Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

August 31, 2007 -- blues aplenty -- and plenty more

Friday, August 31, 2007: Waves: Building 2-3 foot easterly ground swell; smaller northerly wind swell. Water clarity: Very good. Water temps: Mid-70s, highest yesterday was 77.

Warmest water of the year has moved in. North winds will keep the water balmy. Waves could pick up today as groundswells from a couple offshore disturbances mix with a building low off the coast. This shouldn’t be enough to drastically affect surf fishing and inlets, it will be a crowded weekend so it’s mandatory to keep a wary eye on one and all factors – especially the initial drive-outs at Holgate – when we won’t be real sure of the swings in tides between high and low (and what the potential is for getting stuck out there with rising tides).

As for angling, it’s the same old same old – in a good way as far as weakies go. Sparklers continue to be astoundingly cooperative once you find their whereabouts. While Barnegat Bay west is loaded, I also have reports that Little Egg has hot spots. There is even potential for the ICW next to Beach haven, though not huge numbers there a couple larger weaks have been jigged up.

Bluefishing remains in some hitherto unseen dimension. When located by boat, the blues are thick as bricks and simply won’t stop until you tire of taking them. The beach bluefishing is sketchy only because the fish are zipping by when in that close. Birdplay just off the beach marks the main concentration of blues. As is often the case, the blues are saving the day for many folks antsy for some action above and beyond plying the bottom for flatties.

Email: Hi Jay, Beautiful day Wednesday and spent it on the bay and in the inlet. A few short fluke, but plenty of AM inlet birdplay over 1-3 lb blues and some big (1-2 lb) herring, and it stayed till tide change near lunch. Had to have caught 40-50 blues, plus 10-15 herring, myself -- all on a light freshwater outfit -- fun but a stiff arm and wrist next day! All released except a few herring for strip and chunk baits. Would have been a great morning to have some kids along for non-stop action.

Inlet got sloppy after the tide change so went inside, found more small pods of blues and a few herring against the western shelf areas between the Osprey nest and the inlet -- another 20-30 till a couple boats joined me -- which is fine, except one motored between me and where I was casting! Nearly cut off my line. Courtesy??!!?? Add in a few jet skiers zooming thru my casting area and it was time to head in. Frustrating end to a nice day. STEVE S.

Had a few reports from the reefs and wrecks. Seabassing very variable, as is often the case as early boats get the fish and latter arrivers find a pick. I had an emailer tell me that the same market that seeks blackfish are just as interested in seabass. I find that easy to believe – though the amount of oxygen to keep seabass bouncy must be through the ceiling. I think that market has gone way underground as the law keeps a wary eye opened.

Stripers are pretty much AWOL, though a surfcasting regular (and I mean regular, as in daily tossing), has been picking up small fish on small jigs –- and not always at the rocks. “I’ve been getting some hits in the swimming areas after everyone has left for the day.” I imagine there will be some bass in the Holgate front beach slews.

Lifeguards leave after this weekend except for skeleton crews. This should give a much better read of surfcasting. It was such a crowded summer on the beaches that many folks who usually take a rod to the beach didn’t even give the suds a try.

AS of right now, there is absolutely nothing disruptive planned for Surf City beaches. The Army Corps will be offering the town a list of possibilities ranging from doing nothing at all (status quo) to the big sifting job, whereby all the new sand is run through sieves to remove everything and anything. Even if that were chosen, it would be done in maybe 5 block segments, leaving other sections open to public usages. However, none of that has even been remotely discussed and I can’t imagine Mayor Connors not going for the concept of leaving things as they are now: Army Corps keeps a close eye on the beach after storms and reacts appropriately.

I have heard nothing more on the fluke lady and her potential world record fish. I’ll write as soon as I get word.

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