Thursday, October 24, 2013

Not Good

Shore fishing continues to be poor.  I got down a number of times from shore in the last week and all I could scratch together was a few schoolies, and that includes spending quite a bit of time after dark in some very good spots (previous years).  All that bait that I have been seeing offshore in the last month seems to have disappeared.  I saw no evidence of fish or bait way out, a bad sign.
So, here we are at 2/3 of the way through the fall season and I would have to say that thus far, this is the worst year from shore in decades. There have been no albies, very few bluefish, very little bait and a lack of keeper bass. The only bright spot is that there are good numbers of schoolies.  However, the season can still turn around.  In the next couple of weeks the key to what can happen lies with ocean herring.  If you start to see gannets working off the south shore dive bombing into the herring, it will signal something big is on the way. Two years ago big numbers of herring came close to shore in November and it was lights out fishing for weeks for large bluefish and keeper bass.  Yes, it can happen.
I heard an interesting theory as to why there has been so little bait around this fall.  I spoke with a very knowledgeable fisherman who has contacts in the management field.  He claims that when Hurricane Sandy hit the NY and NJ shorelines last year there were vast amounts of baitfish in the bays, rivers and estuaries.  That bait got completely wiped out in the hurricane, and we are seeing the effects of it this year.  Certainly makes sense.