It’s that humbling time of the year where I ask for donations to keep this blog up and running. It is a time consuming enterprise but I enjoy it. It’s kinda therapeutic. I hope you find it fun – and functional. I’d also like to take this time to sincerely thank those who email or phone me with tales, fishing reports and questions. It’s energizing. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Being Type A I don’t always have the time to mail Thank-you note but, believe me (!), your donations are fully appreciated. J-mann.
Friday, October 16, 2009: Waves: large.
Had a couple weigh-in yesterday, both blues ands bass were out and about on the edge of the storm. It’s now pretty mean out there, though there are always some areas that can be surf fished if you want to go Neanderthal. Holgate is not an option since it is closed down. The entry is already ravaged to the point of un-enterability. Once Holgate reopens, I’ll have a firsthand report and also some photos for the many of you who plan their LBI trips based on Holgate access.
The island beaches I looked at are in overwashed but not in awful shape – with the exception of those beaches that have no hope, i.e. sections of Harvey Cedars, Brant Beach and Beach Haven. One good thing about nor’easters 9and I know I bring this up every storm) but the beaches recover very quickly after these storm, as opposed to erosional attrtition from the south winds) which can do damn near permanent damage. Nor’easter ravaged beaches begin re-berming within 12 hours of storm’s end.
There is moderate street flooding on LBI. The usual quick-under spots are way under and some of the less frequent flood zones are taking on water fairly rapidly and there are still a couple/few tide cycles to go as another storm now seems likely. It takes a goodly amount of time to get from Brant Beach to Beach Haven if you want to mess with the Boulevard, i.e. the Land of a Thousand Lakes. It is far easier to mellow out, take the back road (Ocean Boulevard) and watch the unflooded scenery pass at 25 mph. By the by, (no brainer alert) I saw no less than five vehicles out for the count after reaching Ship Bottom via the Boulevard, then conking from moisture under the hood – and into the carburetor and such. Two nicer drives were being hauled off on a multi-vehicle wrecker. The others were getting jump starts or (hopelessly?) waiting for their engines to dry. It’s a long wait for dryness when it’s drizzly and a couple gallons of water made it into the engine compartment or up the exhaust.
I had hoped the first storm might drain some of the energy from the track of the second system but the speed of the first one didn’t cool the ocean that much. Winds and wave heights won’t be as severe but as for flooding the table is set, so to speak. The water is already high and not able to drain off bayside. By the by, this high-water event will surely flush all remaining bait out of the backbay. That could prove interesting, fishing-wise, once we dry out by maybe Tuesday.
Prior to the blow, I got reports – and saw personally – these astoundingly small mullet on the migratory move. They were so tiny that nearby spearing were actually way longer. These micro-mullet were easily slipping all the way through my 3/8th inch net mesh. I’ve have never seen that before, dating back to my seining studies in the 1970s.
The reason for these barely born “finger” mullet is kinda interesting. If you recall, we had a fairly bizarre summer with periods of NE winds for a week or more at a pop. This is nearly unheard of during summer when SE winds prevail 99 percent of the time. Along with blowing in some nasty trash from combined sewer overflow to our north, those onshore winds blew in larval mullet from out in the ocean, where adult mullet spawn. That larval blow-in usually takes place in spring, when winds are commonly NE.
Those summer NE winds pushed in any remaining free-floating larvae (that missed land in spring) -- way late. They could only grow maybe an inch. However, to their tiny credit, they acquired the same schooling and migrating instincts of larger young-of-year mullet, ones that reached an adequate finger designation.
The little ones did hang in the bay longer this fall, likely also having an instinct (or an inner sense) that they should grow a tad more before heading south. Since they are of no use to baitmen, they get something of a reprieve from netting. However, methinks they’ll see some predatory attrition that will cause them to grow up very quickly – or, more likely, grow dead very quickly. I can’t picture a hungry bluefish going. “Nah, too small to eat.” In fact, I saw some larger spearing hungrily going “Hmmmm” as the meek mullet joined them for migration.
You might have read some very negative press on The Shack, written in the Press of AC. The black spin on the story spooked the owner (very temporarily) but I still think we’ll see the old landmark resurrected. I’ve had a couple groups throw their weighty support behind the effort. We are working out a new strategy – which will hopefully neutralize the Press’ bleakness.
I got a very nice call from an outdoor writers group that commended me on my website. It’s very cool to know folks in far away corners of the country are reading it just for fun. As I always do, I spoke of how important my emailers and reporters are. I even sent them a months worth of communiqués and they were fully stunned at the number of emails I regularly get. Please keep ‘em comin’. By the by, I often hold more general emails and responses to the best time to highlight (publish) them. Also, I try to get responses out quickly. For whatever reason, some emails sneak into the “Junk” folder of Hotmail. I rescue some.