Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

New ‘Joisey’ Turns Sexy;

Drones Are Watching Us


Oddly enough, I have some less-than-fishy things to write about, though fluking has taken off in a big way. See “Rundown” way below.


OUR SEXY STATE: How’s it feel living in the nation’s hottest and coolest state? Whadda we got now?  There’s Jerseylcious, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of New Jersey Shore, Snooki, Breakout Kings, Cake Boss, Point Pleasant, JONAS, House, Boardwalk Empire, Oz, Law and Order Special Victims Unit, Cake Boss, Bear Swamp Recovery  – just to name a scant few of the NJ-based programs. 

Truth be told, NJ, as a stately thing, had long been kinda maligned in a mocking “Joisey” vein of belittling. Short of being home to Frank Sinatra and the best of the mob, we had long been mistakenly referred to as an urbanly blighted, smokestacked, NYC suburb, i.e. demographical diseased and industrially ravaged.

Of course, we of a Jersey-bred nature know our tiny piece of the US puzzle game is, in fact, multifaceted and readily broken into north and south -- two worlds totally apart, as is obvious via a drive down the Parkway. In fact, the north part of the state can further be cleanly broken into east and west – the east being the only point where all that “Joisey” stuff has ever prospered. Conversely, northwest NJ is open-spaced, equestrian heavy and oft obnoxiously affluent. A damn nice stretch.

And who doesn’t love the south of the state?

Now, it seems we’ve suddenly jumped out of the misconception crapper and into the national, even worldly limelight. The uncovered uniqueness of our fairly weird and wooly state is now highly saleable and a downright sexy commodity -- though we’ll overlook placing the “Tan Mom” anywhere in the mix, short of maniacs being everywhere.

But how did we get so Jerseylicously hot?

I swear it began when the true Jersey look and feel rhythmically emerged via The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. Through his poetic lyrics, most often centered on the Shore, the entire planet instantly homed in on our understated state – and saw it as quite cool, once they figured what an Asbury Park was.

The Shore became so personified through Brucely poetics that it quickly busted free as yet another unique geo-sector within our miniscule state. And a sector we can closely relate to, though, technically, we’re part of the upper-middle Shore culture -- you know, the (alleged) Hamptonsesque portion, unrelated to the lower-middle Shore civilization, where Atlantic City does its own thing.  

In the wake of the Boss, the likes of Bon Jovi further fanned the NJ fame flame. In fact, Jon BonJo eventually pushed the limits of believability by actually admitting that there’s no place like Jersey: “There's only one place they call me one of their own , just a hometown boy … Who says you can’t go home again.” By the by, he vacations in Harvey Cedars.

Of course, there’s absolutely no denying that our good old mob connections also added to the increasingly high-profile fame flow. Enter “The Sopranos” series. Within the first few beatdowns and snuffings, Jersey-fascinated folks from all over found even found the acidy NE NJ corridor kinda cool, though the highly Hollywoodafied HBO series often referenced the entire state, as is in the celebrated scene where Tony’s boys were trying to snuff a Russian mobster by taking him into the deep and mysterious Pinelands. Botching the hit, the snuffers only wounded the snuffee, who bolted into the woods. No sweat. Per made-guy Pauly, “Eh, don’t worry, the squirrels’ll eat him.” Now there’s a man who knows Jersey. You don’t mess with our mobster squirrels.

Closer to home, an episode had the Soprano family’s kids holding their graduation party at their summer home on Long Beach Island. Even more touching was Carmela Soprano, while nursing a comatose Tony back to reality, repeatedly playing Tom Petty’s “American Girl” because, as she explained, they had played that song in Tony’s car. 

LBI cop: “Hey, mister, why are you two sitting in this vehicle playing the same song over and over?”

“Yo, officer, I’m just a North Jersey mobster wooing my girlfriend here. You gotta problem with that?”

“Not at all, sir. Just as long as you’re not a couple lowlife surfers. Hey, by the way, do you know Fast-assed Louie from up in Hackensack?”

Anyway, we’re certainly seeing our 15 minutes in the sun, especially the Jersey Shore. What’s more, the Fox network is working on a sexy reality series to be named “Wives of Anglers of the Jersey Shore From Sandy Hook to Little Egg Inlet, including Barnegat Inlet, And All Federal and State Waters Out 200 Miles.” Tryouts are next week up in Seaside.

BUG-EYED DRONES ALOFT: A huge news story has been centered on the apparent use of U.S. military drones to spy down upon, uh, Nebraska and Kansas.

Hey, Nebraska and Kansas are hotbeds of al-Qaeda sleeper cells and Jihad safe houses.


No. Nebraska and Kansas are hotbeds for cows and alleged Bigfoot sightings. In fact, there are some East Coast conspiracy theorists who claim that Nebraska doesn’t even exist and is just a government fabrication to cover up the fact someone in DC once got drunked up and miscounted the number of states, back when there were, like, 35 of ‘em. As proof, the word Nebraska is an Amerindian word meaning “or maybe not.” 

As for terrorists infiltrating lowly-populated Midwest states, they’d have a better chance of secretly mixing in with a NASCAR pit crew.

“Quick, hand me that wrench and that … hey, who the **** are you?!

But our government has admitted it did, in fact, spy on Midwestern states, albeit while casually playing around with all its new eye-in-the-sky toys.

It’s kinda ironic, it turns out Little Brother is watching us. There’s not a prayer of seeing a tiny drone at 20,000 feet up above. Or so I assumed, until this past weekend. Here’s what got me on this subject.

Gospel truth: I got a fairly frantic call from an outdoorsman and fellow fisherman who recently bought a kick-ass telescope, fully capable of reading graffiti on the walls of the moon. He had set it up on a hill in the outback, hoping to get a goodly look at a full-moon rising. He got more than a mere mooning. He cellphoned me swearing up and down that he “(expletive) absolutely (expletive) saw a (expletive) drone” in the skies over Ocean County. He felt I had to use my daily website (http://jaymanntoday.ning.com/) to warn everybody – about what, I had no idea.

He was a tad put-off when I didn’t join his expletively emphatic excitement. I had my reasons. Yes, I’m as hideously alarmed as the next paranoid guy when it comes having a government eye in the sky watching my every angling move -- beaming hookup information back to a secret base in Atlantic County where unscrupulous federal officials pass the classified data to their fishing buddies. But, also, I’m very aware that Southern Ocean County has been eyed as a perfect drone experimentation area. Again, I’m not sure why -- except maybe the big brass is also into Springsteenian images. 

Not long ago, Sen. Christopher J. Connors and Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf met with NJ National Guard head honcho Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, hyping our very own Warren Grove Gunnery Range as an ideal home for testing drones, a.k.a. unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Since then, the oft-called “bombing range” in Warren Grove has seemingly been first in line to become the premier UAV testing grounds in the nation, drone haven, as it were – and a name land developers will be sure to employ for any 2,500-unit housing developments they might finagle for that pristine pinelands area.

Oh, I should mention that our legislators swear bloody murder that the UAVs would present “no danger to the public” – short of every move we make being watched by a dozen of so hot-to-trot drones with nothing better to do.

“Get the sergeant, quick. Miss Throttlemyer in Beach Haven West is sunning out back again. Um, um. Boy, there are no tan lines on that gal.”

That imaginary comment is a bit ironic since the entire Warren Grove droneification effort was slowed a bit when Maj. Gen. Rieth kinda got popped after getting a tad carried away while comparing flight overlays with a sexy gal in his office. (True story)

Anyway, I’m pretty sure the drones are coming our way this year. Just something to think about when doing those things you would never ever do unless you were absolutely positively sure no one was watching. Damn, there go half my plans for the rest of this year.

Oh, so you’ll feel less vulnerable, here’s the latest proposed federal legislation regarding drones spying on Americans. It should make things perfectly clear:  “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, information acquired by an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the Department of Defense may not be admitted in a Federal court, State court, or court of a political subdivision of a State as evidence against a United States citizen unless such information was obtained by such unmanned aerial vehicle pursuant to a court order.”

In other words, the drones can look but not touch – unless you just happen to be court case.

WRECK OF A RESPONSE: It’s odd the way the most outlandish items in this column seldom garner even a random retort while littleish asides get me a Riot Act reading. Such was the case surrounding a few paragraphs I recently wrote about texting and driving – and how it’s alive and deadly on our roadways. Both you and I are seeing it at every turn.

Last Friday, a gal phoned in with a lambaste on -- not so much aimed at what I wrote but my failure to go with larger and deadlier verbal guns. “You thoroughly underrated the dangers,” she lambasted.

I was half hoping she was calling me on her cell phone, while driving, that’d give me a little return-fire ammunition. She wasn’t. What’s more, turned out she’s a registered nurse. An immensely fine occupation by my measurements. Thus my need to respond – and to appreciate the fact she likely knows of what she speaks, firsthand.  

She duly informed me of the recent case in Massachusetts where a teenage male was texting/driving and killed a 55-year-old man in an head-on accident. With that accident in tow, she said, “People are dying everywhere because of kids doing texting while they’re driving. I’ve seen the damage.”

Turns out that Massachusetts court also felt her fury. The teen got a catastrophic 2-year prison term. Yes, it’s bloody catastrophic! Sure, it was fully warranted but the kid was an “A” student and had never even gotten so much as a traffic ticket in his life. An arbitrary look down, a few tap-taps on a cell phone and the next thing he knows he’s on his way to the Big House. That’s brutal. What’s more (and maybe worse), his driving privileges in Massachusetts have been suspended for 15 years, which is pretty much that state’s way of saying, “And after you get out of prison, we really don’t want you here any more.”

More apropos to all of us -- though I don’t even know how to text – is the recent mandate from the federal government, essentially ordering every state to put an end to all texting and driving. And the feds ain’t kiddin.’ Federal highway funding could be at risk for any state that doesn’t step up their texter capture rate.

On the cop side of things, I’ve heard officers claim it’s too hard to tell when a motorist is texting. That’s kinda hogwash. I’m not even remotely as well trained as police officers and I can easily see -- or instantly sense -- when a nearby driver is on a texting bender. That “bender” angle comes from a study indicating texting creates an impairment level greater than driving with a .08 blood alcohol level. 

What I find doubly odd is the admirable efficiency of cops when nabbing drunken drivers, based on observing the tiniest vehicular operation errors displayed by inebriated drivers. Hell, cops on DWI patrol have gotten so good they know when a driver is only thinking about drinking. They got the eyes.  

As for you of a texting-while-driving ilk, there will be no simple hiding of the phone when an officer pulls you over. Your cell phone service provider does not have your back. If you were texting when pulled over, they’re telling the cops – and still charging you exorbitant fees.

What’s more, officers on patrol are now being instructed to carefully note the time when they first suspect a texting driver – and then allow the clock to run for a bit more, so to speak. The timeline is then inescapable. Cell phone time is based on, like, the atomic clock.

So there, I’ve done my civic duty by laying it on the line regarding texting and driving. And I’ll just as quickly lose my good civic standing by unadvisedly stating that I’d much rather a motorist be talking on a cell phone than texting. While such talking is just as illegal as texting, that head’s up posture at least offers the rest of us a fighting chance of being seen. That thinking also tells you that the boys in blue won’t be over-differentiating  between texters and talkers. 

CHECK OUT THE MATES: This is the time of year I throw my hook/line/sinker support to one of the most valuable training experiences any young angler/navigator can get.

The Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association’s “Junior Mates Program” is back and looking to train “juniors” for mating duties.

As I say each year, this is an uncanny offer. Around the planet, mate training is literally a passed-down cache of knowledge, limited to friends and family of those who know the ropes. What a skill.

Way back in the day, I learned cooking and lifeguarding. I bring that up since just about wherever I went in the watery world (being a surfer, I hung quite close to the coasts --all of them), I could immediately find some work. A big ditto for having trained as a mate. If you master the tricks of that trade, you’re not only quickly working, wherever you go coastally, but you’re instantly quite cool.

Sure, the true training only begins with the scheduled Junior Mates programs but you get your feet wet and decide if you’re up for the more advanced training – which comes during the hands-on, out-at-sea phase – often on vessels that are part of the Association.

Per the BHCFA, the Organizational Meeting for the 2012 BHCFA Junior Mate Training Program will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 21, 2012

at the Museum of New Jersey Maritime History, Dock Road at West Avenue, Beach Haven, NJ.

Parking is available on the east side of the Museum or on the street where marked. Be sure to attend this meeting since boat assignments will be made.

Call Capt. John at 609-290-3349 for details about the BHCFA Junior Mate Training Program.

RUNDOWN: I have gotten rave reports of large fluke. I really think it’s because of the ideal match-up between bayside water and the ocean’s twice-daily influx of cooler water. The convergence zones are where much of the better hooking is. However, that watery interplay can extend well into the bay with stronger incoming tides. In Barnegat Bay, tide related hooking can extend from Barnegat Inlet all the way over to 42, BB, BI buoys.  

Bassing must be better than some of the lame reports I’ve gotten. I look on Facebook and see tons of folks hoisting nice keeper/eater fish. Much of that is boat action, though a goodly number of pics are beach-based. Not much new on the Simply Bassin’ headboard, attesting to the lack of cows in the suds.  

A buddy who “smokes” bluefish – though his technique is far closer to making bluefish jerky (a favorite of mine) – has been loading up with “prefect sized’ cocktail blues. “They’re typically a little skinny but the filets are a perfect thickness for an even smoking,” he said. He’s currently doing over 40 pounds worth. He even has a fish dealer who wants to buy all of it – and any more that arrives.

For loads of fish stuff, including a bunch of odd goings on, check out http://jaymanntoday.ning.com/.



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