Last Call for Sea Bass
Story by Tom P
Well, sort of. At least insofar as the summer fishery is concerned, as this portion of the season concludes August 31.
And with a mere two fish limit, what’s the excitement about?
Well, for one thing, the sea bass are thicker than the hair on an Alaskan Malamute. Secondly, they are found in schools on wrecks, rubble and around any type of subsurface structure or sticky bottom not far from the shoreline, oftentimes as close as within one mile, and can also be found frequenting bridge and pier stanchions. What’s more, they are in a constant state of hungry and can be caught easily enough on a one or two hook rig baited with a wad of clam, strip of squid or a cooked shrimp (no kidding), and are also suckers for a seductively danced AVA-17, AVA-27 or a Run Off Sand Eel metal jig, or an S&S bucktail bounced over and around the rough stuff.
And a two fish limit? Well, a brace o’ bass makes a scrumptious addition to an already luscious catch of fluke, porgies and/or triggerfish. And on the deeper wrecks, summertime sea bass can be up to 3-plus pounds. Talk about a primo piscine smorgasbord!
The minimum length for possession is 12.5 inches and does not include the extended upper tail filament.
The season re-opens October 22 and continues through December 31. The possession limit will be 15 fish, with the same minimum length.
Snapper Cities: Snapper blues are now at or rapidly approaching the coveted 8-9 inch mark (we’ve already caught a “coupla three” just nudging the 10-inch hash), making them prime candidates for the frying pan or grill. The mini munch machines are just about everywhere the water is salty, from the surf line to the bays, tidal rivers and creeks, and lagoons. A spearing on a long shank hook under a bobber, a Snapper Zapper or Snapper Popper, or a Lenny Lance It rig…all will put the baby blues in the bucket. The last two hours of the incoming tide and the first two hours of the outgoing are the most productive times to cast a line. Lots of fun for newbies, youngsters and seasoned anglers alike.
Clam Up! Hey, clamming is still going strong with the best of the season just about to start! Little necks, top necks, and cherrystones…even chowders, are in great numbers. Great fun finding and gathering them, and incredible eats afterwards. Little necks for the half shell, top necks for the grill and steamer, cherries for the steamer or sauce, and the chowdas for chowder. BUT: don’t be a mule to the rule, as a personal fave is cherries on the half shell with a super spicy cocktail sauce. The minimum length across the shell for harvest is 1-1/2 inches, and the daily limit is 150. A resident license is $10, youth 14 and under is $2 and non-resident is $20.