Sunday, August 10, 2008: Waves: Slowly building 2 foot easterly swell. Water clarity: Too clean. Water temps: Low to mid 70s.
It’s always an irony to announce “too clear” water since the abiding craving for summer would seem to be warm and clear water. Well, such cravings were filled to the gills lately. I did some water time on the beaches of both Harvey Cedars and Ship Bottom and that’s as clear as our summer beach water gets. However, tourist contentment notwithstanding, acrylic clearness makes for slow to comatose surfcasting. Note: There are some jetty bass to be had right before light. I imagine that night striper fishing has potential. On that bass theme, there are also spotty showings of big bunker.
I saw some bottlenose dolphin feeding off Harvey Cedars. I couldn’t tell what they were targeting but there was a commotions as forage fish went airborne escaping the seafood-loving mammals.
The weather was partially perfect for the weekend. The “partial” part was a picture-perfect Saturday and a piece of Sunday a.m. Then, the skies began loosing some of the oddest cloud formation I’ve ever seen. And that wasn’t just my thinking. As that big system moved in early afternoon, the downright spooky cloud displays had what seemed like half of Ship Bottom standing outside their homes checking out the cloud display – with types of clouds you’ll only find pictured in books meteorologists seldom take off the shelves. I also saw the anemometer go to 50 mph, as straight line wind arrowed through the neighborhood. Within ten minutes there was barely a whiff of wind.
Talk of the dock remains fluke and more fluke. However, that glimmer of hope that a better keeper percentage was showing in the ocean gave way to tons of weekenders. Both the boat launch gab and nearshore radio chatter told of super frustration for many anglers. It was not uncommon to hear of folks with three dozen flatties and one or no take-homes. Still, a few among the many had some fairly filled coolers, especially when there were multiple anglers on a given boat.
I had some fine reports of wild weakfishing in Barnegat Bay. Here’s a pro report:
The big news around here is that the summer influx of weakfish we've been waiting for seems to have finally gotten started this past week. On Thursday's trip, we set up chumming with grass shrimp on the turn of the tide, and as we usually do began tossing plastics into the slick. After boxing a couple of nice fat 21-22" weakies towards the southern end of the bay, I headed north to see if we could find more consistent action and started marking immense schools of fish spread over a two mile area. Once we got anchored up, Jack Hough, son Jeff and grandkids Matt and Katie combined for over a hundred fish in a couple of intense hours of fishing before we left the fish biting. Most of the fish were small, but the fishing couldn't be beat for light tackle action.
Now that the weakies have put in their annual appearance, we'll be pretty much focusing on them for the next few weeks. I've still got a couple days open the week bbefore Labor Day if anyone wants to get in on this exciting fishery.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters
Talk about poaching. Check out the number of illegal lobster this numbnut knucklehead was dealing in:
[McClatchy-Tribune Information Services] - August 8, 2008 -
He planted a wide network of makeshift lobster habitats composed of concrete and scrap metal. He cruised through a national marine sanctuary in his Wahoo fishing boat, plucking thousands of lobsters from the protected waters, possibly causing long-term environmental harm.
He kept 1,500 pounds of meaty lobster tails in a home freezer, preparing to sell them for illicit profit.
That's the portrait federal prosecutors painted of David Dreifort, 41, accused of being one of the most prolific lobster poachers in the nation.
Dreifort, of Cudjoe Key, is charged with placing artificial lobster habitats in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, stockpiling the rough equivalent of 6,000 lobster tails in advance of last Wednesday's opening of the state's commercial lobster season. That's about 1,000 times the legal limit, U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta said.
Dreifort's alleged actions could have 'serious long-run consequences,' Acosta said at a news conference Thursday in his downtown Miami offices.
'Because much of the harvest took place before the start of the season, it's possible it affected the reproductive cycle of the lobsters in the area,' Acosta said. 'Dropping a bunch of concrete structures into these protected waters can cause a lot of damage.'