Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday June 23 -- I can see clearly now -- and that ain't so good

Saturday, June 23, 2007: It gets no clearer – or dingier.

The nearshore water, right up to where the last of the suds dissolves into the wet sand, was so clear that the chances of catching a fish were clearly impossible. OK, so maybe a small fluke was taken near jetties but only predawn offered a serious shot at a striper. In Harvey Cedars, I was watching a fellow casting out small rigs for kingfish and I could actually see his line reflecting light back in the water.

Now to the dingy, which could be found in spades anywhere inside Manahawkin Bay, southward to Little Egg and northward to Barnegat Bay. Whatever sort of algae bloom or suspended pollution that’s been showing out there has the look of the bay so bad I’m getting as many as a dozen calls a week about it at the SandPaper and on my websites. That unclarity is the stuff of hugely reduced visibilities, which has eelgrass beds dying – leading to the slow death of many of the fish species and crustaceans we covet.

PISSER NOTE: I actually had a boater once say to me “Hell, it wouldn’t bother me if we didn’t have any eelgrass,” referring to the inconvenience it created when he had to down throttle and reverse to blow out sucked in grass – grass cut off the beds after boaters lost their planes shortcutting across shallows and eventually ripping savage snake trails through the eelgrass beds, unloosing the grass and destroying whatever was living within.

Simply Bassin’ winners: The registration monies are being collected and will be passed onto Margaret at Jingles for dispersal to the shops where the winners signed up. I will let you know when the money can be picked up – or the shops will contact you directly.

We’re moving in fast on the 2007 Beach Haven Marling and Tuna Clu’s 38th Annual White Marlin Invitational Tournament – see http://www.bhmtc.com/WMIT/index.htm. OK, so maybe that classic is still weeks away, but many top competitors like to prepare well in advance of this historic fishing contest. I will be writing daily blogs for the club’s website during the contest and am now looking for any cool stories from past WMITs you might have fished. Anyone out there been in every tourney?

Emails: Jay,

Took my first trip to Barnegat Ridge this morning in search of the first Bluefin of the year. 3-5 foot confused chop with an occasional 6 footer thrown in for good measure made things a little uncomfortable but still trollable. Did manage to hit a 10 lb bluefish within 5 minutes of arrriving but that was it for the day. Water was clean, green and 66 degrees. Good shakedown cruise, but I think the bluefin might still be a week or two away if they arrive inshore this year.



Jay, I’ve been hitting the closer wrecks and have found very good black sea bass. The trick is not to give up if you don’t get action right away. Like all fish, the black sea bass can be down there but not eating when you first arrive. I also want to mention a great way to prepare these sea bass is in black bean sauce.

(You’re preaching to the choir, Steve. I picked up a black bean recipe – very tangy -- while cooking in Hawaii and can’t think of a better way to eat fish prepared in the round. I assume you’re cooking the entire fish, which is near mandatory for proper black bean sauce applications. J-mann)

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