Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
This cold weather is holding down spring bassing interest on LBI … to a minimum. That’s not the case over toward Graveling Point, where a very steady showing of casters has garnered a few quite-keepable fish. Bloodworms rule, though clams chunks suffice for us poorer folks. I know they work, but I've never had luck with salted clams in spring.
I hope to dig some local bloodworms soon. Turning low tide mud also gives me a read on the benthic health of the bay. The more worms the better – all types of worms. I’ll mention here that jumbo, so-called “bass bloodworms,” are a real rarity in our muds. However, being so fresh, a wad of local bloods stay lively longer on the hook, especially if you avoid the vital internal organ near the front of the worms.
I saw the photo of a solid 30-pounder attributed to the Mullica waters but on closer exam I think it was a Delaware River cow. I’m told the Tacony–Palmyra area is into bass right about now. Speaking of that area, I haven’t gotten any word about shad moving in for the annual spring run? I can clean fish with the best of them but I still have mastered deboning a shad. I’ve been studying a YouTube entitled “How to clean American Shad by Captain Vincent Russo.” Give it a look.
Above: Palmyra Cove Nature Park
Below: Lardner's Point Park
I’ve found ice in the bucket for three of the past seven mornings. That’s brutal for April. However, it’s not as hard on the migrating fish and shrimp as you might think. Spring migration, for fishes, is based far more on length of day. The thought of spawning always puts a migratory hop in their step.
Below: Candle made with ice from five-gallon bucket ... hole punched in the top.
I mentioned shrimp above because I noticed that grass shrimp are now moving, in goodly numbers, toward the backbay shallows and creeks. That could be upbeat news, after a couple/few lousy grass shrimp years. While these tiny, clear crustaceans are mainly famed as the indispensable foodstuff of weakfish, they can also be found bulging the bellies of eels, bass, bluefish, winter flounder, and fluke. A healthy bay is a shrimp-filled bay. Shrimp are yet another one of those mine -kept canaries, responding to environmental turns like a barometer. At the same time, the shrimp themselves are tough buggers, as I found when I had a saltwater aquarium and saw the shrimp survive just about every catastrophe.
Above: A very preggy grassie
White perch fishing is nowhere near prime. Now there’s a species that doesn’t care a drip about cold water, though warmer water gets them very aggressive. I fish them near the Road-to-Nowhere impounds, using tiny spinners and grub jigs. They attack when it’s warm. Still, nothing works on spring white perch better than grass shrimp, fished off a bobber. Though it’s seldom done, white perch readily respond to chumming.
I prefer to go old-school when bobbering ...
Winter flounder fishing is there for the chilly taking. Per usual, conditions have to be boat-favorable and the very limited allowable take home has ended the days of boats on end in the bay off Harvey Cedars. That’s said, a couple blackbacks I’ve seen on Facebook have been keeper-fluke-sized.
Kevin Knutsen American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana).