Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday, May 29, 2011:


I’m perpetually under the gun when actually making suggestions in my reports. A suggestion is akin to “burning” a site for way too many cranky casters. So I’ll go very general when I say some amazing bassing is taking place in the surf of LBI, north and south. I won’t say you can’t mss but just this a.m. at church I had four different reports of remarkable bassing, including fish to well over 30 pounds. I then picked up a slew of emails and website reports of similar hot hooking sessions. While the pre-dawn and sun-rise time frames seem the sauciest, a number of folks got good bass when they simply sauntered onto the beach in the afternoon.


As expected, fresh bunker is the bait ticket. However (yahoo), there is some super plugging and jigging also taking fine fish, though not really in the upper-end size frame of those found by chunkers. Still, a 20-pound bass taken on plug is equivalent to a 35-pound bass caught on bait – the hookup, the fight, and the overall rush.


I, along with more surf fishermen than I can count, are lovin’ a mix of new 2011-version plugs and vintage plugs used decades back. I recently scored another fine batch of 1950s vintage artificials. Those 50-years-plug plugs, even when mass produced, often had hand-finishing, especially the paint jobs, eyes in particular.


I’m not claiming the oldies catch better. Or look better. They likely can’t out shine some of the prism finishes on just-hatched plug varieties. Hell, I was looking a new plug finish that changes color (literally) based on how much sun hits it. It truly goes from a gray in low-sun to a flashy wildish green under bright sun. With old plugs it’s the novelty of fishing them, the nostalgia of just tying them on, along with an exceptional catching ability.


By the by, I know that untold numbers of anglers are going flashback by the prices and number of bids on eBay, when older plugs come into play. Fortunately, there isn’t nearly the demand for old saltwater plugs as there is for freshwater types. Still, prices can get testy for a goodly number of prime saltwater lures.


Bluefishing remains very decent. I get some conflicting reports about how decent. Some folks are finding them freely, others aren’t – and, yes, there are many fishing folks that faithfully include blues in their daily targeting regime. A fellow I was chatting with in Norm’s C.’ tools and collectible shop on Rte 9 says his wife gets most excited when he brings home smaller blues, even over bass and fluke. I hear her.


My latest phase of cooking small bluefish fillets is to cover them in a very light coat of sesame oil, then rub/sprinkle the up side with a Cajun or Caribbean spice mix. Jamaica  jerk is great. Preheat a tough pan (either a “well-seasoned” broken in Teflon or, best, a well blackened iron or stainless pan) and heat on high. Once pan is quite hot, quickly lay bluefish fillets down and (important) cover the pan with a tight lid. There is often smoke leakage even with a lid. so get the kitchen blower going or open the door and windows. Cook quickly, until hot side of fish is slightly burnt and top side curls up. This can take under a minute if skillet it hot enough. Try not to over cook. Remove from burner, take off lid (hot steam and smoke) and, if desired, flip fillets for a very fast hit of heat to undarkend side. This usually is unneeded but hits some slight oozing that occurs as fats move to surface. Serve darkened side up. Scrumgolious. A great presentation – and taste combination -- is the steaming filets served over a thick bed of cold homemade cole slaw.


I want to include this upfront report form Walt P. It is a reality sandwich. One I always serve with reports of succulent fishing.

“Got out Friday morning for a couple of hours. Headed south from the inlet looking for bunker. Went as far as HC and turned around. Headed noth from the inlet up past the Coast Gurad station, same bunker status. Tried botttom fishing off the CG station. 1 sundial, 1 skate. Headed back to the inlet looking for some bluefish action, nothing. Went all the way back to the far end of double creek and drifted the entire length on the outgoing for some flatties.

Not a touch, but I have to say it's the cleanest cabbage and snot free spring I've seen. WP.”

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