Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, August 16, 2012: This day is in the running for the finest of the summer: mild, dry, light winds, 75-degree ocean, singing locusts.
To me, the strangely lonesome, oft-protracted whine of a high-treed 17-year locust is the ultimate sound of deep summer, a rising, then falling, siren’s song, marking late dog days.
Some Pine Barrens locusts –technically cicadas -- have visited us on LBI today, due to a few goodly gusts of west winds that came across the Pinelands late yesterday and wafted throughout the night. These largest of North America’s flying insects are very inclined to look for love – the reason they whine – wherever the wind takes them.
Despite their largeness – and room clearing capacity, should one fly into your office – they are utterly harmless.
I once wrote about the Piney game of listening to the locusts praying. You catch a big-ass locust and hold it in your tightly cupped hands. The darkness calms it down. Then you tell some Chatsworth tourist you have a “praying locust” and tell them to listen real close right next to your hands. When they lean in, you open your hands just a crack, next to the listener’s ear. That tiny show of light activates the locust, which will fly like a dump truck with wings, right into the listener’s ear. Hey, summers were long, hot and insufferably boring back in the day. Nailing just one tourist ear could make an entire summer.
As for fine fishing, it’s there for the taking – on all fronts. I’ll be a tad over-indulgent by saying: If you can’t find some fishing action today, you just don’t have it all together – place, bait, technique.
As I nabbed a few more late-day fluke yesterday – in crystal clear mid-Island waters approaching 80 degrees – I couldn’t help but notice my just-purchased white 4-inch grub GULP! super-enhanced hooking, way beyond my beloved Fin-S.
I know that’s a “Duh!” thing but it got me thinking about this insanely hot fluking summer. I have no doubt the fluke are bricked along the bottom. The stocks are fine. However, I’m wondering if the seeming excessive hooking this summer might be a reflection of the GULP! factor, especially in the surf, where the standard minnie/squid combo is too hard to keep a-hook.
Using ¾-ounce Kalin “half-bullet” jigheads, which have super grabby prongs to hold plastics, I threw the same GULP tail through three fluke landings and a load of short hits, finally losing the tail to a tailor blue. I was tempted to toss just the grub part, to see how much the scent was playing into the fluke grabs but darkens set in.
By the by, I see folks throwing away larger, longer GULP baits after they get damaged. Just the pieces of GULP can be recharged and latter used for kingfish bait and such. Trick is to keep them in the bag or recharge with GULP juice.
Jim Hutchinson Sr.
The boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are finding some good fishing on the inshore wrecks and artificial reefs. After a couple of weeks of sub-standard results on this bottom fishing action, some larger fluke are showing up along with some numbers of good sized black sea bass. In contrast, the bite in the bay waters has turned into practically all catch and release of under sized fish.
The “Miss Beach Haven” with Captains Frank Camarda and Brant Whittaker has been experiencing some steady reef action including two really standout fish caught recently. A 12-year old angler boated an 8.2 pound fluke on a rental rod fishing in the stern of the boat. A 7.9 pounder was also brought aboard. Mate Sal Rosa reports that schools of triggerfish have been appearing lately with some nice catches of these on the “Miss Beach Haven.” He said that at times a half dozen triggerfish would follow the baits to the surface, and he is telling the anglers to retrieve slowly in hopes of coaxing a bite.
Captain Lindsay Fuller on the “June Bug” has had a couple of inshore reef trips recently and reports that although they had some problems with the weather, they had plenty of action on undersized fluke. Captain Lindsay passes along the word that offshore fishing is picking up again with bigeye tuna showing up in good numbers but moving from canyon to canyon following the bait. After spending time in the Washington Canyon, they have most recently been found in the Toms Canyon.
There have been reports of 1-3 pound bluefish around close to the beach in good numbers that are providing good action on trolling feathers.
Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com or by calling 877-524-2423.