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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

J-mann May 9 -- Winds backing down and my find of the day

Wednesday, May 09, 2007:

Lots of coastal fog today, making boat fishing very tricky, especially close to LBI. The winds backed down and it seems there should be some decent breaks in the gusts, possibly right through the weekend. Look for south winds until the weekend then light north.

Rogue weakies are showing from Barnegat Bay through Manahawkin Bay and down to Great Bay. They are strictly one and done fish. In fact, there is a bit of a concern over the seeming lack of a sustained weakfish bite so far. By the by, those rogues are nearing 15 pounds. Successful baits have ranged from shedders to plastics to live-lined offerings.

Bluefishing was not where it has been. While this is fine for many folks, a blues backdown is not as useful if there aren’t bass or weaks to take up the slack.

There are some bass in the surf, going for clams. However, it remains a pick – and a wait for the big stuff, due any day now. I did some back checking to see what sort of bassing winter they had in NC, Virginia and Maryland. The most I could get chatting with folks down there is “decent.” Sure doesn’t seem it was as lit up as in recent winters. Of course, I also heard some implications that boats are fishing quieter down there after hearing some grumblings (even in-state complaints) about all the big fish they were keeping. I have no way to confirm that but the remark about the grumblings did come from a boat captain thereabouts.

I have to say this weekend is looking pretty primed for fishing. Winds and weather should be passably good and forecasts of slight overcast conditions -- possibly through Sunday -- is a good thing for weakfishing.

A fellow who’s been night fishing says he’s seeing very few surface swimmer crabs.

Story of above photo. I opted to do some digging in the woods today and had this odd guilt feeling that I should have been out fishing instead , Not sure why.

Well, I’ve been digging heavily for years now, particularly dumps from the 1920 to 1940 eras. The number of angling-related items is very limited, that’s why my find today was a shocker. When I dug it, I could see it was a bakelite ashtray. That in its own right is kinda rare since most ashtrays back then were glass, primarily so-called Depression glass. When I wiped off my find and saw the words “Penn Fishing Reel” around the top, I took it as some sort of sign. I still down know what kind.

First, you might know that Penn is not the freebie type but apparently back in the 1930s or 40s they splurged by handing out these bakelite ashtrays.

My find is three inches across. Inside the ashtray is a very cool image of a billfish jumping out of the water and the words “Depend on Penn” under the bill of the fish.

The underside of the ashtray reads “Penn Fishing Tackle MFG. CO. Phila. Pa.” forming a circular pattern. Inside that word circle the ashtray reads, “Compliments and Good Luck.”

Thanks Penn. You made my day over 60 years later.

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