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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday, October 19, 2014: October 19th and I finally get to say those traditional autumnal words, “There’s a change in the air.”

Sunday, October 19, 2014: October 19th and I finally get to say those traditional autumnal words, “There’s a change in the air.” It’s blowin’ one good out of the west and there is an ever-so-slight nip in the air. Not really cold, though tonight will give the nostrils a flare – and a sense that, as a nomadic people, we should be heading south.  

"Let's get to where the tarpon fishing rocks." 

The ocean is very clean looking. Plus, the wave action has dropped way down from yesterday and will diminish even more tonight. Tomorrow might allow us calm enough conditions to see if any bait (like peanut bunker) is near the beach – and being put upon by desirables, like bass and blues.

There was a decent scattering of fishing folks along the beachfront but nothing like we sometimes when the fall fishing season is in full stride. The season is in stride but not the fishing. Fishing remains borderline abysmal.

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I was reading old newspapers from the original days of the Striped Bass Derby, now the LBI Surf Fishing Classic, and even back in the aboriginal days of the event there was moaning and groaning over how slow bassing was going. The headline for the Oc. 26, 1956 issue of the “Long Beach Island Derby News” read “9-LB, Entry Leads Field in First Week of Striper Derby.”

By the by, in 1956 the Derby top prize was brand new “fully equipped Dodge Sierra station wagon. Second prize was a new Ford four-door eight cylinder sedan.”

1956 Dodge Sierra ... rock on! 

There was even a modern sounding gripe in the lead paragraph, which read that “warm water” was keeping “competition down.” Only five legible fish were weighed in that 1956 week. Oh, by the way, there were 2,800 entrants. No, that’s not a typo. Fishing was pretty serious stuff half  century back.

Waiting at home for anglers back then ... 

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Of course, by modern comparison, we got squat, weigh-in-wise, during the first couple 2014 Classic, From my writing angle I'd be willing to headline a big-enough bluefish right about now. largest blue I've seen since the Classic started was one tipped the scales at one whole pound – with the Hopkins lure still in its mouth during weighing.

But flashing back, why was stripering so bad back in the 1956 day? I quote from the newspaper: “They say we have a tremendous crop of (sand)eels and the bait extends into the ocean for about five miles. As long as the eels hold out in great numbers and that far away from the beach, the stripers won’t be that interested in coming in over the bar and snapping up your metal squid.” By the by, the story said the anglers were running with the sand eel angle after exhausting excuses like “weather, tide wind and the like …”

That mocks the nowadays line that the bunker are out too far and the bass won’t come in close enough to hit out metal squids. Yes, a few of us still have metal squids in our collection. At least I think we do. They’re the same as tin squids, right? 

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Things did get better in 1956 ... 

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Something to do when bored ... 

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To help out this website, you can go to the top right side of this page and click on the blue "Donate" tab ... This goes to a PayPal account.  Otherwise, send donations to Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008.

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