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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Jan. 7, 08 -- Nice weather but trying times

Monday, January 07, 2008:

I stopped by the beach a couple times to get any sort of revitalization it might offer (see below) and the ocean seemed to try its best. The water is this un-Jersey-like bluefish/green, incredibly clean. Even the air is mild and inviting for anyone wanting to try for bass or whiting, i.e. hake.

Speaking of whiting, I was told these nearshore winter resident can be jigged with a set-up similar to a mackerel rig. I’ve always used a simple bottom rig with squid pieces. Of course, that jigging method harkens back to the days when the whiting used to be so thick they were very aggressively feeding to keep full among so many others. Now, the species is all but gone, at least in terms of what the stocks were once like. However, as noted in previous columns, I’ve had some half-bucket sessions drifting them for them just past the sandbar using my kayak.

It looks dimmer and dimmer for the Artificial Reef Bill. In fact, I’m writing up my weekly SandPaper column and have announced the death of the bill – for 2007. Still, folks are out there hammering the assembly speaker to put the bill up for an assembly vote. It already easily passed the whole senate.

SAD FAREWELL:

I’ve been remiss in getting my daily updates in here after hearing of the untimely death of local angler Ric O Brien, 41, son of Margaret at Jingles.

Ric was a personal friend. It was a blow to hear the fellow baitman – and a top-notch angler – died suddenly Saturday of natural causes.

The last time I saw Ric was at the end of mulleting season when he and his family were at the back rip and I was netting starfish for his daughter to play with. Since that time, we had celled each other in search of late-season stripers.

Ric was a storehouse of angling knowledge, gained from his mom, Margaret, and his dad, Jingles, who passed in1996. He was one of the few people it was always a pleasure to see pulling up to me on the beach. His passing is just a brutal blow.

Services for Ric are private but donations in his name can be made to either the Beach Haven First Aid Squad (PO Box 1291, Beach Haven, 08008) or the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic (c/o Southern Ocean County Chamber of commerce, 265 9th Street, Ship Bottom, 08008).

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