Thursday, March 27, 2008:
(I have to apologize for being a lot off-and-on-ish with my website so far this year. Sufficed to say, it was a very tough winter in here. I lost more good folks than I care to think about. It was easily the deadliest winters I’ve ever known. It seemed that no sooner would I get through one depressing loss another good folk would fall. But spring springs eternal, and I’m looking forward to the fishing returning. I’m even going to get heavily back into kayaking, hoping to cash in on the snag-and-drop bunkering, due in a month or two. Thanks to the early-back folks who are already sending my emails and opinions. Even when I don’t post them I pass them onto folks in the know. Right about now, I’m most heavily used by those wanting to know what the prevalent angling attitudes are out there. Keep ‘em coming.)\
First Gravelling bass caught. Per Scott’s Website: “First Keeper Striped Bass CAUGHT on Pebble Beach at 2:27pm by Lenny Senkarik. 29 ¼", 9.0 lbs., caught on bloodworm. It's kind of funny, because when he was in earlier this afternoon to get some more bait, I told him to "Please catch that darned keeper, 'cause I'm tired of waiting!". Then he did!”
I should note that there sure weren’t any bookends to go with that fish. It remains kinda very quiet down there – though definitely picking up.
There have been some small bass caught on LBI. Bloodworms or clam are finding them. However, some brisk weather out of the north will keep the beaches very user-unfriendly.
Weather note: I added two more separate 50 mph wind occur aces in recent days. That brings the total to 8 systems with 50 mph gusts over the last 1.5 months. That’s kinda way amazing. Let’s hope the sky blows itself out and offers a gorgeous low wind mid-spring and summer. In case you hadn’t noticed, heavy winds lead to highly increased fuel usage. Even when you have a string tailing wind, it’s a strain on the engine – with fuel all but flying out the exhaust.
WORM NOTES: I chatted with the bloodworming troops up in New England and it’s a decent year – though the worm crop (especially the so-called “bass worms”) is still failing to fill demand. The good side is we here in South Jersey are in their good graces, since we pay the prime price and get those payments out, post haste. I will begin digging flounder worms soon. Last year was a near total loss, as prime turning grounds showed virtually no larger worms and a very low population of small worms. The problem at almost all my main locales was a layer of surface material (erosion material or even detritus) that looked to be choking off the subsurface habitat. I did happen to notice a decent showing of bloodworms on the Holgate mudflats in recent months. Though that area closes down for the birds beginning next week, the sight of worms where I hadn’t seen any in a few years could be a very good gauge. I’ll keep you posted on my worming – as I know some folks are into the entire eco-picture, knowing how much it relates to fisheries we target. I’ll even place a few photos of what the digging look like since I’ve had many folks asking. (Sorry, no secret techniques discussed).
I have already begun seeing very tiny spearing in the bay. These y-o-y baitfish are traditionally among the earliest arrivers come sporting. They gather in that very thin warm layer of water right below the surface. When temps drop (night and cold snaps) the sink back to the bottom to veg out.
SIMPLY BIGGER THAN EVER: Island shops participating in the 7th Annual Simply Bassin’ Tournament have decided the event should be turned up a couple notches, as in two extra weeks.
The now 8-week event, seeking the 10 largest bass caught in the surf this spring, will run from Saturday, May 3 (12:01 A.M.) to Sunday, June 29th, noon. The registration is a modest $20. As oft noted, this is a low-impact event looking for only the 10 biggest and baddest bass. The leader board will be prominently displayed in participating shops: Barnegat Light Bait & Tackle, Barnegat Light (609-494-4566); Fisherman's Headquarters, Ship Bottom (609-494-5739); Jingle's Bait & Tackle, Beach Haven (609-492-2795); Oceanside Bait & Tackle, Brighton Beach, (609-361-9800); Surf City Bait & Tackle (formerly Bruce & Pat's), Surf City (609-494-2333).
For Simply Bassin’ rules and rundown, check the shops or on-line at: http://fishing_report.home.comcast.net/~fishing_report/Simply_Bassing.htm.
This extended tourney will surely give a huge read on the bass action. I hope to find a way to keep the leaders in the public eye through some sort of SandPaper-based leaderboard. Hopefully surfcasters will get involved with this contest. It’s a great way to give due respect to the biggest and best bass taken in the suds.
HIGH-TECH BIRD WATCHERS OFF HAVEN BEACH: That odd looking platform folks are seeing anchored out in the ocean is, well, an odd looking platform out in the ocean.
It’s a specialized piece of water-top equipment developed by the Aqua Survey Company out of Flemington, N.J. It is one of many unique vessels being built by the company. This particular floating platform has a myriad of potential usages, especially research-oriented undertakings. The one off LBI is being used as part of a migratory bird study. I’ll soon have more info on it