Friday, September 13, 2013

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

There are some schoolies here and there in white water
along the oceanfront. However, keepers are
 few and far between.
Wednesday was one of the few good days I have seen this month. That's because I found a small pod of bait and the starving stripers and blues were feasting.  One step forward.  I was hoping the fall season was finally on its way.  Wrong thinking.  I went back on Thursday and found some rough, but fishable water along the oceanfront.  However, the bait and breaking fish were nowhere to be found. Two steps back.  I slugged it out all afternoon and evening in a few spots and was lucky to land two schoolies on a float and Cocahoe combo. My kids scouted around today and reported seeing nothing.
The big problem thus far in September is a lack of bait and a lack of resident keeper stripers.  Heck, a big fish these days from the mainland shore is 30 inches.  There are schoolies here and there that get active whenever white water forms. In addition, there have been no false albacore around, a bad sign at this point.
The lack of bait is problematic.  The fishing will remain fair or poor if no run of bait develops.  For small bait it will have to be bay anchovies because that's about all that we have these days.  Forget peanut bunker because breeding adults are at an all time low.  We haven't seen big numbers of peanuts in years.  As far as bigger bait, we can hope that a mullet run will materialize.  In the past that has happened from mid September to mid October.  Some fishermen are reporting a few mullet here and there, but I have seen none.
One more note.  I have never seen so few fishermen out and about at this time of year. In the last five outings, it has been rare for me to see another fisherman plugging for stripers, blues or albies from shore.  There aren't even fishermen driving around and looking.  Even the bottom fishermen are few and far between.  Some will claim it is the high price of gasoline.  I blame the poor fishing.  We are not off to a good start this fall. It should be better.