Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, September 23, 2008: Waves: Powerful 5- to 7-foot short-period northerly wind swell. Water clarity: Good. Winds: Bad; 15 to 20 mph and gusting. This week is offering a repeat performance nob…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008: Waves: Powerful 5- to 7-foot short-period northerly wind swell. Water clarity: Good. Winds: Bad; 15 to 20 mph and gusting.

This week is offering a repeat performance nobody wants to see. Get out and boo the skies. Almost a spittin’ image of last week’s nor-east gust-fest, this week could see even worse winds, especially if a tropical system now in the Caribbean takes a NNW course and arrive toward the weekend. Even if it takes the more likely straight north course, it’ll add some muscle to the existing pattern – already set to steadily bang the coastline with those northeast winds.

With a building familiarity with these lousy fishing conditions, a goodly number of anglers are still trying out the surf and leeward areas of the bay – and, of course, the protected end of Holgate. And there are fish in decent numbers in quite a few bayside areas.

In Holgate, fat jumbo kingfish are showing in decent numbers. Tony C. had a handful near the Rip using fake-o baits (bites) and tiny pieces of mullet. There are also a few scattered bluefish but way below what is usually showing for this time of year. Stu D. monitors that species on a daily, make that hourly, basis. Mulleting is slow to nonexistent, yet another weird thing. Beach access is limited during high tides due to astronomical conditions (lessening this week after spring tides had been in place) complicated by the winds. It’s best to use the two hours before and two hours after max high as the critical period. Swallows are back in super number – their annual return easily as regular and impressive as the disproportionately famed Capistrano swallows.

Here’s a Joe H. round-up report: Jay,
Went looking for some weakfish Saturday night with my wife, and my buddy Dan on the southern bay side areas on the island. Weakfishing was steady, not blistering hot like it was during the mid-week sessions I had. We put together a respectable catch of keepers for dinner. Four inch Gulp minnows and shrimp were best.
The weakfishing was not the story of the night though. Get this---we had the best FLUKE fishing of the season (or maybe many seasons) from 11pm to 1am. All kidding aside, it was a blitz. Dan landed at least six before I had my first two. Had at least 10, maybe more. Many might say 10 fish is just okay, but the amazing thing was the keeper ratio and the over all size to these fish. Two fish may have been under 19", the others were 20-24" and fat. The average was 3-4lbs. Not bad considering it was a night session as well. It TOTALLY sucks the season is so "F-ed" up with the current regulations. We released 20lbs. of fluke fillets that would of looked really good in my winter freezer. We have some good photos of this session. I will send them along when I get them.
Sunday I fished the Holgate and the south end bay side with my brother. We caught all sorts of fish. We caught spots in Holgate. Moved up the bay side and found some mayhem well after sundown. Weakfish to 16" were plentiful. Bluefish were slashing bait everywhere. And oh yeah, my brother catches his largest fluke of the season. Fish was probably over 21" and 4lbs. Didn't even measure since he was going back. We also caught some nice seabass around the structure, porgy,blowfish, and oyster crackers. Got some photos as well. Fun fishing.
Joe H

Newswire: The Man behind the Magnuson-Stevens Act is boiling in hot water:

[Associated Press] - September 22, 2008 - WASHINGTON, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens went to federal court Monday morning to confront what could be the most important battle of his long career, defending himself against corruption charges.

Stevens, who was seated in the courtroom before proceedings commenced, is charged with lying in Senate financial disclosure records about hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations he received from VECO Corp. On Friday, he urged people to reserve judgment until all the evidence is in.

The senator at the time repeated that 'I am innocent of the charges against me, and I think the trial will show that.'

VECO employees normally build oil pipeline and processing equipment. But company workers also led the renovation of the senator's home, a project that was overseen by Bill Allen, a longtime Stevens friend and now the government's star witness.

Stevens, 84, says he paid every bill he received and has pleaded not guilty to all seven counts. The senator has pushed to get his trial completed before Alaskans vote Nov. 4 on his re-election.

Stevens, who has skipped most of the pretrial hearings at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse three blocks from the Capitol, will be in court for the jury selection starting on Monday, lawyers said.

The 150 potential jurors will complete a multipage questionnaire behind closed doors before being questioned by lawyers on their suitability for the monthlong trial.

Stevens, who is looking to win a seventh term, is in a tough race against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat. The longtime GOP icon will have to stay in Washington during the trial, while Begich is free to campaign around Alaska.

[Associated Press] - September 22, 2008 - HONOLULU, Birds and turtles are developing digestive problems as their stomachs fill with plastic they mistakenly believe is food. The endangered Hawaiian monk seal population is struggling as many of the mammals get entangled in improperly discarded fishing nets.

These examples underscore that efforts to prevent and reduce ocean debris are inadequate and the problem will likely worsen, according to a congressionally mandated report released Friday.

The report by the National Research Council recommends the U.S. take the lead in coordinating regional management of marine debris.

It said international maritime regulations should be changed to ban the dumping of trash into the ocean.

The report focused on marine debris discharged at sea, though it noted some ocean debris is generated on land as well.

'Despite all the regulations and limitations over the last 20 years, there are still large quantities of waste and litter in the oceans,' said Keith Criddle, chair of the committee that wrote the report and a University of Alaska professor.

The study recommended Congress designate a lead agency to address problems like derelict fishing gear, ship waste and abandoned vessels.

International regulations also should be modified to prohibit the discharge of all garbage at sea, the report said.

Other findings in the report:

- Ports should have adequate facilities for accepting and managing vessel waste.

- Ships should have incentives to dispose of their waste in port.

- Marine debris responsibilities are spread across organizations, slowing progress.

- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should develop fishing gear marking protocols to reduce gear loss and abandonment.

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