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222 18th Street
Ship Bottom, NJ
Sunday, October 26, 2008: Waves: Powerful medium-period south ground- and windswell combo. Water clarity: Fair to poor.
Well, last month we had a couple brushes with tropical systems and neither of those matched the winds we saw last night. I recorded 50 mph at three different points as the front passed through, around 9 p.m.
Today the aftermath was mainly in the form of turbid surfline water, large grinding south swells and some a.m. puddles.
What was apparently lost to the blow was that very decent bluefish push along much of LBI’s beachfront, mainly prior to the heavy winds and squallish rains. The largest of nearly 20 Classic weigh-ins was a 14/10 taken on bunker in Holgate by Michael Mitryk.
And yet another rogue striper comes to light in the Classic. This time it was a 30-3 taken by perennial top Classic contender Richard Di Martinis Jr. The other bass were generally half that size – but still fine catches to be sure. The Classic has ways of acknowledging various size fish in a big (cash and/or prize) way.
Overall: Still some croakers mixing in with small bass and junkfish. Clams are fairly sure-fire for small stripers but bunker chunks are for players – those looking for major money/prize fish. Liveliners are showing why spot, bunker and even herring are as sure as it gets when striper seeking. Obviously boat anglers have it way over surfcasters when it comes to livelining but those in the know don’t pass up the chance to throw out even a small croaker. That’s most easily done with smaller surf and (most of all) an ability to haul a livelined offering out to the end of a jetty. A bass or blue will attack virtually any struggling species, even one of its own. Below is a Joe H. report noting the “hake” are out there. Talk about a sweet liveline-able species. (I catch heat for this but I don’t encourage eels as live bait. There are real bad things happening to that vital species, globally. There are simply better liveline-able species. And, no, I don’t condemn those who use them. I just don’t hype them.)
Wrecks are fully loaded with seabass and tog. Headboats and charters are often the easiest (ad safest) way to take in that cooler-filling action. Asian friends of mine say there’s nothing better that whole seabass for serving under a thick black bean sauce. I concur – when they make the sauce. That’s one sauce I have yet to perfect the way the Asians rightly make it.
Jay, I read your blog about using regurgitated sand eels to fish with. I got about a dozen from a bluefish I cleaned on the beach. I threw a few out at a time and had fish almost instantly. Bluefish. Pretty impressive bait. Bites ended when I had to go back to the last of the stale bait I had. Boy does fresh bait make all the difference.
(You got that right, though I’ll be the first to note the success rate of thawed bait from tackle shops that carefully and quickly fresh freeze just-arrived bait. Your word “stale” is a perfect choice. That’s bait that has thawed and sat too long or – cringe – bait that was thawed once, wasn’t used all the way and was refrozen. Possible the most putrid bait has suffered freezer burn. The same way you can taste the hideous effect of freezer burn on, say, ice cream, gamefish can smell that awful unnatural stink that freezers instill upon poorly kept material. J-mann)
Fished the BB surf from 2am Friday to 7am Saturday morning. Not much to show but I had a few bluefish bite offs. Also caught two ling or red hake---or what ever you call those things. Conditions were perfect. Bigger bass were caught to the north of me.
Went back out to the same area around 4pm. I caught a 8/4 bluefish for the derby. Did the cooler/live well trick and took the fish to a bay beach in BB and sent him on his way. There was a ton of bait over there on the bay side. I was wading with the revived fish and I couldn't believe the clarity of the water. Gin clear. I may give that area a shot with some live spot during the week.
I hit the BB area again from 7am to noon on Sunday morning. Caught a pair of just short stripers on bunker. Tons of dolphins around some bunker schools. I'm done fishing for the day. I'm off to Philly to see The Who and get in all that traffic. Eagles at 1pm, The Who at 8pm, and the Phillies game 4 of the World Series at 8:30. Who would of thought---Phillies game 4 of the World Series!!! Back at it Tuesday.