Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday Jan. 25, 2008 -- paperwork chase and awful clamming

Friday, January 25, 2008:

I did some mainland time this a.m. I stopped and did one of my regular sit-downs with Norm Cranmer at his collectibles shop just south of the Gasco gas station on Route 9 in Eagleswood. As usual, we talked the talk: local history, collectibles auctions, old bottles, history maps – and that was just in the first five minutes. Norm has some real nice vintage fishing reels (with bakelite handles and sideplates) and incredible vintage tools, still perfectly usable and solid as only vintage tools can be in this day and age.

I then stopped by the Skip Decker’s Chum Bucket and picked up my clamming license on the shop’s new state kiosk. It was done in a flash since I already had my state Fish and Wildlife ID Number. Being a Type A personality, I really like the new licensing system, fast and bright -- they’re still using that flashing neon greenish-colored licenses.

After the mainland jaunt – where, by the way, yesterday’s snow barely covered the ground, after we needed it plowed on LBI – I stopped by the Long Beach Township Police Department to get my 2008 LBT beach buggy permit. A change this year is the fact that you don’t have to walk over to the other section of the municipal building to pay for the permit after you’ve done the main paperwork at the PD. You give the friendly PD folks (usually dispatchers) at the window either a check or money order for $50 (no cash) and all is done. Once again, another procedure speeded up, much to my liking. The only problem was I left my checkbook on the shelf next to the dispatch window. Since I then quickly zipped down to Holgate to go clamming, the PD couldn’t reach me so one of their patrolmen was kind enough to stop the checkbook off at my Ship Bottom house where my sister took it. Thanks much.

As I drove on at Holgate, I got a look at the very involved geotube erosion mitigating layout being placed in the bad area just south of the overlook. The township has placed dozens of these giant plastic black sand bags made of a high-tech woven polypropylene and polyethylene with self-sealing ends. Each one is maybe 3-foot by 5-foot. They are laid out NE to SW and look a bit like a groin.

I have seen geotubes work decently in Surf City but I’m just not sure what these ones will do at the old inlet zone where they’re now residing. I did notice that the erosion has shifted slightly south of where the bags are at.

A quick side note to report that some significant changes have just been made at the state level that could allow municipalities (like Long Beach) to replenish just sections of beach areas under its jurisdiction. As you know, the North Beach and Loveladies sections of LBT are out of compliance when it comes to having appropriative access and bathroom facilities. However, the Holgate section of Long Beach might well be eligible for a fix. That fix would include the entrance onto the Holgate Wildlife area. When I first wrote about the very distant possibility that the area just north of the eroding Holgate Wilderness area might get sand as a piggyback onto a Beach Haven replenishment effort, I new it was over-wishful thinking. Now it is well within the decent-possibility ballpark.

As for clamming – forget about it. I worked for a solid three hours, kneel scratching for all my years of experience were worth, and I got maybe 50 or 60 clams. Hideous. Some areas offered nary a single clam. And it’s not that they’re just down deep. My special rake goes very deep. The delectable bivalves are all but clammed out on the Holgate shallows.

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