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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Sunday Nov. 4, 2007 -- Standard time slowness -- Danger cellphoners

Fund drive is moving into the final stretch. Your help is very needed and very appreciated. Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008-4418

Sunday, November 04, 2007: Waves: Grinding 3-5 foot medium period groundswell. Water clarity: Poor; will take at least a day to clear up.

If you weren’t expecting much today, you were probably fulfilled. It was slow like all get-out mainly because of remaining swells and a low fishing pressure. That said, there were some fish, including a first-thing striper in the 34-inch range taken at Holgate at daybreak. Proving my other point, i.e. slowness, there wasn’t so much as a bite after that hookup there, even though guys were packed in, since that area is protected against the churn going on along the frontbeach.

After dark, which obviously cam early now that we’re back to Standard time, I had a few reports of keeper bass scattered widely along the LBI beachfront. Almost all the better takes were on the North End. Far from scattered is the in-bay bite.

The bayside holes from Beach Haven to Ship Bottom to Surf City to Harvey Cedars and out to Barnegat Bay have very significant numbers of bass. The upper end bass are pushing 30 pounds and up. Here’s a pro report regarding that action:

“Hello All,

Well it looks like the long awaited fall bass run has finally gotten started in the bay. We made it out four times this week despite some pretty ugly weather at both ends. Results were generally pretty good with double digit catches most days and some nice sized back bay bass being landed. Monday I had Pete Burns bringing out his sister Debbie Hill and brother-in-law Glen Adams for their first striper trip, highlighted by Deb's topping the catch with a beautiful 38" bass taken under the lighthouse on a live spot (picture). Tuesday I joined Capt. Alex Majewski aboard his boat for a couple of hours of relaxation, and while much of the action was on shorts we both went home with some prime fish for dinner. Thursday saw Bill Perchick, Darlene and Ryan putting a bunch of keepers in the box topped by Darlene's 38" bass. The women certainly ruled this week! Today I had the Soobys (Boots, Bill and Mike) out and things were still a little stirred up from the stormy weather of the last two days, producing only a bunch of 24-27" fish in the really dirty water behind the inlet. We've been mixing our trips up a little, spending part of the morning drifting live spots in the inlet then switching over to back bay clamming for the remainder. Both baits seem to be working equally, with catches pretty equal most days.Capt. Jack Shea "Rambunctious" Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters”

Believe me, that is not the only report about those bay bass. A few folks attuned to the top spots are now into a solid week of better bassing. HOWEVER, there is often no correlation between the inside bite and inlet and outside bites. In fact, we still have realize the bassing along the beach sucks. Not only can we safely assume it is now going to be a Novembers arrival of the big stuff, I’ve heard a few knowing caster say it might not turn on until later this month, based on water temps and the fact that this has happened before in the past. I’ll point to 1956, when the then-Striped Bass derby – which started later than it does now (as the Classic) – didn’t

see major fish until deep into November.

Bluefishing is fair and also widely distributed, though the odds of getting a blue are infinitely better than nabbing a bass, especially in the surf. Again, the North End has produced the spicier slammers.

As for that bizarre rod/reel/bass loss and re-finding of same by a charter boat, here’s part of the Fisemran’s headquarters weekly report:

“More on that Rod and Reel with Striper recovery reported last week...

The angler who originally hooked up with the fish on the beach is now known. On 10/10/2007 after a meeting of the Heavers Fishing Club, Pete Figueroa went fishing off 28th Street in Barnegat Light. His rod was baited in a sand spike and when he walked away for a few seconds that is when the fish struck. The sand spike went down and the rod and reel were pulled into the water just inches away from the angler grabbing it. At that point it was just a wonder as to what it could have been. Mr. Figueroa is now excited to know that what he actually hooked that night was a 52-inch Striper.

A bit more info on the boat that recovered the rod and reel with fish attached... On 10/21/2007 the vessel Rascal II with Captain George Ellmer and Mate Captain Tom Albert while fishing a charter loading up on Croakers and Weakfish about a 1-1/2 miles off Barnegat Light snagged a fishing line. It was Power Pro and handling it took some care and patience especially when they realized a big fish was pulling back on that end of the line. Pulling in the line they discovered a live 52-inch Striper on one end and a 10' Surf rod and reel on the other end. Yes, you read that correctly, over one week later the fish was still alive.

Since this recovery report we have been getting a lot of calls about rods and reels lost in the surf. I guess it's not that rare on an occurrence.

HOLD THE CALLS:

My attention deficit disorder rears its impatient head at the weirdest times. Take for instance red lights, as I’m forced to stop and wait interminable lengths of time for the frickin’ signal to unstuck itself and finally go my way -- with every light I stop at going green by appointment only.

To keep my blood pressure from the red zone, I devise distraction too numerous to recall. A recent diversion is watching passing motorists – the ones who always have green lights -- to see how many of those drivers are on cellphones.

No, there’s no particular reason for this action. I really don’t give a rat’s ass who’s chatting while steering when I’m ferociously waiting.

That explained, I hit something of a benchmark only last week as I waited southbound at Central Avenue in Ship Bottom, spying on the traffic heading off LBI.

I watched semi-astounded as 9 of 12 vehicles passed with steerers pressing cells to ear canals.

Face it, the number of multitaskers guiding vehicles while chatting about who-knows-what is now through the ceiling. Hell, if I had friends I’d be doing it too.

Well, since the odds are pretty good you are among the cell tower patrons out there steering a vehicle with passing interest, there is some bad news awaiting just around the next corner, as in, as soon as you read this.

The cops are now a-look for you and your handheld, whether you’re talking or texting.

I know what you’re thinking, the blue boys can only hit you up for cellphone violations if you get stopped for some other thing or other. No more.

The Gov just signed into law the “primary offense” segment of the state’s no-cellphoning behind the wheel law legislation. The Man can now take a gander into your machine to see if you’re one-handing it.

I’m thinking (hoping) the heat won’t go heavy on lighting up cellphone offenders in the early days of this enhanced phase of the law, however, I think back to the seatbelt law and how that had a slow kick-off but all-too-soon advanced to the use of power traps, whereby packs of officers made a pocketful of extra dough (via state funding) by hawking the innards of passing vehicles for strapless drivers and passengers. Dollars to donuts (oddly similar to that cash for seatbelts thing), the cellphone and driving ban kicks into first gear in nothing flat.

I had a chuckle when cop unions actually opposed the effort to make cellphone/driving a primary offense. One of their prime complaints was how hard it would be to eyeball someone on the cell. What a laugh. I’m not what you’d call hawkeyed, yet I can, at a fleeting glance, tell if someone has cell to ear.

Hell, it’s a damn sight harder to pick out a lack of belt across chest. My guess is the cops know everyone in their families drives while chatting and that they themselves spend a goodly chunk of patrol time celling – all having to with police work, of course.

Anyway, I suggest getting something very unobtrusive if you’re going to steer and converse via cell. The fine for getting busted for celling is in the neighborhood of $250. Texting is 150. I don’t know if points going along with those violations. I’m guessing yes.

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