Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, September 25, 2011: The weather pulled a fast one – in the best of ways. As I had forecasted, the system that was supposed to soak us all weekend rained itself out on Friday – dousing some Ocean County areas two to three inches of rain in nothing flat. By Saturday a.m., it was a perfect autumn day, with darkish clouds but no rain and perfect conditions for the Decoy Show in Tuckerton.
Fishing has not kept up with the initial push (of bass) last week. There have been some surf stripers taken mainly at higher tides. Still, the pickings have gotten slow, possibly due to this latest batch of milder surf water.
The most pervasive surf bite – along with the nonstop snapper blues – centers on kingfish by the loadful. I can say that because Saturday’s World Series of Surf Fishing was dominated by kingfish, per one of the judges of the event. Small blues were next in line followed by trash fish and a black drum.
The mullet run remains fair to moderate, though this ongoing rust-colored water allows even large pods to pass almost ghost-like. I threw on what looked like a few wounded mullet and loaded the net. The first thick spearing balls are showing, however, this leading fall forage fish has absolutely not been showing in its usual overwhelming numbers.
I think La Nina will impact the next seven to ten days. High humidity and too-warm temps will rule the sky.
Yes, I can repeatedly blame La Nina for the weather. Hey, if everyone else can blame global warming, I can blame the far more definable pacific oscillations – the technical side of El Nino and la Nina.
Fished BL inlet on Saturday on the out & in. Thought I would give some spots a chance to attract a bass or two. All five of my spots fell to an attack by small bluefish leaving nothing but a hook with a head. Caught one nice 4lb blackfish and that was all. Saw one bass come up to a father son live lining mullet. They were not anchored up on the outside of the rocks and in their joy of a hookup it almost became a $2000 fish as they drifted onto the rocks but somehow luckily missed taking off the bottom of their outboard. WP
Jay, Plugged my first bass of the season. It was 14 pounds and had an amazing scar on its tail. Looks like shark tried to take a bite. It was very fat and healthy. I released it. Its scar saved it. G.M.
Not much to report this week, as we've been getting a little vacationing in while things are Septemberly slow. I did get out one day this week to put a couple of blowfish dinners in the box, and it's still drop and reel fishing for the tasty little critters. Landed what had to be close to 200 of them by myself in under three hours, mostly small but enough nice keepers to fill a bucket.
The water is still pretty ugly from all the rain (and runoff) we've had since late last month, but signs of life are starting to appear and our resident population of striped bass seems to be waking up for fall. Just a couple of more weeks and fall bass fishing should be in full swing. I'll probably do a little looking around for albies along the beach this week if the weather is decent as those little torpedos should be around by now, but I've got stripers on my mind and am itching for things to get going.
If this year's spring run was any indication, the fall striper run this year should be excellent as long as the weather cooperates. I've still got a couple of openings in late October, and a handful of dates available in November for anyone that hasn't booked their trips yet.
Until next week.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters