Been out almost every day except for today Sunday, which I will get to later. Inlet and back bay bassing is where it should be this time of year. Play the tides and time right and you can almost count on enough action to make you want to come back for more. Friday’s trip with John Lopez Ona proved that point. I had him into bass on plugs, Midway Lure’s JB Swimmer, before sun up. Once the fish moved down the water column as the day got brighter we switched over to the live stuff which proved more than effective. What was great was, I stuck tags in two fish over 28” to be hopefully caught another day. Catch, tag, photo, & release. I like it. See photo of John with a 29” bass before I stuck a tag in it. Based on the results of this Saturday/Sunday’s Sea Shell Tournament if looks like we are starting to see the first wave of bigger fish come within striking distance. There was something like 245 anglers that weighed in 69 bass. The winning fish was 51.60 lbs., and there were 9 fish in the 40 to 50 lbs. range. Being a member of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association I was at the tournament ceremony Sunday afternoon at which the association was presented with a check for $50,000 to go towards the purchase and deployment of two tug boats to be part of the artificial reef system off the southern portion of LBI.
On the nature side of things: NJ’s coastal waters are void of any natural reef system. Our coastal bottom consists of plain old sand, silt, and clay, with some high points and low points. Reefs, be it natural or artificial, not only provide a hard substrate for fish, shellfish and crustaceans, fishing grounds for anglers, and underwater structures for scuba divers, but they are nursery grounds for countless marine organisms. Our reef system is strategically located along the coast so that at least one reef site is within easy boat range of 12 New Jersey ocean inlet. Unfortunately, artificial reefs do not last forever. They sink, break down or get buried by sand. We, the recreational anglers are the ones that need to continue to support and fund this program so that future generations can continue to benefit from the bounties that artificial reefs support.