Tag: Avalon fishing

The last weakfish of the 2014 season ?

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It is time for me to focus on Jersey red drum and speckled trout, so  today’s  weakfish could  be the last of the season for me. The first red drum of the fall season has been caught, I call this fish the motivator.  The fishing news travels at the speed of light today , even with the (do not tell anybody)  tag on it.  I am sure the Jersey red drum specialist will be fishing a little harder next week. The peanut bunker, mullet and snapper blues are still pretty thick in the back waters and along the beachfront. We need the water temperature to drop a few degrees  and a good NW wind to jump start the fall fishing season.

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Weakfish

 

Ed Teise shows one of the weakfish he caught today.

Ed Teise shows one of the weakfish he caught today.

Large pods of  mullet and peanut bunker  darkened  the water as they passed the boat.  We could hear, but not see,  the  striped bass exploding on the bait fish.  The mullet and peanut bunker  were seeking refuge from the stripers  in the tide covered marsh grass. We had no interest in catching  striped bass during this trip, but their performance did enhanced our fishing. The  weakfish had our attention from the first cast to the last today. “Drag screaming weakfish, describes today’s weakies. We caught them during a 2 hour window of opportunity.  It was a beautiful September evening to be saltwater fishing.

Tide runner weakfish in September

 

September tide runner weakfish 2014

September tide runner weakfish 2014

Finding big  weakfish in the fall can  cause  insomnia for me. Big weakfish will not hold in one spot for  long this time of the year. I  will usually fish every tide until they move on.  Sure enough, this pod of fish only held for a few days.  Now I can catch up on sleep and a few responsibilities, before the hunt begins again.

If you are interested in how to catch weakfish,  check out the 2014 May addition of  On The Water magazine NY/NJ addition.   http://www.onthewater.com/magazine/

Weakfish bite continues into September

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The bluefish have made an impressive appearance this season in Cape May County, NJ. Today  schools of blues in the 3-5 pound range covered  acres of water. It looked like fall with the mullet being pushed and the turns working above. However, it did not feel like it, it was hot. The water temperature topped 80 degrees  for the first time this season, in the area I was fishing. The temperature rise completely shut down the striped bass bite in my spots.

The weakfish  more than made up for the lack of stripers. They  hit and fought like spring tide runners today.I love catching weakfish. One 5 pound weakfish,  is worth 10 stripers in my book. Great day on the water.

Striped bass keeper size at noon today in Cape May, NJ

 

30" striped bass caught on a 4' paddle tail lure

30″ striped bass caught on a 4′ paddle tail lure today Sunday August 31,2014  at noon. 

I untied the lines and head directly to the spot I was fishing yesterday, but today it was dead.  The conditions were different today, so I was not surprised.  I ran at  full throttle  to a new location, based on the conditions. Sure enough, the striped bass were in the area. It was a short trip today, I only fished about 45 minutes. The water temperature is moving up again, it was 76 degrees on the top of the tide. The water was clear about an 8,  on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the clearest.

Please do not misconstrue the condition of the overall striped bass stock, it has been in steep decline for ten years. The striped bass run last fall was non-existent  in Cape May County, NJ. It  was the worst I  have seen, since the  80’s.  In 2005 a warning was issued by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council’s  biologists : “reduce  the harvest by  x %  or the  weakfish stock will collapse. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA)  and others pressured the council into disregarding the warnings. The ASMFC  did not make the reduction in harvest,  and the weakfish stock totally collapsed.

Collectively we can ensure they do not make the same mistake with striped bass, by making a call, sending an e-mail, writing a letter or attending a meeting.

 

On September 4, 2014 at the  Galloway Twp. Branch of the Atlantic Co. Library, 306 East Jimmie Leeds Rd., Galloway, NJ 08205, at 4pm. there is a meeting to discuss options to reduce the striped bass harvest.   The option that provides the largest cut back in harvest, over the shortest time frame,  is the only  option that brightens the future.

Rest assured, that there will be interested at the meeting that will not support the necessary harvest reductions.  They will be looking out for their short-term financial situation, in complete disregard of the future of striped bass and the jobs they support.

Keeper size striped bass on Labor day weekend

 

IMG_1685 The bluefish  finished off almost all of my favorite rubber baits before I found the stripers.  There was very little fishing pressure, but the wave runners and water sport boats were all over. It is hard enough to find keeper stripers during the day in August without the traffic. These guys are up and down small creeks and skinny water, so it took some  effort to find undisturbed water . They are enjoying the water just like me, so it is all good. Just about every cast produced a fish, once I found them.  It was a  beautiful day to be on the water.

Labor day weekend blues

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The bluefish were  thick  and feeding   aggressively  today. They destroyed bags of my favorite rubber baits. I was targeting weakfish , but the blues were not allowing my jig to get by them. Actually, it was nice to find them in our  back waters in good numbers. I continued to fish until I was out of rubber baits.  They are the perfect size for eating.  Bluefish would  make a great addition to a  labor day barbecue.  They should be cooked the same day they are caught  to ensure the best flavor.

Stripers in the dark

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The new moon night is usually the darkest, but it was pretty dark last night. The stripers could be heard, not seen,  popping along with bait fish splashing.  The bite really slows after days of north east wind, like we had recently. The spot I was fishing is an excellent summer weakfish spot.  I was hoping even with the bad condition I would still catch one, I didn’t. However, the striped bass picked up the slack.

August tide runner weakfish

 

One of today's tide runner weakfish

One of today’s tide runner weakfish

The more difficult the hunt,  the more value and satisfaction is found in the catch.  Targeting and catching big weakfish this time of the year takes some effort, but is beyond satisfying, it is a rush.

August weakfish bite in Cape May,NJ

 

August 2014 weakfish

26″ August 2014 weakfish

I fish hard and often, but a Saturday night fishing trip is usually off-limits for me, saved for entertaining. However, this Saturday night I was able to fish. Ed had been flounder fishing with me earlier in the day,  and  invited me to fish  a weakfish spot that has been red-hot.  Ed Teise has earned a reputation as one of  New Jersey’s  top weakfish specialist. Knowing  the night tides of August hold  quality weakfish, coupled with Ed’s reputation,  I was gearing up early.  As we cautiously  worked  our way across a slew , that runs through a sand  flat, pods of  bait fish could be seen moving over the flat. The weakfish and stripers could be heard popping, each having a signature sound. It was a cool ” August night,   that proved to be well worth the loss of sleep.