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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

December 24: It's an odd Christmas Eve when carolers seamlessly follow Silent Night with a rendition of Summertime

"Well, it was red and had a fat man all dressed in red on it ... and a load of other reindeer ..." 

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It's an odd Christmas Eve when carolers seamlessly follow Silent Night with a rendition of Summertime .

Thursday, December 24, 2015:There were schoolie bass along LBI beaches. In fact, it was a damn decent bite once you got past the suds and waves action. Per one sharpie, white-on-white bucktails/plastics was the jig-head ticket. Another fellow, took a keeper yesterday. 

There still might be time to get that Christmas Striper ... tomorrow. Imagine walking in, last second, all bringing-home-the-bacon-like. It gets no fresher than still-flappin'. 

by the by, I have made sashimi from superfresh striper and it was very decent.

That said, I found most folks preferred the strong bassy fish taste knocked down a bit by partnering the raw fish with nori and/or veggies, like in hosomaki sushi, which are thin rolls with rice on the inside and nori (seaweed) on the outside -- seen here with tuna but veggies and striper meat can fit in there perfectly

Here is striped bass as omakase. Striped bass topped with diced shiso leaf (minty-taste on left), and shredded kelp.

Or striped bass nigiri sushi:

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This weather reminds me a bit of my days of overwintering in Hawaii when I failingly tried to squeeze some Christmas out of the balmy tropical air. It’s 68 degrees showing on my 6 pm Christmas Eve thermometer.

There is also something plumeria-like about this air. I’ll explain.

You likely know that plumeria are also called lei flowers in Hawaii. Most Sandwich Ilse leis are made from them. So where’s the connection? You’re kinda feelin’ it. Get this: Hawaiian floral fragrances might be remotely wafting on our current rush of wonderfully warm air. The hemispheric satellite maps show an uninterrupted flow of moist air originating in Hawaii, bee-lining across the Pacific, taxying across the entire southern part of our nation before then angling northward -- right up our coastal alley. It’s astounding to see that Hawaiian/LBI sky connection on the big-picture weather maps.

As to actually being able to smell one trillionth part plumeria within our current winds, I’m guessing you’ll have to first get hit by lightning and come-to with a staggering sniffing ability – along with an inexplicable ability to speak flawless Mandarin, while being moderately conversant with an ancient form of Swahili.

What’s next now that we’ve felt a plumeria white Christmas? There is a rush of icy cold that’ll take a swing and a miss at us. But it’ll be a near miss for at least a couple days. 

Way back when, I was openly predicting any nasty cold in early winter could inch toward us but would come up short, stalling just to our north and west -- while we stay way warmer by not that many miles. Well, North Jersey could soon see snow, like up Summit way. Just a hair further north, New England could be in-line for a plowable pummeling of white stuff – even though many of Boston’s cherry trees are in full blossom as of today.

For us below the dividing line, we’ll toy with normal then buddy up with above-normal as time goes on. By next week, I see air temps easily eating through the forecasted 50s and back into the freakytime 60s. By way next weekend, we could see colder air finally filtering down to normalish 40s for highs. 

NO SNOW, JOE:

Hey, I’m just callin’ ‘em like I see ‘em. If you love snow, out west is crawlin’ with the stuff -- and will go astronomically snowy as winter progresses and El Nino impacts finally kick in. Nope, the El-ster has yet to really show what it can do to the Western US when on an historic roll, as it is now. 

I should not that despite being spot on about a major el Nino event for this winter, the early predictions for this month have absolutely not played out. Not one predictor had a record-breaking warmth for December. Virtually all forecasters had us cold and very wet. Oh, wait, maybe there was one minuscule prognosticator who suggested "near record-breaking warmth" throughout December -- thank-you very much. 

Here's an updated read from AccuWeather: 

I see more and more Facebook photos of wholly confused garden plants letting blossoms burst forth. Might this ruin the spring showing of flowery foliage? It could, per the pros, but most botanists contend that the overall welfare of the out-of-sync plant life is not threatened by bustin’ out prematurely. In fact, some plants – roses, forsythias, cherry trees – are actually easy to trick into premature blossoming. Even those easily-duped florae hold back plenty of budding ability. In fact, a plant instinctively knows flowering is import but setting out loads of leaves is the long-term green key to survival.

As to wildlife, out of the herptiles I deal with, snakes, turtles, salamanders and lizards aren’t leaving their hibernation posts. Frogs are a different story, especially the early callers, i.e. the first frogs to sing come spring. As of last night, there were spring peepers sounding off in Stafford. They weren’t gung-ho by any measure. In fact, if there’s such a thing as a “WTF?” frog song, that was the speed and amplitude they were offering.  I thought I also heard a wood frog; another early-caller in spring.

While these conditions are a pain in the gun butt to deer hunters, there is absolutely no lack of shooters out there. In fact, by my measurement, this warm weather has every fair-weather hunter in the state out and about.

Even grandmas be out there shooting, literally. I had a great chat with one – whose impressive age I won’t reveal. We first chatted about jerking game. Things really took off when the conversation drifted away from “freezering” some venison to “putting up” preserves. Boy, did she give me some insider grandmas tips about “putting up” using old-fashioned Mason jars, like the slew I’ve dug. Apparently, it all comes down to the condition of the jar’s screw threads being high and unchipped. Then, making sure the screw-top threads take to the modern zinc Mason jar lids. The old zinc lids I dig (by the hundreds) are likely shot, she said, warning that when dealing with something as tricky as canning/jarring, you can’t risk air or bacteria getting inside.

Granny also told me how to read the colors that well-preserved fruits and veggies take on when seen through the aqua-blue glass of older Masons. Looking through the light-blue glass, the hues are way different than those seen through modern clear Masons. Wait until I try some of her tricks on next spring’s blueberry crop – unless that crop is out already. 

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DEP COMMISSIONER MARTIN CRITICIZES DREDGING CONTRACTOR'S PLANS TO SUSPEND BEACH AND DUNE CONSTRUCTION ON LONG BEACH ISLAND
FEDERAL LAWMAKERS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS JOIN CALL TO KEEP CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MOVING FORWARD

(15/P120) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today sharply criticized a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) contractor for making plans to remove dredging equipment from an ongoing beach and dune construction project on Long Beach Island in order to perform a dredging project in another part the country.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, which since May has been implementing a $128 million contract to construct engineered beaches and dunes for 13 miles of Long Beach Island, recently announced it is moving its dredges out of New Jersey to work on another project. The company does not plan to return the dredges to New Jersey until spring 2016.

"This planned action by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company is unwarranted and irresponsible," Commissioner Martin said. "By suspending its Long Beach Island work, this company will expose lives, homes, businesses and infrastructure to severe winter storms. Their decision shows a callous disregard for the people of New Jersey. I am calling on the Army Corps to step up to the plate and take strong action to ensure that all equipment remains on-site, and that this work moves forward as quickly as possible to protect the barrier island."

Local and federal officials joined Commissioner Martin in calling upon Great Lakes to continue work in this area without disruption. 

"I share in the deep disappointment at Great Lakes' decision to leave LBI and our critical beach replenishment project half-completed, subject to the winter weather and storm surges common this time of year," said Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2). "In close communication and coordination with Commissioner Martin, local mayors and the Army Corps, I have made clear on several occasions to Great Lakes' leadership of my immense frustration at this self-serving business decision that leaves the residents and properties of LBI at risk. 

"I will continue to press the importance of finishing this project as planned, ensuring adequate winter storm protection and ample time to plan for the summer tourism season."

"Federal beach nourishment and resiliency projects are essential to projecting our shore communities and preserving our coastline, which is why it is disappointing that sections of Long Beach Island may be left unfinished for some winter months early next year," said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. "I continue to work with Senator Menendez, Congressman LoBiondo and other elected officials to impress upon the Army Corps to work with the contractor to ensure that its contractual obligation to have work completed by Memorial Day is met."

"A healthy and well-nourished beach is the first line of defense against powerful ocean storms and absolutely vital for the protection and well-being of our shore communities," said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. "I will continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the important beach replenishment projects on Long Beach Island are completed in a timely and efficient manner and that the residents are protected."

Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph H. Mancini worries that Holgate, along the southern portion of the island, will be particularly vulnerable to winter nor'easters.

"Our public works crews have pushed up as much sand as possible and right now at high tide, the ocean is right at the toe of the dunes," Mayor Mancini said. "For Great Lakes to leave without replenishing this section of beach is frightening. We feel there is no excuse for them to pick up and leave in the middle of the project."

The federally-funded project is being undertaken as part of the Christie Administration's strategy to build a comprehensive coastal protection to protect from the kind of destruction the state witnessed during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

Formally known as the Barnegat Inlet to Little Egg Inlet project, it is one of seven significant USACE beach improvement projects statewide authorized by Congress but never completed before Sandy hit. 

The projects encompass a total of 12.7 miles of beaches in Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and part of Surf City. They will complete storm damage reduction projects that were being constructed in phases prior to Sandy striking New Jersey in October 2012. The contract to complete the initial construction on LBI is funded 100 percent by the federal government under the provisions of the Sandy Relief Act enacted in 2013.

Construction on Long Beach Island began this past May and involves construction of a dune system with a top elevation of 22 feet. The beach and dune system being constructed will range from 300 to 400 feet wide and have an elevation of eight feet above sea level, better protecting the island against storm surge.

Three main areas still need to be filled: Area 6, which encompasses Beach Haven and the Holgate section of Long Beach Township; Area 1, which encompasses the Loveladies section of Long Beach Township; and Area 2, which encompasses the North Beach section of Long Beach Township.

The state has title for all of the properties in Area 6, which is the southern end of the project and the most vulnerable to severe damage from winter storm. Only a handful of easements are still required for Areas 1 and 2, but they are expected to be obtained within weeks.

"There is no reason whatsoever that the beach and dune construction work cannot continue at the southern end of the island," Commissioner Martin said. "Furthermore, work can and must continue while the state wraps up its legal action to secure the outstanding easements needed in the northern part of Long Beach Island."

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DOLLAR GENERAL CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF A NEW STORE IN

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ

 

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – December 21, 2015 – Dollar General will celebrate the opening of its new location at 2400 Long Beach Boulevard in Ship Bottom onSaturday, January 2 at 8 a.m. with free prizes and special deals.  Dollar General will offer Ship Bottom residents a convenient new place to shop for everyday essentials at low prices.

 

Additionally, the first 50 adult shoppers at the store will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card and the first 200 shoppers will receive a Dollar General tote bag, among other giveaways.

 

“Dollar General is committed to delivering a pleasant shopping experience that includes a convenient location, a wide assortment of merchandise and great prices on quality products,” said Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and store development.  “We hope our Ship Bottom customers will enjoy shopping at Dollar General’s new location.”

 

Dollar General stores offer convenience and value to customers by providing a focused selection of national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel and health/beauty products. The store’s fresh layout is designed to make shopping simple for customers.  Seasonal products are displayed in the center of the store, departments are easily recognizable with visible signage and coolers are conveniently located at the front of the store.

 

Traditional Dollar General stores employ approximately six to 10 people, depending on the need.  Anyone interested in joining the Dollar General team may visit the Career section at www.dollargeneral.com.

 

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