Sunday, October 05, 2008: Waves: 2-3 feet, south; building from north late-day. Water clarity: Too clear in some areas. Tides: Low tides have left very little water to work along the beachfront.
There was noticeable fallout from today’s Chowderfest as more than a few surfcasters and such were committed to attending the cup-tipping event – having to forsake lengthy angling sessions. There were still a goodly number of folks out trying and report from the North End boat anglers seem to indicate that inlet area has a decent variety pack, including bass, weakies and blues. Surfcasters haven’t met with the same fishiness.
Email: “Fished north end out front yesterday afternoon for a while. No water to fish, no fish in the water. Plugging was futile, although the low water gave me a chance to find some new territory to fish. Lot of nice structure this fall. Since this morning's low was going to be at sunrsie, I figured I would fly fish out back. Got out there around 4:45. Fished black bunnies until the sun came up then switched to pink/white clousers hoping for some weakfish. Not a bump or swirl. Didn't see any bait but as I walked off there were a ton of boats anchored among the sail boats. Must be going for the weakies.
On the larger side of things, the Little Egg Inlet area has snag-and-drop action offering bass to 25 pounds. It’s not frantic fishing but it seems to be on the build. However, arriving NE winds (through early week) will screw that all up – for a short time.
Sidebar: There is a belief – covered in a thick sauce of anecdotal evidence – that lively bassing beneath bunker bait balls off the beach drains the surfside suds of super bass, as they somehow get word that good eats are to be had out a short ways. It really isn’t a surfcasters vs. boat angler thing since there is really nothing to be done about it. It’s simply the way the bass and bunker cards fall. I sure think I’ve seen this phenomenon. Obviously, the stir ceased by hard side-ass or onshore winds stirs the bait up.
Despite the calendar, the weakfishing action remains damn decent, even as far landward as the West Creek bayside area. However, the most concentrated weakfish action has been right off Beach Haven, ocean. There had been some recent reports of total saturation of the bottom with weaks.
Cocktail blues continue to show, though the bite has backed off a bit from a yesterday .
Fluke are everywhere. I got word that the fluke season was opened for the entrants in the Governor’s Tourney held up Island Beach way. That seems very odd considering such a limited opening should seemingly go through the Marine Fisheries Council – along with debate and such. Oh, well. Seems like a load of fishing folks had great fun up there – though the fish went mysteriously AWOL compared to what it had been in days prior to the contest.
Here’s a Tom Fote report (I don’t have space for the results today):
“The weather was great but the fishing was difficult at the 17th
Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament . We did not have a lot of
fish weighed in. The big bluefish and bass that were there all week
seemed to disappear on Saturday and did not make an appearance on
Sunday. This is the first year that we did not see a single striped
bass weighed in. I think this is the fewest number of qualified fish
weighed in for the tournament.
“Governor Jon Corzine and Commissioner Lisa Jackson welcome anglers at
dawn at the Pavilion and then the Governor rode the beach, talking to
some of the hundreds of anglers fishing on Island Beach State
Park. The Governor commented that it was refreshing to see all the
families fishing from the beach in a picket fence line up. He
recognized that this is truly a family sport. Pictures will be
posted at the Governor's Web Page, DEP Web Page and JCAA Web Page soon …”
(Note: The governor and Lisa Jackson recently entertained commercial fishermen to hear their take on keeping pots off the artificial reefs. I’m thinking the showing of recreational anglers during this tourney will impress upon Jackson the importance of fun fishing. J-mann)
This is a truly depressing thing for me. Al McReynolds, a fellow who was always took time to give me a call when I was doing stories in him (and even stopped by to say “Hey” a couple times), has fallen on hard times – sickness and such. His prized mount of his world-record striper – usually housed at the IGFA headquarters – is for sale on eBay. And it’s not as if it’s one of those good time to sell things. There is a load of desperation. I believe the auction is still going on. You can check it out at: http://cgi.ebay.com/STRIPER-World-RECORD-STRIPED-BASS-78-8lbs-Caught-1982-s_W0QQitemZ320306640637QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item320306640637&_trkparms=72%3A1156|39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A12|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14 .
Pro report from Barnegat bay Fishing: Hello All,
We haven't had too much to report lately because quite frankly not too much has been going on. September and early October have historically been focused on fluke fishing, but the early seasonal closures of recent years have pretty much taken that away from us. Now September is one of our slowest months and this year between taking the family on vacation down to Pawley's Island (SC) and the windiest September I can recall, we haven't done much fishing at all. But I've now got the boat switched over to autumn mode, and that means it's time to start striper fishing.
Bass fishing so far seems to be hit or miss, but that's not too surprising. Most years it really gets started towards the middle of the month, and it looks like this year will be no different. There are some bass around, but we really needs a few good cold nights to get the water chilled down and get the bay side bite started. The ocean side is loaded with bait schools, including a massive amount of sand eels which should give us great jigging right past Thanksgiving this year if they stick around.
We tried a little bass fishing on yesterday's trip and came up short. Sadly, the live spot we were fishing were tasty morsels for the mass of large fluke that seem to be lying along the bottom of the inlet right now. It's painful to have to throw back some of the best fish of the year despite them being at the highest level of abundance in my lifetime. On a more positive note was the 4.5# amberjack Bob Keller landed in the inlet. While not particularly large for an AJ, we don't see a lot of them up here and it shows the diversity of the fishery we have right here in old Barnegat Bay.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters