Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sept. 26, 09 -- Winds lay down a bit; mullet move a bit

Saturday, September 26, 2009: Weaves: Large after-swell from yesterday gusts.

Note: The LBI Fishing club World Series is using moist of the beach from Harvey Cedars to Ship Bottom this a.m.

It got pretty cranky out there yesterday, knocking fishing pressure down to near nothing – though those daring storm casters, who wait for just such NE conditions, were out there finding bass. I have two emails for bass to 34 inches and the proverbial near-misses of “big” fish. Part of the bass excitation was a decent surge of up-to-now missing mullet. I got knee-deep in the baitfish right at dark yesterday. If it weren’t for a slight injury while throwing I could have overloaded on them. I have absolutely no doubt there were bass shagging them since I got a near 28-incher in my net. I should have kept it for dinner since it did some damage to my relatively new net. I didn’t. Simply changed nets.

Oddity of the fall: Totally huge rainfish, larger than any spearing. Technically bay anchovies, I have never seen them even half this size. They are so large I’m netting them without within my 3/8-inch mess, instead of just fouling them – though a few are getting fouled and forcing work-intensive had removal. These mega-rainfish have to be outstanding bait at that size. I also had an odd netful of sand eels. Most of them slipped out onto the sand when I hauled in the net but there had to have been hundreds in there to start.

Large blues are mixing in with the cocktails. Fish in the 3- to 5-pound range are going for the plugs meant for bass. I also heard tell of slammers but haven’t got much info on same. I like when the bigger blues show, it seems the bass aren’t far off much of the time.

Stargazers are everywhere. I’m told their highly edible. Cleaned a bit like overgrown blowfish.

The real down side to things is bizarre water temps to the low 70s. I call them bizarre because we had a fairly cool September. The thing is all these NE winds are downwelling warm surface waters.

Nature observation: Very large formations of pelicans are working the LBI skyways. The odd thing there is the fact I really didn’t see huge numbers all summer. Now, I’ve seen 20-bird-plus patterns heading all over, not just south. They’re starting to show in Holgate. Conversely the swallows – one of the biggest fall migratory showings I had ever seen in Holgate -- flew the coop just like that, literally overnight. Raptor count in Holgate is way down, though it’s early for that hawkish run.

Speaking of Holgate, the entrance remains hideous near the concrete; I was out there with heavy equipment (me sledgehammer) smashing the nails down on that large plank across the entrance (at high tide). However, once past that mess, the drive has actually gotten quite easy once the water is down a bit. You’ll only run into the stumps of the trees that had totally blocked the drive early in the opening. The current blow is ruling out transit at higher tides despite the in-between moon – which is now building toward full and the major water that brings this time of year.

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