serving fisherman from 1976- 2016
Look back on 2011
Snow, earthquake and a hurricane.The winter brought us snow every couple of days to make the snow piles pretty high last winter. In all my years here I can never remember a earthquake.We have had a few waterspouts come ashore. This year we get a earthquake and hurricane in the same week.
When I came back to work in March the water temperature was 41 but started to climb quickly. By mid month there were bunker in the bay and the ocean was 47.
The first of April brought snow to the inland areas again but by the first week we were catching short bass on the beach. Last spring the bay was alive with bass and some nice fish were there. The first keepers in the store were on April 15th in which I saw a keeper from the beach and one from the bayside. The month continued to get better for the bayside anglers catching on bunker and clams. There were even a few drum fish taken from the docks. Bluefish arrived on the beach around the 22nd of April.
The fluke season started the being of May with the beach fluking starting right were it left off last fall but the catching on the beach for fluke was short lived. The holes and cuts had filled in and there were few places to fish for them.
Simply Bassin started the beginning of May with the first weigh ins coming from the bayside. By the beginning of June the bunker had arrived and surf anglers were able to snag them and live line them to catch the bigger bass. Simply Bassin had 7 fish over the 40 pound range and one at 39lbs to finish out the top 8. These larger fish were all caught the first week in June.
By mid June the ocean temperatures were in the mid 70s and the stripers slowed down but the fluke fishing in the bay continued to improve. Lots of fish caught but lots of throw backs. Tuna fishing was red hot in the canyons. With the surf temps in the mid 70s at the end of June we had great fishing for Brown sharks that lasted for weeks.
July had some nice tuna and marlin being caught offshore but this year the enrollment in the BHMTC tournament was down. That was not the only tournament where there were less anglers this past year. A lot of boat tournaments saw a decrease along with our local Simply Bassing Contest.
Sea Bass season open late this year and I thought they should be really hungry by the time it open but they never really showed up to give us a great summer. Fluke fishing in the bay was on fire as long as you fished the right tide and used bucktails and gulp. Some of the anglers will tell you it was the best they could remember in years.
Where were the blue claw crabs? One of the slowest years I can ever remember for them.
Surf fishing continued with cow nose rays and brown sharks. It was a summer of where very few king fish and where are the spots. After such a great year with spots the past year this year they were a no show. Fluke fishing from the surf was disappointing for most part.
Come the end of August and time for the ocean fisherman to start scoring with fluke along comes Irene that came thru our inlet. The water was dirty for the longest time and the fluke fishing never came back
One fish that we had an abundance of this year was blowfish. Yes blowfish. An unbelievable year. If you caught them as a kid you got to catch them again. Anchored up in the bay around 110 area you could catch some real nice fish and go home with 50. Lots of people were doing it day after day. Also while you were catching them you could catch some snappers and a few kingfish. On occasion you would see a weakfish. Weakfish seemed to have some what of a return late summer around the docks usung gulp shrimp and and fin-s.
It took a few weekends after Irene for things to settle back down but Irene left its mark with beach erosion especially on the south end.
Holgate that was suppose to open the beginning of September did not happen.
Long Beach Township worked hard rebuilding the road with 60 loads of fill to get it open but Mother Nature was not kind to the Wildlife Entrance this year. The road was open for a couple of days to close and reopen again over and over.
Mullet made their appearance and there were lots of small bluefish to go with them. Lots of times the bass will appear with the mullet too. There are a few anglers that did very well live lining mullet for some 20 pound bass. Fluke season ended at the end of September. The water temperature was 73 and the surf anglers were catching small bluefish and kingfish. (No spots)
The 57th Classic started on the 8th of October ( ocean temp 73) with the first day having a 41 pound bass weighed in. My thought were what a way to start the derby.(That fish did go on to win the tournment)
It was good to see the number of anglers top the prior years entry number. There were also a few more fish caught in the tournament this year. In the last few years there have been a lot of bunker show up close to the beach where anglers were able to snag just like in the spring but this fall there was no amount of this happening. This year brought sand eels and more sand eels in which brought fishing for some that had never seen fish like this before. Long skinny metals that resemble the sand eels, needlefish and plastics that resemble sand eels.
Sea Shell Tournament lived up to its reputation with wind, rain and high tides which cut down on the amount of boats in it this year but like always they raised a lot of money for their charity and all had a good time.
Last year boats anchored in the bay and or with clams had a great year. This year it was different. There were a few fish taken in the bay on clams, bunker, eels or spots but for the most part in was in the ocean. What a year it was for the ocean fisherman. With all the sand eels that were and are here it was a lot jigging with avas and trolling umbrellas with tube lures.
This year we had our first Kids Classic and it was a great weekend and the kids got to experience catching fish on lures where last year it was all about bait.
As I write this today surf anglers are still catching bass on the beach with avas and plugs yes the sand eels are still here.
This year was much different from last year and sometimes when you don't catch fish one way you can catch them a different way or sometimes when you don't catch one kind of fish you catch another and this year sure proofed that!
Well I am looking forward to what 2012 brings!
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