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Friday, September 24, 2004: Waves: Building 4-6 foot long-period easterly groundswell. Powerful rips mixed in. Water clarity: Excellent: Stirred by the swell but clean.

Swell alert: Easterly waves from H. Karl began pounding the Island late yesterday. The swells are too easterly to by H. Jeanne. We had beach overwash on erosion-prone beaches and Holgate was a veritable surf zone where we had driven buggies only a day before. Surfcasters should take caution during higher tides as rips will be bad (to horrendous) today. Yes, many surfcasters have suddenly found themselves suddenly transformed into just plain ?surfers? when wading in for better plugging positioning and getting sideswiped by a swell or two. Rolling around in the swash with filled waders is something you don?t soon forget -- especially after your buddies have laughed themselves blue. Boaters should use caution around the inlets and shoals. Once outside the inlets, the wave problem is minimal.
Ocean fluking got banged around again yesterday as winds came out of the north with a little too much vigor for a sensible drift. This a.m. there is nary a breeze to begin the day ? onshore winds later. Barnegat and Little Egg (Beach Haven) inlets had small fluke, with some nice enough to invite home, mainly Barnegat end.
The bigger news is the move out of the weakies off Barnegat Inlet. You don?t have to go very far out to jig them. At the same time, the west side of Barnegat Bay continues to hold a load of 17- to 18-inch weaks. The Gulf Point (to BB, BI) regulars have no trouble jigging up fish (white sassies or pink Fin-S) ? though drifting sandworms on floating jigheads seems to take the bigger trout.
The beachfront bass bite all along LBI has been an interesting pick. It is still down from Tuesday?s super-bang but yesterday saw plenty of talk-worthy hookups (a couple bigger bass to mid-teens mixed in) on favored Atom?s (blue and white) and deep-blue Gibb?s poppers ? though my Gag?s rat l trap (in ?bunker? color) had a couple shorts grab on.
I did draw my best striper take of the season a quarter mile north of the Rip at Holgate. I needed a major cast to reach birdplay and laid a large yellow Gibb?s ?Polaris? near some terns. A couple pops, a monumental swirl and a serious hookup. Problem was I had way too much line out. I saw an immense bass head rise out of the water as if to check out what the hell it had just bitten into, pause a second then headshake like soaked dog. I could see the plug take flight. I swore I saw the huge fish glance at me and snicker ? maybe not. I?m thinking well into the 30-pound range.
Kingfishing remains excellent in the surf, when the swells are tame enough to feel the lighter bite of these delicious panfish. Think low tide. Also, you don?t necessarily have to turn to costly bloodworms to best these northern ?whiting.? Fishing folks are now routinely using small pieces of mullet. You heard right: mullet pieces on floating kingfish rigs.
The bluefish around Little Egg Inlet got a tad larger late yesterday, almost cocktail size ? and one on every cast late-day, mainly west peninsula of the beach and in the boats working the rip just off that point of land. Rat L Traps ruled ? any color. Bait didn?t last more than few seconds when thrown into the voracious bluefish packs.

I had a call from Trenton yesterday assuring everything is in line for Monday?s vote on the bass bill -- with the Gov on-board. It can?t be emphasized enough what a vital role the folks at sites like BassBarn played in alerting the sleepy senate that it not only had to get on the ball -- but that it screwed up by placing small issues ahead of the bass laws ? all frickin? summer! By the by, all the chat about ?vote them all out,? referring to the legislature is profoundly unfair since the Assembly did its job admirably, passing the striper bill way back in June. Give credit where credit is due ? kick out the senate. Just kidding. There is an actual saying in Africa, which goes: Don?t insult the crocodile until you?ve crossed the river. The senate still has to vote the bass bill through. Let?s speak nicely of these fine fellows ? then when we cross that river ?

Further Updates at: Jay Mann's LBI and Vicinity Webpage -- Updated daily .
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