Good Fishing, Bad Weather, and Poor Ray.
Today we had a truck drop off over 90 boxes of fishing tackle at the shop. It was an 18 wheeler and we had pretty much the whole trailer. A lot of those boxes were rods. We are not going to get through all of them today, but we received rods from Tica and Tsunami. Other things that I saw being unpacked (by a slightly unhappy Scott and a shell-shocked Ray) were Fish Grips, some moderately priced Tsunami reels, and so much more stuff. Come in and check it all out.
We are also now fully stocked with Frogg Togg Hellbender waders. All sizes currently available. In-store only but maybe, just maybe if you ask nicely on our Contact Us page we could work something out.
In the online store we have continued to put up MaiTai rigs. We have added Striped Bass Drift rigs, Mullet Rigs, Winter Flounder Rigs, Blackfish 1HK Rigs, and Sea Bass rigs to the lineup. To make room for all of these, we have Fin Strike rigs on discount. Just use FINSTRIKE30 at checkout to knock 30% off the price of all Fin Strike rigs. (While supplies last).
We have also added some new hooks from BKK to the website. We have had them in the store for a little while now, but in limited quantities. We have pulled some to make available online. You will find the BKK Hybrid Heavy Circle Hook and the BKK Raptor Treble Hook. The Hybrid Heavy Circle hook is a strong inline circle (compatible with Atlantic Striped bass regs) with a “Super Slide” coating for easier hooks sets. The Raptor Trebles are light, 3X strong hooks perfect for replacing old hooks on your favorite, well used lures.
As far as the fishing goes, it has been fantastic. The oceanfront has been alive with striped bass of all sizes, and all they seem to want to do is eat clams. The back bay has some smaller striped bass, with he occasional keeper being on bloodworms and lures like Kettle Creek Shads, Vudu Shrimp, and Rapala X-Raps.. Also in the back bay, the fluke bite has been good on jigs and Gulp!, with both slots and overs being available. (In case everyone does not already know, the Fluke regulations in New Jersey are now two fish between 17 inches and 17.999 inches and one fish over 18 inches. Yes, that is a one inch slot…).
There have also been some reports of these weird spotted fish being caught in Barnegat Bay. Allegedly we used to get them around here a lot, but they haven’t been seen in any numbers in years. One old guy called them weakfish, but we heard they are pretty strong. (For those not getting the slight sarcasm, we have heard of some weakfish being caught. Scott is on a mission to catch one now).
Unfortunately, for the fishing going forward, the weather looks like it has turned against us, as you can see in the report above provided by BuoyWeather. Now, we normally wouldn’t let the weather stop us from advising you to proceed, albeit with caution, and give the rough surf a go. Striped bass don’t mind rough water. However, a northeast wind of 35 to 40 knots is a bit too much, as those conditions will make the surf dangerous. So, this might be a good weekend for tackle maintenance. Replace the treble hooks on your lures, tie up some new rigs, tie up some new leaders, or do some reel maintenance. And if reel maintenance is not your thing, you can bring it in for Frank to look at, or send it in if you don’t feel like making the trip.
We had a lot of fish pictures submitted since the last report. Sorry, but we are not going to be able to post all of them here. That being said, here are some of the notable catches from the past few days:
Here is our proof of weakfish being around. Grumpys regular @vent_rice with a nice 26” Weakfish that took a soft plastic.
Jeff Greco and friend from Heavy Reel Brewing Co. with a 35.5" 15.10lb. clam caught surf Bass.
Our own Sean Smida went out to get in on the clam fishing action. Here is just one of the many fish he landed. You will notice the circle hook lodge perfectly in the corner of the fish’s mouth, as they were designed to do.
George Miller has been on a fishing tear this spring. I could fill a report each week with just his pictures, as he has been hitting the surf and back bay and catching everything that swims. This one is a surf caught fish on clams, and another example of the inline circle hook setting in the corner of the fish’s mouth.
Sean got out one day after work with his daughter Scarlett, and she showed him how to catch fluke. They were one fish short of a limit, but that smile says everything about how their trip was. She catches fish better than some of us in the shop (Frank, Connor, John, Bob, Scott and even her Dad…). Bucktails and Gulp were the key.
Doug from S&S Bucktails came in to drop off an order and while here picked up some fresh shucked clams. He landed this 38” bass on the first cast.
So, we mentioned Ray was shell shocked from the big order. He will likely recover by the time this report is published. For those who want to see what he looked like, here you go…