Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, August 21, 2010: Waves: Building 2- to 2.5-foot north swell. ...
Winds have kicked up out of the north (up to 15 mph). Early-day fishing will feel the effects of this wind. The winds will do one of those 180-degree shift to the south. We’ll then be in a south flow though tomorrow with a shift back to NE. Some weather will also arrive by tomorrow. Overall, a workable angling weekend but a tad more challenging that most weekends this summer.
Very little of change in the fluking, short of a slight overall drop in the total catches – and, seemingly, a slight improvement in the keeper rate.
We continue to be hurting for any sizeable gamefish, with the exception being some sport sharks, browns and duskies. While the hooking is far from the those fine sharking days of the 80s, it is better than we’ve seen in quite a few years. It’s unlikely the recent conservation efforts are showing since these are larger shark – and well over 10 years old. However, it shows the merit in preserving larger sharks. As most folks know, sharks are actually a tad delicate despite their tough reputation. They have to be unhooked carefully – and landed quickly when possible. If their bladder breaks, they’;re goners. Sharks have one of the highest mortality rates of any fish after being caught and released. Even a modest carefulness by the angler greatly helps the cause. Unhooking outside the boat or controlling the tail swing when a fish is boated helps prevent the shark from doing excessive internal damage. Reviving is always a sporting way of releasing any fish.
A kayak angler told me he’s been seeking sharks near Little Egg Inlet but having no luck. I directed him toward some better hooking areas and hope to get any tales he’ll have about working a large shark from a yak. One of the craziest rides for me while yak fishing was after hooking sharking and instead hooking a monster ray or skate. Never landed. Note: Please be alert of the possibilities of a kayak out there after dark – outside the channel in most cases. Hey, a kayak is larger than you’re average buoy and you’re alert to those, for sure. I have a bright yellow kayak and keep a very reflective red/white antenna-like warning rod up at night.
Email: “Jay. Been doing very good on fluke this summer. The odd thing is they have little or no food in their stomachs when I clean them. Is this a sign of foraging problems?”
(Absolutely not. The standing observation this summer is how fat the fluke are. Many anglers have said they’ve never seen such flat fluke. The reason they’re empty-bellied is most often the astounding regurgitation mechanism in fluke. They purge almost the minute they begin fishing after being hooked, far quicker than the likes of bass and blues. One other smaller factor has to do with the eating habits of fluke. Studies clearly indicate they go into protract non-feeding periods, marked by virtually no intake. There’s always the chance you hooked a fish right as it was breaking out of a seeming meditation period. And they are voracious during those break-outs. J-mann))
The summer may be starting to draw to a close, but the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are still fishing and catching in high gear.
In the most unusual catch of the summer, Captain Tim Knorr of the charter boat “William Knorr” had the John Donegan party out for a night chumming trip at the Barnegat Ridge for bluefish. At some point during the night’s fishing they hooked up with something that they knew was entirely too big to be a bluefish. When they finally got the fish to the boat and aboard, they discovered they had a 69-pound cobia. Very often cobia are caught very late in the summer around Little Egg Inlet but this is rare for the middle of the summer. Cobia are reputed to be one of the most delicious fish around.
Captain Fran Verdi of the “Drop Off” reports big swells and high winds have made fishing a bit difficult on the local artificial reefs. On Friday he fished a reef and found some short fluke and one keeper sea bass. He says the sea bass are still spawning and are actually piled high on the bottom but have little interest in feeding right now. Captain Fran will keep targeting fluke until the end of the season on September 6 and then turn his attention to sea bass which should be done spawning. He adds the keeper ratio is better in the ocean than the bay. Of all the baits he uses, he prefers the tradition squid and minnow sandwich over everything else.
Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish” reports the fishing was a bit slow due to the cooler water temperatures, but he was fortunate to find some fish. He located some keeper fluke in the Little Egg Inlet as well as some farther offshore. He has been using both Gulp and clam. On Sunday the McKay family from East Windsor had a solid day of fishing including some big black sea bass caught by eight year old Molly McKay.
The “Hot Tuna” and its charter braved some strong east winds last Saturday mid-day to head offshore for a 24-hour canyon chunking trip. The party, organized by Mike Kellogg, found pleasant overnight chunking conditions but only caught one small mako. They did net over 100 squid attracted by the lights. The evening and morning trolling portions of the trip worked better as they produced 4 yellowfin tuna, a wahoo and bonito. Capt Bob Gerkens of the “Hot Tuna” was assisted on the charter by Captain Fran Verdi, who took a day off from his own charters to run the cockpit, with the assistance of Junior Mate Pat Zavacky.
Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com or by calling 1-877-LBI-BHCFA (1-877-524-2423).