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.
How refreshing and exciting to have a Bass Pro Shop in our region. Bass Pro is the world’s top fishing/outdoor outfitter, hands down. The store is a destination point in itself, with many attractions, like a 11,000 plus gallon fish aquarium. Tomorrow’s Grand opening will be attended by many people of interest, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Celebrities scheduled to appear and sign autographs from approximately 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. include:
• Brian Westbrook, former Philadelphia NFL running back.
• Tony Stewart, driver of Stewart-Haas Racing’s 2015 No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS.
• Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the No. 78 Sprint Cup Series Furniture Row Chevrolet SS.
• Kevin VanDam, four-time Bassmaster Classic Champion, seven-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
• George Poveromo, host of “George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing” television show on NBC Sports.
• TJ Ott, as seen on “Wicked Tuna” television show.
• Captain Bill “Hollywood” Muniz, as seen on “Wicked Tuna” television show.
• Walter Parrott, RedHead pro hunting team member and champion turkey caller.
• Bryan Anderson, Army veteran and purple heart recipient; national spokesperson for USA Cares.
• Cierra Kaler-Jones, Miss New Jersey 2014.
If you attend, stop by and say hello.
I will be talking fishing and hunting all day. I would be glad to answer any question about my recent articles including: the return of the weakfish, back bay summer flounder, striped bass, Jersey red drum and speckled trout. I will be located at the NJOA area, near the entrance. Hope to see you there.
The flounder were hitting my paddle tail rubber bait, as aggressively as the striped bass and bluefish. Dayna caught the biggest flounder today it weighed 4.8 pound. She caught it on an unscented rubber bait. I am sure you could limit out on flounder in the back bay, if you targeted them, using peanut bunker as bait. We had a good mid – day striped bass bite, but the bluefish continue to dominate. The water temperature was 70 degrees on the top of the tide.
This is the best time of year to vacation in Cape May County, NJ. No crowds, plenty of fish, reduced prices and fantastic weather.
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.
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.
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.
Today felt so much like fall, I decided to forgo flounder fishing to hunt summer stripers. It was refreshing to find them with very little effort. I was sloppy in my approach to the spots , but I still hooked up at most locations. In one area they were feeding on peanut bunker and they had no interest in my favorite paddle tail. What is exciting is the amount of bait fish I continue to see in the area this year. If the numbers of bait fish hold, this fall striper fishing will be much better than last year.
One of the advantages of living in close proximity to the areas you fish, is it allows you more time to fish. I had not planned on fishing today, but . As I pulled back on the throttle, I found clear blue water, one of the conditions I was seeking. However, the water temperature was a little chilly. I checked seven spots before I found good conditions . The spots that were holding fish were two degrees warmer than the others. The water temperature was 63-68 degrees. Fishing pressure ranged from heavy to non existent depending on the spot. Total time spent 2 hours 35 minutes.
The extra-large full moon tide, filled the sound with crystal clear ocean water. The view of all the marine life on and around the flats was spectacular. What I thought was a giant striped bass chasing bait, turned out to be a large shark aggressively feeding on striped bass! No time for a picture.
It was a beautiful day for flounder fishing. I ended the back bay safari with three keeper flounder. The largest was 23.5″, 4.9 pounds. I fished for two hours and ten minutes. The water temperature was 66 degrees at the top of the tide. Fishing pressure ? It looked like everybody was on the water today, including very busy fish and game officers and State Troopers.