Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Almost.......

When: Saturday, October 19th from 5:30am to 4:30pm
What: Striper fishing with Joe aboard the "Tunacious"
Weather: Fair skies. 45 to 63 degrees. Winds calm to SE at 9 and S at 7
Barometric Pressure: 30.00in to 29.90in
Relative Humidity: 56% at mid-day
Sunrise: 7:15am
Sunset: 6:08pm
Moon: Waning, Full.
Water Conditions: Calm seas, temperature 61 degrees.

It's been too long since I've gone fall striper fishing. Sandy screwed things up for everyone last year and it's no secret that I've had muskies swimming around my brain for awhile now. Still, I am by no means opposed to actually going out and catching fish every once in awhile, so when Joe invited me on his vessel the "Tunacious" for some fall bass fishing, I was pretty damn stoked.

Joe had already laid out the disclaimer that this was his first trip of the fall and by all means it was an exploratory mission. We knew there was plenty of bait around, but all the reports had the bass about 40 miles North of Joe's marina, and we didn't know if any of them had made their way further South. My take on it was that if we came up empty, it would be right on par with what I often get when I am fishing for muskies.

We met bright bright an early at the marina, and after getting settled we headed out under the cloak of darkness.

On the way out of Barnegat Bay, we too a shot at tossing baits at some sod banks and jetties. Joe then started checking his normal spots, all of which had bait (sand eels) stacked on the bottom. We looked for areas where the bait was dispersed on the sonar, an indication that they may have been being harassed by predators. We found a spot and first drop with a jig.......fish ON.

However, this did not feel like a striper.

After getting the mystery fish to the surface, we had ourselves a croaker, and two more on the next two drops. It was good to bring something in the boat, but definitely not the intended species. After checking some more areas, we found similar marks and soon had ourselves into a mess of spike weakfish. We were picking them up on every drop, but they were tiny fish and that game got old pretty quick. We did, however, manage to put two keepers in the box (limit of 1 fish per person over 13-inches), and with a trio of croakers already on ice, someone had themselves a meal.

Things did get exciting for a few with some birds working in the area, but it seemed the only thing causing the ruckus was a school of snapper blues. Everything seemed absolutely perfect and we half expected the blitzes and the run to kick into gear at any minute, but in the end it was obvious that we were going to have to wait a little long for the first bass of the fall.

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