Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday Sept. 22, 2007 -- Still blues; Seal head-hunters; Thoroughly swallows

Saturday, September 22, 2007: Waves: 2-3 feet out of the south and east. Water clarity: Excellent. Water temps: mainly mid-60s.

The day didn’t pan out as forecast. Some persistent clouds and areas of thick fog made things a tad drab out there until well into the afternoon. Late-day winds were brisk. Also, there was a total downpour from around Spray Beach to Barnegat Light. Not a drop in Town south to Holgate.

Today saw heavy fishing pressure both boat and beach. Catching was not stellar but there were bright spots providing you acknowledge bluefish. Outside Barnegat Inlet and inside Little Egg Inlet, the bluefishing had pulses that included nonstop hooking. Blues are still in the 1- to 2-pound range. Some larger blues are in the system but we’re not into the gators just yet. Considering New England is seeing slammers like they haven’t seen in years, we may be in for a helluva fall for blues over 10 pounds.

The night weakfishing near spans and bulkheads is sizzling. Smaller leadheads with white or pink plastics do well. Large weaks (here and there -- were showing at the Rip in Holgate. They were going for live mullet.

Croakers sitting just off the beach, only boat targets now. They could move to the suds soon. Numbers are not like they had been a couple years back.

It was dim for the folks who went offshore to chunk the canyons. Using numbers that had produced super yft hooking just a couple nights back, a number of boats came up skunked.

Odd tale of the day: A regular reader, Mike, was telling me today about a recent trip to Cape Cod. The bassing was super and the bluefishing was epic. Nothing odd about that, though. The utter oddity was his tale of harbor seals interfering with anglers working slammers. Here’s how he heard it: The seals would get between the anglers and the blues. When a blue was hooked, the seals would dash to the hooked fish and grab it. Anglers then had to let line out, allowing the seal to swim off with the blue. Now comes the freaky part. The seals would separate the head (and plug) from the body of the fish by rapidly chewing through the blue. The angler would then be able to recover his plug – with head still hooked. Hey, you know a great tale should be aired, allowed to breath, like a fine wine.

HOLGATE HAPPENINGS: A few weeks back the migrating barn swallows in Holgate were early and plentiful. Soon those frantically flying flocks tapered off and it looked as if they had departed. Then this weekend saw the arrival barn swallows in numbers like I’ve never seen. Interestingly, the Holgate area had been loaded with greenhead flies. The tens of thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of barn swallows, insect eaters of the highest order -- seem to have put a huge dent in the greenhead population. Mega-thanks to those wildly banking birds.

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