The past few days were beautiful especially in the mornings! Fair winds and seas allowed anglers to get out and fish. Even the small boats reached out and got on the inshore bluewater hunt.
Al Stella was out Friday inshore-midshore trolling again (See August 7th Report), “No kingfish like last trip but I did score a real nice mahi that hit a green / yellow Zucker. Also had a few Bonita too. The water was 79 degrees and full of flying fish. Heard there was early bite on the Kings but I missed it.”
Chris O’Neill and friends pushed off in search of life and found it. “We fished about 15 miles off LBI. The water temperature was in the upper 70’s. Got two 50″ mahi, one bonita and four king mackerel. All on the troll. Anything green in the spread was good.”
Other customers in the shop restocking his fishing tackle shared bonita at the Ridge.
Max Lentz was out on the water and put a nice catch together on Friday… sea bass, fluke and a mahi!
We had a weigh in on Friday from Matt Sorrentino. He was out on the bay today working the waters of Great Bay. He caught a nice 19″ 4.04 pound triggerfish. He also reported loosing a good sheepshead.
LBI Late Summer Fishing Outlook
Summer’s in full swing and the local waters have A LOT to offer. It’s awesome to see all of these species here; banded rudderfish, black sea bass, blueclaw crabs, bluefish, bonita, cobia, fluke, kingfish, mahi, marlin (white and blue marlin caught offshore), sheepshead, spanish mackerel, striped bass, tog, tuna (yellowfin, bluefin and big eye), triggerfish, wahoo, weakfish and all sorts of sharks. Now’s the time to get out and enjoy the smorgasbord on tap.
The amount of bait in our waters is an amazing sight to see. The variety and abundance is promising. The bay is full of baby bunker, spearing, anchovies and snappers. In the ocean bunker is podded up and there’s clouds of bay anchovies and blankets of sandeels. The stage is set for a rocking fall run.
Fish Head Charters
The anglers aboard the Fish Head enjoyed fun fishing this week. With a variety of species there’s all sorts of fishing opportunities. From bucktailing fluke to fly fishing schoolie striped bass… light tackle bluefish to quick hitting sea bass… even night time toothy bayside brutes (brown sharks).
Resident striped bass continue to make their presence know with awesome light tackle game. Cocktail bluefish crash the party adding to the excitement. Fluke fishing is great on quantity but there’s no denying the quality isn’t where we would all like it to be. Some days putting together a catch of keepers is difficult especially with no drift.
Friday I had Mike Fitzgerald aboard today for a morning 5 hour power trip. We pushed off the dock at 5am, made bait (line baby bunker and snappers). Before the sun poked, Mike was into active fish casting lures. The top water feed put on a great “top of the morning” visual. After catching a bunch of cocktail blues from 1-4 pounds and bass, we switched gears. With four nice keepers yesterday, we set our sights on the same reef site. First drop produced a keeper sea bass. It was full of life with short fluke and sea bass with little to no garbage. [I managed to hook an unexpected catch… a bonita on a Gulp! tipped jig. With 76 degree pretty bluewater only five miles offshore you never know what’s around.] As time went on the drift slowed and even power drifting couldn’t outwit. With only a little time left in our session we decided to run back and give it a few drifts in the bay. We picked more a handful of fish in a couple short drifts but no quality. Everything considered it was a great day on the water with lots of fish caught and released.
Hot New Products
Jersey Fluke Belly
Jersey Fluke Belly is a 6″ soft plastic scented bait. It’s ribbed “ribbon” texture that looks and fishes like real fluke belly and it’s saltwater buffet scent attracts and makes fluke hold on. Unlike some soft baits, Jersey Fluke Bellies do not dry out. They stay soft forever in the jar or even on the hook when left out. Be sure to check them out to increase your fluke game!
NorthBar junior Bottle Darter
Please welcome the Northar Bottle Darter’s little brother. If you are looking for a small-medium sized lure that attracts big fish this is it!
The all new Northbar Junior Bottle Darter fills a huge need in anglers lure bags offering the same great casting, incredible action and durability, just in a smaller size and weight (1-5/8oz, 6″ long).
Devastation Down In Florida
I’m sure most have seen the devastation photos on social media. If you haven’t… sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The destruction is not from any storm but from water pollution. The fish kill caused by it is horrific and not localized.
Florida anglers are accustomed to red tide events. But no one has seen a bloom of this magnitude. Decades of fish stocks have been slaughtered. From bait fish to large game fish as well as marine mammals a diversity of species affected is astonishing.
For information about the problem check out this video from The Everglades Trust and be sure to follow Captains For Clean Water.