The warmer ocean water has brought in some cool stuff. Saturday, we scored this nice Mahi (pic attached) within a few miles of the inlet. We also boxed two chicken dolphin (small Mahi). There were many more Mahi swimming below the Debbie M, but they had lockjaw or were full. The latter likely being the case because when I cleaned them, their bellies were jam-packed of 1-2’ herring. Also saw flying fishing around the ridge and tons of small bonito. Note: if you are seeing flying fish there, there may be Mahi or kingfish (king mackerel) around. Then on today’s outing in the bay, we landed a sharksucker (aka remora). See pics attached. OK, enough about the cool stuff, how about a report? Blowfishing is still strong as is fluke fishing. Tons of small fluke, just need to go big or go home empty cooler type of fluke fishery. Small blues are still present and resident bass are acting like it is summer out. Wait, it is summer. You can catch bass if you want, but need to play your cards right. Still, have not given weakfish a shot.
On the nature side of things: for some reason, the bay is clearer this summer than in many years past. Not complaining, but why? Usually, the bay visibility decreases during the summer as the water warms and the algae population goes through the roof. This roof blowing off growth is often fueled by nutrient-laden stormwater runoff from lawn fertilizer after rain events. Lots of rain events that cause unnatural algae blooms, as it has been doing for decades. Well, we have had the rain, so why no algae blooms? Being a scientist I need data to support any claims about anything. Without data, I can only theorize, or speculate. So here are some suspects: Oyster Creek power plant shut down in September 2018 and is not discharging 110 million gallons of extra warm water into the bay daily; we are getting betting with fertilizer use and stormwater management; filter-feeding bivalves, clams, and oysters, are making a comeback which helps to naturally filter the bay; or with better fisheries management bunker, which are also feeders, are also making a big comeback. Could be any of these, or none, or a combination, but we will have to wait for Mother Nature’s right-hand man, Father Time, to shed some clarity.