What can you expect to catch this weekend?
We have had some nice weather and some not so nice weather, whether we like it or not. The days are getting shorter, temps are cooling off, and fall is on its way. All in all this has been a great summer with mild temperatures, though we did have a few very hot days.
This weekend we will probably see some storm surge from the latest tropical storm that is developing, so it might be difficult to hold bottom in the surf and boating could be dicey at best. I could be wrong, but so far that’s what we have 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. Big thanks to the crew for keeping me and the sites updated while I was fishing in the middle of nowhere. What can you expect to catch this weekend? Good question.
Fishing still heavy for flounder
The fishing is still heavy for flounder. The flatties are everywhere and compared to last year the sizes have been tremendous. Hopefully that continues next year. Minnows, Gulp, cut squid strips and even croaker strips have been great baits. Live spot is also a favorite for flatties and striped bass. The Old Grounds, the reef and wreck sites, inner and outer walls, inland bays, and surf have seen great flounder catches. The largest ones this year would definitely qualify for the term doormat. The other catch that is not hard to come by is croakers. They are literally everywhere still and it is hard not to catch one. Makes for a good excuse to use them for fresh cut bait. Fishbites bloodworm formula, squid pieces, and small sand fleas are also choice baits. The offshore sites are also seeing a lot of trigger and sea bass. Bluefish 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.
Check out DeNest
The DeNest "The Osprey Project" that Kent and Mac Davis started this year has been very entertaining and educational. The Osprey will be packing it in soon and heading south. The boys are already gearing up for next year with possibly more platforms and definitely more high-tech gear with which 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. Check the Facebook page out at www.facebook.com/ospreynest and follow progress on You Tube at www.youtube.com/user/theDeNest. We’re hoping next year is even better. Knowing the Davis boys, it will be just that.
Offshore action has still been hot with tuna, mahi, tilefish, white marlin 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, and there have been tuna, as well as billfish, showing up in canals in Florida.
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 so often, then 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, as well as the beaches, are less crowded. Summertime is fun, but after a few months the crowds can wear on you. It also gets everyone excited for fall fishing which is considered by many 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. You will need the proper gear to land bigger fish, and don’t forget the warm clothes. 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.