Helpful suggestions on new products and fishing.
There are different ways to fish for your trophy fish.
A popular one with the boaters is to anchor in the inlet or bay with clams and or bunker.
Some prefer to troll. Some of the popular lures to troll with are bunker spoons, stretch plugs and umbrella rigs. Many anglers like to use drift eels. You can only hope the bluefish are not in that area that day. Eels are also used by the boats that like to troll the white water. They will put an eel on a bucktail to troll or they will use a bucktail with pork rind.
Jigging is another popular way of catching bass. Ava jigs and weighted shads work well for this type of fishing. The last few years we have had a lot of bunker in our waters so the snag and drop method has become popular for big bass. You snag your bunker and leave it on the snag and wait for a fish to come along and eat that fish that looks like an easy prey.
If you are fishing in a tournament you have to take that bunker off the snag and re-hook it on a different hook to be IGFA legal. Gang hooks are not permitted by IGFA.
When fishing in the surf you do not have all these options. You either bait fish with bunker and clams, being the most popular, or you throw lures. There are so many types of lures that you can use.
There are top water lures such as poppers, there are also surface lures, such as bombers, redfins, darters. metals that can be worked slowly to drag the bottom. You also have jigging lures such as avas and bucktails. You can use shads, gulp, fin-s, and slugos and retrieve them in different ways to get the action you want.
We carry a lot of these supplies in the store along with large nets.
A lot of people have not caught a large striper in their lifetime so if you don’t want your catch please release it to swim for another day, then someone else can enjoy the excitement of catching their “Trophy Fish”.
Folks younger than 40-years-old probably will not remember the days of weakfish, caught here on LBI that would push 18 pounds. Gone are the days when you would see a dozen boats tied together using a small hook with a live grass shrimp on it and using shrimp for chum catching hundreds of weakfish using light tackle with 2-pound test trying to set all kinds of records landing this fish. At times you would have to come off anchor to chase one down to land them.
Old timers that used to do this kind of fishing and get the next generation interested in doing it, too. Now that next generation is well into their mid-life.
Catching large weakfish on metals or bombers was common-place. One of my favorites was to use live lined mullet, spots, and snappers to catch these large weakfish from the surf in the fall. At that time if you live lined anything with yellow in it – it was a guaranteed weakfish catch and boy did those big weakfish fight. These fish were so abundant that they were added to the fall derby to help when we had few stripers around.
It is really nice over the past 10 days or so to see a return of some larger weakfish. They are not a fish of the size that we used to have and there are not hundreds of them, but they are averaging 4 to 6 pounds per fish.
Fin-s came on the market in this area in the late 1970s and you would think they made them just for catching weakfish. When they originally came out there were only six colors and they all worked. Thru the years with the lack of weakfish Fin-s have lost their popularity, but now with the return of the weakfish they are working again.
It is really nice to see a return of these nice size fish being caught right now by anglers that caught them when they were younger. Maybe the restrictions that have been put on them the last few years have help to return this fishery.