Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Monday, October 15, 2007: Waves: 2 feet out of the east. Water clarity: Excellent.
By all appearances, we’re having that day of unwanted rest. The buggies are hanging around like gulls waiting for something tasty to drop in. There huge attention being given to high tide just dropping. That time frame has been blitz-time but has even aligned with the better boat bites. No today, though.
Congrats to Sue Kaiser, member BHM&TC for her 20-pound (and change) slammer taken with her husband, Billy, on his boat. I liken a 20-pound blue to a 50-pound striper. It’s a threshold of upper excellence.
In the wake of Sunday’s mega-blitz I’m officially self-pissed. I caught one blue and one blue only. It took me so long to get in I said, that’s enough for today, I’m taking some photos instead. Anyway, the fellow next to me had a fine hand-scale and he called my catch “19 pounds.” I saw it as a hair under. I released it figuring it wouldn’t stand a prayer in the Classic. Turns out an 18-6 won the weekend. I coulda been a contender. Damn my sorry ass.
Blitz notes: Joe H. made a good point when noting that there were astoundingly few crossed lines amid the frantic action. Considering the brute power of these maniacal blues, there was nothing anyone could do to stop their fish from going exactly where it wanted. Usually that means crisscrossed lines and knotty tempers. The worst I saw was an occasional overage, when a plug would be cast over another angler’s line. Even those conflicts were untangled with sheer friendliness. Weird.
How big have the recent blitzes been? Try, 178 blues entered into the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic in just the event’s first week.
In fact, with that, I’m officially going to call an end to the slammer scare begun about ten years back, when slammers has all but gone AWOL. Between and 1996, the LBI Surf Fishing Classic saw bluefish weigh-ins drop from 2,066 in 1986 to 45 in 1996.
A congressional subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Jim Saxton, convened in the mid-1990s to look into the disappearance of large coastal blues. Conservation measures followed – and so have the big blues.
Welcome back, boys.
BLUE NOTES: A few weeks back, I had written in here about mega-blues being up Cape Cod way, in numbers many of those New Englanders had never seen before. There were 20-pounders in the mix. I guesstermised (guessed and surmised) that those Cape blues seemed to be of the nearshore stock and might well rush our way. I, for one, saw a bunch of our blitzing blues bearing Massachusetts tags and sporting “Cape Cod Nude Beach” parking permits. Dead giveaway.
As many of you know, there is a famed “offshore” bluefish stock that has never once lagged, even when the nearshore blues all but vanished. Those Ridge blues have been out there for literally decades, surface feeding by the acre-load. They are the stuff of some of the finest nighttime headboat fishing trips.
DIGIT-SAVING PLUG: If the fellow who got a finger semi-chomped by the bluefish reads this site, please drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Per a phone message, an Atom Popper solidly saved this angler’s finger.
The teen-pounded blue was being unhooked and performed one of those famed head swings – with accompanying chomp. The plug went inside the fish’s mouth, along with one of the guy’s fingers. The hard plastic took the brunt of the bite; fully preventing what I imagine might have been a dissection. Still, there was apparently a goodly amount of blood near the fellow’s tooth-embraced knuckle -- and panic began to set in when the blue went bulldog, as they all do with that incomparable jaw strength. For any of you unfamiliar with big bluefish, it is simply impossible to manually pry open a chopper’s jaws when it decides it wants to stay shut-mouthed. I’ve been told that boat captains jam their fingers in both of the fish’s eyes and squeeze, causing the blue to open up. Fortunately, in this case, the pigheaded creature opted to try for a better grip, allowing the finger to escape. The fish then slapped its fins on its sides and growled, “Damn! It got away.”
Your help is very appreciated -- and badly needed -- in sponsoring this website. Please send donations to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008-4418. Many thanks.