Saturday, July 25, 2009: Waves: dropping 2- to 2.5-foot south swell. Water clarity: Very good but may get rolled by increasing south winds later.
It’s a fine Saturday for fishing – once the wind comes up a tad to get a fluke drift going. Early a.m. is dead calm as do my wave call-in for the Weather Service. As noted before, calm air is a time to check some narrower bayside channels for fluke since you can sometimes pickup the ambient current and glide with it along the channel instead of being blown quickly across it with winds.
I had a caller (coming down for the weekend) ask about weakfish. Short of some small ones I took a while back off the bridges, I haven’t seen nor heard of many (as in any). If any of you backbay folks have found them yet please let me known. I always fear the shrimping to the south is laying into them so badly the stocks will all but fall off the table.
I still say the bayside bluefish year has fallen completely off the table, though some folks are getting them readily enough to say they’re out there pretty good. I’ve had half a dozen emails asking where they are, mainly the far backbay.
I got a couple reports of seeing signs of nice BFT and occasionally hooking up but the total take is not real great from mid-waters. Troll is still on before switch to chunk.
Some interesting signs of baitfish in bay, as small mullet and bunkies seem to be out there is goodly numbers. Yes, they make great fluke bait but only if fished very fresh. The algae in their bellies not only prevent freezing but even lead to them going sour in a matter of hours in the sun. I highly recommend AGAINST live-welling them in your boat. The mess they make as they off the green algae demands a hideous clean up -- and even then, the next time you open the well you’ll smell bad things brewing.
I’d like to recommend the reefs but they continue to be hammered. Today you just about have to be there with the rising sun to nab any newly arriving seabass. The one-a-day tog are a breeze to catch. Please keep a few larger bergalls if you hit them. Try cooking in the round. They truly are tasty. They eat the exact same forage as blackies. Fluking on and near the reefs is very off-and-on, more so than in recent years when it had been quite steady. Folks are marking bait so forage is not the problem. This very clean water over the reefs should get some scuba divers down there so if any of you do a dive please let me know what you see. Dollars to donuts some of the reefs are holding huge numbers of always tightly-schooling porgies.
Sea robin numbers have been off the charts, particularly south. Yes, they migrate like other fish and can arrive very balled up, so should you drift onto them, you might as well motor somewhere else.
Keep an eye for T-storms over the weekend, mainly tomorrow. They’re going to be of the pop-up variety, which means you can’t always see them arriving on Doppler radar.
“Jay, Does touching lures or bait with hands covered in sunblock affect them?”
You better believe it effects them. As does related insect repellents. Not only is the stuff chemically charged but it is actually made to be highly water resistant – even “waterproof.” You get some on a plug or bait and it just plain sticks there. There is no way a fish can’t pick up the scent – or flavor. In case you need proof on how bad it tastes, try some. I believe that hand sanitizer can work to remove the main stink of the stuff. Point of interest: Even the best sunblocks need to be on the skin a minimum of 30 minutes before becoming effective. In fact, the stuff isn’t working full force for about an hour after application. This allows for a wicked burn, especially in a boat with the reflection factor. Point: Lather up at home way before heading out and use some serious hand wash to get all the stuff off your palms, it helps the skin get ready and eliminates that sunblock stink factor. Hand soaps with grit are the best. Try a cheap face scrub on your hands. You’ll feel all the anti-fishing scent being abrade away.