Saturday, July 19, 2008: Waves: Confused out there: 3 foot long period easterly ground swell running into a 2-foot southerly wind swell along with loads of water exchange because of near-full moon factors; serious rips continue along beachfront. Water temps: Also confused; stretched of low 60s but seemingly more and more areas of unseasonably chilly upper 50s (from south wind upwelling). Water clarity: fair at best.
As expected, large waves and nasty south wind speeds kept most of the fishing inside the bay, which was not the worst thing. The fluking remain near epic not only near both inlets but also many places in-between (bayside and ocean). I had written about fluke in crab traps and had a number of folks respond by saying they’re also finding fluke to 16 inches in their commercial-type crab traps.
Over west Barnegat Bay, the hooking of flatties is quite literally nonstop. This comes from a load of boats and as I listen to boat chatter. The keeper rate is a few per trip. Ratio s are no longer being kept since many anglers are simply losing track of how many flatties they’re landing – and, most often, releasing.
The Middle Grounds and the ICW from North Beach haven all the way out to Little Egg, across to Little Beach and west into Great Bay and Tuckerton bay has fluke galore. No section is much of keeperage but I have to admit there is actually a far better acceptance of throwbacks, as many drifters are seemingly getting into the nonstop hooking as a good thing in and of its own right.
Bait varieties are off the chart – as is often the case when everyone is catching briskly. The more interesting dropdowns include very small bunker, mullet, spot, sailors choice and (I really like this one) hardhead minnows (the famed “baby striped bass,” even though this minnows stripes run the wrong way), All those live baits are coming up as folks toss net in the back bay and especially near lagoons. Also working on fluke are the old standards like squid strips and spearing/minnies/etc. GULP! remains a favorite.
Blackfish is back to one-a-day – and Fish and Game will be watching closely, I’m told. I think be able to keep that one mucho grande tog will make wreck and rock fishing more fun, especially with black seabass still doing their part in making some cooler/livewell noise.
Kingfishing has cooled but the potential is way up there this summer. I say that because of the reports of some street ends being loaded with them. This species has always been highly come-and-go oriented. Patience and some strategic moving around (even working up and down the beach, prior or after lifeguards and bathers) pays off. Water is too dirty to use my technique: mask, fins, snorkel and exercise by swimming a few jetties in something of a zigging pattern looking for schools. Kingfish are one of the least jetty-inclined species. They can be nosing around on the bottom just about anywhere there are crustaceans. They are also very inclined to pauses in their eating – just holding on the bottom looking very inactive. By the by, at night they are totally inactive, literally pinned to the bottom to the degree they can be touched (then they’ll scoot). They use their splotchy camo-ed skin and comatose night look to fly below the radar of sight-oriented gamefish like blues and bass.
Fairly famed freshwater impound on the Road to Nowhere (eats end of Stafford Road) is no more; just a dried up hollow, looking a bit like an unflooded cranberry bog. Some of the best freshwater fishing I ever had was in there – when water was present. The road in is awful, so even getting to the crabbing at the Bridge-to-Nowhere is jarring; no sedan type vehicle should even try it. Bugs are fully insane down there.
Off the wires:
Copyright 2008 Environment and Energy Publishing, LLC] - July 17, 2008
Efforts to rebuild the horseshoe crab population in the Delaware Bay appear to be working, according to recent assessments, but it does not seem to be having any positive effect on the red knot, a highly endangered migratory bird that depends on the crab's eggs.
Yesterday, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission officials weighed separate proposals for crab conservation. The first would limit the harvest during peak season and set a total quota of 100,000 male crabs, while the second would allow Delaware and New Jersey to increase their annual harvest by about 50,000 crabs.
New Jersey is in the third year of a moratorium on horseshoe crab fishing. An attempt to impose a moratorium by environmental officials in Delaware was overruled.
The crab, whose eggs fuel the knot's journey from the southern tip of South America to its arctic breeding grounds, are used as bait by fishers.
Without action, red knots could go extinct by 2010, said Faith Zerbe, monitoring director for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental group
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services] - July 18, 2008 -
After warning Americans for six weeks against eating certain kinds of tomatoes, federal health officials gave the all-clear yesterday -- without ever finding solid evidence that tomatoes were the cause of the largest outbreak of food-borne illness in at least a decade.
In lifting the salmonella warning, the Food and Drug Administration met the demands of the tomato industry, which had been requesting the action.
But the move is unlikely to stop tomato growers, packers and sellers from pushing for $100 million or more in federal aid to reimburse them for losses.
Health officials trying to track the cause of the illness are now concentrating on jalapeno peppers and serrano peppers.
Investigators are currently in Mexico to examine a pepper-packing plant.
'Tomatoes on the market currently are safe to consume,' Dr. David Acheson, the FDA's associate commissioner for foods, said in a conference call with reporters.
Despite the developments, health officials refused yesterday to absolve tomatoes.
Interviews with early victims pointed to certain tomatoes as likely suspects. Investigators are pursuing the theory that the outbreak started with tainted tomatoes, which then contaminated peppers.
More than 1,200 people have fallen ill from the Salmonella saintpaul strain, including 36 in Maryland. Though the number of people infected has continued to rise, there are signs that the outbreak is slowing down.
The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA] By Scott Harper - July 18, 2008 - Virginia Beach, State marine police completed a massive enforcement sweep Thursday against illegal crabbing in coastal waters and the Chesapeake Bay, a campaign described as the first of its kind in Virginia, aimed at protecting slumping crab stocks during the summer harvest season.
The crackdown, from the Potomac River to the North Carolina line and along the Eastern Shore, involved almost the entire marine police force of 70 men and women, and was kept secret until launched Wednesday morning.
'It was all hands on deck,' said John Bull, a spokesman for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the agency that regulates commercial fishing and also oversees the marine police. 'Unless you were on vacation or had a search-and-rescue on your hands, you were part of this.'
By its end late Thursday, the sweep had resulted in hundreds of confiscated crab pots, dozens of tickets, more than 2,000 inspections - and some more bad blood among watermen, many of whom feel Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's administration has gone overboard in trying to cut harvests of female crabs 34 percent this year.
After receiving a court summons Thursday morning in Broad Bay in Virginia Beach, local crabber Brian Ewell did not mince words about the crackdown.
'Y'all have put enough regulations on us without all this crap!' Ewell snapped at two marine officers, Steve Bennis and Javier Arce, who had cited him for not having the right kind of escape holes, or cull rings, in his pots.
'Just give me the damned ticket and get out of here,' Ewell added. 'I've got work to do.'
PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX] - July 18, 2008 - WASHINGTON, Letter from experts takes aim at sloppy suggestion that tilapia is unhealthy
In response to confusing reports, an international coalition of more than a dozen doctors spoke out* today to clarify that fish like tilapia are low in total and saturated fat, high in protein and clearly part of a healthy diet.
A report from Wake Forest University in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association about the types of fats in popular seafood has led to reports that bacon, hamburgers, and doughnuts are a better choice than certain fish.
The 16 dietary fats experts, led by Dr. William Harris of the Sanford School of Medicine, write, 'Replacing tilapia or catfish with 'bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts' is absolutely not recommended.''
In explaining the specifics of the omega-3 versus omega-6 debate, the researchers note that omega-6s are not only found in fish like tilapia, but vegetable oils, nuts, whole-wheat bread and chicken. They go on to highlight the fact that the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association agree that, 'omega-6 fatty acids are, like omega-3s, heart-healthy nutrients which should be part of everyone's diet.'
The coalition, including one expert from Wake Forest University, says unequivocally that while they are not rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish like catfish and tilapia, 'should be considered better choices than most other meat alternatives.'