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222 18th Street
Ship Bottom, NJ
Wednesday, October 15, 2008: Waves: Small. Water clarity: Fair to Good. Winds: Light north.
Things quieted quickly as the bait and chasing blue moved south. As with the past few falls, it seems like it’ll be a pattern of passing bait (whenever) and an accompanying hell-break-loose fishing frenzy. I was told that there was some major non-tourney blues in this past bluefish frenzy (it wasn’t always a blitz in the classic sense of birds going crazy and bait grounding itself – though that did happen at some points). Hand scales indicated one blue in the upper teens, per Jim M. of Pa. That fish went for bunker chunks. Ugly tale came from a fellow who witnessed a plugging surfcaster in shorts dragging a just-landed blue up to higher ground, grabbing it by the tail. The blue thrashed and drove a loose middle hook from a large bomber into his leg to a doctor’s-only depth. The guy wanted to keep fishing – dangling plug and all. If that unlucky fellow happen to read this, please drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity is assured. I just want to follow the medical process since I hear conflicting reports of whether or not the common procedure is to drive the barb of the hook all the way back out through the skin, clip the barb and back it out or if they unhook the way be do a hookup.
Onto less penetrating matters, the stripers are not in the house. The tourney has had a couple small guys entered but the big gals are being coy. Some very chilly weather starting next week could be just what the bass doctor ordered. I had sub-keeper sized bass mid-Island using Rat L Traps retrieved at steady moderate speed. One fluke. Saw too-small bass walking of beach. No comments made to walker. Ain’t my job – or my concern when it comes to those overpopulated models.
Still a few kingfish around. Those being caught – only a couple at a time – are large. Not many folks fishing for them now that the big blues and (soon) bass are in play.
Email: “Enclosed picture is from the belly of a bass I took (Barnegat Inlet). Are these young lobster?”
(Nope, they’re mantis shrimp, which I’ve seen up to 10 inches long. By the by, they are not a “shrimp.” They simply resemble same. And they a unique crustacean, definitely are not a mantis – a terrestrial species, including the famed preying mantis, which some think the mantis shrimp resemble. I don’t see it. While me see the creature as swallowed material, when these are alive they are very nasty, with grabbers that are treacherous enough to place them among the “Danger” list for divers. J-mann)
Found treasure: A fellow recently stopped by my house to show off a tackle box he pulled from a trashcan in front of a house on Rte. 9. I thought it was a joke at first. The thing was jammed with loose and boxed rigs and plugs from the 1920s/30s era. Many were pristine. Virtually all were large models of freshwater lures – including a few Chub Creeks I’ve never even heard of. However, there were also some saltwater metals – squids and feathered (red glass eyed) jigs. I would call this a one in a million find but I’ve actually heard of near-similar trash-picking finds – though none quite as extreme as this. I tried to buy a couple boxed plugs but it was the typical Catch-22: I could buy any of the ones I didn’t want to buy but if I said I wanted one that made it unsellable to this guy. Rough guess at total value: $1,200 to $1,500 – likely far more if sold individually out of antique shop.
I found a camo key on a red float (boat ignition) on Holgate sands. Looks like it washed in. It that sounds familiar drop me an e-line.
Here’s Hutch’s charter report:
Captain Lindsay Fuller of the “June Bug,” a member of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association, had an outstanding offshore tuna trip last weekend. Fuller had Jim Hutchinson Sr. and Jr., George Roma, Bob Opperman, Paul Hopkins, and Dave Rinear to the Toms Canyon on an overnight tuna trip combining trolling and chunking. The group caught 19 longfin tuna from 40-75 pounds, all on the troll. They also put another 25 mahi-mahi in the box. The chunking produced no tuna but did result in releases of small swordfish and mako shark as well as numerous mahi. The almost non-stop action on the 24-hour trip kept mates Dante Soriente and Nate Figley busy the entire time.
Other Association boats continued their strong catches from bottom fishing. Captain George Finck of “Sparetime Charters” had Bill Dalton, Harry Festa, and Dom Ferrante out for an action packed reef trip. The half day venture produced many sea bass and porgies.
Captain Fran Verdi of the “Dropoff” started last Friday looking for bunker but had difficulty due to the light chop. They then drifted off the red tower for strong weakfish action on small fish. A stop at the Little Egg Reef resulted in over 100 fish but only several were keeper sized. Verdi fished an open boat on Saturday at the Little Egg Reef. They worked three spots on the reef and it was fish every time. They ended the day with 16 keepers and 2 porgies.
The “Star Fish” with Captain Carl Sheppard fished the reefs Saturday with a father and son team from Ireland. In two hours they caught over 75 sea bass. The surprise of the trip was a 3.5 lb porgy. On Sunday he teamed up with Captain John Koegler for another big catch of sea bass and porgies.
Captain John Koegler fished the “Pop's Pride” on Saturday and despite a constant increasing NE wind had a great day catching sea bass and Porgies. His comment on the reef fishing was “There is presently a good supply of sea bass available plus some of the biggest porgies anyone has seen in years. No matter what, you will return with quality fish for dinner.”
Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com