Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, August 28, 2014: I promise I’m not trying to jinx it but this could be one of the finest Labor Day weekends in the history of New Jersey -- though some Lenape Indians once told me about one they had maybe 800 years ago. For some reason they didn’t call it Labor Day weekend.
I’ll first mention the ocean water temps are in the mid-70s. Then, the bonus for mariners and boat anglers, the winds will barely top 15 all weekend – and will be well below that for much of the time. Monday could get iffy – and hot.
There will obviously be major holiday crowds arriving but it won’t be a repeat of the human deluge we saw through the July 4th weekend. This weekend, many collegiates can’t break away to revisit. Also, there will be a subtle switch from the packed-in households of summer renters to the far-less-crammed presence of actual (returning) homeowners.
But don’t think the morning traffic onto the Island will be a bargain. The day-tripper showing will be about the same as it has been every weekend this summer. Hey, all that shows how closely I follow the LBI demographic. It’s fascinating. I’ll even add the fact that a new wave off post-season construction folks will soon be converging for the fall/winter. With the departure of renters, the ongoing process of further fixing Superstormed homes will resume.
As for surfcasting, you better be into heavy metal – I’m talking Metallica-plus sinkers, though it’ll be more forgiving toward the south end, like Holgate proper (Beach haven Inlet section of LBT)– as opposed to Holgate refuge area, opening Monday. See yesterday’s blog for thoughts on boat fishing.
Press of AC got the buzz re-sounding regarding striped bass cutbacks for next year. There will be cuts of some sort and they might hurt – or not. Considering how much we honor catch-and-release hereabouts, it might not be overly bad for fun angling. However, charters and headboats could be savaged by regs that prevent their fares from finding enough fish to take home for dinner.
I also fret about the fall Classic. I’m seeing the chance for a reduction to one fish of maybe over 30 inches (just a guess). That’s no biggie, since a bass has to be at least 34 inches to enter into the Classic. One fish? No Classic problem there.
What might be Classically painful is a “trophy fish” -- like, over 35 pounds. That could slot-out (eliminate) stripers from within the size-zone from whence most of the event’s prize bass arrive. Yes, in some ways that’ll make for a truly classic-fish Classic, but it could hit hardest at folks who duly marvel over – and enter – a 25-pounder. Much to be said and done before regs arrive.
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) has scheduled three hearings to gather public comment on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Division strongly encourages the public to attend these meetings in order to assist managers in the management of this precious resource. In addition, the Division urges striped bass anglers who fish the Delaware River, and are unable to make any of the New Jersey hearings, to attend the hearing hosted by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The information for the New Jersey and Pennsylvania hearings is listed below.
The Draft Addendum proposes new fishing mortality (F) reference points, as recommended by the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, and associated management measures to reduce F to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years. It responds to results of the 2013 Atlantic striped bass benchmark assessment indicating F in 2012 was above the proposed F target, and female spawning stock biomass (SSB) has been steadily declining below the target since 2006. This means even though the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, SSB is approaching its overfished threshold and stock projections show SSB will likely fall below the threshold in the coming years. In addition, a similar decline has been observed in total harvest. In response to these factors, the Draft Addendum proposes management options to reduce fishing mortality to the target level.
The Draft Addendum includes a suite of management options to reduce recreational and commercial harvest along the coast and in the Chesapeake Bay under three reduction timeframes. The timeframes include (1) reducing F to its target in one year with a 25% reduction in 2013 harvest in 2015 (2) reducing F to its target within three years with a 17% reduction in 2013 harvest in 2015, and (3) reducing F to its target within three years with a 7% sequential reduction in harvest for three consecutive years starting in 2015. Specific options to be considered include bag, size, slot and trophy size limits for the recreational fishery and quota reductions for the commercial fishery.
Given the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River (A/R) stock of striped bass contributes minimally to the coastwide complex when compared to the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware, and Hudson stocks, Draft Addendum IV proposes it be managed by the State of North Carolina using stock-specific biological reference points. These stock-specific reference points, which have been approved by the Board, would result in a separate quota that is set to maintain F for the A/R stock at its target level. The Board tasked the Technical Committee with the continued development of Chesapeake Bay-specific reference points for future use.
The Draft Addendum is available in PDF format on the ASMFC website at www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/StripedBassDraftAddendumIV_PublicCo... and can also be found on the ASMFC homepage (www.asmfc.org) under Public Input. Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment.
Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. (EST) on September 30, 2014 and should be forwarded to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum IV). For more information, please contact Mike Waine, at email@example.com or 703-842-0740.
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
September 4, 2014; 7-9 p.m.
Galloway Twp. Branch of the Atlantic Co. Library
306 East Jimmie Leeds Road
Galloway, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609-748-2020
* Will immediately follow the NJ Marine Fisheries Council meeting
September 9, 2014; 7-9 p.m.
Ridgefield Park Elks Lodge #1506
Corner of Spruce Avenue and Cedar Street
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609-748-2020
September 15, 2014; 7-9 p.m.
Toms River Town Hall
L. M. Hirshblond Room
33 Washington Street
Toms River, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609-748-2020
8/28/14 UPDATED 1:48 PM Just had 1 customer tell me that he could barely hold with 8 ounces because of the rip. No fish.
(See ya soon, Todd ... jmann)
Tbt holgate ,can't wait ,
TBT: 2009 : very light colored Summer Flounder/Fluke
I had Chris Greer of Moorestown, NJ, and his 11yr old son Evan on a ocean fluke trip. The drift was pretty good, but the fish were biting a little different - lots of short bites. We fished some of my choice snags and ended up with 4 keeper fluke with two close to 5lbs. The S&S Rattletail was the ticket to a majority of the keepers tipped with live bait. Evan caught the biggest a solid 23 inch 5lb fish on one of our custom tied rigs. The father and son team did a great job and went home with a nice bag of meat.
Celebrate the last long weekend of summer with 10% off your entire purchase through September 1.
Many of us want to know when the MONARCH MIGRATION is likely to first arrive and peak where we live. Here's a chart from our wonderful friends at MonarchWatch.org that is a guideline for encountering monarchs at each latitude. http://www.monarchwatch.org/tagmig/peak.html Will you let us know if you're seeing any Monarchs? I've seen two here on Long Island NY and they are so precious and beautiful.
High rip currents risk continues. Always check with lifeguards for current ocean conditions and any swimming limitations.