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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

June 15, 09 -- Big bass showing, big weakies also

Monday, June 15, 2009: waves: 2 – 2.5 feet, north. Winds: Light onshore becoming brisker as day goes on. Water temps: Waters will warm to easily the mildest temps of the season with this direct onshore wind. Could reach upper 60s.

There are big bass to talk about but none to write down in the Simply Bassin leaderboard. IMPORTANT: The Simply Bassin’ 2009 tourney goes to June 28, not Father’s Day as I previously wrote. I forgot the event was stretched to accommodate the timeframe, i.e. it didn’t fir between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Jingles has weighed in bass from boat anglers. Margaret at Jingles weighed in a number of surf stripers up to 44 pounds. These were taken mainly by weekenders just out for some fun. This is not to say the action was brisk but when a bass came calling it usually came in a big way. Folks using clam gobs are readily finding just-keeper bass for BBQ ing along much of LBI.
The LE Inlet has bigger bass (also to near 45 pounds) being caught in whitewater of the shoals. The trick: motor to mid-Island, chase some bunker pods, throw a tassel of live bunker in the live well then scoot back to the shoals to swim the bunker.
As for those often bountiful bunker pods, most lately off Surf City, there are bass to be had but not that many fish and not all the time. It is surely not like last year when the odds favored the anglers. It is still very much worth the snag-and-drop effort. Also, if snagging is coming up empty turn to larger jigged plastics (lots of tail) at a drift or umbrellas or spoons at a slow troll. I wrote of an angler who boated up off IBSP, couldn’t garner a touch dropping live bunker to the bottom then switched to a large Spro with white plastic worm and got his only two fish of the day –exactly where he had nothing on bunker. The bluefish ended his tackle tactic. One slammer was just under 19 pounds on a hand scale.
Surf City Bait and Tackle had local surfcasting quietish overall but one nice 20-pounder came out of Brant Beach. The cool part about that catch was the angler who took the fish was right in the midst of a conversation with a passing cranky-ite grumbling that there were no bass around. Whadda ya call this, dude?

Talking with Valerie at Oceanside Bait and Tackle, the weekend looked big, especially in the face of 2 folks hauling in stripers over 40.Customer Antonio G. bought his traditional 10 clams, went beach bound (Brighton area) an parlayed the bait into a massive 44-3. Yep, that was in the suds. From the same batch of suds (more toward Brant Beach), Rob L. bested a 41-5. Other less weighty stripers also made the scales. And bass weren’t the only lookers at the shop. A father and son team weighed in two black drum in the 20-pound range -- and released others even bigger. Those drum fell for clam baits. Considering the fish were all taken at the same spot, it doesn’t leave much doubt they were traveling a mixed school, possibly port spawn.

BL Bait and Tackle also saw quiet-ish today. The upside of North End angling was the two big weakfish -- 11-4 and 7-2 pounds -- off the jetty. Similar sparklers were also taken inside the jetty – on live spot. Weakies love spot, no doubt.
North End fluking is a 6-1 ration with the best action close to the inlet. By the by, today’s a.m. east winds will drive the cleaner ocean water further back into the bay. Look for fluke from Sailboat all the way back to BB and BI. Weaks will also follow that path – if they’re arrivals and not departures. I frequently reference that super lecture given (many years back) about the astoundingly complex spawns, i.e. coming and goings, of Barnegat Bay weakfish. It’s a veritable revolving door until well into summer. By the by, the small spike weakies are often an independent biomass, nonspawning but still a vital part of summer fishing. I have taken huge weakfish (usually rogues) in and around Myers Hole (inside Barnegat Inlet) from June through October, so tiderunner-grade sparklers are around all summer and then some.

If you’re ocean fluking outside Barnegat Inlet, head out to 55 feet of water then closely monitor the water temps, especially if south winds kick in., The warmer water holds the better flatties. The onshore could blow in water to the upper 60s.

Weekend reports: Fished from 9pm till 3am north end of LBI on Friday. Had my share of dogfish and skates. Managed a 38in bass on a bunker head at around 2:30am. Really made the trip worth while.

~Zach
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Inlet Striper Fishing

Saturday's fishing trip started early, 5:30 AM. I wanted to give it
our best shot at putting striper in the boat. We headed towards
Brigantine and trolled wreck inlet for about an hour. The conditions
were fantastic but the fish were not there. I decided to move off a
few miles and search for some bunker pods. I did not have to travel
too far before I was surrounded by acres of bunker. I snagged a bunch
of adult size bunker and transfered them into the live well. After I
filled the live well with bunker, I moved the towards off shore bars
of Little Egg Inlet. I rigged a couple of bunker slow trolled through
the white water. There were two other boats close by to me fishing in
a similar manner. I observed the first boat to my starboard get a
knockdown and seconds later the boat to my starboard bow had a fish
on. Almost instantly, my large Star rod doubled over and the line was
screaming of my reel. FINALLY!!!!

After a grand fight, the fish was boated and weighed in at just under
24lbs. As the bunker move into the area, the striper fishing will
remain hot until at least mid July.

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Nation's largest shark fin dealer nailed with Lacey Act violations; pleads guilty, faces jail
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [ DOJ] June 15, 2009 - WASHINGTONÑMark L. Harrison, a resident of Southport, Fla., and Harrison International LLC, a Florida corporation, today pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to violating the Lacey Act, a federal fish and wildlife trafficking law, by dealing in shark fins, the landing of which was not reported as required by law, the Justice Department announced today.

In addition, Mark Harrison pleaded guilty to a second charge related to his attempted export of shark fins of species that are prohibited to harvest under laws of the state of Florida. Harrison also pleaded guilty to a third charge related to trading in shark fins that had been prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions.

According to the charges and other information presented in court, Harrison allegedly represented himself to be the nation's largest shark fin buyer, purchasing 'millions' of shark fins since he had been in the business, beginning in 1989. According to the plea agreements, in February 2005, Harrison purchased shark fins in Florida from an individual fisherman and later resold them in interstate commerce. No report of the landing or sale of those fins was filed with any Florida authorities, as required by law. Accurate reporting statistics of shark harvests are crucial for managing and regulating the populations of the various shark species that occur in U.S. waters.

In August 2007, Harrison attempted to export through Atlanta a shipment of shark fins that included at least 211 fins from Caribbean sharp-nosed sharks, two fins from bignose sharks, and two fins from night sharks, all of which are protected by Florida and/or federal laws due to their low population levels.

Finally, the plea agreements reveal that for almost four years Harrison processed shark fins by drying them on open air racks and/or tarpaulins laid on the ground, outdoors, on his property in Southport. The fins were left out at all times until dry and were exposed to bird droppings and insects. Dogs ran freely among the drying racks. Harrison would then sell the dried fins and ship them in interstate commerce through the Northern District of Georgia.

'Trafficking the fins of these shark species is not a harmless offense,' said John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. 'These species are protected in order to ensure their continued sustainability. The Justice Department, along with our partner agencies, will continue to prosecute those who illegally trade in protected shark or other wildlife species.'

'We will not tolerate the illegal harvest and sale of protected shark species whose populations continue to diminish in our oceans,' said Hal Robbins, Special Agent in Charge for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Southeast Region. 'We are pleased with the apprehension of Mr. Harrison, who is one of the country's largest commercial shark fin buyers and I applaud the efforts of the prosecutors and Agents involved in this multi-agency federal investigation.'

The Lacey Act, enacted in 1900, is the first national wildlife law, and was passed to assist states in enforcing wildlife laws. It provides additional protection to fish, wildlife and plants that were taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of state, tribal, foreign or U.S. law.

Since 1993, the NOAA Fisheries Service has managed, via federal fishery management plans, the commercial harvest and sale of sharks in or from federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. In 1998, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization finalized and adopted an 'International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks,' recognizing the worldwide pressure being placed on declining shark populations by commercial fishing and the demand for shark fin soup. U.S. management of sharks has included prohibitions against retaining and/or selling particular species, including some in which Harrison was dealing, the populations of which are so reduced that further harvesting cannot be sustained.. There are currently 19 federally protected species of sharks.

David E. Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia said, 'There is an immense trade in wildlife products. Those who trade in wildlife must comply with federal and state wildlife statutes and regulations. We will support the investigative work of those agencies who identify violations of these laws, and commend the teamwork of the investigators who brought these wildlife violations to our attention.'

'We are proud of the coordinated investigative work of our agents with their colleagues from NOAA, Office of Law Enforcement and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations,' said James Gale, Special Agent in Charge, Southeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement. 'This case is an excellent example of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's commitment to investigate and interdict the commercialization of protected wildlife species.'

Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 19, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Russell Vineyard of the Northern District of Georgia. Harrison faces up to one year in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000. His company faces a fine of $200,000.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the NOAA Office for Law Enforcement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia and the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section.

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