Sunday, September 27, 2009: Waves: Dropping from 5 feet.
There are stripers in the surf. Cobalt blue Gibb’s Polaris are taking. I had a bass roll three distinct times on my large Zara Spook (one that fooled a nice weakie). It was either half blind or simply toying with the snaky swimming plug. Mark J. had a goodly showing of small bass while poppering in rough water, South End.
Here’s an oddish bluefish tale. A fellow I met in Holgate years back dropped by to show me an epic slammer he got on the beach. It was tourney-winning sized, likely pushing upper teens. I really didn’t question why he kept the mega-blue but he offered the oddity part. His son is going to veterinary college and had said if you get “a huge fish” bring it back so I can dissect it. “This fish is going to college,” the angler told me. Now that qualifies as a damn good reason to keep a low-edibility bluefish of that size. The good his son will do as a vet wins the throw-back battle, hands down. And, yes, it really helps to have a larger round fish for dissecting, as I know from my biology days. I’m hoping the angler’s son will also take some chemical readings since most colleges have the centrifugal equipment needed for such analysis.
As for those slammer blues, I thought that monster slammer mentioned above was a freak catch – with the ocean so warm – but a fellow stopped me at Wawa this morning and told of getting into huge blues in the surf. A ditto account came at me outside church. (See, there are other good reasons to go to church: fish reports.)
I didn’t get any reports from the World Series of Surf Fishing, though I hear it was huge this year. A couple church folks, long-timers, said they had never seen that many surfcasters over that big an area.
My angling high point was a major weakfish taken on a Zara Spook at the bend in the beach cut, Holgate. It was the only hit I had. I thought it was a bluefish at first since larger weakfish really fight. I gave it a good look and a quick release. It had recently taken a serious hit of some sort, likely a gashing by a bluefish. It was scabbed over so it didn’t happen during my fight – a time when blues will often take a bite or two, as a hooked fish struggles. Overall, the weakfishing is deplorably bad, though a couple night back -- at that same spot I got the near-tiderunner -- I heard that unmistakable slurp-like sound of weakfish chasing baitfish near the surface.
The fluke are still so thick I caught three while casting new – three different casts. I’ll stick to my scientific guns on this one: I believe there are simply too many fluke for the ecosystem to safely hold – and still allow other struggling species to survive. There is no way young-of-year blackfish, seabass, winter flounder, weakfish and even fluke can run the inlet gauntlets of ravenous fluke all but lining the bottom.
We need the surf to settle to see if that great kingfish bite is still around. With water temps still in the upper 60s – down a bit with the recent winds and rains – these bottom-feeders might be slower than usual in moving along.
HOLGATE HAPPENINGS: Thing have returned to hideous for those buggying Holgate. This last storm ate the beach up to an entirely new treeline, after waves essentially cleared out the old skeletons of former shrubbery. Now, even at low tide you can barely get by a couple spots, maybe ¾ of the way to the Rip. What’s worse, is some of the stubs now exposed are NOT old laurel and bayberry bushed but former cedars. Bad tire news. I don’t care how good your steel-belted radials are, they can’t take driving over a cedar spike. Again, this is mainly the area about ¾ the way down. Yesterday might have been the worst I have ever seen a low tide drive along the Holgate beachfront. The only hope is the upcoming west wind, which will allow fro some sand buildup and what I call the rolling away of the dead brush.