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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday Aug. 21, 2007 -- Nasty out there (still) and a load of illegals catchers caught

Tuesday, August 21, 2007: Waves: 5-7 feet with some larger sets. Water clarity: Good but seriously churned.

Erin is impacting us – time-wise, more than it did the Texas coast where it hit as a tropical storm. These drenching squall and now SCA winds should be the high point of the low pressures spawned by that system. Winds will lay down slowly beginning tomorrow though a full recovery won’t take place until this weekend – when we get scorched again by 90-plus air temps.

The big chatter among those sitting around unable to fish is the likely world record fluke caught up in Shrewsbury Rocks. The 38-inch, 24-3 pound double-doormat was taken by 45-year-old Monica Oswald of Neptune while working a Spro and squid strip atop some mussels beds. I’ve read quite a few accounts of the fight lasting almost 20 minutes, though that sounds a tad lengthy even for a monster like that. Yes, I’m jealous – but hyper happy for the gal, who is a long-time angler – and suspected a cow-nosed ray during the dogged battle. Since all that action was primarily north Jersey, I’m going to pass on the phone call and interview. Also, there are already accounts all over the internet.

As significant as that catch (for me) was a violation report issued by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife after, essentially, a sting operation in and around the Raritan. Here’s the tale of the take: Aug. 20, 2007

Working to heighten awareness of New Jersey’s marine fisheries regulations and the consequences of violating them, state conservation officers yesterday inspected scores of recreational fishing boats and popular fishing spots along the Sandy Hook and Raritan bays and the Arthur Kill.

Eighteen conservation officers with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Law Enforcement checked 500 anglers during the eight-hour special operation -- part of an ongoing effort to spur greater compliance with regulations and laws that protect New Jersey’s fish and wildlife resources.

Throughout the day, conservation officers inspected 195 private fishing vessels and also checked more than 100 anglers at various marinas and jetties along the targeted waters, Marine Region Capt. Joe Meyer said.

Conservation officers issued 53 summonses and six written warnings for various marine fisheries violations:

  • 28 summonses for possession of summer flounder less than 17 inches
  • 2 summonses for exceeding the limit on summer flounder
  • 2 summonses for possession of weak fish less than 13 inches
  • 8 summonses for possession of summer flounder parts
  • 2 summonses for interference with a conservation officer for attempting to throw fish overboard
  • 2 summonses for possession of undersized porgies
  • 1 summons for possession of parts of porgies
  • 1 summons for trespassing while fishing
  • 2 summonses for possession of black sea bass less than 12 inches
  • 1 summons for exceeding the limit of 15 blue fish
  • 2 summonses for harvesting shellfish (mussels) from condemned waters of the Raritan and Sandy Hook bays
  • 2 summonses for possession of undersized blue crabs
  • 4 written warnings for harvesting hard crabs recreationally from the Newark Bay Complex
  • 2 written warnings for dumping trash on a wildlife management area

Lawmen also seized a dozen fishing poles and one seine net used to illegally harvest marine species.

Sportsmen and sportswomen can help New Jersey’s conservation officers by reporting marine fish and shellfish violations to 609-748-2050 or call the DEP’s 24-hour hotline at 877-WARN-DEP.

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