Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Tuesday, September 11, 2007: Waves: 2-3 foot south swell. Water clarity: Fair, some discoloration. Water temps: Mid-70s.
It lit up in Holgate today, despite cloudiness and even some rain spritzes. With winds honking south, then howling west, there was enough bait moving around to feed all of Thailand. I have no idea what that means but it sounds like a lot of bait to me. And that’s what was in play today.
The spearing crop this year is in some other dimension. I noted that biomass burst last spring when the bayside was already alive with tiny spearing by the millions or more. Anyway, it’s hard to say what came first: the bluefish or the eggs. It’s quite possible that the reason the bluefish stayed around all summer was the ongoing hyper-showing of spearing.
Now somewhat grown, the spearing are passing along the beachfront and into the inlets in a nonstop river of baitfish.
Already filled to gills with spearing, the bluefish still can’t resist scarfing them down until spearing come out their noses and swim away.
Some of the bluefish blitz blasts in Holgate had as many as 30 or 40 one-pound bluefish leaving the water at any given instant. It was a lather out there. The action would quiet then begin a short distance away. Not that you needed to be on the accompanying birdplay to catch blues. I was purposely steering clear of the frenzies, throwing a big ass silver metallic Red Fin plug, hoping for a bass or gator blue. Didn’t matter. The plug lasted a few cranks and was taken down by a one-pounder.
I did see a huge bass at the quiet zone inside the Rip. It was pushing 25 pounds and could easily be seen cruising through a few feet of water. I thought it was sick or something. Then I saw it detonate on the spearing river. It was quite fine, just a tad delirious from over feeding. Actually, I’ve often seen bass get goofy like that when rolling in foodstuffs, especially rainfish. Problem is they’re not goofy enough to go for anything other than the food at hand. The one today did saunter over to check out my swimming plug but snubbed it with what appeared to be a look of disgust. Good thing I didn’t have my old carp-killer archery equipment. Just kidding. I wouldn’t have shot it. Besides, there were witnesses around.
Follow-up: Stu D.’s harnessed fluke was surely one the oddest examples of angling weirdness on the books – and one I was ready to tuck away in the realm of one-and-done. I was stunned to get this email: “Hey Jay,
I read about that fluke that had the mono line looped around it. I almost got a chill up my spin. I caught a fluke yesterday (Sunday) with that same exact thing. The fluke was maybe 12"-14". I caught it about 3 miles SE of Barnegat Inlet. It had been purposely tied up like that for sure, with a leader portion that had a loop on it for livelining. The fish had begun to heal around the line but it was still on the 'fresh' side. I have never heard of or seen this before. I didn't think too much of it, but now that I see someone else has found a fluke like this, I am appalled… I think maybe a smaller fluke is weighted down as a teaser while drifting for fluke, kind of an attractant for bigger fluke friends to come into your bait spread, if you will. Regardless, this idea is piss-poor! WTF is wrong with some people? Jesse K.”STONE’S THROW TROLLING: I got this interesting email about insider trolling: “This time of year really opens up to a type of fishing I really enjoy I call it coastal trolling (a bit different then inshore trolling) for it involves trolling even closer in. We target false albacore, bonito, and Spanish mackerel and blues. These fish are fun to catch on light trolling 15-LB outfits. Sometimes you can catch them right off of the Bell Buoy and do not have to run out to the Ridge or the Lobster Pots. For some reason this style of fishing does not get much thought compared to destination-fishing the reefs. Kids love it and it is worth giving it a shot. It also pays to bring a spinning rod to cast to those false albacore if they ever make the beach blitz this year. Chris D'”