Tuesday, November 04, 2008: Waves: Small (for now). Water clarity: very good.
The weather will get a bit bitchy tomorrow, enough to make things super in the suds. Then it goes south -- from the north. We might very well see another NE gale period, lasting maybe 24 hours. The extent of the blow will depend on the closeness of the intensifying storm off the coast. It will not hit us directly but become part of one of those combined system effects (high pressure, approaching cold front, low) will bring us more beach eating. Holgate took an exaggerated hit the last blow we had. I’m not sure why but the beaches were eaten to hell and back even though the blow wasn’t as bad as some we had earlier in the fall. Maybe the sands just have no more fight left in them. I give Holgate three more years before erosion is so sever it’ll be nearly impossible to travel down there. An odd thing will be the way it’ll be as easy to reach the west side by following the ocean to bay cuts, maybe near the Osprey Nest area. Hey, if the tide goes through there daily, or even a few times a week, it becomes the riparian property of the state of New Jersey.
One other Holgate weirdity: The cut at the back between what some folks call Tucker’s Island is so narrow at low tide you can just about flip a plug over to it. Easily the narrowest it’s ever been. It is likely the eroded sand sweeping around from the front beach combined with the overall migration of the South End westward. It could very easily become part of Holgate proper.
Just a quick note to report some serious stripering on the South End, with an alleged 50-incher taken on plug. There were numerous other big-fish hookups at the same time – late, toward sunset.
The rest of the Island surf saw a widespread take of tourney bound bass to around 28 pounds and blues to 13 pounds. The bass that have officially made the mark on the standings were taken almost exclusively on bunker chunks. Some shops are having a hard time keeping the fresh bunkies on hand.
Those were very nice slammers to be sure but still running about 5 pounds below recent years, on average. I haven’t had a chance to quantify tourney bluefish lengths to see is the fish are just not as fattened as years past or if the overall length is general is down.
It seems John Adler won Jim Saxton’s congressional seat so we’ll eventually see if his campaign commitment to recreational fishing holds true to form – post-election. It will also be a tough go for the LBI beach replenishment effort, though Congressman Frank Pallone, who is strongly beach-fix, will be allied with fellow-democrat Adler. I’m thinking commercial fishermen won’t be horribly happy with Adler, even after railing against Saxton on numerous occasions. No, I’m not pleased with that. Commercial fishermen feed me. My ultra-conservational thinking has always been to get the fisheries healthy (at nearly any cost) so both commercialites and recreationalists can love life happily ever after.
Those bunker shoals (they’re way too big to call pods) have totally filled Little Egg and Beach Haven inlets all the way back into Grassy Channel. They have extended bayside all the way up to Morrison’s. Here’s an email describing same: “Jay - fished the shell derby with 104 other boats. Unfortunately , I got skunked along with 75% of the boats. There were , I believe 34 fish...the largest(29lbs.+) taken by "Lucky Stripes". As always, a great tournament....thanks, Tom & the seashell gang. Bunker.!!!!..I fished sat. morning near the old fish factory ....I could't find a parking space in the inlet.There should have been a cop out there. We were chumming clams and I started to see a few bunker pop coming out of the creek. Threw a storm shad and they were so thick...we snagged on a storm. Proceeded to snag some more and start livelining....NOT a touch...saw no fish on these acres of bunker....coming out of the creek. Loaded the livewell and went out to holgate with our live bait....not a touch.....MORE bunker at holgate!....I tried many spots and deep holes the remainder of the day,but never saw a fish...the bunker got thicker and thicker....from the fish factory to the tip of holgate...and all the way down to holgate marina(and probably further). I NEVER saw so much adult bunker inside the bay like that! MGeorge H”
Pro report: “As we expected, last week's storms really got the striped bass bite started. While we did get blown out twice early this week, we still made it out three times and the results got better each trip. Sunday I had George Selph and Bob Keller aboard on the day immediately after the big blow started settling down, and the guys put 8 bass in the boat despite some extremely dirty water and sloppy conditions around the inlet. Friday Mike Cizek came out with buddies Tommy and Tim to try their hands at drifting live spot, and proceeded to put 17 bass in the boat in a couple of hours. Then Saturday I had Pete and Bob Burns and Glenn Adams welcoming new brother-in-law Bob into the clan with "Bob's Spa Day" aboard the boat, celebrating the upcoming nuptials. After landing 8 bass on live spot in the inlet, we headed up the beach to find plenty of bass and jumbo bluefish eager to hit on diamond jigs. Final tally before heading back in was around two dozen bass and a half dozen blues. Perfect weather, lots of laughs and cooperative fish... doesn't get much better than that.Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters”