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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

October 31, 07 -- Happy H -- but no spooky hookups

Wednesday, October 31, 2007: Waves: Choppy 2 foot south windswell. Water clarity: Very good. Water temps: Generally low 60s.

Winds: brisk south all day.

I just closed out the day with a bluefish per cast by standing on a sandbar, south end. The blues were attacking more arriving peanut bunker. The fish chased the bunkies inside the bar, into extreme shallows where even fat herring gulls could just dip their grubby heads underwater and grab one. But there were more than bass on the late-day bunker passages. Bass to 20 pounds were caught by folks chasing the bait. A number of the bass were caught on plugs but the bigger ones went for snagged bunker. I had three major swipes at my plug by bass. It was very easy to see them in the shallows. In fact, just before dark mark J. signaled me down to where he was, as bass breached the sandbar and were blasting the bunker in the shallows. We watched as bass easily 20 pounds came just about fully out of the water. Neither of us got a hit on our plugs, though.

Odd thing about both the bass and blues, they were totally disinterested in chunk baits, bunker or clams. Many caster had dead sticks with major chunks on-line. Even when the insane bunker/bass/blues action was right in front of the rods, the gamefish ignored the big baits and instead went for those snagged bunker – or plugs. Kinda weird.

It seems we may be in a protracted spell of bunker-based action. The bait is thick but doesn’t seem overly anxious to head out, as indicated by today’s pods, which were going southward then turning around and heading back north, just back and forth. It was easy to see them doing this via the birds and the splashes.

Oddly, very few gannet are showing. This is time when they’re usually flocking—and dive-bombing -- by the hundreds. Could be the water is still too warm or they’re finding plenty of bunker further out at sea.

Weather chatter: Weatherly folks are watching the very large tropical storm Noel, now near Cuba and about to hit the SE sections of Florida. Noel is “large” in size and volume, though not overwhelming, wind-wise, pushing 50 mph, tops. The concern is the way the storm has stopped its westerly movement and is showing signs of heading straight north, as predicted. It should then head rapidly northeastward. How far north it gets before a cold front crossing the country turns it out to sea is a tough call. The storm is so wide that it wouldn’t have to get much further than North Carolina to get us pumping NE winds to gale force. That’s not real likely but with our south end beaches already skinny, the last thing we need is a late-season tropical storm. We should see some groundswells from the storm, possibly by this weekend. However, we are on a waning moon and conditions are poor for swell migration – the ability of swells generated from a storm to move outward; that can vary dramatically based in astronomical conditions. Prime swell-transporting capacity of the ocean is right before full moon.

That inclemency out of the way, the skies will surely by quite sunny (above and beyond the winds).

Elsewhere on LBI, we have bass – and then we don’t. During good-hooking times, there are a slew of bass in the 28- to 35-inch range being caught, mainly on baits, clams topping the list. The stripers are not tightly packed. Anglers are getting them at a one-per-jetty pace, but the wide range of the takes – B.L. to Holgate -- is a sure sign things are bassing up out there.

I have to be discrete about this, but there are some glory holes with bass in east Manahawkin Bay. And we’re not talking small fish by any stretch. It almost exclusively a boat bite – unless you happen to be working a bayside home where you distance-chuck a clam chunk from a backyard dock.

Here’s a Barnegat Inlet report: Barnegat Bay bassing has been very good and consistent. The recent weather has dropped the bay to 55 degrees and the ocean into the low 60’s. Yesterday I had Captain Jack on board for a three hour tour during which time we boated 9 bass keeping 1 for dinner. All of the fish were caught inside on live bait. Capt. Jack out fished me but that is OK since I was at the helm positioning the boat for him.
Capt. Alex Majewski ^09-698-8326 Lighthouse Sportfishing

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