Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

May 31 -- Surf Bass North; Fluking Nothin' New

Monday, May 31, 2010:

I always type with trepidation when one area of LBI suddenly takes over as a stripering hot spot. I dread those whinny fishing folks who hate angling info of any sort being dispersed. Still, I can’t believe it’ll only be me noting the super stripering in the surf at the North End. Not only are Leaderboard Simply Bassin’ fish coming from there but a goodly number of non-tourney stripers are showing, going for both clam and bunker – and even those cursed bunker heads.

However, there are also bass coming to the fore from mid-Island and South End locales. Those aren’t pushing 40-pounds-plus like North End winners, still there are bass to be had -- and people having them for M-Day BBQs.

Hey, make sure to sign up for Simply Bassin’. The bass are just getting larger and there are still weeks to go in that contest. Perennial top-contender Jason DelPalazzo hoisted a 42-14 (48” x 26”) cow to the top of the leaderboard. The smallest bass in the top 8 money fish is 26-9, so it takes a fish at least that large (but over 41 ¼ inches) to edge onto the board. Todd Callan is second with a 38-6. It’s now full steam a(bunker)head for a 50-lber.

Fluking is so pathetically predictable it’s barely worth writing up “the latest.” Report: Tons of hooks ups, very few keepers -- but “We had a good time.” The first big change will be that “Had a good time” angle. The frustration factor when filet-able fish fail to materialize builds in a heartbeat.

I see nothing indicating a major keeper ratio change this year. If you’re in a 10-to-one zone, you’re cookin’. Twenty-to-one, join the crowd. Thirty-to-one and upward, let the justifiable squawking begin.

Believe it or not, there’s a upside to the bad ratio side of things. The lower the take-home count, the less the chance of an early fluke season closure. I know hardly anyone agrees with me that such a premature closure could occur but I have this funny feeling the feds are just inching to flex their “registry” muscle. I also prefer to live by the worrywart method.

The bluefish are out there, often bayside. They are small and skinny, unlike that first amazing push of blues we had. I do get reports and radio chatter about larger pods of blues but they’re hard to come by of late.

I have no word on seabass. Anyone getting any?

Tom Fote and JCAA are trying to get folks geared to the upcoming ASMFC series of striped bass hearings, addressing the possibility of increased commercial takes of bass. The closest hearing will be at run by New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife,

July 22, 7:00 PM, at the Toms River Township Clerk’s Office L. Manuel Hirshblond Room, 33 Washington Street, Toms River, New Jersey.

Contact: Brandon Muffley at (609) 748-2020.

Here’s one (of a number) to Tom’s statements. See the JCAA website for more data and updates.

“In last month’s newspaper, I discussed the vote to start preparing an addendum to increase the commercial coastal striped bass fishery. The vote was very close at that time. As you can see in the meeting summary below, the Striped Bass Board voted for the staff to proceed with the addendum. The information on the votes is below. It surprised me that Connecticut, a state that considers striped bass a gamefish, supported the addendum. It also surprised me that Maryland, Washington, DC and Potomac River, that have expressed their concerns about the Chesapeake Bay stock and disease, also supported the addendum. It also surprised me that the US Fish and Wildlife Service voted to support the addendum when the National Marine Fisheries Service went on the record in opposition. NMFS stated that their concerns about the Chesapeake Bay stock showed this was the wrong time for an increase. The public hearings will be sometime in late June or early July. It will be up to anglers in other states to pressure their state directors and commissioners not to vote for the increase. There is also a measure in this addendum to transfer recreational quota to commercial fisheries. Since we don’t have a state by state striped bass quota, I can’t see how this would happen. But commissioners voted to move forward with this proposal …”

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