Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday June 21 -- A bit slow but bass potential building

Thursday, June 21, 2007: Waves: Small

Decent fishing conditions for the first day of summer. Fluking is astoundingly cellular. The areas where the better flatties are celled up makes for fine catching. Double Creek remains in the doormat zone once fish are found. When off-cell, there is super slowness. While shorts are common they’re nowhere near as packed in the way they were a couple weeks back. Not sure where they’ve gone.

Stripering is kinda off. There are decent bass here and about but they take some perseverance and/or talent to track down, especially in the surf. However, we seem to be going into a up bassing stint. Fishing on bunker continues to attract boat fishermen. I heard some radio chatter about easy snaggin’ but a much harder time hooking beneath the baitballs.

Just to remind to any and all serious striper anglers: If you snag-and-drop bunker using a treble hook, that disqualifies any consequently caught bass from IGFA record books.

DOG DAY MEGA-DOGS: I wanted to alert folks that state records for spiny and smooth dogfish are on the line this summer. I say that because many anglers are talking about catching the largest dogs they’ve ever seen. Don’t hesitate to bring in a state record-class dog.

For smooth dogfish, the state record is 19 pounds, 8 ounces, a fish taken in 2000 by Michael Latorre out of Pleasantville.

For spiny dogfish, the state record is 15 pounds, 12 ounces, caught in 1990 by Jeff Pennick, fishing off Cape May. That fish bounced out a slightly smaller spiny dog that was caught aboard the Fisherman’s Headquarters boat while I was out fishing with them in the late Eighties.

Email: Jay, Caught some big dogfish (over 3' and weighing around 25lbs) this weekend out on the Little Egg South reef, which we released. Was wondering if they are any good for eating? Jeffrey T …

(That’s a standing debate of somewhat monumental proportions. In many parts of the world – including the U.S. – dogs are protected due to over fishing by commercial fishermen – obviously selling them to someone who likes eating the fish. Dogs are apparently hugely popular as food in Europe. However, I had a very knowledgeable British angler tell me that they are NOT the prime species in England’s famed fish and chips, as is often written. The fish and chips honor goes to far tastier cod-type fish. I have cooked both smooth and spiny dogfish, after proper handling, which begins with gutting the fish immediately after landing. Baking or even BBQ’ing offered a decent product -- with no one fighting for seconds. However, deep frying filet pieces, after coating them in a heavy spicy coating, produced a very tasty victual. Give them a try but remember the indispensable step of gutting them the instant after pulling them out of the water, lest uric acid from burst internal organs within the shark saturate the meat, requiring a milk bath to neutralize -- not worth the trouble. j-mann)

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