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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday Jan. 13, 08 -- A touch of angling; truck netting reaction; fluke fine tuning

Saturday/Sunday, January 12/13, 2008:

I had reports of guys hitting the beach for bass yesterday but I got zero in feedback. I also heard of some wreck seekers going out after tog and seabass.

Today was a trip from nice to nasty in not that many hours. Another zip-through storm will stir the seas with NE winds tonight and smooth them out tomorrow with hard west winds on the back side of the system. No snow for us.

There is a wave of angler angst over the YouTube video of pound-net fishing with trucks on the beaches of the Outer Banks, NC. Many years back I had written about being down near Duck/Corolla and seeing that fishing method close up and personal – including the very poor treatment of netted fish, which I was told, at the time, were bound for a pet food factory. That might not have been true, since it was a PO’ed fisherman telling me that.

By the by, the look of that truck-based haul of fat bass is disturbing but it is nothing different than occurs when net boats take their allotted stripers, down to 18 inches in that part of the coast. Still, I feel that footage will surely help the cause of “gamefish status” seekers, those fishing folks wanting striped bass to be for anglers only. I still think such a move would be wrought with ecological hazards but I would not be at all surprised to see that switch to gamefish-only status succeed. .

As for the allotment of fluke for 2008, recently okayed by NMFS, I’m told that there could be a legal challenge to that poundage decision. Militant conservation groups are already on the brink of just such a challenge. Still, the allotment is a deep enough cut that it should pass legal muster, especially when coupled with ongoing assertions that the data collecting methods need to be reexamined.

By the by, there is such a sense of relief with the better-than-expected poundage that many folks don’t realize the awful affect it will still have on the upcoming season, which will either be seriously short in duration or marked by a rise in the minimum size – keepable fluke going up to some ocean-only length, maybe 19 inches, and only a few-fish bag. That final tweak – season length, fish size and bag limit -- will be done at the state level, following public input. The only problem with that public input thing is the indubitable meeting time wasted as ill-informed speakers try to fight for parameters the law won’t allow. Still, it is worth becoming involved with the decision process. I’ll be alerting folks to the meeting(s) to decide the final fluke regs for NJ.

NO RELICS BUT NICE HALF-CENT: Little to talk about so I have to resort to treasure hunting stuff.

During the nicer part of the day, I did a dig looking for Lenape artifacts at a West Creek site that yielded plenty of nice points (arrowheads) over the decades. I began digging there maybe 25 years ago but hadn’t been there for a dog’s age. I recall plenty of chips, points and even some larger artifacts to be had by sifting there. Well, I put in hours of digging and shaking. I got absolutely nada. Just a load of European pipe stems pieces -- sections of clay pipes, items that may have been used in trade between the first settlers and the Amerinds. The Indians sure didn’t make them. I actually know who owned those pipes but if I give the name the site location could be compromised.

To close out the day I went back to my new colonial site and somewhat surprisingly – I thought I had worked the place clean – I hit half a dozen old tombac buttons and a Britannia half-cent dated 1736 in extra fine condition. I was on a bit of a role when darkness began to creep in with rain on its shoulders.

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