Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, December 06, 2007:
Well, I spoke too soon yesterday. When I blogged (at sunset) we had a mere weatherly white coating on the ground. And it seemed a done snow deal. Then, this metrological energy pulse came out of the west and hung along the coast, right near LBI. We picked up a coupe inches in no time, while just to our south they had 3 inches and a bit more in some backyards. Too much, too early. I’m one of those who hope the early burst will give way to a wave of warmth right at the holidays.
Those deer hunters into snow-based tracking love this white interlude. Obviously, the couple inches of snow in the Southern Ocean County area offer an easy read on where the deer are frequenting. There’s still time for mobile shotgunners to relocate to a riper hunting area. Those with deer stands will have a better read on arriving quarry – or notice that the snow beneath their branchy site hasn’t seen a recent hoof print.
A quick heath note to hunters: I talked with the local health department regarding any danger from dressing out deer and getting the animal’s blood into cuts or abrasions. A check with the “Handbook of communicable Diseases” indicates the white tail deer are mere carriers of ticks (possibly with Lyme disease spirochetes) but likely NOT a carrier of the disease itself, within its blood. However, Dan at the department said is in very unadvisable to get any other blood into your bloodstream, be it from deer or fox or goose or duck or hare or bear or coyote or quail or squirrel … Use gloves when dressing out animals. And not cloth gloves. They can actually be the worse thing since blood leaking through to a cut or bruise is held in place, maximizing the introduction into the bloodstream.
That begs the question of exposure to fish blood. No threat whatsoever. BUT, fish skin and slime can carry some very un-good stuff. There is always danger from fin pokes.
Back to hunting, the Forsythe refuge is increasing the scope on its hunts, longer and wider ranging geese and deer hunting privileges. I found it very interesting that the refuge has found the damage by geese so severe that prime sedge areas now desperately need high-expense fix-ups to prevent the total loss of habitat by opportunistic erosion, helped along by the goose holes and such. I have long noted that the fierce potholes on the clamming ground on the west side of Holgate are not soft-clam diggers, as many folks allege, but ravenous geese. The down side is the fact that geese, like deer, have this near incomprehensible ability to know when its overall population has been threatened. The geese (and deer) then bear more young to compensate. How in the heck an animal senses this overall attrition is within the entire biomass – over a massive area – is mind-boggling.
As for fishing, we may actually be getting a wind reprieve, flying in the face of long-term forecasts. Where 6-day predications a few days back called for SCA and even gales, it now seems there are some spots where winds will lay down and allow serious December stripering to take place. Obviously, favorable boating conditions can go south in heartbeat this time of year, so small craft – and even larger varieties – need to keep a close eye and ear on the marine weather. We’re already having a horrific year for capsizing-related deaths, especially from Jersey up to Massachusetts.
There are still some blackfish on the jetties per a dyed-in-the-wool tog type. It is growingly slow, though.
There are also some hake in shallower water just past the sandbars. A kayak angler told me that. He also had incredible schoolie bass “trolling” just past the bars. Kayak trolling is a full-blown blast. It’s done by either placing a rod in a rod-holder or, in my case, resting it over my shoulder and paddling along with a plastic in tow. Despite the troll’s slow speed (when compared to boats) the bass annihilate the dawdling jig. My hookup rate is 9 out of 10 when kayak trolling. The paddling action also adds a marked up and down look to the jig, likely giving it a natural appearance. What’s more, it seems that bass often follow artificials to time its action. When I paddle, I’m a helluva sight more patient than when I’m casting out and retrieving along the beach. The fish have lots of time to schedule their attacks.