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Far26's Fishing Blog
» 29 November 2006

Schoolie City

The recent stretch of weather has felt much more like September than late-November. Daytime highs in the 60’s should help to extend our fall run, but it looks like we’re due for some more seasonable weather by the weekend. Hopefully, this cold front will really put the striped bass on the feed.

Fishing reports to the north continue to be promising and many anglers are looking forward to a run of better-sized fish in the very-near future. Baitfish schools may not be as thick as they were earlier in the month, nevertheless there should be enough peanut bunker and spearing present in most of our waters to attract the attention of migrating bass.

Small striped bass are all over our backwaters now. Hoards of feisty little bass moved in after last week’s coastal storm and it seems as though they’re here to stay. Some keeper-sized stripers can still be found from time to time, but they’ve been few and far between.

I spent the last few nights fishing the backwaters between Cape May and Long Beach Island and found bass at just about every stop. It’s official, schoolie striped bass have taken over the backwaters! I caught over forty stripers last night, but only managed to hook two keeper-sized fish. Fishing action really can’t get any better, but the size of the fish has been somewhat surprising. Most of the striped bass I found this week were between 14 and 20 inches. These smaller fish are a blast on light tackle, but not what most backwater anglers have come to expect for this time of year.

The short bass don’t seem to be very selective. Lure choice and presentation aren’t as important as usual, as it seems most of these fish will hit just about anything in their line of sight. The bite has been good during the night tides, no matter the tide stage. The only pattern I've been able to put together is that the few keepers I did catch were all taken during the falling tide.

Fall fishing is far from over. Striped bass should remain active in our waters until at least the end of the season. Lets hope for a December to remember! Smile

My little girl with the 32-inch striper I caught last night...

This post edited by Far26 10:27 AM 02/27/2007

posted by Far26 at 11:26 AM | 0 comments

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» 10 November 2006


Despite the full moon tides and mid-week rainstorm, great fishing action continues to take place in much of our backwater areas.

Striped bass are receiving most of the attention and for good reason. Many anglers experienced a great bite this week, as striped bass seem to be increasing in both numbers and size. Boaters fishing with bucktails and live eels along the ICW took some of this week’s largest bass. Land-based anglers scored on fresh clam baits, while the night-shift crew reported plenty of fish on shallow-diving plugs and soft-plastic baits. Large amounts of baitfish combined with the recent stretch of above-average air temperatures should allow the great striper action to last well into December!

Tog fishing remains very good at most of our local rock piles and bridges. Deep drop-offs along the sod banks have also surrendered quite a few tog this week. Green crab baits fished during the slack tides should provide some fast and furious action. I think we’re all looking forward to the eight fish bag limit changeover, which takes place next Wednesday, November 15.

Speckled sea trout fishing has been spectacular! I made some time to take advantage of this year’s strong run and I wasn’t disappointed. I found schools of specks scattered between Ocean City and Cape May. The most productive areas seemed to be overrun with silversides. Even though sea trout were taken throughout the day, the best action occurred right before sunset. Pink MirrOlures were responsible for most of the fish I caught, but I did manage to fool a 26-inch trout with one of my bubblegum-colored Zooms. Most of the specks landed this week were between 19 and 22 inches. It’s a real shame so many anglers are unaware of this great fishery. Not only do these sea trout put up a great fight on light tackle, but they taste great too! Smile

I hope to fool a few more of these beautiful fish over the weekend...

This post edited by Far26 10:26 AM 02/27/2007

posted by Far26 at 11:14 AM | 0 comments

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» 03 November 2006

Prime Time

The days and nights between Halloween and Thanksgiving offer New Jersey backwater anglers some of the finest striped bass fishing opportunities on the planet. The smorgasbord of baitfish now exiting our inlets acts much like a chum slick, which draws bass of all sizes into our local waters.

As if the hot striper fishing wasn’t enough, tog fishing at the rock piles and bridges has been great and some of our Cape May County anglers are experiencing the best run of speckled sea trout in years!

I couldn’t pull myself away from the striped bass this week. Most of my free time was spent fishing at night in hopes of finding that once in a lifetime fish. While I couldn’t fool any of the fish I dream about, I did manage to land a bunch of bass up to 36 inches. Mid-week blowout tides made for some tough fishing conditions, but the local bass didn’t seem to mind. Fishing around creek mouths with plugs was very productive this week, as was jigging soft-plastic baits around structure. Piers, docks, bridges, and marinas often hold tons of baitfish, so it should come as no surprise that stripers frequent these areas.

Evening high tides look promising for the upcoming week, as does Sunday night’s Full Moon. Many backwater anglers dislike fishing during the Full Moon phase, however the late-October/early-November moon has provided some great action for me over the years. Moving water and hungry bass is often a great combination!

Tog fishing has been steady at the inlet bridges and rock piles. Green crab and fiddler crab baits are favored by bruiser blackfish. The one fish bag limit has angler participation down, but we should see increased interest as the 8-fish bag limit changeover takes place on November 15.

Speckled sea trout have been reported in great numbers by many of our southern backwater anglers. The best reports have come from anglers fishing around the slack tides with bright-colored lures. I hope to join in the fun later this week. Smile

A bubble-gum-colored Zoom fooled this 36-inch striper...

This post edited by Far26 10:25 AM 02/27/2007

posted by Far26 at 11:45 AM | 1 comments

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About Me
I've spent the last 16 years trying to figure out the fish that swim in our South Jersey backwaters and I must say, I've enjoyed every minute of it! During that time, I've made some great friends and together we've learned a bunch by spending plenty of time on the water. Tiderunner weakfish grab most of my attention, however striped bass and fluke aren't far behind. I also enjoy writing about fishing. Over the last few seasons, I've had feature articles published in most of our local magazines. Currently, I'm writing weekly fishing reports (Townsends-Hereford Inlets) for Nor'East Saltwater. Some of my feature articles are linked below.

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•  Tackle Testing Tiderunners
•  NJ Grand Slam
•  Finesse Fishing
•  While You Were Sleeping
•  The Wonderful World of Weakfish
•  Its No Fluke: Big Backwater Summer Flounder

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