Summertime part 2

Another blog  post , courtesy of our guest blogger and SJ reader Jason Gribschaw

Enjoy it


By Jason Gribschaw

So we touched on the highly attractive bass, tried some crabbing and maybe even a houndfish, now let’s hop back out front and hit the surf. 

For the bait crowd, summertime sharks have become a high target species.  So widely targeted, that paddling out baits has made its way north over the years and is drawing more attention than those who have been doing it for a long time would like.  I have not heard of any injuries reported due to paddling out nighttime baits, but it looks like the state of Delaware put a ban on it, and I could be wrong, but they may have even banned shark fishing from the surf altogether.  Oh well, now those guys will just have to say they are after bass, rays and skates and, in reality, become light tackle shark gurus. 

So what are you going to need to try your hand at sharking?  Well let me get you started.  If you are truly interested in this or want to become better, I strongly suggest looking further than what I have to offer.  In fact, my nighttime sharking adventures have been few and far between, but I have had some fun with it. 

First of all, many of the sharks you will encounter are small, and for that reason alone I have often used the same gear I do when I chunk bunker or fish clam for bass in the surf.  (Your hook of choice: an 80# leader, a little bit longer than normal, on a slider rig.)  This way, the bigger fish, that I do not necessarily want to handle alone, will eventually cut me off. 

Now, if you are interested in more than the 5’ brown sharks or the countless dogfish and skates, you are going to have to beef up the rigging.  Try crimping much heavier mono, or use a haywire twist on some wire to make more tooth and hide resistant leader.  I would still advise adding a good section of mono above your wire as well.  Think about the length of the shark you wish to tango with, and that should be the minimum length of your leader.  The problem here becomes casting, so if you go shorter, just remember to stay even with the shark as it makes a run along the beach. 

Other things that will help are tossing a chum bucket into the surf to draw them in.  If you start at high tide this is much easier, because as the tide goes out you will be able to retrieve it.  If the tide is rising, you are going to have to run a rope from the bucket up the beach and risk getting tangled or losing the bucket all together. 

Part Four

Bass, crabs, houndfish, sharks, skates, rays….what else can we get before the sun pops up and the beach becomes hot and crowded?

Well, if you are dead sticking for “shark week”, you may as well bring along a light outfit and bucktail or fly fish the surf, cuts, bars, pockets and inlets for some fluke.  Yes, fluke hit at night, and some of my better fluke have been taken around bridge pilings in the dark, but don’t stop when the sun pops up. 

Well, I take that back, as the sun rises you may want to put on a popper and try and stir up some action from a bass or blue roaming the area.  After all, some of you may have had a chum bucket in the surf all night drawing in the sharks and more skates than you planned on. 

Now if Big Rock steered you right and you are in the beach buggy gang, you are good to stick around for a bit longer, but if you are like me, it is about time to pack up some stuff (bait, rod, spike….) and start hiking it back to the car.  Don’t worry, I am not done; I just want to get that stuff off the beach before the sun is going to punish me for waiting too long.  And if you notice me walking the beach, I will likely take you up on a lift to or from an inlet or point (I do not like sand that much). 

Bass, crabs, houndfish, sharks, skates, rays, fluke and blues have all been added to the list of summer species at night and early morning.  What else is in store? 

The sun is up and it is getting hot on the beach, so I head for the jetty where I will stick out in the water, take a few splashes and stay cool.  The beach buggy crowd, that can travel with the “kitchen sink”, may want to hang around on the beach for a bit and try for some kingfish.  When they are around, these little guys are good for dinner.  They are found on the edges of bars, snacking on bloodworms or the fake stuff.  I am sure many of you have other baits, but those are two of the most common seen on the beaches around me.   You may even pick up a few blowfish this way as well. 

Our northern friends may be after some scup or porgy, depending upon where you live, but the NJ and south crowd may have to hop on a boat for that species.

Part Five

Bass, crabs, houndfish, sharks, skates, rays, fluke, blues, blowfish, kingfish and scup keep our list growing, and since the summer beach buggy gang is out in full force with multiple rods spiked, and children swimming in-between them, you can find me down at the jetty.  I am only kidding.  Multiple rods and kids in the wash do not bother me in the summer, I took off for the jetty a long time ago to avoid the heat. 

Down at the jetty I may be picking away at fluke, but if I was in NY, you are probably wondering, what is the point?  I feel bad for you guys and your 20.5” fluke regulation, but what are we to do?  Remember way back when the limit was 12”?  We had no problem catching big fluke back then.  So how about instead of pissing and moaning about the regulations, we go grab a lighter outfit or try the fly rod for some fluke.  Many of you release a lot of your bass and most of your blues, why not take that same attitude with other species as well? 

If I am not fluking, odds are I have scrounged up a bunch of tiger crabs and am tangling with tautog.  Once thought of as trash fish, tautog is now highly sought after by many people.  The shore based angler has a good shot at some very nice tautog, the boat guys try to win big pool money with the monsters in deeper water and some Asian markets are crawling with illegal tautog.  Tautog may be one of your best fish to put on the table, and pound for pound they put up one hell of a fight, especially if you are fishing from a jetty. 

This next fish is sometimes taken when targeting tautog, but if you truly want to target them, grab some smaller hooks and hope the triggers are passing by.  Or better yet, grab a spear and go for a swim.   If I said tautog were tasty, then I would be doing you a disservice if I did not mention how tasty triggerfish are. 

Since I have taken up enough of your time already, I will wrap up. 

Summer is a fun time down at the shore for both beach goers and fisherman alike.  Truth be told, it was summer time fun that my grandfather used to introduce me to fishing, and I have been hooked ever since. 

The choice is yours.  Rest up for the fall and stay in town, or take family and friends down to the shore and introduce them to some of the easiest fishing you can find.  Cook them up a good meal, and, who knows, they may take up fishing as well.  If not, at least they will have a better understanding of what the hell you are doing come November, when you are out getting a bass for Thanksgiving dinner to serve along with the turkey.

5 comments on “Summertime part 2

  1. Jason

    Thanks for the replys on both articles. Summers down the shore with my grandfahter is how I got started. Fishign off the old AC bridge and around Brigantine, NJ or up in Jamica Bay, NY my grandfather and I would fish untill school started up again. Summer is some of the easiest fishing with relativel steady action and as long as you are not baking in the sun or being eaten by flys it is the most comfortable.

    Now we face one of the largest Hurricans the NE has ever had and summer is coming to an end. Enjoy, be safe and soon enough we will be back to the fun of fall.


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