Below: The dogs look better with each downed can.
"Bradenton brewery puts shelter dogs on beer cans to find them forever homes."
Trail Cam Captures Opossum Pulling Ticks Off A Deer's Face
This trail cam photo beautifully demonstrates a symbiotic relationship -- a special interaction between species that provides a balance that can only be achieved by working together.
Photo confusion ... my bad. Last blog, I led with the photo of a quite-nice corvette stuck in the sand. As is often the case with many pics sent my way, its origins are unknown -- though the palpable insanity of a driver trying a beach buggying stunt in one of the planet's ultimate sports cars transcends the need for any more explanation than the picture itself offers. Sorry, for those who assumed it occurred on LBI, though I can't say for sure it didn't since many a sedan driver has tried to go Daytona on our beaches. That said: Please keep sending me images. If you can include a bit of data that would be helpful. Email: email@example.com.
Monday, January 27, 2020: Can you believe January is all but gone? Its mildness must be adding to the speed in which it’s passing since many a January past has crawled along a frozen pathway, each minute seemingly frozen in time. I’ve seen frigid Januarys that have taken months to pass.
Yes, there are still small stripers in the surf mix, per a plugger who has cashed in on the relative mildness.
I should also mention that perch fishing has been exceptional for those who know the ropes and locales, parts of the Mullica jumping to mind.
As you likely know, white perch, Morone Americana, are a very close relative to striped bass, Morone saxatilis. The latter is the largest of what is scientifically known as a “true bass” or “true sea bass.” The “true” is needed to highlight the untrue bassiness of largemouth and smallmouth non bass. Those profusely popular non bass are members of the sunfish family, Centrarchidae.
Below: Serious bluegill sunfish.
While native to our nape of the nation, largemouth bass -- which have spurred a billion-dollar industry -- have been humanly introduced to far wider and more diversified watery areas than they ever reached in nature.
Below: "A Long-Lost Photo of George Perry and His World Record Bass?"
Returning to the white perch, their flavor is thought by many to be well beyond that of striped bass.
Perch deliciousness confirmed, it likely beats out bass because of the illegalness of eating small stripers -- hereabouts. Down Chesapeake way, good-eating-size 18-inch stripers can be kept, though new stricter recreational and commercial regs are coming into play even down there. Per a southernmarylandchronicle.com), Bay anglers would be restricted to just one fish per day, of 18 inches or longer. Currently, anglers in Maryland can currently keep two 18-inch (and larger) fish. Virginia has reduced its limit from two to one fish of that size range.
Below: A look at Chesapeake 18-inchers.
Smaller stripers are surely superior in taste to jumbo models. I’ll stake my cooking career on the premise that striped bass over, say, 32 inches rapidly lose flavor by the inch, above 28 inches. We might be putting that concept to the test/taste if the striped bass regulation for 2020 is one fish between 24 and 28 (or 29) inches.
I'd be remiss if I didn't pass on the existing warnings about eating fish from water hereabouts. Applied primarily to pregnant, nursing or thinking-about-it females, restrictions can include limiting the intake of locally caught seafood to no more than one serving per month. For others of us, the dangers from toxicity in seafood is likely overblown. For example, the state suggests low risk folks limit white perch out of the Mullica be eaten no more than once a week; mothers, once a month. I'll bet Mullica perch can be eaten almost daily without danger. That's based on the near year'round residency of the perch and the relatively low bottom pollution of that river system.
Striper flesh is a tougher call, mainly in regards to dining on larger fish, i.e. what we can keep. The trick is to keep the smallest fish, bleed them early on, remove lateral lines and stomach flaps, and cook them on a grill so juices drip off into a catch pan or charcoals.
As expected, pickerel fishing has been hot. These active predators are highly water-temp responsive, immediately reacting to bouts of weathery mildness by moving onto shallows to feed on anything that dares to move, like a Mepp’s spinner.
For Holgaters, it has been a slow-go when seeking looks at wildlife. There has been next to no avian or even seal activity in that last LBI wilderness area, theoretically worth billions of dollars. I laughingly bring up that assumed value, after hearing a couple folks near the Holgate parking area wondering out loud, “Imagine how much that land would be worth to developers.” That’s an oft-heard hypothetical notion. Considering the Forsythe Refuge zone is now about three miles in length, the number of sure-to-be multimillion-dollar homes that could be built there is through the ceiling. Such estimates prove how astounding it was that the likes of Edwin B. Forsythe somehow saved it – for anglers, I should add.
Here’s some foggy looks of Bonnet Island.
12 Year-Old Idaho Girl Reels in World Record Yellow Perch
Posted: January 20, 2015
(Photo Courtesy Of The Wiese Family)
When 12 year-old Tia Wiese, from Eagle, Idaho, went ice fishing at Lake Cascade with her dad last March, and they expected to catch some yellow perch…but not the world record perch!
A recent post on 13wmaz.com revealed that after Tia’s line went out of control and got help from her dad reeling in the monster perch, she and her dad, Gary, couldn’t believe the size of what was brought back up through their ice hole. A giant yellow perch.
Gary weighed the monster they were holding on his scale and was certain it had to be a record of some sort. A quick jaunt to nearby Cascade to weigh it on a certified scale proved that he was correct. It was a new state record, with the perch weighing in at a whopping 2 pounds and 11.68 ounces.
The glory doesn’t stop there, though! “After visiting the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Wisconsin, Gary learned that the world record for yellow perch caught while ice fishing weighed in at 2 pounds 6 ounces out of Sheep Pond, Massachusetts.
He also discovered that there is a world record classification for ice fishing with a tip-up rod and saw that Tia’s fish weighed five ounces more than the record holder.”
After Gary submitted the paperwork for Tia’s perch to be recognized as a world record, it was recently confirmed that it was the “largest yellow perch caught while ice fishing using a tip-up rod anywhere in the world”.
When Tia heard the news of her catch, she said she was laughing so hard that she was crying. Not too shabby for a 12 year-old, eh? Awesome job, Tia, and way to go Gary, for paying attention to detail and getting your daughter’s fish recognized as it should be! Very cool!
I broke down and painted up one Lava plug.
>People just forget just how hard fishermen work. Today I’ve witnessed fisherman Dave Robinson brings his catch ashore at Selsey beach. He boarded his boat single-handedly at three this morning. The rain was lashing down across a freezing cold sea as he headed out from a dark beach. Dave stepped ashore again 10 hours later after battling turbulent waves in atrocious weather. All this to support his family. It is the toughest job on earth.
Once the fish are unloaded there is time for Nick and Dave to chat about many things including the highs and lows of being a UK fisherman today. Nick comments:
We never forget that fishermen are very proud people and don’t easily discuss their problems. They have good days and bad days. Most importantly they know they can rely on us for help.” The Fishermen’s Mission outreach work on the south coast stretches from Swanage in Dorset to Sheerness in Kent, taking in the Isles of Wight and the Channel Islands. Nick makes a concerted effort to become a well- known and trusted friend in the many small harbours and beach fishing fleets along the coastline. In recent years the fishing here has been very tough with poor catches and soaring costs. Struggling fishing families are increasingly calling on the help that the Fishermen’s Mission provides.
Selsey fishermen Chris and Mike Harvey explain the difference the Fishermen’s Mission makes for them:
“Nick often pops down to see us. He is always there when needed and it’s such a reassurance to know we have someone to help us when all looks bleak. There are only now 11 fishing boats working from Selsey beach. The high cost of living in this area means fishermen need help to pay bills when things get hard. People forget we have boat repairs, nets to replace, quotas and inclement weather especially off this part of the coast. If we can’t go to sea we don’t have an income!”
Whilst at Selsey Nick pays a visit to the local Lifeboat station. Nick maintains a close working relationship with the Selsey coxswain and his crew as they are the frontline hen it comes to helping fishermen in distress at sea. An emergency situation can occur at any time as Nick relates:
“Two years ago, the Dover Coastguard called with the news that a Belgian beamer had capsized off the coast of Ramsgate. One fisherman was rescued but two were still missing. I drove Ashford in Kent to visit the surviving fisherman in the hospital. On route, I stopped to buy new clothes, shoes and other personal items for him. Later I worked with police and coastguard to help repatriate him back to Belgium. What is nice is that he is still in touch with me today. The emotional and practical support we gave him meant so much.”
Our fishermen earn a living doing the toughest job earth. They have a reliable friend in Nick O’Neill, who gives us a personal reflection on what working for the Fishermen’s MIssion means to him:
“As I visit ports and harbours my aim is to serve God and the fishing families I meet. When you get a call from someone who needs help, when you actually go to visit them, you know you are making a tangible difference to their lives. It’s really encouraging to then witness their sheer gratitude and relief that someone is alongside them, offering support and comfort. They know they are not forgotten and will not have to face their problems on their own”.
Your vital role in Nick’s work as he brings hope in stormy seas to every fisherman and every fishing family in need that he meets. Please donate to the Fishermen’s Mission today to ensure they never have to face the struggles of a life alone at sea.
Scientists Have Found A 268-Year-Old Whale, That's Probably 25 Years Older Than USA!
Scientists may have found a whale that is older than USA - the whale may have been alive since 25 years before the USA existed.
Scientists have made the discovery that many mammals live far longer than expected, meaning the Bowhead whale has an average 268-year life expectancy. This whale lives in the Arctic and was previously known to live at least 211 years. One whale was dated using amino acids from its eye.
Representative Image: WWF
However, Australian researchers used a genetic 'clock' to predict animals' lifespans, and they say the whales live nearly 60 years longer than that. They worked out the math after studying 42 genes and using a chemical process called methylation (method used to predict life expectancy).
Representative Image: YouTube
“Vertebrates range hugely in lifespan, from a pygmy goby, a tropical fish which lives for only eight weeks, to a bowhead whale. It is incredible to think that there is an animal which lives for almost three centuries and could have been alive when Captain Cook first arrived in Australia. The results will also help to work out animals' risk of extinction. This could not be used to predict people's lifespan as it looks at species rather than individuals. It also provides averages only,” Daily Mail quoted study author Dr Benjamin Mayne, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra as saying.
Just imagine, a whale has been swimming around in the Arctic, since before USA was formed!
Children That Play Outside In All Weather Grow Up Resilient
It seems like an obvious statement, so why don’t kids play outside in challenging weather nearly as much as they used to? Why are schools keeping kids inside at recess when the temperature gets too cold? What kind of adult will this type of childhood experience create?
Most challenges, risks, and hurdles are swiftly removed from childhood in efforts to prevent anything bad from happening to the children that we love.
As Winter ebbs and flows, with temperatures ranging from minus 25 to plus 10 in the past few weeks, we’ve experienced a wonderful range of opportunities with the programs we run. Challenges and opportunities. From freezing weather with blustery winds, to rain and floods in the parks where we work, to massive snowstorms full of amazing forts and fun!
Imagine children that have grown up playing outside in all manner of challenging conditions, in all seasons of the year. Imagine how they’d be different than kids taught to come inside when it’s raining, or cold. Imagine how they’d be different from kids that find entertainment from the TV, computer or video games.
Kids who play outside in challenging weather are more positive, more creative, and more adaptable. They don’t let challenges stop them. They rise to challenges and find ways to carry on in spite of them. And that’s just their baseline. It’s nothing special to them. It’s normal.
It used to be normal for all kids.
Add mentors and role models with smiles on their faces, skills to keep everyone warm and happy(ish), challenging questions to keep children growing and children become even more incredible! Especially if parents, family, and community are all making these types of experiences a normal reality for their children, rather than preventing them from going outside in all weather.
Imagine children that have grown up playing outside in all manner of challenging conditions, in all seasons of the year. Imagine how they’d be different than kids taught to come inside when it’s raining, or cold.
Challenging weather creates real and perceived risks, and so risk creates opportunity for growth. Because risks teach. They have real consequences that ask us to be aware; aware of ourselves, others, and nature.
This type of risk is a rare opportunity for children today. Most challenges, risks, and hurdles are swiftly removed from childhood in efforts to prevent anything bad from happening to the kids we love. But this may be robbing children of life’s challenges and not preparing them for the realities of being an adult.
Kids don’t have to be positive, creative, or adaptable if there are no challenges. With no challenges, there are no consequences. What kind of adult will result from a childhood without challenges or consequences? Yikes is all I have to say.
The great thing is, it’s easy to switch this up.
One way is to just go outside. Go out in all conditions, and if you aren’t comfortable doing so, bring your kids to others that are. That’s community, and a “village raising a child”, so to speak.
Hook penetration is one of the most important aspects of fishing and probably the least well understood. The aim of this article is to help clear up some of the confusion.
The sharpness, length and profile of the point all govern how far the hook point will penetrate into the flesh in and around the mouth of a fish.
The barb is the projection extending backwards from the point that was originally designed to try and reduce the likelihood of the fish unhooking itself during the fight.
Whereas the point profile and its length initially influence penetration, it is the barb, especially its angle and elevation, that will ultimately influence total penetration and holding power.
Historically the biggest challenge for hook manufacturers has always been to make sharp points that were durable. Grinding technology was initially rough and inconsistent, so fish hook manufacturers invested a lot of R&D effort into improving point sharpness. The first improvement was chemical sharpening which surprisingly occurred in the early 1950’s. I say surprisingly as you’d think from the marketing hype associated with many modern hook brands that it was a recent development. The 1960’s saw significant gains in polishing processes but it wasn’t until the 1990’s that hooks with sharp, durable points started to dominate the angling landscape.
Point profile was the next area of focus for hook manufacturers and this has been the major area of innovation in recent times. Roughly speaking, fish hooks are now manufactured according to two different principles namely Pressed and Cut Point and Needle Point.
Barb elevation and design has also changed dramatically over the decades and consequently the prevailing view of what constitutes “right and wrong” when it comes to barb design is significantly different to what it once was. This is most evident when it comes to different angling styles and techniques. As a result, there is an growing trend in consumer preference towards smaller and smaller barbs primarily because this improves hook penetration. Microbarbed or barbless hooks are now employed on a wide range of hook styles, especially those used for light weight and ultra light weight fishing. Larger barbs are now reserved for hooks used for large fish targeted in tough and challenging situations. For example, deep sea trolling where the forward momentum of the boat can be used to help set the hook and where maximum holding power is needed to secure the large fish that regularly jump into the air during the fight.
For needle point (conical) hooks, how far the point will penetrate when force is applied is governed by:-
- the diameter of the wire used in the construction of the hook (commonly called the hook gauge)
- the smoothness of the surface of metal near the point
- the shape of the point, especially the cone angle
- the size and angle of the barb as well as the distance from the point
Of these factors wire diameter (gauge) probably has the greatest effect on how far a hook will penetrate. It has been shown that the thinner the wire gauge the further the hook point will penetrate and the relationship between penetration distance and wire diameter has been quantified mathematically.
In simple terms, if the wire diameter is doubled then it will require four times more force to get the same amount of point penetration. Thinking of this another way halving the wire diameter allows the point to penetrate to the same distance with only a quarter of the force.
Obviously thinner hooks are going to give a better chance of hook up as they will penetrate further when the fisherman strikes. This is where it gets tricky though as thinner gauge hooks are more likely to bend during the fight (especially if the hook has a wide gape and drag settings are heavy) so you have to balance penetration off against tensile strength.
Over the years I have used most of the brands of hooks and styles in my fly tying. Most worked well but there were two that stood out for freshwater fly fishing and these are the Kamasan B175 and Tiemco TMC 2457. The distance from point to barb is relatively short, the barbs themselves are smaller than many styles and overall the hook up rates seem to be excellent.
Compare these two styles with the hook labelled 3666 below which has a much more pronounced barb, steeper barb angle and a marginally longer distance from point to barb. The 3666 hook is not a bad design however it is probably better for fishing sub surface patterns in fast water where the water pressure will aid hook set.
For my saltwater flies, I prefer Tiemco TMC 800 B, Gamakatsu Siwash or the Mustad Saltwater 34007 NPSS hooks. As the images below show these hooks all have relatively large barbs, longish points and sturdy gauge wire.
There are several reasons why I prefer these hooks namely:-
- My primary target is kahawai which frequently jump out of the water during the fight. The larger barbs help improve hook hold when kahawai go aerial.
- In saltwater fly fishing a “strip strike” is used to set the hook when the fish takes the fly. As traces are generally 7 – 10 kilogram at the point this allows the angler to aggressively set the hook and counter the effect of the barb in reducing penetration efficacy.
- The wire gauge is a compromise between light and heavy. This allows the manufacturer to sharpen and smoothly polish the needle points to aid penetration.
- The gape of all three hooks is wide compared to the shank length and this seems to aid hooking efficiency.
- The front length of Tiemco TMC 800 B is a slightly upturned which means that it does not catch on the bottom during the retrieve as regularly as a hook which has a front length that is parallel to the hook shank.
Why is any of this important?
The reason this is important is that choosing the correct hook can have a dramatic effect on hook up and landing rates. To illustrate this I am going to use Nitro jig heads as an example. These jig heads are used in soft plastic fishing.
When Nitro jig heads first started to appear on the market they were fitted with Owner hooks. These hooks (shown at the bottom in the photograph below) had a relatively thin wire diameter, narrow needle point and a shiny black nickel finish. They worked extremely well however they were prone to bend and break, especially if the angler was fishing in deep water and applying huge amounts of pressure to stop fish reaching cover. The nickel coating was also prone to corrosion, especially when it had been scored by fish teeth and was put back into tackle boxes without the salt water residues being washed off.
Obviously this concern was fed back to the manufacturer as the second generation Nitro jig heads were fitted with a thicker diameter (heavier gauge) zinc electroplated hook. The coating was very corrosion resistant but it is nowhere near as smooth and shiny as black nickel. The perfect solution? Not at all!
Because the new hooks had a thicker diameter and the coating less slippery they did not penetrate as far when the angler struck and hook up rates were much lower. Remember that doubling the gauge of the hook means that it will take four times more force to get the same degree of penetration? The problem is exacerbated because soft bait fishermen use very thin lines and are unable to increase the strike force appreciably without breaking the main line braid. My subjective assessment is that hook up rates dropped to around 50% of what they were. Personally, I’d rather have the original hooks as hook bending and corrosion can be easily managed.
Interestingly Nitro subdivided the category in subsequent releases and returned to the thinner gauge hooks for the smaller jig head sizes and retained the heavy gauge hooks for deep-water jig heads that are generally used with much heavier braid. A good compromise all round.
So in conclusion, hooks are probably the most important item in the anglers arsenal as they are the primary point of contact with the fish. Selecting the ideal hook is always going to come down to personal preference but my advice is to:-
- select a hook made with the thinnest gauge wire possible.
- ensure that the wire has high tensile strength and does not bend easily under pressure.
- match the hook to the target species. If your target does not jump then having a large barb is probably unnecessary.
- use hooks with tiny barbs where light tippets are used, especially in fresh water, as this will improve hook set.
- use hooks with larger barbs if you are fishing for fish that jump with heavy tippets and setting the hook with a strip strike.
- make sure that the hook coating is high polished and the transition from point to barb is progressive rather than stepped (i.e. a smooth needle point).