Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, October 23, 2011:
Hope you had a decent fishing day today because you’re the exception. The reports I’ve taken in are non-reports. From a beach cruise I did this a.m. to a late-day check-around, it was, at best, a tale of sharks, skates and some badly sunburned faces. Although ocean water temps have taken a major dive, the temps about five feet under the surface are still very mild. That could keep the action slow.
Oddly, the nearshore bunker balls aren’t overly present. Here’s a report from Walt P.: “Fished this AM. Ran north almost to the bathing beach looking for bunker. Nothing. Came back to the inlet and ran down along the beach to lower Loveladies and still no bunker. Had a couple of spots and worked the north jetty along with another 15 boats. Bluefish ate one and rock snags claimed the others. Called it a day. WP.”
Seems like the weather is going to give us another typical fall striper season this year. A combination of rain and almost constant strong gusty winds led to the rescheduling of one trip and cancelation of another, but we did manage to get out three times this week. Most of the action right now seems to be on live bait, either spot around the inlet or adult bunker along the beach. So far I haven't seen any significant masses of sand eels which are so important to our jig fishing, but it's still early so we'll keep looking.
Tuesday I had outdoor writer and ESPN radio host Tom Pagliaroli and his lovely fiance Denise Marie Theiler out looking for some light tackle striper action. When things started out slow in the inlet, a cruise down the beach produced a morning mix of small blues and weakfish. Returning to the inlet on the tide change, the bass and blues had come to life and they boated a handful of bass topped by Denise Marie's 16 pound fish to complete her Atlantic Inshore Slam. Friday I had Dave Kruge and Brian Murray down from north Jersey, fighting strong howling winds all morning but still boxing a nice mixture of striped bass, bluefish and blackfish from the back bay. Then yesterday the wind finally subsided and it was PA's Bill and Ann Staples aboard, landing three bass topped by Bill's largest of the week 38" lady that pulled the scales down past the 20 pound mark.
The water is still pretty dirty from the runoff from Wednesday's storm, but the fish are there and we should see continued improvement in the fishing as the water cleans up. The water is still pretty warm for this time of year so bluefish biteoffs are an issue while bait fishing, but it seems to be getting a little cooler each day so hopefully we'll be seeing fewer blues and more bass over the next week or two.
I still have a couple of dates open before we wrap things up for 2011 around Thanksgiving, so now's the time to book that last trip of the year.
Until next week.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters
(It is that humbling time of year when I hold the hat out for my one annual donation drive. I’m heading toward my 15th year and I promise there are a load of various expenses. Every donated penny goes to covering costs. I also want to assure that I absolutely do not EXPECT donations from anyone. Some folks have annually been kind – and I want them (and all) to realize that I’m thankful for past help but fully understand some years are better than others are.
Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Also, I can be PayPal-ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. )