Monday, August 04, 2008: Waves: Small. Water clarity: excellent. Water temps: Nearing 70.
As predicted within this column, cold water in the summer eventually succumbs to a blazing sun – heating the sea surface – and even a trickle down effect from warm southerly currents out at sea. This is not to say honkin’ southerlies won’t once again knee their way in and knock the surf temps down to the shrivel-cold levels but even if that happens warmer water will filter back in much quicker heretofore.
As also previously hypothesized in here, this late start to 70-ish ocean temps could surely mean very mild seas well into fall. The only thing that could thwart that would be way-early frigid air temps in, say, late September or early October – not a real likelihood whatsoever, as long-range forecasts see just the opposite, your proverbial Indian Summer.
But, for now, the nicest-to-date surfline fishing conditions have a goodly number of folks testing the suds for fluke, kingfish and bass.
I chatted with a number of surfside sitters and heard of a kingfish or two – and loads of fluke for those aggressively targeting them by casting and retrieving fluke rigs graced with GULP! strips. Also, most of the fine folks I came across surfcasting were definitely what you’d call casual or occasional casters, many having the entire family blanketed nearby and allowing the kids to swim right under the one fishing line planted seaward. Hey, they were hyper contented just leaning back in their beach chairs, not remotely caring whatsoever that bites were far and few between.
That casualness will all too quickly give way to we of a more got-get-em vein. Hell, to cover my gas costs for buggying the beach I’m going to have to bring home some fillets this year – something in the range of 1,000 pounds a day should do it.
The Beach haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s annual White Marlin invitational ended on Saturday and once again it was quite cool to watch – and write about. Please check out the website where I blogged (and all other pertinent data resides) at http://www.bhmtc.com/WMIT. Some wild tales -- and a fish worth $160, 000.
Here’s Hutch’s write up of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association:
The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have seen their fluke catches improving as the ocean water temperatures rise.
The “Miss Beach Haven” with Captain Brant fished in some different spots last Friday and found 69-degree water, but poor drifting conditions. They managed to boat some keepers including several fish over 19 inches and one whopper. Catherine thought she was stuck on the bottom at first and ended up boating a 13-pound, 10-ounce doormat. She was using a rental rod which was almost bent over double. On Saturday the fluke fishing was pretty good, and the water temperature finally hit 73 degrees. There was a fair amount of keepers caught with an average catch of 2 to 4 keepers per angler. The pool winner was a 5.5 pounder.
Captain Adam Nowalsky of the “Karen Ann II” out of Great Bay Marina had Jim McTague of Virginia and family out with a mixed bag of sea bass, tog, and porgies. Another day Rich Salvatore and his son Sam caught 10-15 pound bluefish at the Barnegat Ridge until they had to take turns reeling in a single fish. Colin Walsh and his brother Michael from Ireland landed a handful of fish before being chased in by a squall featuring thunder, lightening, and 40 mph winds.
Captain Dave Wittenborn on the “Compass Ross” fished a charter with the Levy family of Atlanta. After a fog delay, they fished a rip in the bay and had steady action on short fluke. They then fly fished for short bluefish until the greenheads chased them into the ocean. Drifting there brought numerous short fluke and three keepers.
Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish had parties of 8 and 9 people over the weekend. Inshore and back bay fishing produced mostly throwbacks while on the reefs they had a pick of larger fluke and sea bass. Off shore they found tackle-busting bluefish over 12-pounds and some feisty bonito.
The “Compass Rose” fished in the Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational. Captain Dave was pleased with how his new boat performed, and they managed to put some nice yellowfin tuna in the box from the Spencer Canyon.
Captain Bob Gerkens of the “Hot Tuna” also fished the Tournament and while empty handed on billfish, took third prize in the Calcutta for yellowfin tuna when Mark Jordan of Beach Haven boated a 90.9-pounder.
“Hi Jay. The charter boat Reel Trouble had a nice catch of yellowfin
tuna and mahi on saturday. The tuna were up to 92#s and the mahi up to
32#s. Fish were caught on the 100 fathom curve. Capt Bill DuBois
(Plenty more on Reel Trouble over at the BHM&TC site)
I shrimped the middle grounds in two locations around high tide and could not connect with any weakies. Yes i found grass shrimp after many calls at Bobbies boats in Barnegat Light. I could have tried another location or stuck it out longer, but the greenheads beat me down. So i headed to the le reef and picked one nice fluke around 22”, then got bored and found lots of small 1-2 pund blues which saved the day. Beautiful day on the water.
(Great to hear some blues are reshowing. J-mann)
Sunday morn - Fished just north of the Coast Guard station on IBSP in about 20' of water. A lot of action but nothing to eat. Had about 30 fluke with only one making the 17" mark, most of the rest being about 12" and only 5 or 6 robbins and no sharks. As the water aproached 30' on the drift out the fishing slowed. It felt good to finally feel some fish taking my bait.
Used GULP bait only and caught 6 fish on one bait before it got ripped off. Squid's not worth the money in a match with GULP. Tried the north jetty on the way out and way in without a touch from a bass or blue. Walt P.