Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Today in Holgate:
And when our monarchs get together with friends down south ...
Wednesday, October 14, 2015: The day started nice but clouded over and actually got a tad cool and aloof.
I spent the sunnier side of the day in Holgate, catching up on the far tip after a hiatus due to some testiness with my truck’s 4WD. Worked just fine today. What didn’t work as well was my search for some bait and maybe 30 casts to see if anything would salute. I had already gotten word that it was quiet as a crypt on both the bass and bluefish front.
Can’t really blame the water temps any longer. I had frontbeach ocean temps in around 63 and water coming out of the bay at 61.
The only thing I saw of immediate fishing interest was an osprey resting with what had to be the largest bunker I’ve ever seen. Even the osprey was huffin’, goin’ “What the hell kinda bunker is this thing?”
Below: Ambidextrous osprey ... by Kristofer Rowe
The chopper blues are further north; way further to be exact. Turns out reports I got that 20-pound gators were bustin’ loose in Manasquan was a name mix-up with Montauk. Big difference, even though the straight-line miles between the two isn’t that great, at 126.673. Hey, the Jersey shoreline is about 130 miles as the fish flies. I’m still highly encouraged that the choppers will slam LBI in the not too distant future. I’m even metaling up (leader-wise) for when they soon get here. With the Classic in play, I’ll be fishing with much heavier gear than I would otherwise use during a blitz. Look at me, already all but announcing a blitz-to-be.
Below: You don't even try to cast in the middle of the bluefish mayhem at Montauk.
I know I’m going to catch hell for this but I was put off by a number of blitz photos from up north showing the beach all but littered with blues to over 20 pounds. I can only guess those fish are fertilizer bound. They’re really too, well, polluted for heathy eating. And, I’ll be the first to admit I’d like to see them reach here so we can at least enter them in the Classic – where they’ll be worth something other than beach decoration. As I said, I’m gonna catch hell for that type self-serving thinking but what the hay …
Below: An eater-blue being well cared for ...
I’m getting some mixed feedback on the recent report of a banner young-of-year bass count within the Chesapeake nation. Some folks point to that as a sign thing are quite well on the “rockfish” front. Others say the total number of stripers is not the problem, it’s the precipitous decline in average sign – a thought-better indicator of how a fish species is doing. Supporting that is the fact that even smaller stripers spawn. But if the genetic input is mutated, the future off big fish looks shaky.
Personally, I stick with what many an angler and scientist knows: Likely no other gamefish species on the planet is more closely monitored -- and controlled -- than wild striped bass. Even more so than salmon and tuna. Let the pro figure out what’s best … then I can scream and shout when they don’t get it right.
Had a quick email from a boat angler who took half a dozen “huge” fluke. He sent pics but not details. We often hear about that late push of nearshore fluke in the fall time. As long as the spearing are running, the flatties will hang out.
Below: Saw these mink tracks at the tip of Holgate. Yes, it apparently lost a penny while walking along.
WHOA, NELLIE!!!: I have to offer a chance to get a little chuckle at my expense … but you’ll have to do a little detective work.
I was cruising the wet sand beach in Holgate, looked to my right, and saw a huge herd of plover lulling about on the dry sand. I know they’re called flocks but herds sound way cooler. I always wanted to be a cowboy.
Below: Yippie ki-yay... Michael Gora
This was such a big-ass patch of plover, it cried out for a photo effort on my part. So, I hit the brakes, grabbed my camera off the passenger seat, turned it on, opened my door and jumped out -- without closing the door, to avoid the slam spook-factor.
For stealth reasons, I edged around the back of my truck, as to not come too quickly into view and alert the wary little buggers. It worked. The birds more or less stayed put, as I inched around the back of my truck and then moved up-beach, a few sand grains at a time.
I needed to gain ground on the birds for a cool close-up shot. However, I had to approach in a bodily manner since I don’t own one of those multi-gran mega-lenses (some as much as $5000) that allows the lens to do all the sneakin’ around. I would have gotten the shot but this one nervous-Nellie plover took to the blue skies. It must have been a highly respected member of the pack since all the other soon followed suit. I got one not-so-good pic of a couple plover that took a tad more time to rise up and fly off.
Now, I need you to go back and revisit the train of events to that point, since it has the chuckler tucked deeply inside.
Flashback: I hit the brakes, grabbed camera, turned it on, jumped out, edged around the rear panel of the truck’s driver side, stealthily inched forward and nearly captured the scene.
Clue: It has nothing to do with getting the shot.
If you hadn’t gotten it yet, I’ll give you a give-away clue by saying I turned around to go back to my truck and …
Yep, I had left it in gear -- and it apparently was not into pussyfooting toward some stinkin’ birds. It had moved off on its own. While it wasn’t way down the beach, it spiked me into full-fledged chase, made more critical since it was assuming an ever so slight tilt toward the water. I reached it and hit the brakes only a few feet from the white water from nearby shorebreak.
Now comes the cosmic part: Had that alarmist plover not spooked the rest of the gang, spoiling my ninja-esque approach, I would have lingered longer and this segment would be a far cry from a chuckle. Thank-you, nervous plover.
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