A low pressure in the NW Atlantic sent quality ENE groundswell this past weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday were on with good conditions! Once again (even more this week) I enjoyed the waves with lots of roaming gannets. The fish finding black tipped wings were cruising at just about every beach I checked and surfed from the south end to mid island to the north end. While they were not dialed in on a kamikaze mission, they were on the search. My memory flipping back to the epic early April sessions of 2012. I recall like it was yesterday! April 4th, 2012 was full of herring boiling with gannets all over them. Bass from 10-20+ pounds chewing on everything we could cast. I know this day is etched with all who were aboard; Eddy, Steve-o and South Philly Fred.
My consistent gannet sightings as of late have me chomping at the bit to break the inlet and go on the search. Sunday’s sun had my head spinning on fishing the flats. I would have liked to be in the game earlier; however sometimes work and life’s priorities take control. We all know how that goes. After shaking the saltwater out of my eyes, ears, nose and hair from the epic weekend of surf, I finally cut the shrink wrap. Soon my boat is hitting the brine. The long range forecast looks great. I’m stoked to get out and fish!
Now time for the actual fishing report…
Reports of good early spring fishing continue. Let’s get in the game and take advantage! Soon other species like drum, weakfish and bluefish will pop up but until then there’s three three options (bass, flounder, perch) in the backwaters. While the early season spots are producing, the open bay has fish cruising too. Check out your past productive areas as well as the Island’s west side haunts. In the ocean it’s bottom fishing for tog and cod on the inshore wrecks and reefs.
After work on Sunday, store staffer Willie headed out and fished dusk. He caught this striper among others. Willie said, “Had an epic little rope mesh until I snapped my G.Loomis rod.”
Store staffer Max got his boat in the water recently and found some action. Max said he’s targeting linesiders bass drifting the bay casting artificials, “The first trip out we had about 20 plus bass, all small but good fun.”
Sunday’s reports from Graveling Point were poor. One customer said, “Lots of anglers were trying but no fish were caught while I was there. Put some hours in and others fished a lot longer. No luck.” This area is one of the best and most productive spots in the spring. It will turn back on any day if not already! Keep an eye out as the area is well known for getting the area’s first bluefish, black drum and weakfish.
Nick Honachefsky tagged us in this photo, double fisting pig winter flounder. Nick found them over the weekend. Here’s his report, “Cold, windy, but we claimed out limit Jersey style!” It’s prime time winter flounder so you best get in on the black back snowshoes now if you want a piece of the action!
NJ’s Tog fishing season opened Saturday, April 1. It is 4 fish at 15″ until April 30th. Hopefully you didn’t fall for our April Fools post on Saturday. The social media buzz got going much more than we expected. Surprisingly no one call our bluff! Guess it was totally possible and believable because those that went out and fished did good. See yesterday’s report for more details.
While not “local” fishing info there’s a lot of anglers in our area that love to fish and don’t mind traveling to get into good fishing.The Delaware river continues to improve. Recently some more quality striped bass were caught by anglers worming the banks. The Rarity Bay is starting up with small fish and reports of plentiful bait. Once the water temp ticks up a degree or two more it’s going to break open!
On the bait front… This past weekend was our first with fresh and live bait for 2017. Sorry for the delay! We had technical difficulties firing up our bait refrigerator. After 30+ years it did its job and was retired. We got a new unit running and currently have salted clam, live bloods and live green crabs. As always we’ve got all of the frozen fixings too. Speaking of bait… We got a call from one of our bunker boat captains. He was out recently and came across a couple “good pods of bait (bunker)”. We usually start stocking the fresh fat backs in late April.
Check out our Instagram page ( @FishermansHeadquarters ) for the current photo caption contest which is ending April 6, 2017. Caption now for a chance to win a $25 Fisherman’s Headquarters store gift card.
Here is a short clip of one wave from Sunday. Just want share a taste!