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JAY MANN Weekly blogabout Fishing with glowing condoms ...

The Fish Story

Glowing Condoms Loomin’ Large; Becoming Skilled at Not Working

The weirdness bug is back. The latest fly-by has to do with things that go bump in the night – sorta.

Please cover the kid’s ears because I have to use the very iffy “G” word, as in “glow.”

Oh, wait, that’s not the iffy word, is it? The iffy word is actually condom – but in a glowing sense.

Huh?

I’ll be lighting upon, believe it or leave it, glow-in-the-dark condoms – but in a very platonic manner, mind you.

And yes, Virginia (or not), there is such a thing as a glowing condom – and, apparently, a need for one.

Note: I’ve been known to insert snide little, imaginary, wise-ass quotes at glowing condom times like this – for unusable instance, “Now where the hell are you? Oh, now I can see you – you little devil you.” However, I absolutely refuse to sink that low when dealing with subjects as sensitive as radiant rubbers.

The concept of private parts a-glow is also a tender topic for me. I keep getting this unpleasant flashback from my adolescence when I once crushed a slew of lightning bugs in my hands, then, on a double-dare I … Nevermind.

So, in this current condom-esque case, I’m striving to stay firm – and on the upright path. No innuendoes in play.

I must sidebar by saying I knew I was no longer running with the pack when I discovered glowing condoms not through partying hipness – or after a long night when glow sticks just weren’t enough – but through videos on tying flies for fishing.

Yes, this is a bona fide fishing tackle story, as you will see. No ribbing intended.

As is sometimes the case when ye of little faith question my columnizing veracity, I will simply dive, head first, into this condom thingy by giving you an actual read on making your very own Glow in the Dark Condom Fly. From deep down, I assure you it’s a very real fly – and glowing success for fly fishermen worldwide.

Here is a verbal intro into one of many YouTube videos on making this prophylactic fly. It comes from Team Eaton www.TagginOutHunting.com.

“Here is our tip of the month on how to make the Glow in the Dark Condom Fly. Last year we were killing the steelhead on this fly. There is not much to it and it is a great addition to the fly box. All you need is a caddis hook, little peacock, glow in the dark condom, and your tying gear. Simple to make with amazing results. Hit it with the flash of your camera and it will be the brightest thing in the water.”

Flash of your camera? Wow, I’m wondering if folks who abuse glow in the dark condoms by using them for something other than making fishing tackle know about that “flash” angle. Brighter things look bigger, right. Of course, that begs the question of when, exactly, you light that sucker up with a camera flash? “Uh, Phil, Honey, I think you have to take it out of the wrapper first. No, not that. I’m talking about that glow in the dark thingy.”

Anyway, you can find one of the better make-ur-own condom flies videos athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_QfsruE0Q4.

If you’re not afraid that someone might check your Internet “History,” you can also type in “Glow in the Dark Condom Fly” on YouTube. Just don’t blame me if you suddenly start to get dozens of emails about enhancing the glow of your masculinity – with some busty gal asking, “Is that a glow in the dark fly on your rod or are you just glad to see me?”

Damn. I said I wasn't going to glow there; I mean go there.

So, we now have massive numbers of do-it-yourself anglers making Glow in the Dark Condom Flies.

I can’t help but picture an angler’s spouse picking up his tackle box, having it accidentally open and out falls a six-pack of glow in the dark condoms.

“Glowing rubbers! Are you kidding me!? Lou, get your sorry ass in here!”

“Jay, you gotta come with me to help explain!”

“My ass, I do. She’s goin’ for the closet with the 12-gauge, dude. You’re on your own.”

“Jay, get back here! You bastard! You’re the one that showed me the video.”

I’M YOUR MAN: I have an old-fashioned poster on the wall. It shows a bright-eyed, plaid-shirted kid holding a piece of straw between his teeth. He’s framed by the words, “I want to be a farmer.”

And so have I, sorta.

I long held this idealized perception that I’d be the farmer who planted stuff in the morning, went surfing and fishing for the rest of the day, then came back to the farm to find assorted minorities had already harvested my crop so I could quickly cash in.

Hell, the closest I had ever been to a real farm was an occasional rerun of “The Real McCoys,” which I always watched with a goodly amount of trepidation. That Walter Brennan guy freaked me the hell out – always limpin’ around, all gnarly and stuff.

Anyway, my jaded view of gentleman farming became even greener when I later read about farmers being paid some damn decent greenery from the government not to grow a bloody thing. Wow, that meant I could nix the entire a.m. planting thing and simply go out surfing and fishing even sooner – same payout.

Admittedly, I harbored doubts over actually getting paid not to grow nothin’ – horrible grammar and double negative notwithstanding.

Then, this year, doesn’t that exact same concept come knocking at my Ship Bottom door. I kid you not. It was yet another bizarre manifestation of Superstorm Sandy.

As we speak, I’m on the brink of getting $10,000 for doin’ nuttin,’ honey! Loads of other impact-zone folks are also about to get the same do-nothin’ windfall.

All I have to do is stay put for the next three years – livin’ just the way I’ve been livin’ for decades atop decades. Consider me planted in place, all ye distributors of comely do-nothin’ sums.

While I’m a workaholic at heart, I could get very accustomed to earning some serious side mullah by doing nothing, time permitting. Now that I think about it, there are a ton of things I’m fully qualified to not do – for the right price. Hell, I might even start my own grassroots business. Its motto: There’s nothin’ too small for us not to do. Put it on the side of a pickup truck with no gas in it.

I guess I should add here that the ravenous ghost of Sandy will eat every penny of my arriving do-nothin’ money. Still, my sincere thanks to the government folks who devised such a labor-nonintensive grant system. If their system takes off and they don’t need a helping hand in the future, I’m their man.

CAUSEWAY CLOSENESS: I have to admit my social skills have some serious issues. But I’m successfully working to de-issue them. I now calmly listen to what other people have to say – for up to 10 whole seconds, on occasion. What’s more, I no longer routinely snap at stuff being said. Yes, that’s an improvement … dumbass.

Still, I’m not big on getting up close and personal with folks I’m in no hurry to meet, especially when motoring along at 55 mph. But the new traffic pattern on the Causeway definitely fails to take my socializing flaws into consideration. Damn-it all, those new lanes are so stinkin’ tight you can pass the Grey Poupon back and forth – at full frickin’ speed.

Take cover if you’ve sidled up to a driver with iffy motoring skills – in the oft-bizarre language of my grandma, a nervous Nellie. I’ve had ’em get so close that black flies on the side of my truck hold out a couple of their legs to fend her off. “Here, why don’t ya just climb under my seatbelt with me, lady?”

I’ve seen restarts in the NASCAR Sprint series with more maneuvering room than the stretch on the east side of the Big Bridge.

That brings up the numerous emails I’ve gotten questioning the speed limit on the under-construction Causeway – yet another new normal we’ll be living with for years to come.

Outside of those yet uninterruptible signs telling us how long it will take to get from the Causeway to the Parkway, there is nothing visual to indicate we have to so much as brake in that crazed construction zone – even though the set-up seems suited for, maybe, Segways and Hoverounds.

So I contacted a cop source I know, an officer obsessed with keeping up with both the latest and oldest laws. He’s the guy who told me about the N.J. law prohibiting men from knitting during the fishing season. It truly exists. Nobody is sure why but even I’d be nervous about removing it – possibly setting off a bizarre series of catastrophic events.

Gospel truth: In Hawaii, I lived for years in a large house with four other waveriders. On a long hallway, there was this common, everyday light switch with a piece of masked tape over it and a faded, pencil-written message: “Do not turn off!” It was ominous. There were even entire weeks on end when I was pissed at the world and swore I was going to walk right up and turn that sucker off. I’d come that close, and then wilt away. That was 35 years ago and I’ll bet anything that bugger is still in the “on” position.

Anyway, back to the Causeway.

It turns out that even though the speed limit has not changed on the Causeway, you can’t necessarily drive 55.

Per the expert, it doesn’t matter what the posted speed might be, you must always drive in accordance with what conditions allow.

While I’m guessing you can’t get ticketed for driving 55 on the under-construction Causeway, if you’re caught cruising far beyond what crowded conditions allow, there are a slew of citations still capable of greeting you.

Just cruise safely on the new normal Causeway – and leave some space for others.

REPLENISHMENT REPORT: The Surf City replenishment hit a last-minute snag when the one remaining dredge broke down. Another dredge that had been working here had moved off to work farther north.

Overall, we’ve all marveled over the speed at which the rebeaching and reduning work have gone.

Per the head honcho of the project, that speediness is thanks to the replenishment-friendly weather of summer.

Also newsworthy, the sand source for future LBI replenishments, sometimes called borrow sites, will be a bit farther out at sea than the current site, known as D1. The new sand source area, known as D2, is about to be procured by the Army Corps, via complex permitting procedures. D2 is due east of D1. It’s in federal waters.

So, what comes of dormant dredging sites like D1? Off Absecon, a borrow site was being groomed to accommodate wind turbines in the very near future. Located 2.8 miles from shore – and fully visible to the AC resort – the Absecon zone is scheduled to be home to the Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City Windfarm (FACW). We’ll likely be able to see the five-megawatt, direct drive turbines of FACW, mainly from Holgate.

Closer to our own zone, I’m told that there remains a significantly high likelihood that Beach Haven and Holgate will be replenished next spring. What’s more, the boys at Army Corps are anticipating that all of LBI, except maybe Loveladies, is on the brink of replenishment.

Such a momentous, Island-long re-sandification would bring to grainy fruition the full Monty beach repair that was envisioned when the project was being crafted back in the mid-1990s – driven by then-Congressman Jim Saxton, as powerful a rep as the region has ever had in D.C.

I sat in on those early, rather naïve, planning sessions. It was assumed that all LBI oceanfront homeowners would be ecstatic with the plan. The only time the notion ofeasement arose was when someone was looking for a bathroom. Needless to say, it has since become a pisser.

The money to replenish all of LBI is there but the easement holdouts remain the sticks in the mud. But change is in the easement air. Some of that change is secretive and behind the scenes while the more obvious change is implanted within the upcoming eminent domain retrial, Harvey Cedars v. Karans.

I do want to clarify the Harvey Cedars situation. I misspoke last column. This trial, the judge must allow the jury to hear compelling testimony regarding the social and economic benefits derived from beach replenishment. Any ignoring of that directive, sent down from above (the state Supreme Court), would be indefensible on the judge’s part.

Importantly, since this whole case is on the Karans’ dime, testimony about the value of beach and dune replenishments can only relate to their property, specifically. There’s no getting into the overall LBI need for better beaches and dunes. Even issues like the beneficial, economic impacts of big beaches and sturdy dunes for all of us can’t enter into it.

Still, I think the beach replenishment benefits to just the Karans’ property will be vicarious evidence of how it profits virtually all beachfront (easement) homeowners.

However, this is not a slam-dunk for HC. The case is so site specific that a jury might fully understand the social benefits of replenishment but not see a full-blown connection to the Karans’ property. It could all come down to the amount of compensation. A jury might surmise that the value of the Karans’ lost ocean view is easily covered by the work’s protective value. Another legal attribute might be the enhanced market value of the property because of the beach work.

This case will likely become an instant legal sensation in post-Sandy NJ – and could easily set a precedent.

I’m told that the evidentiary phase of the case is coming to a close. The trial phase is not that far off. It’s all kind of exciting.

RUNDOWN: Big bluefish have bolted north. That isn’t good news for night charters and even some commercialites. In fact, the upcoming Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Company fish dinner (4-8 p.m. this Saturday) will likely be bluefishless for the first time.

No lack of fluke out there, though the bayside action is sorely lacking at times (and places) usually alive with flatties right about now.

Some slightly cooler air scheduled for this week (into next) might perk the bayside fluke bite. Still, the surf and certain ocean zones might be the better drift bet.

Of course, there is always the step-in-it syndrome at play. That’s where certain fishing folks go where nobody had caught anything and just immediately mug big fish. Here’s an apropos FB report from a Jingles Bait and Tackle customer:

We had an amazing few hours on the water yesterday and again this morning on the incoming tide. All in 50+ fish, 13 keep flounders and 1 weakfish. A few of the flounders were 20+ inches. It was outrageous.

I’m looking for more upbeat reports from bayside anglers but short of hit/miss angling efforts, there seems to be a less than stellar summer playing out.

Troublingly, there is a nasty outbreak of sea nettles on the west side of Barnegat Bay, near Barnegat Township. They can sometimes be a sign of over-nutrification, the bane of the bay for the last decade.

Over-nutrification – and the accompanying over-nitrification – is thought to be from fertilizers used on lawns and such. It eventually gets washed into the bay, spiking algae growth.

It’s tough to say there is a direct relationship between a burst of sea nettles and poorer bayside fishing. It’s just a point to ponder, as we try everything possible to keep Barnegat Bay hyper-healthy, per direct orders from our Governor.

On the upside of the bay’s west side, blowfish are going bonkers. Hooking is amazing for the sharpies who know where to find the puffers.

To their survivalist credit, blowfish are amazingly tough in all kinds of water conditions – even not-so-good conditions. In fact, when we had that scourge of blowfish almost 50 years back, there were strong indications we also had catastrophically polluted water conditions at the time, possibly leading to the dangerous high proliferation of blowfish due to a lack of proper predation by gamefish.

Weakfish are there but in rouge-ish showings. Single fish, some jumbos, have come up as bycatch.

I’ve made a few night casts of small plastic grubs, with only fair results. The best showing of sparklers was off a bulkhead in north Surf City, not far from the bayside swimming beach.

Sharking has been very good. It’s yet another fishery where the sharpies have a huge advantage. However, tackle shops will gladly show you the ropes and rigs – then point you in the general direction for browns.

Please (!), don’t keep any sharks unless you truly know how to ID the vast varieties you might hook this time of year. Juveniles are the hardest to differentiate, yet the most common age group caught nearshore. We officially have blues, bulls, smooth dogs, spiny dogs, duskies, hammerheads, porbeagles, sandbars, sand tigers, tigers, makos, threshers, triggers, whites – and more.

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