Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011:
Surfcasters won the day. Some fine fishing mid-Island. In fact, it's a bit weird how well that zone is doing. Anything to do with the beach-fill? Probably not, since there's been two replenishings and the first one didn't seem to hike the mid-Island bassing, still...
I have half a dozen reports hyping the chunking (bunker) for bass in the suds. However, a fellow die-hard plugger absolutely annihilated early-day bass using (I hesitate to even say it) needelfish. I actually have a tad more appreciation for these do-nothing plugs since I began using Bombers with the lipped sanded off. When not jerked, my modified Bombers just move straight forward, like a needlefish plug.
I got an interesting note from a fellow who uses circle hooks almost exclusively. He said the bass are eating so aggressively that his circles are "100 percent" in sureness. Yes, aggressive feeding enhances circle hooks. It's when bass are picky and iffy that circles lead anglers to try making a highly unrecommended move after initial taps don't go any further.
Bayside bassing (Mananahawkin Bay) has totally turned off. It went crazy for a few days -- fish to 35 pounds within sight of the Hochy Bridge.
How about that 25-inch fluke taken off Brant Beach.
Bluefish has gone absent again, however, there are some being taken up north.
The Classic is now in that rare time-frame unheard of in the early days -- when the event had been over for weeks come November. Be it global warming or the simple fact the waters weren't heavily fishing after the Classic/Derby back in the day, it sure seems there's ton of bass to tap for the event's finale stretch.
I have a collection of e-question I'll try to get to for my weekly column. Thanks for the emails.
Late email: Took a pounding working my way down to the lower end of Loveladies. Not a touch as I drifted the beach northward for over an hour. Ran back up to the IBSP CG station with the same results. Big fleet to the north again but I have no idea whether there were fish or it was mob mentality. Don I. and his daughter just pulled in across the street and she landed a 21lb and a 12 lb from the SC beach on bunker. WP
Researching this email:
Once many moons ago I was a mate and working slammers on the ridge right after a prolonged storm.
We chummed them up and while they were on the deck they were regurgitating stones. The skipper told
me during turbulent storms they swallow stones for ballast.
The outstanding jig fishing we've had for the past couple of weeks continued this week, with bass of mixed sizes and jumbo bluefish gorging themselves on sand eels as they make their move south for winter. We seem to be the center of action along the coast right now, as party and charter boats from as far north as Belmar and south to Ocean City have been making the run to our area to fish within a couple miles of old Barney. We've had ice on the boat as we've left the dock most mornings, but the fishing is so good that the cold is forgotten once the sun comes up and the fish start coming over the side.
The high winds on Monday kept us tied to the dock but Riverside's Tim Parker made it out with me on Tuesday along with buddies Rob and Dwayne and filled the box with bass to 34" and blues up to 16 pounds, mostly from the deeper water off Island Beach State Park. Bensalem's George Selph was up next, again finding a mix of smaller bass and blues fishing ultra lights close to the beach due to rough conditions offshore. Yesterday I decided to head south to try fishing off LBI for a change, and the Hal Gilham party (Hal, son Pat, Bill and Rick) had four solid hours of drop and reel fishing for bass to 35" and some of the largest blues we've seen yet just a couple of miles from the inlet.
The ice on the boat every morning and having to push through skim ice to get out yesterday are sure signs that the season is starting to draw to a close. We'll be wrapping up our charter schedule after next weekend, although if the fishing continues to be this hot I may try to get a couple of days in the following week weather permitting.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Until next week.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters