Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, August 06, 2018: How can it be August? What form of sorcery is this?

Based on the nonchalance of the man in white shirt, this is a fairly common occurrence at this strip mall. 

Lucky guy


Wow. Now I suddenly get it!



Socially and ethnically, this is totally unacceptable ... especially when you're compelled to shout "Supplies!" just as the door opens. 



While Rhode Island's effort to create its own militia fell on hard time ... 

Soldiers crossing the street

Monday, August 06, 2018: How can it be August? What form of sorcery is this? May you somehow rate this summer as moving comfortably along. I’ll just sit here and moan away at my work desk. Holgate should open in a few weeks. There’s even a chance we’ll be able to access the bayside clamming area over a small portion of the washover area. No guarantees, though. It was just a consideration on the part of the refuge. I actually don’t mind taking the long bayside trek in from the west side of the Rip area. Maybe I shed a bowling ball worth of fat. 

The ocean cleaned up amazingly well over the weekend. You could see the brownish water being muscled out by a gorgeously clear blue/green ocean.

As expected, stingray sightings quickly abounded, while shark hookups also made a showing in the surf. While most nearshore sharks are far more predatory at night, daytime angling action on browns has made for some fun surfside photos – prior to release. Most day sharks are maybe three to four feet long, tops. Night browns -- and sand tigers -- are way bigger.

Todd Avery

It seems we’re locked into a less-than-gusty wind stint, meaning the final stretch before the end of fluking days should offer plenty of fairly smooth drifting.

The fluking in the surf is downright hot, especially if you can find some groin rocks showing through the replenishments. While keepers are hard to come by, I saw two very nice take-home flatties leaving the beach in Cedars. I was also told of a few more keepers taken from the suds – and a load of shorts. A buddy of mine has been fly-fishing them in the trough, using slow sinking line and I believe he said “Clousers.”

I’m getting word of kingfish in the surf. Small to midsize models. It’s the right time for them. The calmer wave action really allows for the lighter gear needed to feel these panfish.

I used to fish kingfish faithfully. I’m convinced that it’s best to allow baited rigs to move around a lot, by using bank or pillow sinkers. I’d go with the slowly constant retrieving of special kingfish rigs. Red floats seem to help the cause.

Kingfish are a schooling fish, as can be seen by snorkeling over them. Once you’re on them angling-wise, you can repeatedly hook away. I used to go as far as following a given school along the beach. Best baits are small pieces of bloodworms, fake-o bloodworm bits and (to a lesser degree) GULP.

As for boat fishing kingfish on the bay, it’s best to anchor on the edge of deeper water and chum. Mussels or clams are cheapest. Kingfish (if around) quickly take to the slick, along with blowfish and an occasional fluke. Action is often mid water column. There is no better fishing method for bobbers. Kids go nuts for that type of highly active bobber fishing.

TERMINAL THINKING OVER TERMINAL GROIN: During a recent joint taxpayers meeting, highlighted by Stockton’s Stewart Farrell and Kimberly McKenna, I learned about the possibility that the proposed mega terminal groin projected to top the “Wooden Jetty” area of Holgate might not be the quite-cool design I first heard about.

The earlier design had a wide area of rocks, toward the oceanward end of the groin, being arranged for later repositioning or removal -- to compensate for any sand starvation the groin might cause to its south. Such sand deprivation south of large groins has been a plague all along the East Coast, especially when the groins are too big to for their own good.

Holgate’s new terminal groin might instead be a basic so-called impermeable groin, constructed to theoretically prevent sand from passing through it, while allowing sand to move over or around it. Holyoke groin is a prime example of an everyday impermeable groin – one too big for its own good, as evidence by the downdrift erosion related to its size. 

It was during the comment period that my goat was got! Some Holgate taxpayers/businesses, referencing the possible downdrift erosion from a Holgate mega-groin, spoke up in favor of then simply allowing the Holgate refuge area to break away, move off into the sunset. They voiced their OK-ness with it becoming inaccessible to Islanders. The man who organized the meeting, along with other businessites, apathetically admitted they simply don’t see business from people visiting the refuge. So F-it, right? Just screw the legions of passionate refuge hikers, bikers, birders, photographers and anglers who love that last natural stretch on LBI. 

How many times do I have to relive this attack crap, aimed at our Holgate sanctuary of sanity?

I really shouldn’t overthink that numbnuts babble, knowing that such blind self-serving thinking is absolutely NOT the attitude of most Holgate homeowners. Even makes one wonder who the Holgate “Taxpayers” group really represents. I can’t count the number of Holgate locals I regularly see fully enjoying the attached refuge. I also realize that other Island taxpayer groups – along with the state, county and township – will surely fight to prevent the drifting off of that south end land, which would constitute the loss of an amazing piece of NJ shoreline. A reminder: New Jersey, by constitutional edict, owns the refuge-adjacent beach below mean high water.

If need be – and I doubt Holgate refuge things will become that acutely anti-us -- I will head up a counter rally to keep the far south end within walking distance, so to speak. I believe I can readily rally angler groups, beach buggy groups, Audubon groups, outdoors groups, political groups, photography groups, Facebook groups, most taxpayer groups … all before lunch. Again, if put to a vote, I’m betting the huge majority of Holgaters would heavily support keeping all of Holgate in one contiguous piece.




Come to the Awards Ceremony at The Clarion Hotel in Toms River

Thursday evening, August 9th, 2018

Come early to register (3 PM to 7 PM)

Awards Presentation and Drawings start at 7:00 PM


The 24th Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament took place on August 4th. The weather forecast of thunderstorms throughout the day along with big waves and heavy winds resulted in only 221 entries competing in 7 regions throughout our state. Though the weather was in fact bad in some areas during the morning, most areas had sun during the afternoon. The fishing turned out to be very good for many of our contestants. 

There were three true doormats exceeding 10 lbs. weighed in during the tournament. The largest fluke weighed in was 12.40 lbs., 30” and was caught by James Gurski of Nazareth, Pa. He weighed it in at Gateway Marina in the Sandy Hook Region.  James did not add the extra $25 to enter our doormat fluke category that would have won him $50,000 for catching the largest fluke exceeding 12 lbs. However, he and his team did win both Sandy Hook Region Calcuttas along with the 1st place region prize for a total of $4,569. 

The second largest fluke in the tournament was caught by Matthew Cornman of Gloucester City. He did enter the doormat fluke category but his fish weighed 11.79 lbs., less than 4 ounces away from winning the $50,000 prize. Mathew caught his fish in Absecon Inlet and weighed it in at One Stop Bait and Tackle Store in Atlantic City. He only entered the $50 overall Calcutta but along with the 1st place region prize his winnings totaled $4569. 

Joe Saro’s 10.59 lb. fluke was the third largest caught in the tournament. It was weighed in at Liberty Landing Marina. Joe was the biggest winner in this year’s tournament as he won the $100 overall Calcutta along with both Jersey City Region Calcuttas and the 1st place region prize for a total of $8,638. 

Harvey Karp of Kearny, NJ had the smallest fish this year which won a region prize weighing in at 2.02 lbs. at Liberty Landing Marina in the Jersey City Region.  Harvey was a previous overall winner in 2016 winning $13,319. All the winners from each region are listed below. 

All told, JCAA will pay out a total of $31,852 in cash along with region prizes and door prizes worth thousands of dollars. 

This annual tournament provides funds to help the Jersey Coast Anglers Association continue its fight for sound management of our fisheries and our marine environment while seeking to protect or enhance fishing opportunities for our recreational anglers. We are currently seeking more reasonable regulations for our recreational anglers. 

The Clarion Hotel in Toms River is the host for the 24th Annual Jersey Coast Fluke Tournament Awards Ceremony. The Clarion Hotel invites tournament entrants to come and enjoy their facilities both before and after the awards ceremony. You can meet JCAA Executive Board members and representatives from our sponsors.  

By attending the awards ceremony this is your chance to win the drawing for the boat, motor and trailer Grand Prize.  In fact, 19 of the last 20 Grand Prize winners did not weigh in a qualifying prize fish in the tournament. Someone from your boat must be present to win the Grand Prize and any of the fifty or so great door prizes. 

We want to thank all tournament participants and especially our sponsors for making the tournament a success. Our nationally known sponsors include Yamaha Motors, Starcraft Boats, Yacht Club Trailers, Tica Fishing Tackle, Fuel Ox, Costa Sunglasses, The Fisherman Magazine, and ICOM.  The $1,200 First Place Port Prizes were sponsored by Fisherman’s Headquarters (for Long Beach Island), South Harbor Marina (for Barnegat Bay), and Liberty Landing Marina (for Jersey City) and the remaining ports by the JCAA.  Jersey Coast Fluke Tournament T-shirts and hats will be on sale as long as supplies last. 

The JCAA Fluke Tournament GRAND PRIZE Registration will be at the Clarion Hotel on Route 37W on Thursday evening, August 9th.  Follow the signs to find the registration site.  We will be in the Ballroom.  Registration is between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. At least one person from your boat must attend at the time of the drawing in order to win a prize.  We expect a large turnout so please come early.  Please bring your registration affidavit to save yourself time at the registration desk. There will be free hamburgers, hot dogs, mozzarella sticks and soft drinks served from 5-7PM. A cash bar will be open throughout the event. All winning numbers will be announced in the ballroom.  We will also be distributing the port prizes for those in attendance.  The registration desk will issue one ticket which is good for both the Grand Prize and for the door prizes.   Additionally, we will be holding a huge a 50-50 raffle. Last year’s winner took home just under $2000.  We really appreciate both your participation and patience and are sure everyone will have a great time. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for your support. 


2018 Fluke Tournament Port Prize List

(10 Identical Prizes for Each Port)


1st  - $1200

2nd - Costa sunglasses and accessories

3rd - Canyon 5000 spinning reel

4th - Icom M-36 portable vhf radio

5th - Tsunami 4000 Shield spinning reel and Sapphire rod

6th - Tica Taurus TP5000S spinning reel and 12’ surfcasting rod

7th - Fishermen Magazine basket including assorted items and a 1 year subscription

8th - Fuel Ox additive, t-shirts and a Tony Maja bunker spoon

9th - Fenwick rod, JCAA t-shirt and hat

10th - Two dinner tickets to the JCAA Sportsperson of the Year Banquet 

Also, any of the 1st through 9th place prize winners may exchange their prizes for two tickets to the JCAA Sportsperson of the Year Banquet which will be held on 11/11/18 at the Crystal Point Yacht Club. Tickets cost $80 each.


Fishermen and Others Hit By Tariffs Would Need $27.2 Billion Emergency Aid Package

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Hill] by Vicki Needham - July 31, 2018

A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis found that providing similar aid to all sectors affected by President Trump's tariffs would cost U.S. taxpayers $39 billion.

The Trump administration last week announced a $12 billion emergency aid package for the nation's farmers who are taking a hard hit from retaliatory tariffs unloaded by China, Mexico, Canada and other trading partners because of the president's imposition of tariffs.

The Chamber's analysis shows that on top of the $12 billion that could be doled out to farmers as early as this fall, another $27.2 billion would be needed to help other sectors such as fishermen, cotton and fabric manufacturers and makers of steel and aluminum. 

After Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the agriculture aid last week, the Chamber decided to determine how much it would cost to provide a similar level of aid to each industry affected by the budding trade war.

"While America’s agricultural industry has been hit extremely hard by escalating tariffs, it’s not alone," said Neil Bradley, the Chamber's executive vice president and chief policy officer.

“The administration’s focus should be expanding free trade and removing these harmful tariffs, not allocating taxpayer’s money to only marginally ease the suffering for some of the industries feeling the pain of the trade war," Bradley said. 

Bradley said "offering a bailout to any single industry is a slippery — and costly — slope."

Farm groups have said they want more open foreign markets to sell their products, not aid to bolster their businesses while the tariffs remain in place.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the Trump administration wasn't planning to offer aid to any other sectors of the economy.

In an exchange with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) Lighthizer said "it is the view of the administration that agriculture has been particularly targeted by retaliation as a result of the kinds of actions we're doing to try to level the playing field."

"So you're not contemplating that kind of assistance for other small businesses that are being hurt by this trade war?" Shaheen asked.

"Not at this time, no," Lighthizer responded. 


Florida Congressman's Billfish Legislation Would Take a Toll on Western Pacific Commercial Industry

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Susan Chambers - August 3, 2018

A freshman Florida Congressman's bill is expected to have dire repercussions thousands of miles away in the Western Pacific -- and to American consumers.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council said consumers may soon be deprived of sustainably harvested domestic marlin products if President Trump sign legislation to prohibit interstate commerce of billfish (not including swordfish) landed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill, introduced by Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., passed the House on June 26 and the Senate on July 30 and is now headed to the president.

"It is upsetting, in this era of tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and the $12 billion U.S. seafood trade deficit, that highly monitored U.S. Pacific Island fishing and seafood communities may suffer hardship should this legislation become law," Council Executive Director Kitty M. Simonds said in a press release.

Under current law, billfish caught by U.S. vessels that are landed in Hawaii or other U.S. Pacific Islands may be sold to markets on the U.S. mainland. More than 550,000 pounds of American-caught billfish landed in the Pacific Islands are annually marketed in the continental U.S. The billfish was worth approximately $830,000 in 2017 dockside value. When the dockside value is expanded through wholesale and retail markets, the estimated annual value is approximately $2.5 million.

The commercial harvest of Atlantic billfish has been prohibited in the United Sates since 1988 because several Atlantic billfish species are overfished and/or subject to overfishing (e.g., blue marlin, white marlin and East Atlantic sailfish). By contrast, Pacific and Western Pacific billfish populations are not overfished nor subject to overfishing, with the exception of striped marlin, due to international fishing, the Council said in the statement. A Billfish Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required to accompany billfish to any dealer or processor who subsequently receives or possesses the billfish. The COE documents the vessel, homeport, port of offloading and date of offloading and ensures the fish is not from the Atlantic or foreign fisheries.

NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Chris Oliver said in December 2017 he has "full confidence in these existing management processes to sustainably manage billfish populations."

Congresswomen Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii; Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam; and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, R-American Samoa, in an Additional Views statement on H.R. 4528, said the legislation "will negatively impact the livelihoods of fishermen in Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Insular Areas by closing off the only off-island market for U.S.-caught billfish." Acknowledging that several Atlantic billfish species are subject to overfishing, the Congresswomen said, "We support needed-conservation efforts in the Atlantic, but do not believe that Pacific fisheries need to be targeted in order to achieve these goals."

The Council and Pacific Island lawmakers also have the support of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. 

In a June 5 letter to the Council, Ross said, "We believe the legislation would not advance the conservation of billfish significantly, and would block a small amount of sustainably harvested domestic product from entering commerce on the U.S. mainland."

However, Soto's bill demonstrates the sportfishing industry's influence in the Southeastern U.S. and furthers the divide between sport and commercial fishermen that has become prevalent in some regions of the country. The bill, titled the Billfish Conservation Act, was supported by primarily sportfishing interests including the American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, and more.

“We’re grateful to have received overwhelming congressional and external support for our legislation to help protect sharks and billfish," Soto said in a statement. "These creatures are fundamental to recreational fishing in parts of Florida, but they are often exploited by commercial fishing, that’s why we must do our part to protect them."

NMFS estimates the United States imports more than 80 percent of the seafood consumed in the nation (www.fishwatch.gov/sustainable-seafood/the-global-picture), the Council said. According to NMFS data, the United States imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood valued at more than $21.5 billion in 2017, which is more imported seafood than at any point in the nation's history.


Fishermen Up in Arms Over Plan to Build Windmills Off Long Island Coast

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The New York Post] by Jennifer Gould Keil - August 3, 2018

It’s before dawn on a recent July morning at Lazy Point in Napeague Bay, LI, and there is a slight chill in the air as the fishermen unload their boats into the water.

Dan Lester, a 12th-generation bayman, and his son Daniel, 14, are among those heading to sea to check their traps.

“This is the most sustainable fishing you’ll ever see,” Dan says as they begin hand-sorting the fish trapped in their nets, tossing whatever they can’t sell, including small spider crabs and stingrays, back into the ocean.

On a certain level, not much has changed for these New York baymen since the 1600s, when their ancestors came from places such as Kent, England, and were taught to fish by native Algonquin tribe members. But these East End fishermen fear it soon will.

They are up in arms over an agreement to build 15 massive windmills — each more than 650 feet tall, the height of Manhattan skyscrapers — off the coast of Montauk.

The giant structures — with wingspans as wide as football fields — would be constructed 35 miles out to create New York’s first offshore wind farm, only the second in the country.

The proposed $750 million South Fork Wind Farm is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s clean-energy push to generate 50 percent of state electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

But the baymen — who are Bonackers, the local name given to a group of families who have fished there since the 17th century — worry that the project will devastate the area’s fragile ecosystem, ruining their livelihood.

“You don’t destroy the environment to save it,’’ said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.

“Fishermen want renewable energy,” she added. “But it needs to be responsible.”

The project’s proponents “are industrializing the ocean floor in order to harness the wind and create a clean-power source. But what about the food?’’

Deepwater Wind, the company behind the plan, says it hopes to put the “steel in the water’’ within two years.

The firm is owned by D.E. Shaw & Co., a $35 billion Manhattan-based investment fund. The fund’s founder, David E. Shaw, has been a steady contributor to Cuomo’s political campaigns, donating at least $37,500 between 2006 and 2010, records show.

Deepwater has a tentative agreement with the Long Island Power Authority for the project that’s worth $1.625 billion over 20 years, according to the Office of the New York State Comptroller. As part of the plan, the company would get a one-time tax credit worth around $170 million, or about 23 percent of the project’s total cost, although to receive the maximum financial break, it must start by 2020.

Deepwater’s contract with LIPA has already won the approval of the comptroller and State Attorney General’s Office.

More approvals are needed at the federal and state levels, said Stephen Boutwell, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). But observers say that given the way the wind is blowing politically, the additional OKs shouldn’t be too hard to obtain.

Before that happens, however, local resident Myles Berkman is among those who want the town of East Hampton to order its own environmental-impact study on the project. No one knows for sure about the effect the plan will have because no site-specific independent study has ever been conducted, opponents argue.

“What are the dangers? We just don’t know,” Berkman said.

The baymen say they have a pretty good idea.

The pile-driving needed to blast open the ocean floor to place necessary cable under the seabed and construct the windmills will cause permanent damage to marine mammals because of its sonar-noise levels, the fishermen worry.

“Pile-driving is like a giant hammer pounding into the ocean floor,” said Gary Cobb, a 12th-generation Bonacker.

Also, the electrical currents emitted from the 50-mile transmission cable connecting the windmills to land will deliver powerful electromagnetic pulses that could harm the fish and push them into deeper waters, the fishermen fear.

The windmills are “on top of some of the best fisheries on the Eastern Seaboard,” Cobb said.

Meanwhile, “There are lots of kids who play on the beach that will have a high-voltage cable running underneath it,’’ Berkman noted, referring to equipment that will be 30 feet underground, according to Deepwater.

In places along the seabed where the cable can’t be buried, it will be covered in concrete, which could sink boats and destroy the baymen’s handmade nets, the fishermen say.

In addition, the baymen claim, the windmills will be spread out a mile apart, making them dangerous to navigate around in bad weather.

“It will be difficult at best and catastrophic at worst for the trawler fleets to navigate the obstacle course that the wind farm will create,” Cobb warned.

But proponents hail the project as both an environmental and economic boon. The wind farm would generate around 90 megawatts of clean energy to power 50,000 homes, backers say.

LIPA spokesman Sid Nathan estimated that locals’ bills will increase an average of $1.19 a month over the 20 years of the contract.

“Offshore wind will continue to decline in cost as the industry develops and technology advances,” Nathan said. “The South Fork is in need of new sources of power … [that meet] LIPA’s renewable-energy goals. New York’s first offshore wind farm was the least cost solution to meet increasing electric demand and our clean energy goals.”

The town of East Hampton would receive an $8.5 million “gift’’ from Deepwater under the deal, of which local officials say they plan to use $1 million to improve water infrastructure in Wainscott, where contaminants were found in private wells, and $1 million for an “inshore fisheries resource assistance fund.”

And such off-shore wind projects could create 5,000 jobs for the state by 2030, said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Clinton Plummer, vice president of development for Deepwater Wind, insists the giant windmills will not harm fish or the fishing industry.

The BOEM “still has to do their own environmental study but have not [recorded] any problems so far” in other waters, said Plummer, noting that Deepwater installed five giant wind turbines — visible from Montauk beaches on a clear day — off Block Island, RI, the first of their kind in the country.

Cobb noted that the proposed South Fork Wind Farm turbines would be taller — by 52 feet — and that there would be 10 more.

Cuomo has added that, since the windmills would be so far off the coast, they won’t block the summering One Percenters’ multimillion-dollar views.

But local night-sky lovers still gripe that even East End star-gazing will never be the same, with the massive structures lighting up at night like pinball machines in order to avoid plane crashes, creating a mini-Manhattan in the middle of the ocean.

Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard successfully fought off a $2.6 billion unrelated Cape Wind project thanks to high-profile naysayers such as the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and billionaire Bill Koch, both sailing lovers.

The baymen had hoped that the East End’s sea of summertime celebrities might likewise come to their aid in their uphill battle.

Much of the wild-caught seafood consumed in New York state — from cod, monkfish, sea bass, fluke and sea scallops to tuna — is harvested off Long Island, according to Brady’s association. Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Cattrall and Alec Baldwin — or their chefs — regularly flock to sample the freshest catches of the day at Stuart’s Seafood Market in Amagansett.

But none of the rich and famous have yet taken up the protest.

“People don’t know our story or care,’’ Cobb lamented.

Last week, over the Long Island fishermen’s protests, the town of East Hampton agreed to provide easements for Deepwater Wind to lay cable under town land.

Councilman David Lys opposed the plan along with colleague Jeff Bragman, but lost out in the 3-2 vote.

Lys said Deepwater’s $8.5 million “gift’’ could be construed as a payoff for locals to keep their mouths shut about problems.

“I am fearful that my decision here will be seen as someone who does not look at the environment,’’ Lys said at the meeting, according to a local report. “But I’m also a protector of the values of the people who live here.”

Cobb said the vote was deflating.

“Everyone here has been here for 12 generations or more,’’ Cobb said of himself and the other baymen.

“These guys are content to come home after a day of fishing to build a fire and drink some beers. We just want to keep doing what we do,’’ he said.

“We are a very proud people, and it is very hard to witness this. The deck is stacked against us, but we still manage to survive."

"We hope there will be a next generation.”

Photo Credit: Jim/ Flickr


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