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Reading Barnegat Bay

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Old 09-20-2015, 07:52 AM
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DWS
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Default Reading Barnegat Bay

Just my luck....I bave the day off wed and was planning a final day of fluke fishing...looking at the ocean forecast...it looks to be a crappy day (and week for that matter). I'm new to fishing barnegat and was wondering if someone could give me a readers digest version of reading the bay. I've been on it at times this year when it was really rough...only to run the inlet and have it nice ans smooth out there...then other dayz....its like glass...

Any words of advice?

Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:51 AM
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Pay attention to the winds. A strong west wind will make the ocean look like glass for a mile or so, but will tear up the bay except for the extreme western side.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:04 PM
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Nickmo's advise is solid. Keep in mind that most of Barnegat Bay is only well protected on the western shoreline by land, houses, trees, etc. On the eastern side there is land (except for the inlet) but it's not as high for the most part.

If the wind is light and coming from the west, the western shoreline should be relatively flat. If the wind is light and coming from the east, the eastern shoreline should be relatively flat. If the wind is light and from the south or the north the same holds true. If the wind is stronger (flags are flying straight out), much of the bay will be rough. There are almost always calm protected areas of the bay, but on most of the time when we run from Oyster Creek (near the power plant) to the inlet we have to drive through the snot to get to the inlet.

Another thing is boat traffic, on weekends (especially in the summer) parts of the bay were rougher than the ocean.

Finally with regard to the inlet. The inlet is almost always nasty when the wind is going against the tide. In other words the tide is racing in (soon to be considered "high tide") and the wind is coming from the west, the inlet can be downright nasty. With a small boat, I would strongly recommend you plan your trips to avoid the inlet whenever the tide in going the opposite way the wind is blowing (look at the tide charts and the wind direction before leaving the dock).
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:13 PM
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West winds are decent on the mainland side of the bay... Easterly winds will make the bay fun and a wet choppy ride.... Figure nice white caps on the water ....

The inlet is fun, like TunaMan mentioned with the onset of high tide and a opposite wind...I took a few waves over the bow plowed the anchor into it on my boat. THAT was a bad wet ride all day.

Most days , if your leaving the inlet in the early morning (before730a) the bay is as glass and no issues... It's the return trip with following rollers you gotta watch
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:44 AM
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DWS
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Thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated! I moved down from Shark River because I wanted to fish the bay when it was too nasty out there...Wed they are calling for 5'-7' seas...a little much for my little Whaler! Might try the bay but how will a stiff NE wind affect the bay?

Lastly, are there any fluke left in the bay?

Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

Dave
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:52 AM
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A stiff NE will make the bay a mess but you should be able to find shelter around the inlet area.
OCC, sod banks, dyke, Meyers hole, inlet, DCC. Your Whaler can handle the bay, it might be a little wet crossing over.
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