Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

j-mann -- Thursday, May 31 -- Big bass beneath bunker.

Thursday, May 31, 2007: The fishing was good in the surf and remains huge nearshore for boaters chasing the bunker. More and more weigh-ins of boated cows over 30 pounds – with some grumbling over the keeping major fish just for a shop photo. There were also upwards of half a dozen bass of over 40 pounds. Some folks are trolling for the bass.

As blackfish season drops to one-a-day, the tog are getting thick around Barnegat Inlet.

Weather will remain very cooperative for days to come, thougit’ll be feeling a tad too midsummerish for my liking.

Bunker chunks have greatly superseded clams as the bait of choice for surfcasters. It’s not a bad time to cast both out and see which one gets the better salute.

Skate and dogs remain highly problematic. They are everywhere, though dogs seem to have backed off the reefs and wrecks a bit.

Wreck fishing not where it should be. Some seabass but a tough go when seeking seabass around the most popular structures.

Fluking is fine. Loads of small ones but a respectable showing of keepers, ocean and inlets. Deeper bayside – the likes of west LEH -- is full of undersized flatties. West Barnegat Bay faring better for keeper fluke.

There are fluke in the surf, mainly north of (and near) jetties. Takes a lot to find a keeper.

Bluefishing seems to transcend even the junkfish. There are blues from inlet to inlet and beach areas in-between. The size is all over the charts, from the common 2- to 4-pounds upward into the teens of pounds. Some of the bigger blues are filled out but a new batch seems to be very streamlined and just fattening. As much noted, this is the heaviest bluefishing spring in maybe a dozen years or more. Doesn’t mean they’ll return in fall, though. By the by, fun plugs (including popper swum noisily but not over fast) are making the bluefishing action top-water exciting.

Massive schools of cow-nosed rays near Chesapeake. They’re surely heading this way, though they can often take a long time to work their way here – to eat our clams and crabs to distressed levels.

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