Tag: weakfish cape may co

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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Back Bay Keeper flounder mid-september

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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.

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.

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.

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.

 

July summer flounder and Striped Bass on tap today

 

One of today's stripers  attacks my lure.

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.

The amazing Weakfish come back, On The Water Magazine May issue

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What is unbelievably  refreshing is how resilient  the weakfish have proved to be. Considering in 2009 Dr. Jamie Geiger of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, suggested that the weakfish stock may have fallen to such lows that managers might wish to consider invoking the provisions of the Endangered Species Act as one of the management tools.  The listing seemed like  a sure bet. As  any fish stock  experiencing  decades of unlimited  commercial and recreational  harvest would surely end  up that way. A timely weakfish recovery was not expected by the ASMFC under any circumstances.

The good news is  they were wrong.  With only three years of historic weakfish regulations  (limited harvest) they are showing up in numbers not seen in decades along the entire east coast.

The return of the weakfish in  this month’s (May )issue of  On The Water magazine covers it well.

http://www.onthewater.com/issues/

Update: 2014 weakfish season was the best for me in a decade.

Beautiful spring weakfish I caught from the sand.

Beautiful spring weakfish I caught from the sand.


CJ Polhamus  with his 30" spring tide runner weakfish

CJ Polhamus with his 30″ spring 2014 tide runner weakfish


Wayne McDermott and a summer 2014 weakfish

Wayne McDermott and a summer 2014 weakfish


Bill with a nice size spring 2014 weakfish

Bill with a nice size spring 2014 weakfish

Kensdock Report: Jimmy Fee catching weakfish, On The Water TV Sunday Jan.19

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Cape May County, NJ weakfish late June 2013.

The weakfish has carved a special place within  many saltwater fishermen. If you are one of them, do not miss this week’s  episode of On The Water fishing show.  Sunday at 10AM on Comcast SportsNet New England. The show is all about the fish that are found   in the New Jersey region. The weakfish are making a come back,  due to the efforts of  many saltwater fishermen. They took the time to write a letter, attend a hearing or make a phone call, asking for a moratorium.  It is such a beautiful thing to see the purple  hue  of the weakfish return to our waters. The management system works best when the  participants  get involved.