Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday May 27 -- Bigger fluke; Night bassing

Friday, May 27, 2011:


This is one of the toughest weekends for local anglers to take. In the drop of tide we go from scant and scattered fishing pressure to full-blown summer conditions. The change is radical but is unavoidable. Put on your friendly vest and go with the flow. Despite the crowds, there is plenty of unused fishing real estate. It’s going to be in insane weekend.

One place that will likely be bumper to bumper with boat anglers is Grassy Channel and the Stinkhouse environs. It’s no secret the fluking there has totally turned on – keeper-wise. Of course, nothing changes faster than a better fluke bite. The most important lingering detail is the fact there are some schools of 18-inch-plus flatties in the inlet mix. Part of a longer report I got: “… I went out Wednesday and caught 4 shorts and 2 keeper fluke at 19" and 19 1/2". Some guy from my marina caught 3, all over 19". Biggest was 22". I haven't seen that in a while. Great start to the season. Matt.” Thanks for the detailed info, Matt. Some of it was little too detailed for publication. I like knowing it, though.

Surf bassing remains hot and not-so-hot but the odds are greatly in your favor if you keep fresh bunker or fresh clams in play. A couple new fish have entered the Simply Bassin tourney. I’ll get the latest leaderboard out early tomorrow.

I was stunned by a 28-inch bass I managed in just half an hour’s worth of throwing some new handmade plugs – equipped with Gama freshwater trebles. I was so tempted to invite that Ship Bottom fish home to dinner but it had some eye damage from long ago – not blind but badly scarred – so I didn’t have the heart. I’m hoping to hit the same jetty before light tomorrow. I’m up anyway doing my wave and rip current report to the Weather Service.

By the by, there seems to be good dark-time bassing starting up, as bunker pods get driven shoreward, very near the beach.

With the new laws protecting nearshore bunker – and their amazing population comeback – I’ll bet anything we’ll be getting back into excellent all-night plugging this summer, like we had in the late 1980s.

At night, I like using very simple black plugs, that swim near the surface. The darker the plug the more pronounced the silhouette, as gamefish look upward from the bottom, where they lurk at night. One of the best night plugger I know, swims dark plugs so slowly he sometimes takes four or five minutes to retrieve the plug all the way, sometimes letting it just sit as he stops to sip a beverage – usually coffee.  Wish I was that patient.  

I’ve had five emails about the late Doc Turanski. He is surely and sorely missed. I’ll be honest, I don’t do funerals any more. I get literally dizzy and sick feeling. I do say a prayer at mass on Sunday. It’s my personal way of privately biding farewell to lost compadres.


NOAA fisheries will be making an announcement on whether it will list bluefin tuna as threatened or endangered under the provisions of the endangered species act today at 11:30 Eastern Time.

Update: NOAA just announced that it is not listing Bluefin tuna as threatened or endangered. They are still concerned about the Gulf of Mexico and the impact of the oil spill on the Western stock. They will revisit the question of listing in 2013.

In May 2010, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) submitted a petition to list Atlantic bluefin tuna under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NOAA had ninety days to respond.

They responded affirmatively that the petition made a credible case for the listing, and moved the status of bluefin to a "candidate" species for listing. They said "We find that the petition presents substantial scientific information indicating the petitioned
action may be warranted."

Following a public comment period last fall, the matter has been under review at NOAA. Today they will announce their findings, and if they declare bluefin a threatened species, they will designate critical habitat measures for the protection of the species.

At the most recent CITES meeting (committee on trade in threatened and endangered species) the U.S. official position was to support a listing of bluefin tuna. 


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