Sunday, December 14, 2008: waves: Small. Water clarity: Good.
Hey, it’s a great day for fishing and I can guarantee you’ll catch some trophy-grade fresh air. There is still that chance of a surf striper. One beach has about the same odds as the next this time of year -- and late-day is always the key if you want to through a small jig. Telling it lie it is, this is one of the earlier stops to stripering in over a decade. That’s not to say there might not be a school or two to our north that will pass by our beaches but the fat lady has not only sung but is seemingly out the door and heading for Pizza Hut.
On that seem, here’s an email from Walt P.:
As you said in a previous post, "The Fat Lady may have sung". Came down this AM to close up and put the boat away for the winter. Winds were less than I expected, so I thought, give it one more shot for a bass or two. Headed up to the CG station on IBSP. Not another boat out as far as I could see. That should have told me something. Did one long drift to the south, nada, moved off of the inlet south tower and drifted over toward the bars, nada. The cold wind then told me that it was time to go and call it a season. The blitz of two weeks ago will keep my memories active for the winter. Happy Holidays !!”
Checking numerous headboat reports, the tog fishing is good to very good. Wind (and related drift/current/tide) is everything for those trips. A buddy limited out on large fish and was encourages by the fine showing of smaller fish, however, he questioned the survival rate for those fish due to what he called “sloppy handling” by anglers. His email was a lot more poignant and seemingly singled out a particular group of abusers so I think it’s best I don’t go into too much detail.
There are a couple snowy owls appearing in Holgate. We had them thick a number of years back, then only a pass-by in recent winters. As to whether or not these current owls will stay remains to be seen – and they should be seen, what a spectacle as they sit atop a post or (far eerier) when they are just standing on the height of berm nearest the water, not moving a muscle, looking for all the world like some stuffed toy. I’ve written a few times about that year they first appeared (maybe five years ago), when I drone upon one on the beach and even with my training and experience at tracking I thought for the world that someone had somehow lost some sort of stuffed animal on the beach. I jumped out and ran back real fast to pick it up – maybe give it to some needy kids – when my eyes and its hooked up and I did one of those “Whoa!” Oddly, I never got a tenth that close to a snowy owl even when half a doze were staying there all winter.
Shotgun season is over so the woods are returning to a relatively safe level, though the muzzleloaders and bow folks are out there in goodly numbers still. I bring up those black powder and archer folks not out of fear of them misfiring at a human – they’re very skilled and attentive hunters – but to make sure, if hiking and such, not to “spook” an area where they’ve been patently waiting for hours in tree stands. The trick when out in the woods is to always look up in the trees, even in the distance. In fact, it’s best to just clear out of the woods about an hour before sunset, the golden hour for deer hunters.