Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, June 09, 2011:
I just got word of the near 50-pound striper taken from a paddleboard off mid-Island LBI, bested by J. Demelia of AC. Couple his heifer catch with Bobby C’s kayak catches (40-pound realm) off Surf City and it shows huge bass are very close in, often just past the sandbar drop-off. That might be a sign that those big gals are also coming into the surfline at night, as bunker flee toward the beach, when corralled. Unfortunately, to date, the many folks going at it after dark are being so overrun by skates and dogs they’re not willing to lose any more sleep looking for midnight cows. Still, I remain sold on the bass potential from pre-twilight until dawn.
This now-bizarre spring heat will surely impact the bay bite for the weekend. I have seen loads of studies showing larger fluke simply don’t like superheated water. If the sun plays out the way it is forecasted, bay waters will elevate to mid-summer temperature levels – before likely cooling off next week. That could make the inlets hot beds for flatties, as they scoot out of the backwaters but still hang near the springtime feeding zones of the bay. It’s unlikely the bay fluke will go too far seaward. They’re not ready to take on the cold bottom waters just outside the inlets – where benthic temps are in the low 50s. A too-fast switch from 85-degree water to 50-degree water temps is easily enough to cause thermal shock. It ain’t easy being a fish.
It's great reading about all the amazing striper catches on the various fishing websites. I check out Jingles, Betty & Nicks, Fishermans HQ and Shore Catch on a daily basis during the spring run. It looks like we are inundated with 30-40 pound stipers. (I've been doing just ok in the surf this season.) I wonder what the commercial guys think about all this. Surely they read the websites too. I think all this positive news gives them a leg to stand on to fish for stripers commercially. I don't think it will ever happen, but I'd like to see all these great reports get toned down a little for this reason. On one hand we say that stripers should never be commercially fished because there aren't enough of them but the reports on the websites seem to get better every year.”
Jay E. in BHW
(Actually, that testy point of “gamefish status” for bass – as we have in Jersey and is being sought coast-wide – has flared again recently in the Chesapeake Nation. Commercialites have long had a death grip on politicians down there -- and recreationalists have not been overly adept at fighting the good fight to get equal bass rights. I will say that some activist recreational organizations down there have tried their hardest to achieve gamefish-only status for southern “rockfish.” Again, it seems to be the hoi polloi, the southern fishing public, that hasn’t picked up cause.
As you know, to our south, stripers as small as 18 inches can be kept commercially. I call those shoulderless fish. They still have that juvenile body roundness. However, I still hold fast to the notion we (up here) should be able to tap into smaller fish stocks while steering clear of prime breeders. There’s some science behind that and also mere logic. I feel that, in many ways, the commercial take to the south is the reason we can’t take smaller take-homes around here. I wish I knew a way to get our very efficient northern politico-activism on-scene down there. I still like the idea of a keeper bass in the 20” to 24” range. However, per the charts that management lives by, a keeper that small would require huge cuts in the allowable recreational take of larger fish, something charters and headboats can’t abide by – and for good reason, since their customers want to see some meat for their fares. J.M.
About that standup paddleboard fishing thing, long-time buddy Ken Gallant has opened a paddleboard business. South End Surf 'N Paddle is located on 118 N. Bay Ave., Beach Haven. 609 492-TUBE (8823). Per Ken, “Whether you are a beginner, novice or expert, we have a stand up paddle board to suit your needs.” Go to: www.facebook.com/pages/South-End-Surf.
Check out the LBI-fest this Saturday. It’s at the Long Beach Township Municipal Building and across the street in Bayview Park. Lots of great crafts, arts and fluid beverages, i.e. beer, being hyped by the likes of Bud girls -- those hottie gals who advertise their company’s brand names via tiny hot pants and cheap ridiculous gimmicky handouts (that I fight for, tooth-and-nail). I may be displaying my bakelite pendants and knives at the Fest. Say “Hey” if you see me. There’s also a bunch of attractions for kids.
Also, on Saturday and Sunday, head over the Jersey Shore Fine Arts Festival, put on by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce. It takes place at the EJ School, on Barnegat Avenue. Turn left at the first light coming onto LBI. It’s about a quarter mile north. The art stuff there is ultra-cool, with loads of fine art in the mix.
LBINEWS: The famed and historic Ship Bottom “circle,” where a grassy “round-about” resided in the 1940s, followed by a truck trailer housing a primordial Ron-Jon in the Sixties and devolving into an Exxon station for decades thereafter, is about to be re-redeveloped. Something exotic and sophisticated going there? You tell me. It’s going to be a pre-fab home office and display area. Huh? My word exactly. I envisioned some sort of non-active park, with indigenous plants and maybe a greeting sign -- or even a discreet digital sign telling of new and fun things going on hereabouts.
Don’t get me wrong. The planned usage is what the owner opted for – and it’s his property. Had the town, county or state wanted to make the “circle” a scenic piece of real estate – a natural display that folks coming onto LBI could proudly associate with their upper-end lifestyle – those political sectors could have bought it and done so.
Still, prefab home showroom is an odd statement about LBI as a whole. Whatever. It is what it is. (I have no idea the exact meaning of that now-overused slogan but damn if it doesn’t fit tons of un-rectifiable situations.)
Also, could that pre-fab usage simply be a fill-in until the market grows stronger and the real estate attracts more, uh, adventuresome enterprises?