Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
BELOW: You can see the fishing contingency facing the water. Hooking was harried ... right before I got there.
The lady anglers were out in force ...
IMPORTANT: With things so politically and emotionally charged nowadays, I feel the pressure in here, big time, especially when I blog about, let's say, modern times. While I'll take full responsibility for the verbiage in my me-written blogs, I need to point out that I place many news stories at the end of the blog that are not necessarily my beliefs. I put many of them in to simply educate -- to offer a wider view of what is taking place gerund to fishing and the great outdoors.
Monday, June 15, 2020:
“A bluefish on every cast," was the way Sunday’s bite on the South Jetty was described to me. Like all hot and harried bites, this one rushed back to from whence it came when the tide began to come in. Nonetheless, the fun was had for quite the contingency of casters working the tourist-packed jetty, with the main action being toward the more advanced angling at the jetty’s east end, per usual. Out of the usual was such a frenzied bluefish bite running this deeply into the innards of June -- and seemingly hanging around for the rest of the month.
While the majority of blues have been in the two to four pound “eater” range, there were also some slammers mixed in. Those gators are also running late.
Considering the reports of a large overall bluefish biomass, now extending from here to lower New England, this is one the best runs in many a spring. This is not a politically-charged statement against the new bag limit cutbacks, though there’s no way in Hades this spring’s super showing has anything whatsoever to do with regulations made only last winter.
The cutbacks for 2020 were meant to bring back slammers, roughly eight pounds and up. Considering the current bluefish run, today’s cocktails can become “gators” in just a few conservational years. Then we’ll await a return of the former epic-plus bluefish blitzes of autumn. Should the slammers not reappear despite extreme conservation methods, it’ll come down to analyzing far more complex changes in the entire marine biosystem, brought on by oceanic water temperatures, along with water chemistry swings. To say it could get complicated might be an understatement. Even more complex might be rectifying atmospheric woes and tribulations.
Stripers are still showing but the catch-and-release show of trophy fish is fading fast, even for boat anglers. One chronically optimistic sharpie thinks there might be another small wave of bass arriving. Striper hopes spring eternal.
We’ll soon face one of the more stripering phases, namely, tapping into the so-called “resident” fish -- those linesiders that feel NJ waters are plenty far enough north for their liking. Not that long ago, I thrived off plugging the summer stripers hanging near most any Island jetty, especially around sunrise. In fact, ferreting out jetty bass is where I got into jigging, which brought me many a schoolie -- as nearby bait chuckers couldn’t draw a touch. With jetties gone, the only real feel for summer bass is around Barnegat Inlet jetties, especially the north jetty.
Still seeing some kingfish, after what ended up being a stellar spring pass-through by these delicious panfish. We don’t always get a spring showing. Even folks not all that wild about seafood admit kingfish are dang tasty. They’re now doing their thing, where they’ll hang for a decent stretch of time before heading back out to sea – and southward. Our fall shoreline showing of kingfish is often the late-arriving fish as they depart the bay.
I can’t ignore another quite abundant presence of dogfish of both a smooth and spiny nature. They’re out there in force, grabbing anlgers’ bait, per longtime tradition.
Not that many folks go the extra mile needed to quickly and properly clean spiny dogs, however, they might be the most underrated seafood in our waters. In fact, spiny dogs are beloved in many other countries, like Britain, where they become fish and ships.
Somewhat strangely, the lookalike smooth dogfish is a totally different species. Although harmless, smooth dogs are kin to tiger, bull, and other requiem sharks. They’re somewhat edible, but not in the edibility league with spinys.
Now onward to the touchy matter of larger sharks. I can assure with a confidence uncommon to angling that this summer will see impressive if not scary numbers of larger sharks being caught – and also being seen cruising near-beach shallows.
Virtually all the larger sharks taken in the surf cannot be kept. Most common catch is the brown shark, aka sandbar shark, of which dozens were taken in the surf just this past week. Most daytime browns are in the three-foot range. The larger ones come out at night and can easily push six feet in length. Due to a relatively long tail fin, browns are often improperly ID’ed as threshers – until one sees a thresher for real, sporting absurdly long tails, sometimes half the length of its body.
Repeating myself for emphasis, brown sharks are protected and must be released in the water, even when catching them surfcasting. The last couple summers I’ve gotten overloaded with angry complaints about surfcasters dragging hooked browns sharks out of the water for a quick photo, a move forbidden by law. The fan got totally hit when Facebook photos showed anglers dragging sharks onto the beach to take photos while forcing the sharks mouth open for dental shots. I’m told that warnings from Fish and Wildlife ensued.
Not that we should even remotely try to purposely target the arriving legions of large sharks, but if you happen upon them when fishing for allowable target – while using wire leader and such -- they can be fun to bring in. Just sayin’. I’ll also just say that night shark fishing is one of the last real after dark surfcasting draws now that so many species have been limited by regs. As a last-ditch appeal: When day fishing, please do not triumphantly raise high any larger shark. There are many prying cellphone cams that might capture the moment and make a fine catch-and-release into a thing an ugly Facebook scene, as took place last summer on a number of occasions. Even if you fish under the cloak of darkness, keep any photos in the family and out of social media.
Per usual, I’m not giving much ink to fluking except to say an S-load of doormats have been taken. Summer flounder are another species that is over-protected, nonetheless it’s the lifeblood of summer angling and having recreationalists go far beyond the allotted poundage can come back to bite us in the end.
Oddest doormat fluke hookup I’ve seen close up was caught a sure 7-pounder caught off the rocks (South Jetty). The n angler was casting out on a bizarre rig, using a red styro float, like those used on bluefish rigs, like a bobber, with a five-inch sinking plug on the tag end, maybe three feet from the float. He cast it out and just let it flow with the current. It looked hopelessly weird -- until it worked. My guess is the float/bobber held the plug higher in the water column, likely offering a very natural sway, vis-s-vis a very slow retrieve. He knew he hookup when the float went down. Hey, who doesn’t love to bobber fish?
Here’s a note from bluefish tagger George Horvath, 73, of Bordentown Township.
“Caught 22 bluefish from 12” to 21” in Manasquan Inlet on metals and teasers the past three evenings on the low tide. My 78 year old brother Joe said he caught the biggest “gator “. The blues are a different body of fish than the fish from the previous two weeks. There was no sea lice on them, they were fatter and warmer. I landed 70 blues on the Manasquan Inlet north jetty in 10 trIps since the day after Memorial Day. Tagged 63. None were recaptured yet. Didn’t get a hit in my only trip to Dog Beach this year. I think that the blues were migrating north last week and I probably won’t catch any more until next year. Caught, tagged and released one bluefish in Barnegat Inlet on the north jetty in my only trip there this year.”
10.5-pound jetty bluefish.
We have a new bluefish leader! Tre Avila- 31” and 8.64lbs. Caught in Holgate on Bunker about 6pm this evening. Way to go Tre!
Danny does it again! This 22” 4.48lbs off the beach on bunker!!
Few keeper fluke today and some sea bass. Tougher day due to a quick drift.
This one will be good for a couple of dinners. Captain Hummel did the job along with first mate Rinear.
June 15, 2020
Dried fish manufacturer Kishimoto Co., Ltd. of Toon-shi, Ehime Prefecture, has recently announced in their blog that the firm acquired Japanese Space Food Certification for their dried seafood Space Marutotto (smoked salt flavor). JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) awards the certification to foods that enable Japanese astronauts to stay at the Space Station for a long time to enjoy popular Japanese food in outer space. The certification awarded to dried fish is the first to serve astronauts away from the earth.
Marutotto is the dried butterfly fillet of horse mackerel with a soft texture that the firm took 10 years to develop. The bone is so tender that it is edible too. The fish is rich in calcium and has a salt content that is half as healthy as general dried fish, so it has gained support from a wide range of age groups. The seafood is processed in traditional Japanese style with the latest technology.
"Everything started with my encounter with a local high school student who was interested in dried fish," says Senior Managing Director Kenji Kishimoto. On the last day, when a reporter of Suisan Keizai Shinbun visited a local broadcast competition, the reporter asked Mr. Kishimoto about his dream. Mr. Kishimoto responded, "I want to serve Marutotto dried fish in space." "The student who took an interest in the statement asked the person in charge of space food at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) whether or not dried fish could become a space food. JAXA caught the eye and made a full-scale consultation about space food development. " As the calcium escapes from human bones in weightless space, astronauts are at risk of osteoporosis. Marutotto, which is rich in calcium, is ideal for space food, and the Kishimoto employees have spent five years developing it to meet requirements. They eventually overcame the strict standards set by JAXA, and the dried seafood was certified.
Upon acquiring this certification, Mr. Kishimoto said, "A coincidence like a cartoon story connected me to the universe, which realized my childhood dream of being a space rocket boy. I am filled with the joy of the infinite expanse of the universe. Dedication of our employees led to our success today, for which I'm grateful." "I think you can eat Marutotto at the International Space Station this year," he said. Also, there are many voices from outside of the company who are requesting the JAXA certified products. He said, "We are preparing commercialization of Marutotto for the people who have supported us."
Copyright © 2020 Newsday
By Mark Harrington
June 15, 2020
An offshore wind farm planned for the waters off Martha's Vineyard, combined with the "cumulative" effects of a larger build out of thousands of wind turbines off the East Coast, could have "major" impacts on the commercial fishing and shipping industries, a long-awaited federal study has found.
The draft report by the Interior Department, released this week, was initially prepared as a required environmental impact statement to examine the effects of Vineyard Wind, a proposed 800-megawatt wind farm off the Massachusetts coast. But the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management delayed its release to study the broader impact of more than a dozen wind farms from the Carolinas to Maine.
"Considering that wind energy is a growing industry, BOEM decided to expand its cumulative impact analysis and has concluded that approximately 22 gigawatts of Atlantic offshore wind development is reasonably foreseeable," the report said. A gigawatt of offshore wind power (equal to a thousand megawatts) can power millions of homes.
The 420-page report explores a range of options for the Vineyard Wind and finds most options for completing the work will have moderate to negligible impacts on marine mammals, sea turtles, environmental justice issues, cultural resources, and recreation and tourism.
The analysis assumes big projects planned for New York, including the South Fork Wind Farm being built by Orsted for LIPA, Equinor's Empire Wind for New York State, and Orsted's Sunrise Wind, also for New York, are part of that larger "cumulative" build out of offshore wind.
The study found the "overall cumulative impacts on commercial fisheries and for-hire recreational fishing" could be "major" because the fishing industry "would experience unavoidable disruptions beyond what is normally acceptable" because of lost fishing ground, construction, navigational hazards and lost fishing gear.
But, the study concluded, those impacts could be reduced by measures such as financial compensation to affected fishermen, and uniform spacing and layout of turbines "across adjacent projects." At present, the study noted, compensation measures for fishermen "are not currently in place for other future offshore wind projects."
The Vineyard Wind project and "other future offshore wind development would impact commercial fishing revenue," the report states, with potential losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to the millions.
While some fisheries, including recreational sectors, could benefit from the presence of fish around turbine structures, the report notes that there is "not a single alternative or combination of alternatives that substantially reduces the [major] impacts" on commercial fishing.
Rating the impact as major, BOEM said, is "driven mostly by changes to fish distribution/availability due to climate change, reduced stock levels due to fishing mortality, and permanent impacts due to the presence of structures."
The report also noted impacts on the navigational shipping lanes also could be major, a finding that is "primarily driven by the construction, installation, and presence of offshore wind structures, and the increased risk of vessel allision and collision and associated threat to human health."
Vineyard Wind didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which plans to contract for some 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind for the state, in a statement said it was "carefully reviewing" the report "to understand any potential implications for New York's nation-leading advancement of offshore wind projects that are under development or that are planned in the future."
Stakeholders have 45 days to respond to the draft report, and BOEM said it plans to hold public hearings during that time to gauge responses.
June 12, 2020
Great news from the Norwegian Seafood Council: a recently released international study shows that three out of four consumers voice a need for more seafood to eat.
The annual Seafood Consumer Index, done for the Norwegian Seafood Council, maps seafood consumer preferences and behaviours of more than 25 000 respondents in up to 25 markets. It is the world’s largest seafood consumer study.
“This year’s study offers interesting insight into how the Corona pandemic may affect the future market for seafood. The pandemic has changed our everyday habits, definitely short-term, but many of these changes could also manifest themselves long term. For example, we see increased focus on healthy eating, and this is a great opportunity for seafood. Findings differ somewhat between regions and from market to market, but almost unanimously people are saying they would like to eat more seafood than they do today,“ says Dr Lars Moksness, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.
“Whilst there is a near consensus across the markets of the desire to eat more, the reasons for eating seafood differs in many markets. Health and taste are overall the most important drivers for consumption, but we also see growing importance of sustainability and focus on food safety in many markets,” says Dr Moksness.
Big seafood eaters, like those in Thailand and China, want more. Nine out of ten consumers in China and Thailand “strongly” or “completely” agreeing with the statement “I would like to eat more seafood than I do today”. In Europe, 80 percent of respondents in Portugal, the country in Europe with the highest seafood consumption per capita, say they would like to eat more fish than today, whilst 81 percent say the same in Italy.
“It is interesting that in markets and age groups where people are already eating a lot of seafood, people want to eat still more. Across all markets, 81 percent of those aged between 50 and 65 say they want to eat more seafood going forward, compared with 73 percent of 20 to 34-year olds,” Moksness says.
“It is really positive that people express intention to eat more seafood, and time will show whether they will act upon this desire. There are many things that influence the way we behave, and although most people would probably say they would like to lead healthier lives, it does not mean everyone will become gym bunnies overnight,” Moksness points out.
Gym-bunnies or not, everyone is seeing large-scale changes to life's routines from the pandemic, and many are seeing positive aspects of the new normal.
According to the study, only around half of responders report eating seafood twice or more times per week, which is the recommended amount according to many health authorities.
“There is no doubt the results are encouraging and offers great potential for the seafood sector. Forming new habits take more than just desire to change, there are many other factors such as price, availability and knowledge which also play important roles. For the NSC and the Norwegian seafood industry this means increased focus on communicating the benefits of our seafood in a language people can relate to, and provide inspiration and products to make it easy for consumers to act upon this desire to include more seafood in their diets,” Moksness says.