Lots of people visiting the Jersey Shore and other coastal resort areas all over the world pay good money to board boats in the summertime and go out seeking whales breaking water and putting on a show. This time of year you can see plenty of humpback whales breeching pretty close to the beach on a leisurely stroll along the sand ... for free!

A friend of mine took this picture of a mature humpback feeding just yards off the beach at Bayhead on Wednesday morning. Right now, there are millions of bunker — small, oily bait fish — in large schools cruising up and down the coast of New Jersey. The whales are feeding on them along with anchovies, yes anchovies, in great numbers right now. With the weather for the next week being unusually mild, a nice walk along the beach sounds like the perfect prescription for what's been a stressful week for most of us.

These humpbacks are putting on their final show here close in along the beach for the year as the bait fish will disappear soon and make their way south for the winter like many species in the Northern Hemisphere. Many of them will head for the warm waters of the West Indies for breeding and calving during the months of January and February. We should all be so lucky. So, if you've got no plans for the weekend, bring a picnic lunch and have your camera ready. You just might get a free show.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis’ own.

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