Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Wednesday, August 12, 2015: The west winds have really cleaned up the water after that one day’s worth of hard southerlies, which, per usual, browned the water real fast. When southerlies dolt hang around long, the water tends to blow clean very quickly following a cold front wind switch to the west, such is the case today; the water is gorgeous – and has also warmed back into the 70s.
We’re seeing an oddish overall weather change from back in the days – the 60s and 70s; my lifeguarding years -- when west winds would almost instantly lead to ice-cold brown water in the surf. It could get so cold, even in summer, that we’d get daiquiri headaches when surfing. I can’t remember the last time that west winds have caused that upwelling effect. In fact, as we’re seeing today, west winds now usher in clean and warm water. Weird switch-around. South winds, on the other hand, now knock surf waters down into the 50s in nothing flat. A few years flat, we saw an ocean temp of 47 in July due to south winds.
Yesterday’s wham-bam downpours loosed an inch of rain in some areas but it did not overly impact the bay from runoff. We have been so dry that the ground literally absorbed the rainwater that would otherwise flow into the gutters, sewers and eventually into the bay.
That natural earth absorption is another reason there are ongoing effort by towns to restrict what’s called “impervious coverage,” meaning ground covered by concrete, asphalt or even gravel/stone, none of which allow the rainwater to seep into the ground but instead redirects it into sewers – and the bay. And, yes, stone/gravel falls under impervious coverage. Below the material is a very tough textile or thick plastic landscape fabric, which greatly reduces or fully foils rainwater sinkage into the ground below.
More sharks … or more drones? Likely both.
It’s amazing how many aerial shots we're seeing of sharks, often near or even within surfing lineup points. Waveriders have long sensed – and sometimes noticed – gray suits cruising just below. Still, seeing, via drones, how close and how large the sharks are is a lot disturbing, though it sure isn’t keeping waveriders at bay. Waveriding has never been bigger, which might also be part of the increased shark attack syndrome – which we’re not supposed to call “attack.” I’m guessing their teeth pretty much feel the same regardless of what one calls that point where they chomp down.
Below: This now infamous photo is totally legit, as proven by the other photos leading up to it -- including the documentary work being done by an underwater photography team, which had drawn in great whites using chum -- and teasing them with dummy seals.
I will make a point seldom brought up regarding sharks and surfers. Very often, sharks are a-foot seeking the tasty forage fish goodies that have fled to the protection of surfboards – and even surfers’ legs.
During my 50-plus-years of obsessive surfing, there was never a surfing venue where I didn’t see fish spraying up nearby -- or, on many occasions, bumping into my legs and, occasionally, even jumping atop my surfboard deck.
I’d always chuckle and toy with a visiting fish, not giving much thought to the fact that something ferocious was so close to it that a suicidal jump into my lap was the only hope for the little about-to-be-eaten bugger.
I would routinely attribute forage fish flurries to bait being chased by gamefish, like bass, blues and who knows what local species at more exotic locales. And often that was the case. However, I now realize it might just as often have been sharks. Hey, that’s kinda cool, considering I might have unknowingly been bonding with the gray suits, as they appreciated the way I was rounding up prey for them. Of course, I’m not sure how sharks show their appreciation. I’ll pass on even a little peck on the cheek.
Below: Feelin' the love ...
Speaking of shark fishing – uh, I kinda was – with the lowering of the regulatory boom for 2016, shark fishing might fill in an angling void that is sure to show with the arriving reduction in bags limits for fluke, bass and maybe even black seabass.
As I always emphasize, current shark fishing laws can easily be read to prohibit shark fishing. How that can be enforced is anyone’s guess. It would essentially prohibit casting out a big bait on a big hook.
Below: Okay, so maybe this won't pass for your average winter flounder rig ...
That regulatory ambiguity aside, I see no reason why anglers shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of what I see as a rapidly growing shark populations.
What I’d like to see is some easily-available local classes/lectures on shark identification. Yes, I know about the federal, traveling, shark-ID show -- which sometimes hits Manahawkin — but we need something far more accessible; oriented to local sharks. Not only would it prevent the accidental keeping/killing of protected shark species but it would allow the fishery management to get a better read on shark numbers. If anyone knows any shark exerts willing to lecture – possibly at our local libraries -- let me know.
Below: Excellent ... but costly.
We should be into a fine stretch of fluking. I often put fluke shots in here from areas just to our north and south. The thing is the posts originate from those locals but the fishing is often done in our area -- or we boat to those areas to fish. When a bite turns on off Seaside, most of the boats going through Barnegat Inlet are headed up there, so those semi-nonlocal hookups are well within our wheelhouse.
John Russo with good one
Might this be a bass alert???? Going on a Facebook post, it seems there might be a wild night-bite of bass. Here’s what Daniel P posted:
There is a solution and it lies in our own decisions. Please say no to all single-use plastic. Every plastic straw, plastic bag, or plastic bottle that ends up in the oceans could mean the difference between life or death for any number of marine animals.
Below: A fluke shows its chameleon ability: Steve George