Here’s a quick update to supplement yesterday’s report.
This morning started off like many other recent trips with a good bite of big bass live lining early. Commonly my early morning feeds have been phenomenal until broken up with boat traffic. While that did happen today it was a blessing we had stiff northerly winds which made for less boats, more challenging sighting of bait and much faster drifts. All of which were bonuses in my book!
I started the same area I fished Saturday (5-10 miles north of BI). In the dark I found the bait and in grey light had an active whale breaching. It put on a show but I’m not sure if it bet yesterday morning’s three boat side bluefin leaps through bunker. Just a moment after the whale’s third breach big striped bass came up on top crashing bait and we were hooked up with a couple good ones. The whale, bunker and bass were pushing south, down wind so I worked the same way. It wasn’t easy given it was against the grain (morning traffic along IBSP pushes north up the beach). About an hour or two later working and catching along the way, we ended up all the way back near the inlet where a crazy good bunker / bass feed came alive and pushed right into the north jetty and east. We caught a couple more in that, but the boat traffic got crazy so I spun around and ran back up the beach again. And I’m very thankful I did!
That is when things fired up and really crazy. A large, I’ll call it massive body of striped bass (IMO a new wave of fish moving down the coast) were stacked up and gorging from top to bottom on peanut bunker, adults and BUTTERFISH! It was a very broad area, stretched out for a few miles and from 30-60′ of water. Top water lures were working but due to windy / sloppy conditions and fast drift jigs and subsurface – sinking lures were superior, hooking up every drop. This was as close as it gets to striped bass jumping in the boat. Large jigging spoons and 6-9” swim baits were money! Metal lips were getting lots of follows and bites too but they are tough to fish when windy if not proficient in casting, stopping the line to turn the lure and swimming them with the right speed/action. Not easy to teach an 8 year old during a hot bite. I’m sure anyone who dropped trolling gear were tight in the matter of a minute.
Christmas trees of striped bass on the sounder (really wish I took some photos of the screen) and they were popping up on the surface chasing bait with the birds picking too. The best part was the spastic run and guns were absent which made for a gentleman drifts. It was the first day I fished in awhile the fleet wasn’t playing jump rope (jump boat) all day. Nice long active fish filled drifts!
Looks like this fall just keeps getting better. I’m looking forward to more of this great fishing and hope you all are enjoying it too. If not now is the time to go!
LBI Surf Report
The LBI surf has not contended with the action from the northern reaches of the state; however there are striped bass being caught and a whole lot less anglers. Today store staffer Paul got a nice striped bass off the LBI surf today after work! He reported, “I had to weed through the hickory shad and a couple sea trout to find the bass on an AVA Diamond Jig.”
Another recent LBI surf catch photo came in from Gary Cochran, photo below. Also a short update on the LBI Surf Fishing Classic… Chris Masino holds the lead with his 11.1# striped bass he caught 11/9. Duncan Turner’s recent 9.98# striped bass catch puts him into fourth place. There’s some big fish on the board in the Surf Master Devision (Catch, Photo, Release) and more submissions came in this weekend. Those will be scored and posted soon. For more info see www.LBISFC.com