Time: 5 - 8 am
Location: New Jersey Beachfront
Tide and Weather: Dead High 7:47 am, Cloudy, Rain Predicted, Air Temperature 75, Water Temperature Mid 70s, Very Light South Wind, Flat Surf, Moon 0% Visible, Pressure 29.89
Catch: I caught nothing, but it was a very interesting morning. I witnessed an incredible amount of bait in the surf. They were bay anchovies. Also known as rainfish.
A very distinct feature of the bay anchovy is their over-sized mouth. They're filter feeders and their mouths help them feed. If you zoom in on the picture you can make it out.
While standing on the base of a jetty, I did see one striped bass swim right at me, hit the north jetty pocket at my feet, and make a lighting fast turn before bolting out along the rocks.
But I believe the bait was mostly getting eaten by snapper bluefish. At points, the baby blues had the anchovies hopelessly pinned against the beach and jetty rocks. I squatted in knee deep water, dunked my waterproof camera, and took a few pictures. The bait was so thick that even the snappers were picky. Snapper zappers, a solid match for small rainfish, didn't get touched. Even my Gulp! baits were mostly left alone. That was a first.
By the end of my trip the predicted weather showed up. A wind switch brought cool air and it was clear that mother nature was pushing me to pack it in. No argument here.
*On 8/15/18 I was surfing a few towns south. A similar scene played out both tight to the beach and well outside the jetty tips. I saw bigger splashes in the blitz that was offshore. Something bigger was throwing water.