Beautiful, glass calm gin clear waters. Very quite , zero fishing pressure, no wave runners, absultly nobody around. This makes for a good time to stalk striped bass up on the flats. It is very much like fishing for bonefish on the tropical sand flats. The difference being, striped bass are bigger and strong game fish. Striped bass are caught in a number of ways,trolling,chumming with clams, drifting live eels, all fun. However, catching these world class game fish in the shallow waters of our sand and mud flats, on light tackle or fly rod, is truly sport fishing at its best.
Sure enough, the weather calmed down and the fishing is picking up. Chip Gruff caught 26 summer flounder, with 4 keepers. He Just missed a limit trip, a nice one was lost at boat side. I was out just for a short trip and picked up 3 keeper summer flounder to 23″. The fishing should be good this week for, summer flounder, Black Drum, weakfish , Mako shark and maybe tuna. Excellent time to use some vacation or sick days.
Today CJ polhamus was driving the Stone Harbor NJ beach hunting for striped bass when he noticed hundreds of mantis shrimp in the surf line. He got out of his beach buggy van for a close look and found half of the shrimp alive.They were very lethargic and more than likely not going to make it.
Hundreds of laughing gulls were seen feeding on peanut bunker in the same conditions, off of Matt’s landing road in the Delaware bay. Tomorrow’s low tide could give us a better look at the damage. Hopefully the kill is not to extensive.
The conditions for red drum and speckled trout have not lined up this season, yet. However, the stripers are always fun to stalk. Today they were up on the marsh during the flood tide. This is really a lot of fun, as the stripers will hold in the grass. The above striper held tight as we approached. I was able to get a couple of pictures without him even flinching. When he finally realized we could see him in the grass, he darted out of sight in a split second. Today we cherry picked stripers for hours.
I had planned on pushing hard for speckled trout and red drum this week, but the conditions are not in place yet. However, targeting and catching weakfish this time of year is just as rewarding. The NE wind that is blowing today could jump start the weakfish east south migration, ending the season in the back waters. The water temperature is 68 degrees and the water clarity is excellent. This was a beautiful day to be saltwater fishing.
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/
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.
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.
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.