Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, July 02, 2009: Waves: Choppy 2-foot south swell. Water clarity: Good.

As we gear for the biggest shore weekend of the year, I can’t say the fish are over-ready. There are beach and boat bass occasionally at a decent clip (north end) but the action is very sketchy, even more so than normal. Who knows, you might be the sketcher-catcher. Think early and change bait often. Bunker or clams. Plugs are getting the occasional suicidal striper. There is often one hookup per jetty. Any other bass around when the hooked fish starts screaming are gone in a flash. Both inlet have some bass if you know how to coax them.

Fluke fishing will hit its highest point of the summer starting tomorrow and extending through Sunday. There will be thousands of fish caught, guaranteed. A damn near equal number will be released. I have to admit the ratio of keeper to throwback seems to be getting worse. Worse for anglers, that is. The fish are just fine with it. My guess is it could be a tad testy out there was the crowds sure to hit the bay, inlet and ocean. I suggest the ocean side of things, just to get some breathing room. Of course, if you’re the uncreative type and rush to where the most boats are drifting in the ocean, you deserve the frustration.

After a small push of weakies a couple weeks or so back, it has gotten still on sparklers -- as the summer surge of spikes (and beyond) approaches from the south, likely beginning this coming week (optimism alert). I’ll be doing some bridge jigging for a short stint tonight. The Causeway zone is one of the first points to show arriving summer weakies. They make for an easy up-haul when bridge-top fishing since they’re small enough to reel up to the railing, where I prefer to jig – as opposed to going down below. Larger fish have to be walked to the nearest bank when bridge-top fishing. What a frickin’ pain that is – literally, if you lose control trying to slide down the rocky embankment next to the bridge.

Anyone have any crabbing reports? I’ve had four or five folks asking me and I’ve totally lost track of crabbing 2009. I’m sure I’ll see some “swimmers” (top water crabs) tonight as I look down from the bridge but that’s not the best indication of how the overall crabbing is. Full moon coming up so shedders might be worth a night spotlight search session.

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer. The prevailing summer/southern winds are trying to assume their proper position; pop-up thunderstorms begin conspiring with the first heat of the day; kids so excited about school being out last week are already considering being bored; nearly every house on LBI is being used; you have to wait in a line extending outside the door just to buy a bagel with cream cheese; seasonal Island residents assume their position as the self-righteous three-month rulers of all “local” matters; retirees back from wintering in Florida gather to determine what they can bitch and moan about until snows fly again; tourist drivers crawl along in the “fast” lane convinced everyone is on vacation and can “just slow the hell down;” out-of-state now-and-again anglers openly rage over the invasive fishing crowds always hanging right where they “always fish” -- when they decide to come down; boaters launching at public docks try to figure out exactly how that turn-steering-wheel-left-boat-goes-right thing works, as dozens fester in line waiting to also use the ramp; second-floor midnight porch-sitters talk at the tops of their soused lungs as if nobody on LBI could possibly have to get up in the morning to work; foul-mouthed ocean-block homeowners wait all day inside their fronts doors to spring out and verbally attack families trying to park anywhere in front of their houses – fully knowing they’re only allowed, by law, to reserves one driveway space; lifeguards see how close together they can place the swimming-area flags then spend the entire day angrily blowing their whistles at “morons” outside said flags; oceanfront renters with drinks in hand plod across the delicate dunes instead of simply walking to very nearby street-end entrances; guys and gals wear clothing cleverly sized to allow their new manly/womanly tattoos to leak out for public awe; churchgoers scream ungodly language at the traffic as they try to pull onto the boulevard after services; foreign anglers with skills so finely tuned they can detect and land the smallest blackfish claim they are so new to the sport they know nothing about size limits; the local convenience store clerk manages to again short-change you in the name of “such crowded” conditions; teeny-bopper badge checkers with “natural” bottle-bleached highlight in their hair ask for the fifth time that morning if you, like, have a badge; despite a red light just up ahead, motorists accelerate toward a family with kids and a stroller trying to cross the Boulevard; Boulevard crossers opt to steep out from between parked cars, mid-block, instead of using the crosswalk a few feet away; ice cream vendors at beach street ends ring their bells as if they won’t stop until you come buy overpriced ice cream from them; glitzy boaters plow through “Slow No Wake” zones as if such petty rules only apply to peons; – feel free to jump in at any time with summer B’s and Moans of your own.

Off the wires:

[Copyright 2009 Press News Limited] - July 2, 2009 - YARMOUTH, N.S., Nova Scotia's small fleet of swordfish harpoon vessels is cruising Georges Bank, looking for a telltale fin breaking the silver surface of the ocean or perhaps even a leaping swordfish.

The harpoon fleet put to sea at one minute past midnight Wednesday from ports along the South Shore.

Fisherman Dale Richardson says as many as 104 boats were expected to take part.

Some 95 tonnes of swordfish are available to this special fleet that relies solely on the keen eyesight of an observer and someone with a strong arm.

Participating vessels, usually lobster boats, are retrofitted each summer with a long, aluminum catwalk from the bow of the boat, out as far as 10 metres, where a cage called the pulpit holds the harpooner.

Most harpooners will be five days at sea and some can stay a week or two.

Many restaurants and food services firms took swordfish off their menus a few years ago because a campaign against the fishery was underway. Some said the stock was in trouble.

The swordfish industry in Atlantic Canada is now attempting to procure an international Marine Stewardship Council listing as a proven sustainable fishery.

''If we can do that, then we can expand markets again,'' said Richardson.


[Copyright 2009 Gale Group, Inc.] - July 1, 2009 - Frieling USA introduces new natural Canadian hard wood grilling wraps in cedar and maple wood.

These paper-thin wraps enclose meat, seafood, poultry and vegetables for wonderfully moist, easy cooking.

Leave it to restaurant guests to admire the pretty parcel and untie the wrap; a fine way to enhance any menu. Certified sustainable.

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Comment by S. Chase on July 4, 2009 at 7:54pm
Comment by jaymann on July 4, 2009 at 8:35pm
You got that right -- and you can add black flies and, if you do woods time on the mainland, one of the worst years for chiggers that I've ever seen.


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