Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Wednesday, July 04, 2012: I have to admit I did not expect this turnout for a Wednesday July 4th.
I put this up on Facebook:
ISLAND ALERT: At 1 p.m., LBI is truly insane – packed to the gills with people. And it’s not only beach-boggling sun crowds creating quiet chaos. There are a disproportionate number of partying folks milling about in front yards – many participants drifting or darting onto roadways.
Adding to the Island’s attitudinal mix are tons of people who have apparently burnt out on the beach and are now hell-bent on sightseeing. The traffic is mind-boggling – and profoundly hazardous, despite slow speeds.
As I just spent 20 minutes driving one-mile to my office, I saw a young gal get knocked down by a car – goofily driven by her girlfriend trying to nab a parking space – and a bicyclist run into a fully stopped vehicle. No injuries but things will be getting way worse as midday drinks go from healthy a.m. models to high-proof buzz-alicous beverages.
If you must traverse LBI at any point today, use insane care -- I kid you not.
I hit a (good) nerve with my shark alert. I simply didn’t realize how many people are already actively tapping into this hyper-enjoyable fishery hereabouts.
The cool thing is the way these massive daytime beach crowds go totally missing by after dark sharking time. In fact, I’ll bet all the frenzied beach bathing throughout the day is smashing up bottom life to the point sharks move in real close after sunset. What’s more, it’s now way apparent that the rays are coming close in at night. Talk about a double draw for big sharks.
Here are just a few emails. Most folks simply want to know where to gear up. Every tackle shop I now in the full shark fishing mode.
After reading your report I really want to give night sharking a try. Whaddya think, j-hook with wire leader or circle hook with wire leader??? Or any other advice??
Jay E. in BHW
(For me the big question here is hook type. I will grudgingly admit that a J-hook (bait hook) offers the best way to bite back at a shark. However, the famed lip-hooking power of circles is the best way to go with a fish that’s sure to be released.
The bait thing is a cool area of exploration with so many sharks now around. While sharking bunker is flying out of the stores – and for high-success reasons -- I’m surprised more anglers aren’t cashing in on cow-nosed ray wings to use for sharks. Not only are ray wings huge pieces of cheap bait but also rays are without doubt one of the finest shark attractants known. Also, the ray skin is so tough that once a hook is driven through it, nothing is going to get it off the hook without committing to swallowing the entire thing. They shine when boat fishing.
OK, so casting a big ray wing for distance might be a formidable task for surfcasters, but once in the water – even if only a modest distance out – the scent will travel far and wide.
I know it’s sophomoric to mention but there may be no other marine creature with a greater sense of smell than a shark. An oil-oozing ray wing must have a carrying (attracting) power measurable in football fields.
By the by, a cocktail bluefish in the round makes a super incredible shark bait. The trick is the proper wrapping technique, meant to secure a couple bait hooks flush against the soft fleshy body of the bluefish. J-mann)
Jay, I know my sharks from college and want to let you know that I’ve confirmed that up to a dozens species are now in our waters, including bulls and hammerheads. No whites, yet. … I’m very pleased that you’re telling people to release all sharks. Even I have a hard time identifying small specimens. J.L. PhD.
I've been fishing around the research bouys, the L/E Reef, and all around it, as well as off the Holgate and B/H towers
for 3 days now. The fluking has been decent, but like you said, there are sharks everywhere, in all depths, 20-65'. I've
seen a few out there before, but this was almost ridiculous. I wasn't even trying to hook them, they were taking
squid and spearing off the bottom on me..None were big, but they got some nice teeth. They were whacking my fluke too.
Although a series of intense thunderstorms has been plaguing the southern Ocean County area for the past week, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been making their way between the storm cells and finding some decent fishing.
The bay bite has slowed quite a bit mainly due to dirty water churned up from the storms and sharply increased water temperatures. When you throw in hot weather and a goodly number of greenhead flies, most captains are setting course for the cooler ocean waters.
The ocean inshore wrecks and reefs like the Little Egg and Garden State South are producing large numbers of fluke. Naturally, there are more throwbacks than keepers, but if you put the time in, the keepers will show up. The black sea bass are mainly in the deeper water wrecks, but a few are around the inshore reefs also.
Captain Fran Verdi has his new boat, the “Francesca Marie” ready to rock and roll with plenty of room for six anglers. He is completing a couple more things before making his first offshore trip to the tuna grounds, but it should be soon. His recent fluke trips have resulted in some filled fish boxes topped by a very nice 24-inch doormat.
The canyons are still very productive for those boats setting up trolling rigs with good numbers of tuna around in addition to some mahi-mahi and some reports of billfish.
Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com or by calling 877-524-2423.