Wednesday, September 9, 2015

TONS of Bait but Where's the Fish

A guy walked up to me on the beach yesterday and asked, "Did you see all that bait? What's going come there are no fish?"
Indeed, I saw the most bait yesterday that I have seen in years.  One massive school (size of a school gym) after another was passing right along the shore.  One massive bunch area of dark water moves by, and thirty yards in back of it is another huge bunch.  It was all peanut bunker.  And, NOTHING was after it!
I figured there must be a black sea bass, fluke, striper, or bluefish under it so I worked below it with a bucktail jig.  All I could jig up for an afternoon's effort was a big sea robin.
Strange times. There are tons of bait and few fish except for an occasional small pod of albies, but even they are scarce. In the past those peanut bunker would attract loads of blues, stripers and albies at this time of year.
I have to think the real warm water is having a big effect on the slower than normal shore fishing.  The surface water yesterday was in the low to mid 70's.  I was fishing in a bathing suit and the water felt just as warm as the air on that hot day.
I ended up seeing three small pods of albies yesterday, but they were way out. Up for about ten seconds and then gone. So, I  got none from the shore and I know on no one else that got any yesterday.  From what I can piece together, there have been a scant few taken from shore along the oceanfront, better numbers from the boat, though still way off. Many fishermen are beginning to question whether we will see the good fishing for albies this year.  I know of fly rodders who have been out in good numbers in one particular location,  They have been at it just about every day for the last two weeks.  One fish has been caught by these guys. Not good.
All was not lost yesterday.  I did manage to nail two stripers right at dark and one was a keeper. I got them in a dropaway deep water spot in which, surprisingly. there was no bait. I got both on a white Slug-go.