Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, May 02, 2011:


The bass are all over the place. That doesn’t mean they’re right where you’re fishing but the odds are mighty good you’ll find some from boat or bank. Chatted with an angler who worked a mid-Island beach with nary a nibble only to walk away, as a newbie arrived – and landed a 34-inch bass. Par for the fishing course.


I haven’t gotten much info on weakfish – though I first-handedly know a few are out there. These fish are spawners and must be released if there is any hopes of keeping a local stock going. In fact, they should also be handled gingerly if caught and released. A swollen female can easily be internally damaged through rough handling.


Winter floundering is fair to good. Short days due to bag limits. Nearly all serious local fishing being done in west Barnegat Bay, with a dedicated group also working the ICW near LBI, north-ish end.


Lead prices continue to rise with other metals. That will trickle into sinker costs. Good time to resurrect tucked away sinkers, stored in garage of attics. Jighead costs will also rise rapidly due to overall cost of all materials involved.


Can someone tell me what “RTW” lures are?


During my recent digging of old dump sights, I found a brass fly reel from way back. I’ll clean it up and see if I can get a brand name off of it. It isn’t in the greatest of shape but being it’s solid brass, which holds up amazingly well in the ground, it might display well when buffed a bit. I’ll soon include a photo in here.


I often get asked where to find non-new kayaks. This is a good time of year to buy used ones, as folks clean attics, garages and such. Also, local kayak businesses just might be unloading some test yaks, as newer models arrive. Garage sales also go crazy from now though June. Check ads in The SandPaper. Sellers usually list what they’ll have at their garage sales. Of course, a brand spankin’ new kayak is quite cool.

As for the paddles, they really should be bought new, from one of kayak places hereabouts. A paddle needs to be matched perfectly, based primarily on arm length – and arm strength. I prefer lightweight composites. They can get a tad pricey (not real bad) but they truly make or break a paddling day. Also, paddles should be matched to the kayak, so bringing your yak along just to buy a paddle is quite wise. Don’t forget to get a leash/tether system for the paddle. You don’t realize how hopeless it can be to move a kayak should you lose the paddle. With many saltwater anglers dealing with strong currents, losing a paddle means you’re down to a flare gun. You do have a flare gun, right? A whistle, at least (required by law)? Cell phone with towboat numbers programmed in?








DEP Commissioner Responds to Public Requests and Legislative Appeal


It's official, New Jersey's summer flounder season will begin this Saturday, May 7.



The Recreational Fishing Alliance's New Jersey Chapter (RFA-NJ) chairman Capt. Adam Nowalsky was notified by the Bureau of Marine Fisheries that the summer flounder regulations recently approved by the Marine Fisheries Council were officially signed off on by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin this past Friday afternoon.



"We are happy the season will go forward as planned," said Capt. Nowalsky, who cited calls to the DEP office from public and letters of support from Congressman Frank Pallone and District 1 Legislators Sen. Jeff Van Drew, and Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matt Milam as the reason for quick action by the Commissioner.



Nowalsky said an email blast sent out by the RFA-NJ last Thursday urging RFA members to help in an appeal to the DEP helped secure the season was opened on time.  "The Bureau did their job getting the regulations to the DEP quickly, the public did their job getting involved, and the legislators did their job supporting their constituents."



Nowalsky said he hoped the DEP will act quickly on black sea bass measures that are to be decided on May 5.  "It is good to know we have a strong support base at all levels to get things done if needed," said Nowalsky.




Advocacy Group Hopes To Avoid Conflicts Along Northern Coast



RFA-NJ Chairman Capt. Adam Nowalsky, along with a contingent of recreational anglers representing the party, charter and non for-hire sector, recently met with representatives from the Garden State Seafood Association (GSSA) and menhaden purse seine bait fishery. The meeting comes in preparation for the spring menhaden harvest that coincides with the spring trophy striped bass fishery.



The recreational striped bass fishery and the purse seine fishery for menhaden operate in close proximity along the North Jersey coast, and an increase in participation in recent years has occurred in a relatively small area where both menhaden and striped bass are found in viable quantities.  Accordingly, several conflicts have taken place during recent spring fishing seasons, particularly in 2010.



"We appreciate the willingness of the commercial sector to work with RFA-NJ and the recreational anglers of the state on this issue," said Capt. Nowalsky who said that topics of discussion during the meeting focused on spatial conflicts, aggressive tactics, availability of bait, incidental harvest of striped bass and adherence to regulations. Communication was cited as a potential area of improvement to avoid conflict.



Pro report:


“This week the weather cooperated with us and so did the striped bass! The calm waters of the bay continue to provide good to excellent action for those light tackle enthusiasts who's passion is shallow water popper and or surface plugs on light spinning tackle. The viscous visual surface strikes from striped bass are a flat out blast to witness! The action has been enjoyed by both beginner and expert, making for a lot of fun for all onboard [including me!]. Strangely, since last week's first bluefish we have not landed another one, but no matter as the striped bass have provided enough action to keep everyone engaged. The striped bass have ranged in size from 25-34" testing the skills and endurance of our anglers. Clam chunking has also provided solid action from striped bass with drum spicing the catch for some. While the outside [ocean] continues to be lagging in action due to the low water temperatures, look for this to change almost overnight. For anyone interested in getting in on some great striped bass action I have 1 spot open for Thursday May 5th [8hrs] and 2 spots open for May 6th evening 4-9pm. All trips are limited to 4 anglers total. Call or email for details. Remember to join us on Face book to view more photos and action. Best Regards,

~ Capt. Steve Purul, Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters  609.290.1217”


Pro report:

”Well it's that time of year: Barnegat Bay is coming back to life after an oh-too-long winter and it's time to start fishing again. Hope that everyone has survived the cold and you're looking forward to this season as much as I am.

We've had the boat back in the water for the last two weeks, but the incessant winds and seemingly daily fog bank that's been descending on the bay have limited our scouting around to just a few trips. The good news is that there seem to be quite a few fish around for this early in the season. They've been mostly shorter fish that likely held over through the winter in the warm waters near the power plant, but I've had action on every outing and that's always a good sign for April. Bay striper fishing should continue to improve right through the month of May with every passing day. Once the bunker schools start moving along the beach later this month, we should also be seeing some true trophy bass fishing that lasts right through the month of June.

North Jersey's Cam Rispoli and John Ferrara were down on Friday to open up our 2011 charter season, and it wasn't too long before John laid claim to the boat's first keeper striped bass of the season with a 32 inch lady that fell for a clam bait in Double Creek Channel. There were also some signs that the first wave of bluefish have started to arrive, so we'll probably be mixing it up  between plugging the flats with topwater lures and anchoring with clams for the next couple of weeks as the striper bite builds.

I've still got a couple days open the week before Memorial Day this year, as well as several prime June dates available. Time to put the winter behind and get out fishing.

Until next week,

Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters


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