Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, July 17, 2010: I did a lot of beach time today, some volleyball and some bodysurfing. I had me handheld with me and listened in on fluke reports. Anglers hardly mention the throwback count any more – it’s such a given that those numbers are out bouncing off the ceiling. Heard: “We managed a couple keepers” or “We’re getting closer and closer. A couple were only a half inch under.” I also heard some full skunk reports. It’s Dog Days fishing at it most finicky.
Heat remains torrid. The west winds for much of today ushered in 90s. We’ll soon see more of a southeast, slightly onshore flow. Still, no bargain – and the mainland will continue to swelter. It’s less than a third over and already this is a sizzling summer to remember.
I had an emailer tell me he’s been doing fairly good on early a.m. bass plugging. This fellow is a top plug-ist so I wasn’t surprised – except by the fact he hasn’t had a keeper in weeks. When oh when will we be able to keep 24-inchers? The meat is sweet and the ecosystem needs a break in the bass count, just to help other troubled species. I always catch hell for that stance but I really think I’m right as rain by fretting over the insidious impact bass can have on young-of-year fish, like flounder, weakfish, seabass, tog – you name it. I get back in the good graces of bassaholics when I admit that I’m now behind gamefish status for all stripers – and that includes “rockfish.” It does mean we’ll have to catch stripers until they come out our ears. I’ll take on that challenge – and keep 18-inchers and free large breeding stock.
Loads of complaints about the long hot beaches of Harvey Cedars. There’s no winning. As you know all too well, for the last five or so years the residents of Cedars had been boiling over a lack of beaches and dunes. Whatever.
How about this dragonfly infestation? I had to stop at a number of beach areas today and every walkway was buzzing with hundreds and hundreds of blackish medium-sized dragonflies. I lost count at just under 27,000. Despite the sorta spooky sight of dragonflies every whichaway, it was all good. These fluttery insects eat bad bugs until antennae are coming out their ears. In fact, I honestly think the reason the west winds didn’t blow in trillions of black flies was due to the presence of those dragonflies, which black flies avoid like the plague.
As to what species we were dealing with, it is not an easy ID. I took to some Google searching and found out that we have enough dragonflies and damselflies species to warrant a $31 book called “A Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Jersey.” How could I resist buying one? Hey, they took PayPal. Tomorrow I’m afraid I have to net one of the current showing so I can get all those juicy details, like wing veins and abdomen patterns. Please don’t let me take on yet another collecting hobby.
And the beat goes on. Fluking the bay continues super hot. This week trips boated 15 to 20 fish a hour. During a recent outing with the Chin party, six-year old Tyler boated 14 fluke! Great job by a future fisherman. Even though the fishing is great this picture shows what it is all about, family time together and having fun. Good times.
Capt. Alex F. Majewski
Barnegat Bay, NJ