Wednesday, June 13, 2018: Let the idealness begin -- with days of it to come. I know I get overly dramatic about nice weather but I feel sorta safe in saying today might just be the finest day of the year-to-date. If course, I harbor prejudices against the year-to-date’s weather.
The only mildly downside is the idealness-giving west winds being a bit brisk for smaller boats wanting to go ocean, seeking bass and some further out species. These winds should fall off greatly out of the canyons, which have been on fire, per numerous tuna-fishing reports. These are the kind of reports I wouldn’t mind receiving some firsthand proof about – sashimi-style.
Although there are still some surfside catches of bluefish, thin-ish slammers mixed in, bluefishing remains very hit-or-miss, as indicated by a goodly number of skunk (dogfish) reports. Still, days today make the wait between bites well worth, well, the wait.
Surfcasters should keep in mind that the sun and water temps inching toward the mid-60s (though mainly lower-60s) have throngs thronging to the beach. With the day screaming for folks to come hither, there could be some jumpers-in who aren’t attuned to fishing lines being in the water. Go with the flow, i.e. be nice.
By the by, surfcasters are the main water-watchers out there, with lifeguards absent, or only showing in skeletal numbers. So keep an eye open for any bathers going from swimmers to drowners. Re at the ready to dial 911, unless you have local PD numbers filed in your cellphone – and know what frickin town you’re fishing in. In fact, just call 911 if you see distressed swimmers.
Quite a few folks are asking about black drum fishing. All I know is what I’m told, even though I fished them for many a late spring. The year is not up to snuff in the LEI, LEH and west Barnegat Bay areas. Nonetheless, sharpies are having some decent sessions on fish in the 5- to 15-pound range. Cows are in the mix; a few photos showing drum pushing between 40 and 50 pounds – most being released. No surprise, these fish are ready for spawning.
Colby Capri and Sabina Sullivan weighed in some nice fluke today. Biggest was 7.08lbs smallest was 3.16lbs.
ALERT: The famed “free” LBI shuttles are nowhere near free any longer. Rides begin at $2 for a one-direction trip ... and go upward for round trips.
Here are the Shuttle Fees as posted by www.lbishuttle.com. Do Not ask me to interpret.
> $2 per ride 10am - 10pm
- $5 unlimited per day 10am - 10pm
- $5 per ride 10pm - close
- $10 unlimited per night 10pm - close
- $100 season pass (all times)
I won’t offer my thoughts on this ugly turnabout. Oops. I guess “ugly” is opinionated in its own right. For years, I had waxed poetic about the shuttle system. I glowingly spoke of the shuttles as something finally being free on LBI; something showing a little love for the tourists that bring millions upon millions of dollars to our barrier island.
Nearer and dearer to my Island heart was the way the shuttles (once) offered chances for younger and/or poorer workers to freely get to their most often blue-collar jobs. I’ll bet the outside shower that many a business will feel the impact of the shuttles’ fees, via workforce hassles. And what about my friends coming in for the summer from Lithuania and Latvia?! They lived by the free shuttle -- and worked their asses off all summer.
I’ll also offer something to objectively chew on – before spitting out highly editorial gripes. Grab your stop watches and monitor the stopping time needed for shuttles to pick up must-pay passengers, factoring in the way the shuttles take up most of the right-hand lanes on the Boulevard. In the past, folks mounting the shuttles would rush on in nothing flat, all bubbly and happy. Now, they’ll have to stop to pay … one at a time, fumbling money to asking question about the fees. I can tell you that at least one out of three folks will want those prices fully explained -- as other boarders wait, growingly impatient. "Could you repeat that? Is it: If I get a $5 pass I can ride from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but after 10 p.m. I'll need another ...".
Yes, you’re supposed have exact change but what are the odds of that with newly arriving visitors?
But to the worst part: The traffic behind the increasingly long-stopping shuttles will indubitably try to muscle over into the left lane to get by, many sporting that sometimes-crazed summer-driving aggression.
Pity the poor shuttle drivers, hearing it from arriving passengers and also irked passing motorists. Bad karma.
I’m honest as an injun when I say I hope none of the above will play out but with more shuttles than ever out there, this could potentially lead to motoring madness -- and even a few "I'm never going back to there again!"
Memorial Day 2018
The buses will operate from 4PM to 1:30AM on Friday May 25th, from 10AM to 2:30 AM on Saturday May 26th, and from 10AM to 10PM on Sunday May 27th and Monday May 28th
June 1st to June 24th
The shuttles run Fridays from 4PM to 130 AM, Saturdays from 10AM to 2:30AM & Sundays from 10AM to 10PM.
June 25th to September 3rd
Sunday through Wednesday from 10AM to 10PM. Thursday and Friday from 10AM to 1:30AM. Saturday from 10AM to 2:30AM.
September 7th thru October 7th & Columbus Day
The shuttles will be available on Fridays from 4PM to 10PM, Saturdays & Sundays from 10AM to 10 PM
Jim Hutchinson Sr Report
Unseasonably cool weather continues to keep water temperatures below normal for this time of the year. Despite this, captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are locating fish for their anglers.
Captain Lindsay Fuller had a family from Washington, DC out for a day of fishing on the “June Bug.” One of the anglers was 15 month old Harrison Wadsworth. The young boy was excited to help his dad by holding on to the light spinning rod for short periods and assisting in reeling in fish. Included in the catch that day were several large sand sharks. The fish were filleted and made for a great fish and chips dinner. Young Harrison is looking forward to his next fishing trip.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” reports his fishing has slowed a bit thanks to the lack of steady water temperatures. At times there can be close to a 20-degree temperature swing when the cold ocean water comes into the bay. His fluke trips have been averaging 15-30 fish with 1-3 keepers. He has been doing some light tackle fishing around the jetties in Barnegat Inlet for small stripers and feisty bluefish. Captain Brett took his father Michael out Sunday, and they managed to boat over 25 fish in about 2 ½ hours. They took home a 23-incher along with a 19.5-inch fish for dinner. Their lure of choice was the S&S Bigeye.
On Saturday Captain Jimmy Zavacky took the “Reel Determined” and Captain Ray Lopez took the “Miss Liane” to Waretown to volunteer their services for the Project Healing Waters fishing outing sponsored by the Holiday Beach Club. Serving as first mate for Captain Jimmy was Liane Lopez. The boats did well on black sea bass with the “Reel Determined” taking top honors with the largest sea bass.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.bhcfa.net.
Michael Taylor ...
We ran to the Spencer Canyon on Sunday. Found the right water. Beautiful shade of blue. Tons of porpoise and whales. Skipjacks attacking our spread every 5 to 10 minutes. Caught one small bluefin tuna, not even big enough for the cooler and way too many skippies. That's the report. We were one of the boats that didn't catch that day.
Here's what we're doing in the next stretch going into the weekend. We will be running Open Boat or charter tomorrow (Thurs) and Fri, June 14 and 15 inshore fishing. Casting lures at the inlet jetty for stripers and blues with light tackle and drifting the bay channels for fluke. Leaving at Noon, returning at 5PM.
$150 person. 4 people max, all fish are shared.
Saturday, June 16, looks like the best day to run offshore, so as long as that forecast holds up, we are chasing tuna. Right now it shows no storm activity and a 1 to 2 ft sea condition. Probably headed for the canyons unless I get some good mid-range reports in the 50 to 60 mile range. The canyons we are fishing are about 85 miles. We would meet at the dock at 3AM and return around 5PM. $350 person. 4 people max, all fish are shared. If we stayed within the 60 mile range, it would be $300 person, but right now, the best reports are coming from the canyons. Yellowfin and bluefin.
Sunday, (Fathers Day!), June 17, we will be fishing inshore, same as above's Thurs/Fri trips but we will start at 7AM and return at Noon.
Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing