Saturday, September 15, 2007: waves: 1-3 feet out of the east. Water clarity: Excellent. Water temps: Still very mild 71 to 73.
Despite honking winds by mid-morning, it was active in the surf, north to south, though you had to be thinking in terms of a blue light specials.
The blues are as wide-ranging and ravenous as they have been – to the point of being seriously bothersome. The bothering side comes with the realization that bass are now fully in play. There had been some large bass on the north end a short time back. Today, they were very much in the mullet-chasing mix, along the front beach but mainly near inlets.
I saw a few undersized bass caught on the south end as folks popped away at huge pods of mullet. Lighter (whiter) colored poppers seemed most popular. Those migrating mullet were getting blasted right along the beach and even out a mile or more off the beach. I had a couple captains tell me they came across huge mullet pods well out in the ocean. That doesn’t always happen. I think part of the reason for those further-out mullet is the size of the forage fish. The first push of mullet are running very large and are faster swimmers than the smaller finger mullet.
Weakfish are still in the bay and are larger than we’ve seen in many weeks. There were some very nice sparklers on the south end. The prime technique I saw in use in Holgate was net (mullet) and cast ‘em. A common rigging is a beaded sinker (an ounce or two) with maybe 18 inches of leader to a hook, usually a simple baitholder hook. Of course, the odds were exceedingly high that a bluefish would greet the livelined mullet ahead of any other gamefish.
This was far and away the most crowded Holgate day this season. And there was plenty to do. The front beach down to the Rip and around to the west point was lit up by semi-blitzes (mainly blues, some weakfish and a few stripers). The action wasn’t full-blown birdplay type razzle-dazzle but the exploding mullet pods showed where the target species were feeding -- and more than a few fishing folks were zipping from one patch of frothy water to another.
Quite a few caught-and-released fluke including a couple pushing 20 inches.
Kingfishing is really not good even though some hot spots are out there. Kingfishing aficionados are not finding the kingfish. However, folks near Barnegat Inlet are finding huge kingfish coming into their weakfish chum. I’m told the jumbo kingfish are pushing 2 pounds.