Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report




Check out this super needlefish catch. Don’t go trying to rename the fish as some exotic related species up from the south. It is simply the upper-end size of our super common needlefish variety. I have seen them that big at night while spotting on the west side of the Dike. You can go check them out yourself. I’ve even written on finding them the size of a baseball bat. Under a spotlight, they’re paralyzed on the surface of the water, where they feed. The oddest part here is one being taken in the day on hook. Quite cool.


Saturday, July 09, 2011:

Those thunder-boomers at about 8:45 last night really rocked the mid-LBI rafters. One thing the near-super cells did was to both wash clean the air and then the roadways. Of course, the seriously down side of that purging is the way all the collected air and road dirt landed in the bay, as it always does.

Somewhat surprisingly, petroleum byproducts are problematic as an algae encourager more so than a toxic depositor. While there surely are some mildly toxic components of roadwash, the petroleum layer that gets washed into the bay is actually organic in the end. Along with the far more dangerous (to the bay) fertilizers, it spikes the growth of certain algae.

From this recent frog-chocker, we’ll see the impacts almost immediately -- as in by tomorrow. The bay will take on a slightly different hue than it usually has this time of year. However, in recent years the bay has fended off full-blown brown tides. It instead simply notches up the overall nitrification of the bay, something with the long-term potential to kill all the bay’s marine life – and the futures of most of our gamefish. This reality has led to the recent, unusually strict, “Save Barnegat Bay” effort in Trenton.

That spiel offered, the rains shouldn’t be enough to impact the fluke fishing in the bay, though the western bay areas might take a while to accommodate the influx of cooler water from the creeks before a fluking pattern returns.  

Not that there has been any real rhyme or reason to the bayside fluke bite when it comes to keepable fish. It really seems the sharpy anglers have that highly-productive tide change thing down pat, especially near Little Egg Inlet. Thereabouts, one hour’s haul of keepers is the next hour’s dead drift. Still, the folks who have mastered the timing are showing me some pics of serious flatty takes, even to the point of bag limits. What the hells a fluke bag limit, right?

There are no double-secret baits when the bite is on. Most baits work. The required creative bait efforts come to the fore when the keeper bite isn’t on, i.e. often. For my weekly blog, I think I’ll list some of the odd and unusual bait (combos) sworn to work by anglers. Yes, fake-o baits remain super popular. And the old squid/minnie thing will apparently take smaller fluke until the end of time.

I’m still astounded at how many anglers do not check the bellies of their fluke to see what they were eating. It’s the greatest insight into what baits to either chose or imitate. Admittedly, fluke are notorious for purging their stomachs when being fought, as is often seen right as the fish is being brought to the surface. Interestingly, the fluke do this more readily than other species -- for a fairly apparent natural reason. Being ambush feeders, they often grab at anything that might look even remotely edible. Mistakes are made. Inedible items that aren’t rejected in the first bite sometimes have to be quickly expelled from the stomach, thus the rapid-regurgitation talent.

Sidebar: Minnowmen are running into the usual summer headaches of suffocation (too hot waters) and thermal shock (too fast water changes when transporting) so there have been occasional shortages of minnies. Talk about “Dirty Jobs.” Mike Rowe would bail in tears if he ever tried minnowing where I used to ply. The stink-mud, mosquitoes, greenheads, deer flies, dizzying heat – all before the actual work begins. 

Bassing has been super slow. I had one swirl this a.m. right at first light, S.B. Beach crowds have also made surfcasting too trying. Even the resident Barnegat Inlet stripers are being coy.

I’ve had a couple emails from charter boats asking about sending in reports. Please do. I can’t say I’ll get them in every time but I’ll sure try. 

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