Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
This week's "Why uncles should not be allowed to babysit."
Speed build. In the short time I was parked to watch the Harvey Cedars fireworks, this orb spider attached its amazing web to the side of my truck. Wow, dude. I felt bad driving away - though he could build a new one just as fast.
Monday, September 02, 2019: Apparently, I haven’t lost it. I had wondered/hoped that my power to influence the entire local and literal atmosphere had waned. In a previous blog, I had openly assured that my predicting a fine low-wind holiday weekend for fishing would not be enough to jinx it. I underestimated my influential capacities. Out of the blue came unpredicted NE winds, sustaining 20 mph speeds with some higher gusts. Even the Weather Service wondered where those forceful winds came from. I had to sheepishly raise my hand. “Sorry.”
The shouldn’t-be-here winds persisted through Sunday, though slightly more subdued. By today, they were honking out of the southeast. It has been plenty enough windage to stymy plans by small craft to do ocean-top boat fishing -- on what is the last fishing weekend for many a seasonal captain. Tons of vessels are about to be tarped or shrink-wrapped for the year. Ask the pull-out and winterizing specialists at our boat storage facilities.
For those of a tanning ilk, the sun beat-down, easily penetrating through the gusts, was pushing a blistering 10, activating deep-down melanin for that back-to-school/work tan.
Far less beachgoer friendly was the impact of the honking onshore winds. They churned up the ocean to the point that the Long Beach Township Beach Patrol resorted to closing all its beaches to swimming by Sunday. That closure came in the wake of numerous water rescues, some spooky. With colliding swells, some from the north other from the south, it was easy to see some lethal-grade rip currents forming. As noted, many swimmers didn’t notice until it was “Help!” time.
FURTHER SOUTH: This is no time to discuss any possible Dorian impacts coming our way. There are always too many variables. Unpredictable cyclones remain so right up to the minute of “Well, I’m here!”
You might have seen the video clip of a hurricane path prediction whereby a big handful of spaghetti gets flung on a map of the Eastern Seaboard. There are now as many as a dozen assorted weather agencies pitching in their predictive spaghetti strand. Predictably, there are always those strand tossers who try to make a name for themselves by offering low-probability path prophecies. That’s exactly how the instantly famed “European model” became a world standard. It should be noted since its historic spot-on SS Sandy prediction, the Euro model has either gotten conservative or lost its initial accuracy luck.
DORIAN ... OR WHATEVER: I must herein venture a Dorian guess in a fully what-if manner. In fact, any to-come storm can be inserted into the same extrapolative slot.
The Holgate end is highly unready for a serious cyclonic or counterclockwise blow. I’m talking both the refuge-adjacent beaches and the populated beachline. To be specific, any sky event hosting onshore or side-ass winds at over 50 mph is enough to create three-story cutaways/drop-offs along bathing beaches. There have already been 15-foot drop-offs from lighter winds. The refuge area will break in assorted bay-to-ocean erosion zones.
On the mobile fishing front, the buggy entrance onto the far south end is teetering, undriveable until manicured by our buddies at the Long Beach Township public works. They're always ready to take a sand-moving shot at repairing the ramp. Such a fix would be for the sake of mobile anglers and also to assure emergency access should something nasty happen along the 2.5-mile stretch between the parking lot and the Rip at Little Egg Inlet. Speaking of which …
I was asked if emergency fixes to Holgate beaches might be coming via re-replenishment -- using sand from Little Egg Inlet (LEI) as was done previously. Fat chance.
The previous beach placement in Holgate proper was the sandy side-shoot of reestablishing an LEI channel for mariners. All agencies involved in that dredge-and-deposit venture made it clear the dredging and related nearby sand placement was a one-and-done effort. Hell, it was amazing the effort ever got off the ground. The Forsythe Refuge was particularly riled by the proposition of LEI dredging, making protestive note that it would take place far too close to its Holgate Wilderness Area.
Unlike wildlife management areas, there is little backdown when it comes to maximally protecting Congressionally-designated wilderness areas, which are a unique conservancy animal in the eyes of the federal government. That is the reason Forsythe is gung-ho against allowing the replenishment of state-owned beaches adjacent to its property.
Despite constant assurances from the Army Corps that replenishing would not negatively affect Forsythe property, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has remained steadfastly against the rebuilding of that beachfront -- despite the fact the entire undeveloped south end of the Island is in flux like never before. Many areas have experienced the eroding away of 70 percent of former acreage.
The inability of the Army Corps to get a NFWS OK to replenish all Holgate in a manner consistent with the Island-long 50-year fix has greatly contributed to the entire area's erosion. Added to the long-term erosion of the south end is erosion related to the new terminal groin. That erosion is moving toward the refuge.
A frustrating angle for the Army Corps is the high availability of massive amounts of sand on the shoals outside Little Egg Inlet. That sand is essentially former Island beachfronts. It has been carried southward from as far north as Barnegat Light. It's there for the taking. Adding to the borrow appeal of LEI shoals is how it’s constantly being renourished, often with southwardly moving replenishment sands.
Talking with LBI replenishment guru, Keith Watson, the Corps is seriously interested in tapping into the LEI shoals – for as far as that goes. Specifically, the shoals’ sands could be used for replenishment as far north as Spray beach, maybe further. However, not being able to use the sand for the refuge-adjacent beaches diminishes from efforts to acquire the right to mine the shoals. By the by, using the shoals as a borrows area would not be a detriment to the Holgate Wilderness Area … one would think.
Here’s hoping we won’t need to activate “emergency” beach replenishment protocols before the next scheduled evaluation of the Island-long project in 2023. At the same time, the Holgate area is being bled dry of sand pretty much on its own. The rest of the Island looks remarkably well beached.
I’ll be offering periodic insider updates at my blog (fishlbi.com), though I’m not sure I have the energy to maintain the decades long struggle to save Holgate from dissection, mainly in the refuge area, where it’s still breaking like crazy in the north portion.
Today’s catch and dinner!!!
We want to thank everybody be who joined us on a fishing trip and/or a cruise that made this summer another great success. Without you we are not here.
We are still fishing everyday for fluke and sea bass for the next few weeks. We are also sunset cruising every night through Saturday September 7th. Only night we are not is September 6th as we are privately chartered.
We are currently taking reservations for our 30 hour canyon trips leaving Saturday 8am and returning about 2pm Sunday. Call the office, 609-494-2094, for more info and to book.