Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(It is that humbling time of year when I hold the hat out for my one annual donation drive. I’m heading toward my 15th year and I promise there are a load of various expenses. Every donated penny goes to covering costs. I also want to assure that I absolutely do not EXPECT donations from anyone. Some folks have annually been kind – and I want them -- and all -- to realize that I’m thankful for past help but fully understand some years are better than others. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Also, I can be PayPal-ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. )
Monday Oct. 17, 2011: Winds have dropped and fishing pressure is decent for a weekday but there is something of a surprise swell. Big groundswells to almost 6 feet have the surfers lovin' it but it keep the surf mighty stirred. Makes for some serious lead to hold bottom.
Boat fishing is as calmly doable as it's been in many days, however, the pressure was quite low with only a handful of vessel working inlets and nearshore. Again, that massive pullout (of vessels) for Irene has made this a high portage boat fishing fall.
I got some afternoon plugging and netting in. I did find some mullet but couldn't draw fish. I saw a load of other pluggers catching the same squat I was. Although we're way past mullet run time, all this warmth has the famed baitfish a tad confused. I watched schools of mullet feeding bayside. That is often (though not always) a sign the forage fish aren't sure of where they're at. They've begun doing what is most familiar, per their limited life experiences: eating. I saw a load of bayside mullet eating bottom material. They're essentially waiting for any updates from their instincts.
I pulled in a net's worth of peanut bunker. No real need of them right now so I loosed the load.
While there are still no spearing, a hefty showing of striped killifish, a.k.a. s***head or hardhead minnows, has begun. These misunderstood minnies are tough customers. Not only are they tiny bulldogs, able to take water conditions few other fish can tolerate, but they can grow larger than any other mummichog minnows. I've netted some over six inches in length.
By the by, it's utter nonsense that these forage fish aren't much as bait. Not only do large fluke savor s***heads but the largest can be live-lined for bass -- and any other gamefish. I've taken nonstop weakfish (years back) by netting larger hardheads, hooking and flipping them just off the drop-off of the back cut in Holgate. I also took a decent bass live-lining a large one.
DISTURBING HOLGATE EVENT: As my recent photo showed, a large sailboat was stubbornly grounded in Holgate. And it became a major effort to refloat it. It took the excavating of a big hole around the vessel to get it upright and finally pulled out to sea. In the wake of the boat's freedom, a disturbing tale came my way.
As if the owners of the vessel didn't have enough headaches, it turns out they also had to thwart a theft attempt during their unscheduled stay on the far south end. Essentially standing guard, two of the men from the vessel were sleeping inside the vessel Saturday night. In the wee hours, they were awakened by the sound of aluminum cans rustling. The ruckus was actually an improvised alarm system.
The men had rigged their topside motorized dinghy to rattle should anyone mess with it. Seems the men knew human nature all too well. Sure enough, within the black of night someone of the lowest of seaside scruples had snuck up to the grounded boat, figured no one was around and went after dinghy's motor. The lowlife actually got the motor off the mount. As he was on the move, he must have tripped the canny alarm. The men inside awoke but then had to somehow negotiate their ways out of the heavily a-lean vessel -- no small task if you've ever tried to move quickly on a thoroughly askew surface.
By the time the men reached the deck, the thief-in-the-night realized he had been detected. He dropped the loosed motor, scurried off to a nearby Jeep-type SUV and rattled off. The men were so thankful just to recover the motor they didn't pursue the thief, via a call to the cops.
While it might be said that all's well that ends well, a scummy act like this flies in the face of all Holgate buggyists. In fact, this theft try might have featured someone who had seen or heard about the stranded vessel and made a move on it, not necessarily a Holgate regular.