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January 2019 Fishing Reports

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18 mins ago, Sudsy said:

Again, why was fishing after this replenishment so much worse that the previous replenishments ?

Everything was buried then too

I could easily be wrong, but I don't recall other replenishment

projects being so extensive. The towns I fish have been changed dramatically.

Maybe that plus being done more frequently over the recent

years have caught up to surf , jetty environments never getting

a chance to rebuild ? 

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Only my two cents.

Replenishment, this time, was far more extensive than I can remember. Several jetties in "Jetty Country" were buried for the first time. The sand was much coarser than I remember in past replenishments. Calicos, grass shrimp, and sand eels, out front, disappeared and I only saw calico sheds start to come back late this year. There is little structure in close. The peanuts have been taking an offshore run since Sandy. I haven't seen corn cob mullet close to the beach in several years. They used to be regulars in the fall and attracted large cows. 

Go down at low tide and check out how far you can walk out. I waded out past one jetty that wasn't buried and I was only up to my waist! The bottom, in many places, looks like a flat  desert. There is an real lack of mussels compared to just a few years ago. The only increase in bait that I have noticed is sand fleas and that, in my opinion, is the only thing holding the rats close to shore. 

I'm also convinced that the bio mass is down.     

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53 mins ago, Sudsy said:

Again, why was fishing after this replenishment so much worse that the previous replenishments ?

Everything was buried then too

Could be wrong, but the earlier replenishment starting in the mid 90’s corresponded with a very strong striped bass fishery.  Unfortunately, replenishment projects post 2010 along with the rapid decrease in striped bass biomass is leading to the lack of fish.

 

As good as the boat fishery appears to have been over last couple years, it’s nothing compared to 10 years ago.  We’re not seeing fish push to the beach simply because there are fewer fish. Imagine a bird eye view of the coastline and shaded areas representing schools of stripers comparing now to 10 years ago.  I bet those shaded areas have been reduced  by at least 50%, if not more.

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I liken it to the equivalent of the perfect storm. Individually (beach replenishment, water quality, loss of biomass) would all have an effect, but taken collectively - all happening at once & there is only so much the system can take before it practically collapses. 

 

I think everyone is right.

1. Since Sandy is been a level & intensity of beach replenishment the likes of which I've never seen in my lifetime.

 

2. The state of the fishery as a whole is severely depleted. Ask the Montauk guides like Wetzel how they're doing & it's flat out depressing.

 

3. The water quality was dreadful over huge stretches of our shoreline for extended periods. I think that had to do with the amount of rain we experienced & the quality of sand they were pumping.

 

Add them all up & this is what you get.....my 2 pennies

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23 hours ago, BrianZ said:

I actually respect this.  

My favorite way to target bass is from the sand at night. not because it's my best chance at size and numbers, it's just because i like walking the sand and reading the water. 

i also love fishing the rivers jetties and possibly a bridge or two at night but if given the chance i always plan the sand first. 

i think for new people just getting in to it they see the numbers of fish that you catch and respect you for commitment to fish just about everyday of the season. you keep a positive attitude and spread good cheer through the community. hurrah. 

i look at your posts and the amount of time and effort you put in and shake my head because 20 years ago doing exactly what you are doing now with the same effort and similar tackle etc your results would be very different than what they are now.  

new guys don't know this so your posts and reports/success become a standard. not your fault really just how it plays out. 

My standard of good surf fishing is very different from someone who has just entered the sport in the last 10 years. 

I knew exactly what FBN was trying to say and it wasn't meant to ruffle feathers and to my knowledge we have never met. but i know he has been fishing a long time ad fished with guys that fished through some great times. 

 

It's all about what you like doing. I too am a night guy by choice, not so much because the fish are necessarily always bigger, but because I prefer to avoid the worst of the crowds and don't particularly care about sight or "vision" fishing. Often, when first light begins and guys start showing up to fish, I'm already on my way home at the end of an outing to sleep. YMMV. I don't dispute the notion that nice or even more fish show up at first light more often than not and understand why people fish then.

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21 hours ago, FunkyBunker said:

I'm just hoping that the winter storms make some new holes without stripping the loose crap off the beach this year. Structure was scarce and the number of fish were down last spring. 

On the SJ beaches of lower CMC, I went scouting last March and there were holes & cuts that weren’t even imaginable by May. Took the kids to the beach in April and almost got crushed by a huge dump truck & deafened by a front end loader. 

 

I only fished a handful of times in 2018 due to kid stuff sapping time and more so energy. But this year, whenever I manage to get out, I think I’m sticking to sodbanks from Spring through Fall. No “replenishment” back there. 

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3 hours ago, daves745t said:

I liken it to the equivalent of the perfect storm. Individually (beach replenishment, water quality, loss of biomass) would all have an effect, but taken collectively - all happening at once & there is only so much the system can take before it practically collapses. 

 

I think everyone is right.

1. Since Sandy is been a level & intensity of beach replenishment the likes of which I've never seen in my lifetime.

 

2. The state of the fishery as a whole is severely depleted. Ask the Montauk guides like Wetzel how they're doing & it's flat out depressing.

 

3. The water quality was dreadful over huge stretches of our shoreline for extended periods. I think that had to do with the amount of rain we experienced & the quality of sand they were pumping.

 

Add them all up & this is what you get.....my 2 pennies

my $.02

I've said this before in the past and worth repeating.

It never was explained so I'll throw it out again since it's related:

In the NMOCO/SB area, we had a huge mussel die off kill. The beach stunk for weeks.

We were catching fluke like crazy before. The exact day after[I was there both days], there wasn't a fluke to be caught.

We used to catch 20 fish standing in line spot and not even moving.

It never recovered and only this year have I seen any fluke start to rebound a bit. Seeing clam shells and mussels shells on the beach for the 1st time in years!

So....this was way before Sandy. So 2 beach replenishments since....it was dead even before and never had a fighting chance.

So if the ecosystem was destroyed, no fluke, sea robins no bass chasing small stuff around.

It however doesn't explain the bunker basically staying offshore most of the time since they are filter feeders....but does explain the recent sand eel reappearance!

Haven't seen those guys in probably a dozen years.....

this is my 2 pennies

Edited by MarkG

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4 hours ago, yosco said:

I could easily be wrong, but I don't recall other replenishment

projects being so extensive. The towns I fish have been changed dramatically.

Maybe that plus being done more frequently over the recent

years have caught up to surf , jetty environments never getting

a chance to rebuild ? 

 

This is exactly my thought.  I don't remember the previous replenishments being so widespread as they have been in the last couple of years.

 

Don't get me wrong, I certainly think there is a coast wide population issue with striped bass.  But as Sudsy said, there are still alot of fish to be had by boat.  This fall was one of the most consistent bites I've had in the bay.  Could pretty much count on plugging a couple decent fish in the 10-25 lb range every trip with some schoolies mixed in.  But for some reason I dont hear about any of these fish caught on the beach.  It's certainly not for lack of trying, I know some rock solid fishermen who have surfcasting longer than I've been alive that just didnt see much of any decent fishing from the beach, day or night.

 

Gun to my head its something to do with all the sand pumping.  Like yosco pointed out, perhaps were just doing it on a large enough scale to change the environment enough that fish just stay away.

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6 hours ago, daves745t said:

I liken it to the equivalent of the perfect storm. Individually (beach replenishment, water quality, loss of biomass) would all have an effect, but taken collectively - all happening at once & there is only so much the system can take before it practically collapses. 

 

I think everyone is right.

1. Since Sandy is been a level & intensity of beach replenishment the likes of which I've never seen in my lifetime.

 

2. The state of the fishery as a whole is severely depleted. Ask the Montauk guides like Wetzel how they're doing & it's flat out depressing.

 

3. The water quality was dreadful over huge stretches of our shoreline for extended periods. I think that had to do with the amount of rain we experienced & the quality of sand they were pumping.

 

Add them all up & this is what you get.....my 2 pennies

This is probably trhe best answer of all

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For what it’s worth sandy was the switch. Fishing pre Sandy was declining but not terrible. Post Sandy and the fish do not come in. Period. Start to move in, hit 1/2 mileish out and turn back out. Replenishment, low biomass, all contributed but that storm did something out front. I don’t rember any fish the rest of that season in any numbers. And it has been slow picking since. 

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I don't want to make a thread for this because one person can answer it. When people use eels for stripers, are these just regular freshwater eels like out of the Delaware River??

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10 hours ago, Pad_Crasher said:

I don't want to make a thread for this because one person can answer it. When people use eels for stripers, are these just regular freshwater eels like out of the Delaware River??

Yes. Any eel is good. My rigged eels came out of a lake.

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10 hours ago, Mono said:

No bait = no fish.  If you were hungry would you go to a restaurant that was closed?

 

I haven’t noticed a lack of bait.  Bunker, peanuts, spearing rain bait and sand eels were all over the place this year. 

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