Sorry this is so short I am writing this at a truck stop in NY. Coming home!!
We have had some nice weather and some not so nice weather, whether we like it or not. Fall is on its way and the fact the days are getting shorter noticeably now is a sure sign. Sunset is earlier and earlier now, and the temps are cooling off. All in all this has been a great summer with the mild temperatures, granted we had a few very hot days, but for the most part it has been mild. Coming this weekend we will probably see some storm surge from the latest tropical storm that is developing. Most likely it will be difficult to hold bottom in the surf and boating will be dicey at best. Hopefully that is wrong, but so far that is what is in store for labor day weekend. Vacation was a blast but I am glad to be back in the sand box near the sea. The mountains are fun, but I so love the beaches and miss the sunsets and rises. Big thanks to the crew for keeping myself and the sites updated while I was in the middle of no where … fishing. What can you expect to catch this weekend? That is a good question.
The fishing has been heavy still for flounder. The flatties are everywhere and compared to last year the sizes have been tremendous, hopefully that is not a fluke and continues to next year. Minnows, gulp, cut squid strips and even croaker strips have been great baits. Live spot is also always a favorite for flatties and striped bass. The Old Grounds all the reef and wreck sites, inner and outer walls, inland bays, and surf have seen great flounder catches. The largest ones would definitely qualify for the term doormat this year. The other catch that is not hard to come by are croakers. They are literally everywhere still and it is hard not to catch one. Makes for a good excuse to use them for very fresh cut bait. Fishbites bloodworm formula, squid pieces, and small sand fleas are choice baits. The off shore sites are also seeing a lot of trigger and sea bass. Blue fish have shown up in the surf caught on mullet rigs and cut bait (mullet) on top and bottom rigs. Blues have been caught at the Indian River Inlet on small spoons, metals, and bucktails. IRI is also thick at the walls with croaker, flounder, small sea bass, oyster crackers, puffers, star gazers, sea robins, and short striped bass. Skates, rays and sharks are heavy no matter where you are fishing close to shore.
The DeNest “The Osprey Project” that Kent and Mac Davis started this year has been very entertaining, and educational to follow. The Osprey will be packing it in soon and headed south. The boys are already gearing up for next year with possibly more platforms and definitely more high tech gear to observe the birds. The nest was not used to lay eggs this year, but interest was certainly shown by a couple of osprey and one big blue heron decided to check out the platform several times. We will have to wait and see next year if the osprey take to the platform and start a family. You can check the Facebook page out at https://www.facebook.com/ospreynest and follow progress on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/user/theDeNest . hoping next year is even better and knowing the Davis boys it will be just that.
Offshore action has still been hot with tuna, mahi, tilefish, and albacore. A mahi was caught near the Old Grounds. It has been a strange year for fishing in some areas. Not long ago a tuna was found swimming in the surf in New Jersey. There have been tuna showing up in canals in Florida as well as billfish. It has certainly caused people to wonder what is going on in the water or has this always happened and now thanks to social media and the internet we hear about it more. Septima the thousand plus pound tiger shark keeps popping up off our coast, which isn’t strange, but very cool to follow online at OCEARCH. Makes you wonder if that one shark that is tagged is showing up, what else is off our shores. Crabbing has been good if you can find them or soak pots long enough. Clamming hasn’t been too bad either.
Labor Day Weekend marks the end of the summer season but also marks the beginning of the locals season. This is when the streets are less crowded as well as the beaches. Summertime is fun, but after a few months the crowds can wear on you. It also gets everyone excited for fall fishing which by many is considered to be the best time of year, aside from spring, to fish. That is when the bigger bluefish show up and the striped bass run. It is time to restring reels and check all of your gear. Summer fishing will give way to the fall and you will need the proper gear to land bigger fish. Don’t forget the warm clothes this year. According to the Farmer’s Almanac it is going to be a cold snowy winter. We will have to wait and see how that plays out over the next few months.