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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday July 8, 07 -- Slow to clear

Sunday, July 08, 2007: Waves: Persistent 2-4 foot windswell. Water clarity: very slow clean-up; south to north along the beach.

The beachfront did not snap too with cleaner and clear waters, after the hard south winds churned things to hell and back a couple days back. The cleaner water hung maybe 50 yards off the beach in many areas but left the close-in castable waters dingy and low on the desirability scale. I talked with a few casters who had a couple small blues to show. No bass in the area were I hung out.

Related email: “Good evening Jay,

I've been down here since Tue night - needless to say I did not even touch the rods until today - let things settle down Friday before attempting to throw the lead … I was enjoying the cool (63 degrees) ocean breeze sitting under the umbrella, not paying too much attention when all of a sudden the whole mullet rod went over. It was a nice smallish blue about 3/4 lb. I got one other before I had to head off the beach. I was fishing my regular smorgasbord, whole mullet, live minnow, & bloodworms. I really felt that today I would get the first kingfish of the season but it wasn't to be yet. I couldn't even lose the worms or minnows today. Bob T.”

The inlet and bay waters fared a bit better, cleanup-wise. I had bass reports from near Barnegat Inlet where liveliners used herring or spot to coax in jetty-oriented bass. Nothing of over-significance.

“Hi Jay, just read through a bunch of stuff on another site re the blitz of big bass up north in NJ. Lots taken and kept - limits but mostly 20lbs
and up. Any thoughts on what that does to the future? Tried to thnk
through the kill tournament thing but didn't come up with any good answers.
I guess you do what you feel is right within the law. I just think an
awful lot of breeders are being removed out of the population and its got to
have a detrimental impact down the road. Pete M.”

(Pete, It’s indeed a hugely troubling concept, keeping the big breeder bass. I’ll say this regarding tourneys, the total number of contest fish wanes in comparison to the combined number of what might be called no-need cows, caught for simple momentary bragging rights. Still, watch how tough it is not to bring homer that largest-bass-ever 45-pounder when you finally score it. As to great big-bass releases, I always refer to Jimmy’s easy-50-pounder he took in front of a mass of anglers in B.L. Jimmy barely got the fish’s measurement before hurrying it back into the water. It actually stunned the onlookers when he freed Willy.

I actually have an answer to the better-breeder-bass conundrum. We need a true slot. No, not that 24- to 28-inch type slot -- That smaller fish should be a perpetually allowable as a keeper-class fish. The slot I’m talking about is something in the 34- to 40-inch range. Those are bass that strongly indicate superior genetic propensities and will procreate incredible offspring.

Even with such a true slot, we could still run our tourneys -- and heavily emphasize either end of the slot, i.e. fish over 40 inches or under 34 inches (and way downward since such a slot would open a huge lower-end allowable keeper zone.

Fluking was whatever I asked. Of the half a dozen captains I talked to each had a different read, with only one of those boats having “real decent” and the rest were residing somewhere in that null zone of “many shorts and a keeper here or there.” I do want to add that Fish and Wildlife have been popping up, appropriately, to make sure everyone is playing nicely with the regulations. There have been not-so-nicers sited and I’ll try to get some numbers on the violation count via the state’s marine fisheries commission.

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