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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, March 23, 2015: Nice but nippy out there ...

Monday, March 23, 2015: Nice but nippy out there, especially on LBI, where the onshore winds are blowing across a 42- to 44-degree ocean.

Thumbs up to those who helped The NJ Beach Buggy Association clean the Holgate Wilderness area yesterday. I know the west side, near the back cut meadows, had loads of sundry plastics from this past winter, even though the area had been professionally cleaned by contactors just last fall. However, a single winter’s worth of what-nots blowing in left a trashy mess behind.

Below: Way too late.

Actually, I got a lot of fun blow-ins back there this winter, including plugs, decoys and enough caps to field a team. The most valuable thing I found was a huge garbage bag filled to bursting with unmarked $100 bills; all legit.

Note: Hallucinating is so far ahead of reality that it’s not even a contest.

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Below: Via the Courier Post, Camden County. www.courierpostonline.com

The bill that will change the size limit on striped bass in New Jersey to one fish between 28 and 43 inches and another fish of 43 inches and above passed the Senate on Monday and now heads to Gov. Christie for signing. The bill passed in the Assembly in February.

The new legislation replaces the old limits of two fish at 28 inches. If the Gov. fails to sign the legislation withiin 45 days it automatically becomes law, although there have been no indications that the bill won't be signed. Until the bill takes effect, 2014 regulations apply.

Courtney Semkewyc, Atlantic Highlands, caught this

Courtney Semkewyc, Atlantic Highlands, caught this 20-pound striper aboard the Sea Hunter on a bunker chunk. (Photo: Sea Hunter)

The bill also takes the responsibility of future changes on striped bass regulations out of the hands of legislators and places it with the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, which sets the regulations on other species.

The new regs are the result of an ASMFC mandate to reduce striper harvests by 25 percent.

While the stock wasn't overfished, mortality was increasing while the spawning stock biomass was decreasing, a situation not conducive to the long-term health of the stock.

These new limits were crafted to meet the required reduction.

Opponents of the new regulation claim they do little to stop the harvest of the big breeders, which has been cited as a reason for the decline of the spawning stock biomass in the fishery.

The final piece of the 2015 striped bass plan will be the bonus program. The March meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, where the program was to be finalized was postponed due to weather. The subject will be revisited at April 9 meeting to be held at 4 p.m. at the Stafford Township Municipal Building in Manahawkin. The meeting is open to the public.

The options for the bonus program, which allows a bonus permit holder to keep one striped bass in addition to those already allowed under the new regulations, are one fish at 28 inches or a slot fish between 24 inches and 28 inches.

The quota for the bonus program has been reduced for this year to 241,000 pounds from more than 300,000 pounds in 2014 to achieve the necessary 25 percent reduction.

The Council may also consider a specific season within the regular striped bass season for the bonus program.

The striped bass bonus permits are available at the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife's website at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com.

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REALITY DOESN’T HELP: Reality can be totally unreal, as evidenced by the tons of realty shows I watch   - I mean that other people watch. The reason those shows are even on TV is because they’re so far from reality that we gawk, all gecko-eyed, in everyday disbelief. Jumping to Immediate mind is the unreal criminal stupidity on cops shows, wherein grand-theft auto thieves routinely swear their “best friend” lent them the car, but, for the life of them, they can’t quite remember their best friend’s name.

I have recognized that some of the real-world dialogue on those shows is edited out.

“Quit fighting back! Stop grabbing for my gun!”

“Uh, Sarge, I think he’s, like, unconscious and stuff.”

“Oh, so he is. Well, I’ll bet anything he woulda been grabbing for my gun.”

What this column questions most is the everyday realness behind, say, Jeremy Wade’s “River Monsters” series. Who in bloody hell can really spend decades on end just zipping around the world to fish for some of the oddest and most dangerous fish known? That’s series is unreal, based on impracticality. That should be called Vicarious TV. Works for me.

The “Wicked Tuna” series should fall within Piss and Moan TV, in line with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Whadda buncha wicked whiners. Just catch the frickin’ fish!

Below: www.peibluefintunacharters.com

By the by, there is tons of ugly and angry chatter on angling website about the taking of tuna on “Wicked Tuna.” That’s a splintery bridge to cross.

After decades of critical conservation of highly-migratory species, a sustainable level of tuna harvesting has been painstakingly established for both commercial and recreational fishermen. If fishing folks want to attack that federal limit/program, fine, but implying that the “Wicked Tuna” hook-and-line anglers are out-of-line because they use harpoons and forgo recreational stand-up techniques is wrought with illogic. Again that’s a mighty fine line of distinction between two heavy user groups.

In the ongoing case of “America versus the world” regarding tuna, I’ve noticed there is much more to be gained by buddying up with commercialites. Trying to wrest in-country poundage away from another user group might very well be the epitome of divide-and-conquer for green groups and, more dangerously, other nations looking for any little reason to take more than their worldly share.

And when we work together ... 

to get ... 

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"Cabbage in my food again?! Fiber, you say!?" 

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Very happy to have some great workers 
Cole DeAngelo bought these gems over today, can't say enough how proud I am to have him and 
James Buonanno Jr. Tie for me they both do top quality work!!!
'Very happy to have some great workers @[100002475253218:2048:Cole DeAngelo] bought these gems over today, can't say enough how proud I am to have him and @[100000535771378:2048:James Buonanno Jr.] Tie for me they both do top quality work!!!'
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Some of these sky looks have passed but some cool on coming up ... 
By 
 and 
 in 

 | ASTRONOMY ESSENTIALS | SPACE on Feb 28, 2015

  • March 2015 guide to the five visible planets

Three of the five visible planets are in good view in March 2015. Venus and Jupiter shine first thing at nightfall. Saturn adorns the late night and predawn sky.

On Monday night - March 23, 2015 - the moon is in between Venus and the famous Pleiades star cluster. Read more.

On Monday night – March 23, 2015 – the moon is in between Venus and the famous Pleiades star cluster. Read more.

Help EarthSky build a new community website in 2016! Click here to ...

Evening planets in March 2015

Brilliant Venus in west at nightfall.

Fading Mars in west at nightfall.

Bright Jupiter at nightfall, out almost all night.

Morning planets in March 2015

Saturn from late night until dawn.

Mercury in east as dawn breaks.

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The bright

The bright “star” near the moon Sunday night – March 22, 2015 – is the planet Venus.Read more.

The waxing crescent moon on March 22, March 23 and March 24

The waxing crescent moon on March 22March 23 and March 24

Brilliant Venus in west at nightfall. Venus – brightest of all planets, and third-brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon – climbs higher up at dusk and nightfall, and stays out later after dark, throughout March 2015. It beams as brilliantly as a lighthouse as darkness falls this month! Be sure to catch Venus at dusk and early evening, especially from temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, because it’ll follow the sun beneath the horizon by early evening. At mid-northern latitudes, Venus stays out longer after dark but still sets by mid-evening.

At mid-northern latitudes, this dazzling world sets about two and one-half hours after sunset in early March. The queen planet’s visibility improves throughout March, setting about three hours after the sun by the month’s end.

Do not miss the sky on the early evening of March 21. The young moon and Mars will lie beneath Venus as soon as darkness falls on that evening. Read more here. This date (March 21) may present your final chance to view Mars in the evening sky because the Red Planet will soon fade into the glare of sunset.

The waxing crescent moon swings close to Venus on March 22 and then climbs toward the starAldebaran on March 23 and March 24.

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Fading Mars in west at nightfall. Mars continues to fade in brightness, especially in contrast to its glory when Earth passed between the Red Planet and the sun in April, 2014. But you can see Mars still, especially when it pairs up with the moon on March 21. Venus will help guide your eye to Mars, which shines below Venus and closer to the horizon as darkness falls. Throughout March 2015, Venus will be climbing upward from the sunset while Mars will be sinking toward it.

The red planet Mars is getting dimmer as it lags behind us in its larger and slower orbit. At mid-northern latitudes, Mars sets about two hours after the sun in early March. Like a fading ember, this world is slowly but surely disappearing into the glow of sunset as Earth races ahead of Mars in its orbit. By late March 2015, Mars will set about one and one-half hours after the sun and will be hard to find in the glare of evening twilight.

Watch for the waxing gibbous moon moving toward Jupiter on February 28, March 1 and March 2.

Watch for the waxing gibbous moon moving toward Jupiter on February 28March 1 andMarch 2.

Bright Jupiter at nightfall, out almost all night. Once you see Jupiter in the east at dusk or nightfall, it’s unmistakable. This world shines more brilliantly than any star. As evening falls, look for brilliant Venus in the west, and Jupiter in the east. Jupiter is always the second-brightest planet after Venus. In March 2015, Venus sets in the west at early-to-mid evening, leaving the king planet Jupiter to rule the night until the predawn hours. Jupiter goes westward throughout the night; and at mid-northern latitudes, sets in the west about one hour before sunrise in early March, and by the month’s end, sets about two hours before sunup.

Watch the moon pass close to Jupiter on the evenings of March 1March 2 and March 3.

If you have binoculars or a telescope, be sure to check out Jupiter’s four major moons, which look like pinpricks of light on or near the same plane. They are often called the Galilean moons to honor Galileo, who discovered these great Jovian moons in 1610. In their order from Jupiter, these moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

These moons circle Jupiter around the Jovian equator. In cycles of six years, we view Jupiter’s equator edge-on. So, in 2015, we get to view a number of mutual events involving Jupiter’s moons through a high-powered telescope. Click here or here or here for more details.

Click here for a Jupiter’s moons almanac, courtesy of Sky & Telescope.

If you're an early riser, use the waning moon to locate the planet Saturn and the star Antares for several mornings, centered on March 12.

If you’re an early riser, use the waning moon to locate the planet Saturn and the star Antares for several mornings, centered on March 12.

Saturn from late night till dawn. At mid-northern latitudes, the golden planet Saturn rises in the southeast about one hour after midnight in early March and one hour before midnight by the month’s end. (By midnight we mean midway between sunset and sunrise, which is roughly 1 a.m. daylight-saving time.) At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, Saturn rises at late evening in early March and mid-evening by late March. Watch for the waning moon to shine within the vicinity of Saturn for a few days, centered on March 12.

Binoculars don’t reveal Saturn’s gorgeous rings. For that, you need a small telescope.

Saturn’s rings are inclined at about 25o from edge-on in March 2015, exhibiting their northern face. Several years from now, in October 2017, the rings will open most widely, displaying a maximum inclination of 27o. As with so much in space (and on Earth), the appearance of Saturn’s rings from Earth is cyclical. In the year 2025, the rings will appear edge-on as seen from Earth. After that, we’ll begin to see the south side of Saturn’s rings, to increase to a maximum inclination of 27o by May 2032.

At southerly latitudes, the ecliptic (in green) is highly inclined to the horizon on March mornings, making the moon and Mercury easier to see from the Southern Hemisphere on March 18 and 19.

At southerly latitudes, the ecliptic (in green) is highly inclined to the horizon on March mornings, making the moon and Mercury easier to see from the Southern Hemisphere on March 18 and 19.

Mercury in east as dawn breaks. Mercury is our solar system’s innermost planet and always stays near the sun in our sky. As seen from the Southern Hemisphere, the first half of March 2015 presents a particularly good time for catching Mercury in the morning sky. We at northerly latitudes aren’t so lucky but we can always try our luck with a pair of binoculars.

At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, this world rises about two hours before the sun during the first week of March. At mid-northern latitudes, Mercury rises about one hour before sunrise at the first of the month, but rises considerably closer to sunrise only a few days thereafter. By the time that the waning crescent moon passes close to Mercury on the mornings of March 18 and 19, Mercury will be virtually impossible to view from northerly latitudes, but still in sight from southerly latitudes.

So you catch our drift here. From the Southern Hemisphere, Mercury puts on a decent show in the morning sky in the first few weeks of March 2015, whereas we at northerly latitudes miss out!

However, Mercury will transition out of the morning sky and into the evening sky in April 2015. Then it’ll the Northern Hemisphere’s turn for a favorable apparition of Mercury, as the innermost planet features its best evening apparition of the year in late April and early May 2015.

Distances of the planets from the sun

What do we mean by visible planet? By visible planet, we mean any solar system planet that is easily visible without an optical aid and that has been watched by our ancestors since time immemorial. In their outward order from the sun, the five visible planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These planets are visible in our sky because their disks reflect sunlight, and these relatively nearby worlds tend to shine with a steadier light than the distant, twinkling stars. They tend to be bright! You can spot them, and come to know them as faithful friends, if you try.

Bottom line: Three of the five visible planets are in good view in March 2015: Venus, Jupiter shine first thing at nightfall, and Saturn adorns the late night and predawn hours! Mars and Mercury pose more of a challenge, as Mars sinks toward the sunset and Mercury falls toward sunrise.

View larger.| See the little white dot of the planet Venus in the upper right of this photo? It'll be back to your evening sky in early December. Helio de Carvalho Vital captured this image on November 18, 2014 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He wrote,

View larger.| Venus near the setting sun on November 18, 2014 by Helio de Carvalho Vital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He wrote, “I managed to capture Venus as it is starting its return to dusk, despite the fact that it is still at a mere 6.2° distance from the sun. The photos show it a few minutes before setting behind the northern side of the 1,021-meter high Tijuca Peak, located some 6.5 km away. It was deeply immersed in the intense glare of the sun, that would set some 13 minutes later.”

Lunar eclipse on the night of October 8, 2014. The object to the left is the planet Uranus! This beautiful photo is by Janey Wing Kenyon of Story, Wyoming.

Lunar eclipse on the night of October 8, 2014. The object to the left is the planet Uranus! This beautiful photo is by Janey Wing Kenyon of Story, Wyoming.

Debra Fryar in Calobreves, Texas captured this photo of the moon and Jupiter on May 31, 2014. Jupiter was close to the twilight then. In early July, Jupiter will be even closer to the twilight, about to disappear in the sun's glare.

Debra Fryar in Calobreves, Texas captured this photo of the moon and Jupiter on May 31, 2014. Jupiter was close to the twilight then.

Jupiter and its four major moons as seen through a 10

With only a modest backyard telescope, you can easily see Jupiter’s four largest moons. Here they are through a 10″ (25 cm) Meade LX200 telescope. Image credit: Jan Sandberg

Jupiter was rivaling the streetlights on December 29, 2013, when Mohamed Laaifat Photographies captured this photo in Normandy, France.

Jupiter was rivaling the streetlights, when Mohamed Laaifat Photographies captured this photo in Normandy, France. Visit his page on Facebook.

Venus on Dec. 26 by Danny Crocker-Jensen

Venus by Danny Crocker-Jensen


These are called star trails. It’s a long-exposure photo, which shows you how Earth is turning under the stars. The brightest object here is Jupiter, which is the second-brightest planet, after Venus. This awesome photo by EarthSky Facebook friend Mohamed Laaifat in Normandy, France. Thank you, Mohamed.

View larger. | Mercury, Venus and Jupiter seen when evening fell in Hong Kong earlier today - June 1, 2013 - by EarthSky Facebook friend Matthew Chin. Awesome shot, Matthew!

View larger. | Mercury, Venus and Jupiter seen when evening fell in Hong Kong on June 1, 2013. Photo by EarthSky Facebook friend Matthew Chin. Awesome shot, Matthew!

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.

Easily locate stars and constellations with EarthSky’s planisphere.

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