Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

May 02, 07 -- Weakies getting stronger -- more fuze blogging

Wednesday, May 02, 2007:

Nights are looking bright thanks to the moon and NJDOT.

Weakfish tales are picking up the pace. While far from peak conditions, the number of ten-pounder-plus sparklers is up and the range is inlet (Beach Haven) to inlet (BL) and famed bayside holes in between.

A few weakie seekers are working bookers with shedder pieces or shrimp. Plastics are working best. Whites are popular but the famed bubblegums will surely show their stuff soon. The brand range is tantamount to what’s selling at any tackle shop, though Wildeyes and GULP sassies are in.

Bluefishing is widespread, mainly inlets and bayside LBI area. The blues are also working their way into Double Creek and over to Oyster Creek. They shouldn’t do much to hurt the very active bass bite at the outflow of warm-side Oyster.

On the bass subject, the sod banks are striperized but still frustratingly lacking in take-home material. The beach is bassy but not to any extreme. Mainly small fish but the approaching Simply Bassin’ tourney will attract the big stuff.

I had an email from a blackdrum hunter who said the drumming is not on fire by any stretch. “I read about all these big drum but the best we’ve done is one 25-pounder. I had a runoff a few days back that was so large I think it might have been a shark showing up already …”

There is already a huge showing of diamondback terrapin around Barnegat Inlet. Very early for them. Quite odd. Cold water has taken its toll on these turtles. Numerous DOA terrapins on the tick side (westside) of the Dike. Little known nature fact: The Dike is the most tick-heavy piece of real estate in all of NJ. Just try walking from the parking area (Sunset Boulevard) to the west beaches of the Dike. Check out your pants. Have fun taking off dozens and dozens of the bloodsuckers. Horror movie quantities.

Email regarding fuzes:

“Jay, So, why aren't you diving the dredge area looking for the paddle? Or, should someone assume that it was dry land out there way back and look for other archaeologically significant stuff?

Re fuzes: Another opinion for you, I think its all safe. But can you envision thousands of people on a super hot August day and suddenly somehow one of these gems buried in the hotter sand manages to go boom? or some idiot setting off an M80 on the 4th? Sorry, but my sense of humor tends to the bizarre… Ron”

(Ron, Your thoughts are anything but bizarre. In fact, that "dry land" concept was a route I first went myself. I soon ran into timeframe conflicts after a lengthy chat with an expert. He agreed the ocean would have been out – way out -- during the last Ice Age (10,000 years ago) but was certain it had moved back in – near current day levels -- during the time period when this canoe was built.

That expert did admit the Island may have been, say, a quarter mile further out than today, based on exposed archaic sod-banks exposed on the beaches at places like Harvey Cedars. He was also factoring in the famed east-to-west barrier island migration patterns.

High likelihood: the canoe, possible abandoned -- was swept out to sea, became waterlogged and sunk, eventually being buried, through happenstance -- about two miles out from now-Surf City.

As for me hitting the bottom, I did a very quick snorkel/free-dive. The bottom looked no different than any other piece of nearby ocean bottom.

I have to think any goodies exposed by the dredging have either been reburied (heavier metal objects) or have drifted to the south for eventual wash-up on the beach. I think there is a very high likelihood other artifacts (wood or lighter materials) are now in the littoral drift of things. They could come ashore at any time, even when storms aren’t in play. It is doubtful that these objects would jump out as archeologically significant but, hey, the entire backbone of beachcombing has always been picking up odd and unusual things. If any one wants a fairly educated first opinion on any odd found-object, get in touch with me or stop it by The SandPaper.

As for the fuze thing, while there is no chance a baking sun will detonate a buried fuze, your scenario of a firecracker going off and scaring the beejezus out of an entire packed beach is frightening possible.

I should note that I’ve made a considerable effort to get testimonials from anyone too worried about buried explosives to come to LBI. I have heard form half a dozen realities also. It is almost uncanny how many people don’t give a rat’s ass about the danger – real or perceived. If I’ve picked up any overall insights into this summer, it’s the number of people who (like myself) got banged up (head-wise) by that hardcore blast of late winter and now want like anything to hit the beaches and water of LBI. J-mann)

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