Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, July 20, 2012: It was Joe Walsh who wrote, “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do.” Actually, outside of some heat and impressive thunderboomers, the summer has been fairly low on inclemency. That’s crystal clear when confronted by a dismal-ish day like today. However, one doesn’t have to be a Susie Brightnose to recognize this type rain is cleansing things quite nicely and watery some gardens that were starting to get dry-throated. What’s more, this isn’t a torrential rain so its sorta softly whisking away accumulated street grime without deluging it into the bay.

Sorry, to those who are ending a vacation week(s) today.  The weekend will be better. How much better? That’s a tad trickier. Still, if you’re coming down, bring the fishing gear along.


Today’s winds are surely an angling matter. Yesterday, the NE’erlies kicked in quicker and harder than had been forecasted. Some 35 mph gusts this a.m. were also a tad stronger that prognosticated. This is not a nor’easter. Virtually, none of the required nor’easter element are in play at this point. 


There are very few fishing opportunities today. I say that, as I get ready to try some plugging along the New South Jetty, using a cool early-model Van Staal reel I picked up for a song. (You don’t want to know what I paid. I actually gave the gal selling the reel almost three times what she was asking. I even told her she could get way more on eBay but she wanted the stuff gone. I wasn’t going to probe any further.)


Anyway, I’m still convinced this stir might coax in some stripers, even though the water was 76 when I took it earlier -- definitely not to the liking of bass. Fortunately, hunger and instincts often override water temp preferences. Bigger fish hunkering down in way-cooler bottom waters off the coast but know to head toward the beachline in search of storm clams when winds like these kick up. Should the bass cruise this way, they’re sure to run into the spot croakers and small weakies, like they’ve never seen before. 


By the by, I now occasionally use the term “spot croakers” (technically perfectly correct) as a writing matter. Using the word “spot” in a sentence can easily be confusing. A tepid example is, say, “Many spots had many spots, albeit sometimes spotty. I’ll stop at this spot.”


I should point out that some ocean-top boat anglers have run into decent bass balls, so to speak. When the bass are found, they’re thick as bricks. I saw one Facebook picture from a four-person charter with the anglers displaying bag limits – with the captain’s two-catch mixed in. Cool. All the fish were those tasty 30-inch cookie-cutter models. They released a couple larger bass.


Many bassers are tapping into our massive spot presence to store bait for livelining. The best way to gather a gaggle of spot is via castnet.

Penning point: As easy as spot are to keep penned up, they will die in nothing flat from sun-heated shallows or surface waters – where many folks float pens. It’s called thermal shock -- and has been known to devastate even commercial storage pens. 

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