Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, July 03, 2011: What an oddly off-and-on weekend it turned into – after an astounding sunny and perfect start.
The a.m. rain was a droopy start but many anglers fishing through it with no problems – short of dry bunker pods. Lots of boats chasing lots of baitfish off north LBI. The snagged bunker went to the bottom unmolested – short of that aggravating hook through their skin and meat.
Is anybody hitting any triggerfish or filefish near the beach? I got word that a load of them came in on the onshore winds. Those ENE winds downwelled our water temps into the mid-70, before settling in around 70 degrees in the shorebreak. For newbies to this blog, downwelling is the opposite of upwelling – and a scientific term. Instead of sucking up cold bottom water the way upwelling does, it pushes solar-heated surface water onto the beach, where it essentially stacks up and can get near record-breaking water warmth. I heard of an unofficial 80-dgree temp just to our south.
Those onshore breezes have also led to eye-opening phenomena near the inlets, especially Barnegat. Water so crystal clear the Bahamas say they want it back. One angler described an air-clear view of the bottom over 15 feet down. Admittedly, that is not good news at all for fishing, except fluking – a species that feels it’s never too clear when it’s time to eat.
A big push of kingfish are just to our south. These are breeders so go easy on them.
I want to throw in this pro report to show fluke are out there – for the three emailers I fielded who caught squat on the half-shell. I should also note that Paul P. bested a doormat. It had a suicide note attached to it.
Hope everyone's enjoying a safe holiday weekend. I took the holiday weekend off this year to avoid dealing with the crowds on the water, so this will just be a brief report this week.
Fluke fishing in the back bay continued to be good to excellent on all three of my trips this week, with typical catches of 35-45 fish coming from the skinny waters of the bay. As you might expect with an 18" minimum size limit, most of the fish are going back but we've still managed a few nice fish in the box on each trip with keepers up to 24" each day. Seems to be something like a 9-1 or 10-1 ratio right now, so we just have to wade through a lot of fish to make sure everyone takes home a nice bag of tasty filets. I even snuck out by myself for a couple of hours at first light yesterday, quickly putting four in the box and heading back to the dock before the jet ski set had finished their morning coffee.
Still have a couple more July dates available for anyone interested.
Until next week.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters
I have had numerous folks asking me about the somewhat mysterious drowning in Manahawkin Bay. It happened a couple days ago. I haven’t looked into it. If it had been an ocean drowning, I would have pursued it, as part of my commitment to the U.S. Weather Service’s rip current awareness program. However, this victim was found in the bay off 20th Street. All police would disclose is the drowning was “accidental.” Folks reading that in the paper then wanted to know how the PD was so sure it was accidental? Some also wondered if the male victim might have been suffered a head or neck trauma after trying to dive into shallow bay water? Sadly, a catastrophic neck injury was suffered a few years back off bay end of 18th street (S.B.) after just such a diving mishap. Also, a serious diving neck injury was suffered last year at party shoal, bayside 16th Street, S.B. If I get any more info I’ll pass it on but that above info about diving in the bay should be taken to heart regardless of the final outcome of this drowning.
Driving on LBI is as insane as it gets. Just take it easy – or suffer the consequences.