Striped Bass! Perch! Winter Flounder! Drum! Weakfish! Fluke! Blue Claw Crabs!
While the first three are old news the second half is music to our ears! The striped bass fishing is strong. Both early season spots are lit up and activity has spread out elsewhere in the bay too. Softbaits and bucktails are doing the trick as well as natural baits like clam and worm. White perch fishing has been good. Today we got a report that it was on fire mid week with some quality fish size in the mix. We also heard herring were boiling too. Store staffer Steve-o reports there are winter flounder in the mid-island bay. He got a couple fishing yesterday.
Word broke a couple days ago on the season’s first black drum, weakfish and fluke. Only waiting on the yellow eye demons and we’ll have a full house. A customer was in the shop earlier Friday buying clams. While here he reported catching a quality black drum Thirsday but didn’t want to share where. Captain Steve of Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters recently put his clients on the season’s first weakfish and first fluke! See his report which is a separate post.
Yesterday we had a customer buy a bucket full of frozen bunker. He stopped back today with a positive report. “Two dozen blue clabs!” They are out of the mud or they skipped burrowing into hibernation.
With a good stretch of weather laid out we are optimistic on local fishing. So far we’ve had a great weekend. We currently have a small amount of live surf clam left as well as live green crabs and salted clam. We sold out of live bloods. If you can’t find worms we have DynaBait Freeze dried blood and sand worms in stock. Try them they work! If you want to wet a line stop in and we’ll hook you up.
Here’s some news from Van Staal… The super popular Van Staal VR Series family of fishing reels is getting a baby brother soon. Craig at Van Staal stopped by the shop a couple weeks ago and showed us the prototype. We were impressed with it style and feel. Nothing innovative, just a rock solid all metal spinning reel made for fishing by fisherman. What’s so complicated with that? Anglers have been asking for something like this for years.
Here’s a recent photo of Craig putting the VR50 to the test! Stay tuned for its release. We expect it will be shown at ICAST this July.
Here’s some news on the LEI Dredging…
Little Egg Inlet Dredging Expected to Begin in Early July
Apr 05, 2017
A project to clear dangerous shoals from Little Egg Inlet is projected to start mid-summer, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP’s Division of Coastal Engineering is expediting dredging of the inlet, which is a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern Long Beach Island and Brigantine to the south.
“We’re hoping to advertise the request for proposals this month,” said DEP press officer Lawrence Hajna. “Allowing for the procurement process and fish-migration timing restrictions, we would expect work to begin in early July.”
The project will focus on shoaling of sand on the oceanside of the inlet. Currently, in many places the channel has become less than 6 feet below mean sea level, making navigation very difficult, especially when contending with waves. An estimated 1 to 1.5 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged to create a channel 25 feet below mean sea level.
“This situation has become critical so we are moving forward, using state money, to dredge the channel and make it safe again for everyone who needs this vital access for fishing and recreation,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said last month. “We need to take action to get this channel dredged for the safety and enjoyment of the public this summer season.”
According to the DEP, “The project, which will require U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, will be designed to have negligible to no impact on the nearby (Edwin B.) Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge or migrations of fish.”
Steve Rochette, spokesman for the Army Corps, said the Corps’ regulatory office received the permit application last week, and is conducting an initial review now.
As Hajna noted, “It’s hard to say at this stage how long the project will take. This will depend a lot on the amount of sand that actually has to be dredged and, of course, weather.”
The dredged sand will be used to replenish beaches on portions of southern LBI.
— Juliet Kaszas-Hoch, The SandPaper