Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday Dec. 19 -- Classic news -- and (Above) the first of some hard-to-find Xmas gifts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007: Waves: Flat. Water clarity: Excellent. It looks like there should be beach or boat fish out there – looks being proverbially deceiving.

I’ve noticed that the more I shop for others the more I see stuff I really need for me. Cool thing today (Well, it was cool for someone like me) was two ladies who bumped and got into a pushing match when on of them used the “B” word to describe the other. It was pretty heated but I played the good go-between and got twixt the two and arm-separated them, like a cop holding traffic up in two directions. I’m a nice guy.

There is some fishy stuff to talk about. We had the post-Classic meeting and looking at the fiscal side of things the price has got to go up to $30 per angler (kids stay the same). That’s six weeks of active angling plus a growing list of special gift and cash prizes above and beyond tourney payouts. If that five bucks is enough to drive certain folks out so be it. I’d sure hopes folks will compare the likes of two-day boat fishing events that can run anywhere from $125 per boat to many thousands when Calcuttas come into play. The Classic is a great deal – and makes fall a lot more fun.

Another minor change may be the switch to outside-vehicle Classic window stickers. Since these stick-on came into play, the have been applied inside, thus some vehicles have been able to adhere many years’ worth. The problem is one Island municipalities have been running into when issuing beach buggy permits: Many newer vehicles (mine included) have lightly (or even heavily) tinted windows making inside stickers very hard to see. What’s more, we’re not sure how many folks even use these commemorative handouts. If you happen to like these stick-ons, let me know. If you’re part of a club with surf casters whoi enter the tourney maybe you can bring up this seemingly small issue. I say “seemingly” because in the past we’ve tried to discontinue certain innocuous tourney things and the reactions were surprisingly heated.

As to fishing today, I talked with Stan C. at the meeting and he had just gotten in from trolling and jigging up toward the Swimming Beach, IBSP. He caught small bass by trolling up a school’s site then stopping and dropping jigs there upon. Apparently the action wasn’t sizzling. Stan took his boat out for the winter shortly after that hooking.

I had yet another damn decent clamming day. I’m batting two for two, though I haven’t gotten out there much with my woodland activities. The clam are astoundingly deep. I’m serious. I use a rake called the T-Rex. It lives up to it dino-name via 8 fiercely deep tongs. Using kneeling methods, to save my back, I drive the rake in as deep as it’ll go and kinda peel back the mud/clay toward myself. Even going three inches down, I’m just seeing the necks of the clam showing. A few folks have been clamming out there and finding squat. If I had a normal rake there’s no way I would even know those clams were there. I got a full compliment of 150 and have them purging as we speak. They’ll be going into Christmas clam chowder. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing – hereabouts.

This a.m., the Coast Guard was seeking help in locating a small Whaler (I believe it was only 17 feet) in the ocean. It was without power and free-drifting. It’s always a bit of a wonderment that folks would go ocean in that small a craft, even though the weather was (temporarily) decent. The way the winds have been going from dead calm to 50 mph in a matter of a couple hours (most notably this past Sunday), should discourage small-craft jaunts into big water. The vessel was located about midday and helped shoreward by a good Samaritan vessel. I could tell the captain of that helping hand vessel wasn’t totally pleased with having to divert his course to drag a fellow captain back toward land but he bit the bullet. It’s good karma, Cap. Thanks. The Coast Guard also thanked him.

Shopping sidebar: I was zipping through Wal-Mart and went back to the sporting goods to buy Coleman propane canisters. I couldn’t believe the speed fishing items were moving off the shelves. Rods and reels are seemingly biggies for dads this year. I hyper-strongly encourage folks to go through local tackles shops when buying for an angling dad. Not only are there infinitely better items (often at a cost very similar to Wal-Mart – where Penn items are often more costly than many tackle shops) but the return and (especially) upgrade potential is a huge help to the discriminating dad.

Beach-important press release from Congressman Jim:

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Jim Saxton (NJ-3rd) said that efforts have paid off to obtain additional federal funds in the 2008 budget toward a future phase of the beach erosion repair project on Long Beach Island, Ocean County, N.J.

“There is nearly $5 million in the bill before the House and Senate this week to pay for the next phase of the LBI beach replenishment project,” Saxton said. “The project repairs extensive beach erosion and will give residents of the island better protection from hurricanes and nor’easters. The bill should be passed as early as tomorrow.”

Earlier this year, Saxton managed to add $4 million to an emergency supplemental bill to clean up munitions that were discovered in sand dredged as part of the project on the popular island. Saxton continues to press the Department of Defense to pay for additional cleanup, requesting that funds meant for the long-planned erosion project are not used for the clean-up.

“We don’t want the added costs of the clean-up to slow down the critical LBI beach erosion project,” said Saxton, noting that a large share of the project is paid for by state and local sources.

In one of the last financing agreements of its kind in the nation, the federal government will fund 65 percent of construction, with the State of New Jersey to pay the remainder. By law, future projects would have a federal cost share of no more than 50 percent, and most likely as low as 35 percent. Thus, if the projects were undertaken in the future, it would likely cost N.J. taxpayers twice as much.

In 1991 and 1992, three powerful storms struck the island in rare succession, resulting in severe erosion that has never been repaired. Saxton added over $3 million to federal budgets from 1993-2003 to design and engineer a repair plan, and $1.7 million toward future construction in 2003 and 2004, and $5 million in 2005. At Saxton’s prodding, Congress authorized the project for 50 years in 2000. After the initial construction is complete, the project is authorized for periodic maintenance every seven years or as needed.

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