One of today’s keeper size striped bass 29″
I was glassing the open water of the sound when I spotted them, six or so mullet leaping from the water. This little activity put me on a feeding school of migratory stripers , that eventually lead me to the ocean. Just short of the Oceanfront the bass cornered the bait, using a sandbar to their advantage. Turns in the air, stripers on the surface, it was that kind of morning. Today I was under – gunned for these stripers, big migratory bass were in the mix. They made quick work of emptying my reel of line. I hope this was a preview of this year’s fall fishing. The conditions needed for the coveted Jersey reds and speckled trout bite remain elusive. However, all things considered, the striper fishing has been pretty good so far.
A striped bass hunts on top of the marsh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finding the time to target summer weakfish, between the best flounder bite in years and striped bass fishing, is the hard part for me. When I have targeted weakfish, I have been successful most of the time. The tip of the day is the summer weakfish are here for sure. The summer weakfish are smaller than the spring and fall run weakfish. However, there is always a couple of big weakies around in the summer. Ed Teise actually hooked a tide runner weakfish last Friday. Ed has zeroed in on the summer weakfish and is running up his catch numbers. Traditionally the weakfish will begin to feed at night during mid to late summer, it is about that time.
One of today’s stripers attacks my lure.
I headed directly to a spot that I knew was holding bait for the last week. Today I wanted to see if the spot was holding more than keeper flounder. I pulled the anchor knowing the area was holding stripers and weakfish. After, I fished for flounder shortly, catching a nice 23″ keeper. Then I headed to the shallow water to hunt for stripers. I found a good number of stripers. One smoked my drag during a couple of good runs, he was between 30 and 40 inches. Thanks to the clear shallow water I got a good look, before he shook the hook. I continued fishing and catching nice stripers , but the big one got away today. The water temperature that was holding the fish was 70 degrees.