Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, November 16, 2013: Boat fishing has exploded (see below) but first to the bass blues (since this column is heavily into surf fishing):
Seventeen bass in the Classic. That number is a tad mindboggling, even though I still abide by the notion that it’s not the number of fish in this tourney but who had the best day/segment of fishing. I guess we could look back to 1988, when only 12 bass came to the event. Of course, the minimum size for bass back then was something like 38 inches. To help the bass pains, that fall classic saw a rather insane showing of 1,024 bluefish. I believe that was only a six-week tourney that year – can’t recall clearly.
That 1988 bluefish count might seem unimaginably high but a couple years earlier (1986), 2066 blues were weighed in, with 667 anglers signed up for the event. (Actually, the number was 666 but I’m too superstitious to acknowledge that.)
In 1989, 641 entrants weighed in 1337 slammer blues.
Shortly after that, the bluefish began disappearing -- so badly that then-Congressman Jim Saxton held an in-the-field Congressional subcommittee meeting here to publically address the problem. I can’t remember if that led to the 25-fish bag limit on rec bluefish but whatever was done hasn’t helped, due in large part to the fact it’s very likely not overfishing that cause the bluefish to drain into near nothingness – often for lengthy disappearance periods.
I guess all those numbers are my lead into the fact we still haven’t had a single bluefish entered into the Classic. Last year, we were baffled by a mere 122 being weighed in – all caught in a very short timeframe. However, in 1996, only 45 were entered.
I’ve done a lot of bluefish investigation, mainly by reading through old publications, like newspapers. Though surprisingly little historic scientific data exists on Pomatomus saltatrix, unarguably the greatest mystery regarding this species is the reason behind its propensity to simply withdraw from even its principal range.
As to fishing here and now, I first want to mention some very nice puppy drum are still be caught hereabouts, mainly north end. Of course, our redfish bite is nothing like the memorable fall they’re having on the Outer Banks, with a couple anglers I know reporting they’ve never see puppy drum as plentiful.
BOAT BASSING IS BANGIN’ IT: I’m getting jealousy-evoking reports of very good bass fishing by boat. From the beach today, I lost count trying to count the number of boats between HC and BB Lumps. Radio chatter was all over the board – as it is when guys are using codes. Some were more than willing to talk loud and proud about bass aplenty, many fish in the 25- to 30-pound range. Umbrellas and jigging seemed to lead the gear pack but it seems that spit with a treble on it would have worked. The fish seem to be on sand eels. See some pics below.
I also have to put in a good word for togging, which just turned it up a notch -- make that 5 notches, taking the daily bag from 1 to 6. Some big tog being taken. Don't forget there are still some blackies along beachfront jetties.
Some video from today. I have been doing real good the last few days. Give me a call if you want to get in a some light tackle action (no trolling).