Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, November 07, 2014: The bass buzz continues. I’m calling it the first decent striper thrust of the season.
While the size range is just-keeper to 34 inches, I just got messaged about a 30-pounder, I’m not sure where that surf-caught cow was taken. And, believe me, no one is giving up spots right about now – nor shall I, except to say I have a fairly even report flow of bass being caught from north and south LBI, with some fragmented bass-taking action in-between, i.e. mid--Island.
As much as it pains me to admit it, bunker chunks/donuts are the way to go. Also, clams worked for a 33-incher, somewhat south area (four fish caught in all).
While Mark J. and a couple others said they’ve managed a few bass on artificials, it’s the bait that’s taking the big pieces of cake. In fact, some anglers are sniffing out better sites by plugging first and at the first sign of even a bump, switching to bait. Sounds sensible to me.
Water clarity is ranging from coffee and cream in Holgate to turbid but greenish north end. A cleanup of near-beach waters will take place north to south through tomorrow. That turbidity doesn’t matter as much with smelly baits, as some south end folks found out when fishing in that extreme lo-viz coffee water and still pulling out some sweet stripers.
I plugged and plugged until midday with nary a touch. I’m putting my bait rod onto my truck today. That doesn’t mean I’m actually gonna use it but it’s a first step. Plus, I wanna use the sputnik sinkers that Wilber sent me. Also, is anyone getting bass on GULP! alone?
Much like the stomach content photo I put in yesterday’s blog, the bellies of kept stripers hold a mix of calico crabs (mainly), spearing, rainfish and small sand eels. However, the bait du jour in the surf remains bunker -- peanuts to full-sized bunker are out there as we speak.
For the first time this fall I have to alert that some beach areas are downright crowded with anglers, especially near buggy pull-on points and the few northern parking areas that allow easy beach access. I have the luxury of not needing to fight the crowds but I understand what walk-on folks have to go through.
I want to alert beachfront buggyists that the recent storms and today’s blowing sand have kept the mid-beach areas – between the dune zone and the beach berm zone -- holding loose and sinky sand. In many places, there are literally valleys where high tide water gathers. While those valley harden up at low tide, when the water is within, they can become sinkholes.
Holgate is drivable and will likely remain drivable through the tides, due to the wicked west winds holding back high tides. Watch out for nasty little drop-offs from erosion. They’re not high, maybe only a foot or two, but you’ll sure as hell feel it if accidentally driving over one. I read where hitting even a couple-foot drop off can detonate an airbag. That’s a costly hit – and those damn airbags can do a number on your body. Hey, I’m not tryin’ to spook folks, just tryin’ to keep everyone safe.
Warning: While LBI is one of the safest, low-crime places anywhere, DO NOT leave rods on unattended parked vehicles; that particularly applies when walking to nearby beaches to fish – and not feeling like bringing along the entire quiver of rods. As to leaving rods in buggy rod racks overnight, I know of half a dozen brazen thefts under that scenario here on LBI. I call them brazen because in most cases, the perps took every single rod – and any tackle boxes sitting in the back of trucks, i.e. they were pro scumbags who likely reconnoitered first and then literally plan out the caper. I’m told that by cops who investigated. I’ll idly note here that I now use rear- and front-facing video cams – running 24/7. My truck’s bed once got seriously de-tackleboxed at the old Ponderosa (later Ming Dynasty and now Ichiban) on Rte 72. Those thievin’ numbnuts also grabbed a small cooler with utterly rotten bunker in it. I hope they puked.
HAKE HUNT: I had two emails asking about targeting the red and/or silver hake that are in the swash, sometimes in nonstop numbers – providing you’re where they’re hangin’. When they ain’t there, they ain’t there, a bit like kingfish.
As to rigging for hake, many fishing folks balk/gag when I bring up circle hooks but a baited 2/0 circle can easily grab hake (when smaller pieces of bait are used) and at the same time will fully hook even a monster bass. As anyone knows who has hopelessly hooked a bass in the “tough” side of the mouth, there is this mouth cartilage that once a hook has penetrated it you just about need pneumatic tools to remove the hook, so even a small circle hook keeps a rod open for a variety of fish – except you-know-what.
And I’ve just gotten word that you-know-whats are moving in. Slammer blues are in the nearshore mix (boat fishing zone) but I’m not sure they’re in the surf line. Those are two different worlds.
One good feature of all the recent storms and windage might be the scattering of nearshore bunker balls, meaning choppers should be making beachline runs seeking anything edible that can’t escape them. I now wonder if the beached hake in Loveladies yesterday might have had blues, not sharks, on their slimy butts.
Well it's safe to say it went off today! The fish made a strong showing on the beaches! Lots of report and weigh-ins. Check our fishing report for more details.
The last 48 hours has been the best push of fish all fall. They are chewing so get on