Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(Above: This Mercedes buggy is just too hot for the beach. It went to ablazin' at noon today in Surf City. I had first seen it as some gray smoke was coming from under the hood. By the time I alerted my photogs (Ryan Morrill took this picture), the SUV had taken a turn for the hotter. The SCFD used foam to end the fire but not before it burnt nearby signs, fences and bushes.)
Monday, September 24, 2007: waves: Small. Water clarity: Good.
Report has arrived of a 42-pound bass off Holgate. i'm not sure if that was beach or boated fish but it shows the cows are out of the barn.
Here’s a shop-by-shop rundown:
Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle is offering the first reports of steady bassing, including any number of take-home to 30 inches, with a few 20-pound models. The bass are early bird specials or closeouts (last light). Popper and plugs work well though live-lined offering take the cow cake.
The weakfishing is hot. Myers Hole is a great stopping point while the inlet waters (at night off the rocks and public walkway) have large weaks going for live mullet. Fishing pressure can be a bit heavy at prime sites.
Bluefishing is everywhere at the North End.
“Did you hear about all the bluefish?” was the way Barb at Surf City Bait and Tackle jokingly put it. The shop had customers shouting the praises of big blues, into the teen of pounds, that would come in blitz form or as lone hook-ups.
Fisherman’s HDQ also talked of bluefish of all shapes and sizes. The surf was also popping out croakers and kingfish, according to shop regulars. “The full moon should mean the bassing will pick up,” was the word around “Fishheads.”
Margaret at Jingles bait and Tackle had exhausted customers telling of fighting slammer blues in the suds. Full-blown blitzes have flared along the South End for the past week and seem to be picking up. The shop also got word (as I had) of huge bluefin tuna so close in that we could see them jumping from the beach. Folks like Chris P. jumped in boats and zipped out to tempt these giants into taking trolled or live-lined offerings. And there may have been a conquering. Margaret had heard of a bft actually being brought in for weighing.
Polly’s Dock is directing folks toward some of the funnest fishing out there. According to Ixny, he’s loading rental boats with bunker chum and sending patrons on the short run to the deep holes outside the docks. There they quickly have an astounding grabbag of fish species taking squid pices on small hooks. The take included bluefish, croakers, kingfish, fluke, black seabass, weakfish and even some “exotic spcies,” like rarer triggerfish. “Every single time they drop a hook they’re catching something,” said Ixny. He is also making bobber set-ups to fish the chum slick.
Here’s a blog from Joe. H:
My weekend started early this week at 2pm Friday when I left BH for the Lindenkohl Canyon with four friends on a 53 Hatteras. We arrived at the edge around 6pm in flat calm conditions. We started to troll and we hooked up immediately. We caught two skipjack tuna in the first 10 minutes. Right before dark we had a very brief encounter with a small white marlin. We set up to chunk right after dark with about 50 other boats. With all the activity on the troll with bait and squid everywhere we were expecting quick results. Well, after the lights were turned on we saw ZERO for hours. No hits. No squid, bait, tuna, nothing.
Finally, around 1am the butterfish I was drifting in the slick takes off. I put the 50 International in gear and the fight is on. The fish screams off about 100 yards of line and the circle hook pulls. I'm sick. According to the radio, everyone else is seeing nothing, no bait, no fish. Best reports are 1 YFT boated, or a break off or two. A far cry from the last night or two. Most crews call it a night and go to sleep. The radio goes silent after 1am. I got a buddy aboard who's a first timer at the edge---day or night, so I'm really disappointed thinking we're going home skunked.
Our crew, dead tired, jokes about the 3am bite that will turn on. I go for a bite to eat around 2:30am. As I walk back through the salon to the cockpit I notice the VCR clock reads 2:59am. As I walk out the door the deep rod screams off line---fish on! Unbelievable. We boat the first tuna, an 85lb yellowfin. We get a few up behind the boat in the lights and hook up. Over the next hour, we boat 3 more tuna in the 65-90lb range. Satisfied we have 4 nice tuna in the box after a disastrous start, we thought the bite was over. The deep rod takes off again. We hand the rod over to the owner/captain and he's off and fighting. Forty five minutes later, I sink the first off two gaffs into a 110-120lb fat yellowfin. We slide him through the transom door into the box. We get a total of about 10 bites losing two at the boat and a few bite offs.
As I'm sitting on the swim platform, I notice a single squid leaping out off the water heading towards the boat. By the speed of the squid something was in hot pursuit of him. The squid heads right under my feet for protection of the platform, and I now notice why he's running. There is a 4 foot+ wahoo coming at him like a missile. The fish swims right under my feet, under the boat never to be seen again. With 5 tuna on ice we head for the barn at daylight. Best reports at dawn were 1 or 2 fish. We were happy with our effort, considering how slow the bite was. Sea conditions were perfect.
Saturday night saw some fine bay side action with weakfish and keeper fluke sized fluke. My friends girl caught a 4lber.
Sunday I slept in, but my friends had some great action in the BH and Holgate surf with bluefish and some more keeper sized fluke on mullet. I hit the rip at dusk with pink fin-s and caught a few weakfish and herring. I returned to the BH bayside around 9pm and what I saw was remarkable. There was an all out blitz of 1-4lb bluefish and weakfish just going nuts in the lights. Spearing and fish were flying everywhere. It sounded like a downpour. I mostly just sat and watched, but I tossed a fin-s around and caught 10 bluefish, some 20" weakfish, and monster herring. I could of caught 200 fish if I wanted to. I went through a pack of fin-s in 30 minutes. I have a feeling that a few 10lb stripers were in the mix as well. I could see much larger fish down deep, but they couldn't beat the smaller fish to the jig.
Looks like the start of a great fall.