It’s Hot, But at Least it is Humid…
The weather this past weekend was not only hot, but it was humid. It was downright uncomfortable outside (at least until the thunderstorms pushed through Sunday evening). Thankfully, the fishing was hot too.
But first, shop news.
We had a restock of Beachwalker Surf bags from Ebbpoint Surfcasting. These two tube bags are a perfect summer bag for surf fishermen. You can carry your jigs for fluke, a couple poppers for bluefish, and a couple plastic swimmers for bass without loading yourself down. We have a couple more interesting colors available, including a blaze orange one with black trim and a backout logo patch. We also have black with blue stitching (popular with the law enforcement crowd) and a nice coffee brown one with black trim. All three of these colors are currently available in the online store. If you are in the shop and want one, just ask someone there to grab it for you from the online inventory. Or you can buy it now online, choose “Pick Up” during checkout as your shipping option, and then come get it in the shop at your convenience. We offer this service for free.
We got in a huge order of rigs from MaiTai Outdoors. Some of the rigs we were out of or running low on in the shop have been replenished. We have also added some new stuff, as follows
First, we now have fluke rigs designed for fishing live bait for doormat fluke. These rigs are set up without a lot of flash to distract from your live bait of choice. Perfect for drifting live killies, live snapper bluefish or live spot, keep your rod in your hand because the big fish don’t hesitate to grab a frisky live bait.
Our next new rig might be a bit controversial in certain circles. When we speak about fishing sand crabs (sand fleas, mole crabs or whatever you want to call them) for striped bass in the summer, some “sharpies” start wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth as if we gave out the biggest secret in striped bass fishing. (Don’t worry, we won’t mention soft shelled calico crabs…. Oooops…). We received a few rigs from Maittai specifically designed to fish sand crabs in the surf. They have an egg sinker on the leader so the crab can drift naturally in the surf looking like its in trouble, an easy target for a bass. We only got a few rigs in with 1 oz sinkers, but the crew at MaiTai is busy making us more, with sinker ranging from ½ oz to 1 oz.
we now have MaiTai Snapper Poppers. The snapper bluefish are just showing up in the bay, so the timing is perfect. We have two options, one model with a tube and hook on the terminal end, and one model with a small metal lure (similar in style to a Kastmaster) at the end of the leader. This is a fun, active way to catch snapper bluefish. And, pro-tip, you can add a strip of squid, a spearing, or a strip of FishBites on the tube & hook version for some extra attraction.
The other staple for bay fishing is the funny looking yet tasty blowfish. We now have MaiTai Blowfish Rigs online. They are high low rigs with small colorful floats and Chestertown hooks perfect for the little bait stealers. Add a weight, small bits of clam, squid or FishBites and you can put together a nice catch of these tasty fish.
Speaking of blowfish, a successful blowfish trip almost always requires you to chum them to your location. We now have chum pots available online so you don’t need to show up to get one (unless you want to choose Store Pickup at checkout online). You still need to stop in to get the clam chum log. Technically, we can mail those too, but you won’t like it when it gets there, and I suspect your postal carrier won’t be very happy either…
And finally, a public service announcement. This is the time of the year where a wind from the west means the biting flies are going to be on the beach. Don't let them ruin your day on the sand (or out on the boat). Get some Capt Ron's insect Repellent. It really works on biting flies, plus all of the other biting insects.
As far as the fishing goes, fluke in the surf is still the name of the game. Bucktails and Gulp! are still the best bet. There are also bluefish in the surf. Poppers and small metals fished in the morning or evening have been taking them. If you want to fish bait, a whole mullet or a chunk of bunker is your best bet. And if you are fishing bait for bluefish, keep an eye on your rod. There is still something big swimming out there trying to steal surf angler’s stuff.
We had many reports of bluefin tuna over the weekend. Anglers were getting them on poppers and jigs. We would tell you where but the hotspot changes. Like all fish, tuna have tails and they tend to move around more than other fish…
Some notable recent catches…
Mike Milano with a 23 inch, 3.35 pound fluke caught on Gulp! in the surf.
Robert Moreno with his first fish ever, a monster black sea bass caught on the north jetty that weighed 1.35 pounds and was 14.25 inches long, using a Grumpys clam. You only get a smile that big when you catch your first fish, or when three of your friends are just out of the shot busting your stones about the size of it. Either way, this was a fun weigh in.
Jerry Coppola with a 3.25 pound, 21 inch fluke caught in the surf.
Unicorns do exist. Aidan with a 24 inch weakfish taken somewhere out in Barnegat Bay.
Island Beach is looking tropical and @tommykohr found the bluefish.
Our own apprentice Rod builder, Connor, with a tuna he and his crew got on Saturday. They came across some real monsters jigging and popping, and went 1 for 8 on tuna. Big tuna test your tackle…
Ray has been back a week and we are still getting stories from his camping trip. Apparently, while on a hike away from the campsite, Ray saw a bear. The shock of it both instantly made him grow hair, and then turned it white. He did have to presence of mind to take a selfie as he ran away. So, by now you are thinking that bear is awfully close to him, how did he get away? Was it the brightly colored “hiking blouse” he was wearing? Nope, at the very last second, Ray released a gaseous biological weapon, which convinced the bear to go look elsewhere for his mid-afternoon snack. Ray's own personal version of "bear spray"...