, PA out on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. With a brief discussion prior to the trip, the father-son team opted for the ocean. Great choice, as we limited out on 9 keeper Fluke to 25.5 inches in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Tim was the high hook catching the most and two biggest fish at 25.5 and 24.5 inches. All fish were caught on the S&S BigEye bucktail and were quality sized (18, 18.5, 19, 19, 20, 20.5, 23, 25.5, 24.5). Great job by the guys and look forward to seeing them in November for Striped Bass.
In the afternoon, I had return client Erik Lundbeck, his son Axel, nephew Arthur and Arthur's girlfriend Ana Paden on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. We started working the inlet area, but had strong tidal current and winds which made it challenging to say the least. With success in the morning, we ran to the same Ocean area but could only muster 2 keeper Fluke (19, 21 inches) among shorts. We had much quicker drifting conditions and many more Brown sharks in the area. We did see one small, what appeared to be a 2.5-3ft Blacktip shark in the area. 10yr old Axel did end up hooking up with a 4-5 foot Brown shark that ended up hitting his short Fluke on the way up. Tougher conditions, but still pretty good action for the crew!
And to close out the week, I had new client Steven Hartley, his wife Debbie Edmiston, and her son Tristan of Philadelphia, Pa on a 4hr Bay/Inlet trip. We started working some of the same bay areas as the day prior and had to weed through the shorts to find keepable fish. After some moving around, they trio found 2 keepers at 19 and 20 inches. Good job for their first time bucktailing!
We had close to 150 kids for the HOFNOD!
The rain held off and 105 fish were caught. What a great day.
Fluke, snapper blues, stargazers, cow nose ray, and one lonely kingfish. Biggest fluke was 22 inches. Rain held off.. perfect fishing conditions.
Guess who caught our dinner tonight! Plus a crazy star gazer fish and more to win First place in his age bracket at 2017 Hooked On Fishing Not on Drugs !!! Well done Colin Holloway! Great day for all the kids!
(Not here, but highly applicable to our environs.)
Well last night was a night I'll never forget. I was involved in a head on collision with a pontoon boat with a drunk driver. I'm finally released from the hospital with cuts and bruises and no broken bones . I can't walk because of my left knee still have to go to an orthopedic to get MRI done and right foot is sprained really bad. My partner Lee Kastor was ejected from the boat and has a contusion on his left leg thing looks pretty bad. We are very blessed to be alive things could have been so much worse. I literally thought we had been killed at impact. It just wasn't our time and I'm very thankful to be alive. The man that hit us was arrested and taken to jail for BUI.
Jimmy Tompkins We were anchored under the bridge last night when this happened and I called 911. Glad everyone is okay! I actually thought the bass boat had hit the pontoon because there had been a pontoon fishing there with his lights off earlier in the night.
Seen in vicinity of Causeway...