Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July Holiday!
The heat wave has been real! Finally we are getting a break with a cold front sweeping in tomorrow (Friday). It looks a little hairy with thunderstorms. Onshore winds Saturday will give a nice ocean breeze and also put a building wind swell on the beach. The heat quickly sets back in with lots of sun after the weekend.
It’s great to see bait stacking up in the summer time haunts. Peanut bunker are in the lagoons and spearing are darting around the bay.
On the fishing front fluke is the main inshore species. Anglers are also working bluefish, weakfish and resident striped bass. The blues range from 1-3 pounds in the inlet and the bay is primarily filled with snappers.
Anglers are catching in the bay, inlet and ocean. We heard of good catches in Double Creek Channel on the north end as well as the Middle Grounds on the south end. Lots of customers are reporting an abundance of shorts with some finding quality.
Some areas of the bay have water temps in the mid 80’s. The ocean surf is in the mid to low 60’s. With these very warm bay temps some of the anglers are looking in the ocean. We have yet to hear stella reports. BUT!!! Any day the open bottom as well as the local reef sites should get good.
Carolyn Ann III Fishing Report
Here’s yesterday’s report from the Carolyn Ann III, “This morning was alot slower due to no drift at all. We were able to get a few nice fish.” Tuesday’s report was strong, “It was a good day on the CAIII today. A few real nice keeper fluke caught and some anglers caught a few sea bass. Everyone had a good time. There were a lot of sea robins, skates and sharks made the trip active and very fun for the kids.”
Due to poor weather forecast this weekend, the The Beach Haven Marlin Tuna Club’s Fluke-A-Mania fluke fishing tournament has been postponed. The new date is August 24-25th. These are prime dates for fire fluke fishing!!!
Offshore & Mid Shore Fishing
The bluewater fishing has been great! Both offshore and mid shore anglers are hammering tuna. So far it’s turning out to be one of the best tuna bites we’ve seen in a long time. The consistency and quality of the fish is one to remember for sure. Hearing positive report after positive report day in and day out is awesome.
While the edge is teeing off with yellowfin, the bluefin action is strong too. Don’t overlook the mid-shore tuna grounds because there’s a lot to offer. The waters are loaded with sandeels and tuna are feeding. Anglers are getting into top feeds as well as jig and troll and chunk. Areas such as the Chicken Canyon and the Barcadi put out some very good fishing.
Local ghetto sharking is off the hook! Usually early July is just the beginnings. But this year’s very warm water temperatures (thanks to the heat wave) has the fishing primed and cranking!!!
Monday night I had Michael Nictakis and his son from Louisiana aboard Fish Head Charters for a four hour bay shark trip. We pushed off the dock at sunset and before dark set in we were hooked up with a SCREAMER. It nearly spooled the Penn 20LD twice. After the 20 minute tug of war the fish was boat side and turned out to be a monster 6.5′ sandbar shark. The night turned out to be consistent, picking a couple more each hour. All smaller ones.
Tuesday night the Fish Head was back on it with store staffers Max and Kelley aboard. Almost the same story… minutes in a rod goes off. I pick it up, set the hook and instantly knew I was in for a ride. Ten minutes in I was down to half a spool and the fish wasn’t phased. The Penn SSVI Spinfisher Spinning reel (SSVI6500LL) did it’s job putting out 17 pounds of drag to help subdue the beast. Turns out it was another bay monster with a bowling ball sizes mouth. This was bigger than Monday’s and possibly our biggest to date. Just short of 7′ with a thick head and shoulders. We estimate it was between 150-170 pounds… a definite a contender to John Norton’s currently retired NJ State Record 168lb 8oz sand bar shark from 1987.
We took off July 4th but are heading back out again tonight. I’m looking forward to fishing with Keith Dunton from Dunton Labs and Student Lauren from the Monmouth University. The goal is to stick some radio and spaghetti tags in fish. We are looking forward to working with his team and helping in the project this summer.
UPDATE: Check Out This Short Clip From Tagging With Dunton Labs
Over the past 10-15 years it has been amazing to watching this once endanger species come back so strong. Some time ago we were super happy catching one or two a night with one big fish a season. The past couple of years on prime nights we are getting 6-12 bites a night. Being a light tackle junkie, I think they are the best near shore bite. Nothing sends a hard set drag singing louder than a good size brownie.
As with any and all fishing, please know the regulations and respect the species.
Blue Claw Crabbing
Crabbing is good on the west side of the bay. Customers loading up on bunker for crab bait are having fun. Just a reminder, female terrapin turtles are active during the summers months. These critters frequently get into crab pots and drown. It’s law that any crab pots set in a body of water less than 150′ wide or any man made lagoon must be outfitted with a turtle excluder device. For those in need, this device orange (TED) is available here at Fish Heads. Due to their long history of decline, the terrapin is a very sensitive species of special concern, although not listed as an endangered species.