It’s that humbling time of the year where I ask for donations to keep this blog up and running. It is a time consuming enterprise but I enjoy it. It’s kinda therapeutic. I hope you find it fun – and functional. I’d also like to take this time to sincerely thank those who email or phone me with tales, fishing reports and questions. It’s energizing. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Being Type A I don’t always have the time to mail Thank-you note but, believe me (!), your donations are fully appreciated. J-mann.
Update: I’m PayPal ready for donations. Just go to PayPal, click “Send Money,” type in my email (email@example.com), enter amount and click “Services” box. It’s a snap and I’m grateful beyond measure.
Damnedest Deer Tricks;
Classic Big on Cows
PARAFREAKY DEER: I guess it’s the smell of deer hunting in the air that led to a flood of responses to a segment I wrote last week about a not-quite haunted deer head mount. A thought-to-be haunted house was actually being bumped around in the night by a frisky very-live backyard buck highly annoyed at a wall-hung buck head mount it took to be a tall challenger.
Turns out, feisty bucks will do a lot more than just stamp their hooves on a hardwood deck when asserting their territorial dominance.
Per a top deer hunter I know, virtually every open country area in North America has tales of bounding bucks busting through plate glass windows, not because they see a stuffed buck head mounted on the wall but because they see their own reflection in the glass -- and take on themselves. I like when the a buck yells at his own reflection, “Hey, nobody as ugly as you is going to take over from a stud like me!” Hmmm. I think there’s a larger life message there but I won’t go that metaphorical in here.
Just last week, a buck shattered a window in a business area of a small South Jersey town. What’s more, a grammar school classroom in Aberdeen Township, NJ, had a buck crash class during a math. No injuries, though the square root of 144 momentarily became “deer!”
Another emailer forwarded a wild news repot out of Madison, Wis. Talk about plate-glass irony.
John Stofflet, NBC news, reported on a near hysterical cellphone message that Wayne Noltemeyer received from his wife, Nelda. The woman had been in the basement when a hellish commotion broke out upstairs, where the family’s dog and cats occasionally clashed. "I heard a terrible crash, and thought, what could my dog and cats be doing that would make such a noise?" Rushing up the steps, she turned into the kitchen and was suddenly staring into the 12-point antlers of a huge buck that had just literally busted into the place. The beast had broken through the picture window in the living room and had moseyed into the kitchen.
Nelda strategically offered one of those “Nice deer. Good boy. You just hang right there and I’ll go find you some tasty feed corn ….”
Slowly backing out of the kitchen, she grabbed her dog and bolted for the front door. Comically, the dog had just kinda kept lying on the living room rug, as the huge buck crashed through the glass and heavily hoofed into the kitchen. I picture the laidback pet slowly lifting his head in one of those, “What the hell is this all about?” ways.
Once safely outside, Nelda yelled for a neighbor to dial 9-11 and commenced with the frazzled cell calls to her husband, who was with her son, Tim.
That’s where the first of the day’s ironies kicked in. The two men were – you mighta guessed it – out hunting, literally up in their tree stands having no luck bagging deer. Hey, Stofflet can’t make this stuff up.
Nelda actually got her son Tim first. He yelled out to his father, "We need to go home! Mom's in a tizzy. There's a deer in the house!"
There is no mention of what Wayne’s response was, though I picture him hastily backing out of the stand, nervously mumbling, “God, hope the dog’s all right.”
The deer escaped the house by the time the hunters got home, though they found cops galore -- and thousands of dollars worth of deer damage. One of the costliest items smashed – and the next irony maker -- was Wayne's sophisticated gun cabinet. The deer damn near destroyed it, along with -- move over for more irony -- the stock of a brand new never-used deer gun.
The concept of a vengeful deer taking on “the man” was squelched by Greg Matthews of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He was reported as saying, "It's not uncommon for rutting bucks to crash through windows, mistaking the reflection of themselves for another deer."
But, then, I go so far as to reflect on the very same buck back in the forest with his deer buddies, all of them standing upright on their back legs and leaning against trees, a couple of them smoking, and Ralph snickering, “So after I scare the hell out of her, I find this numbnuts gun cabinet, right, and here’s this band new double-ought shotgun, so don’t I do an kick the bejeezus outta it and then …”
HERRING TASTE TEST: “Jay, Thanks for turning me on to (ocean) herring fishing with light gear and tiny plastic jigs. After getting a dozen or so for bait after I saw you, I began wondering if they are edible. I know all about kippering and pickling but what about fresh?”
Being new to this column, you haven’t seen my years (ekes, it’s now decades) of feverishly campaigning to get folks to realize everything we catch – with an added italic emphasis on everything – is not only edible but can easily be coaxed into the rarified air of delectability. While it takes some automatic weapon threats to get people to try the likes of toadfish or stargazers (I’m a very militant columnist), herring actually needs no hype throughout virtually the entire known planet –except here in snooty taste-budded America. On a planetary scale, there are quite likely more recipes for herring (fresh, pickled and in-between) than any other fish species.
Quite possibly the most incredible tasting fish item I ever savored was small (maybe 6 inch) herring cooked by a Japanese chef at the entrance to Shirokiya Honolulu (see www.shirokiya.com
). Using only a secret soy sauce mix and a tiny wood-heated hibachi, he open-flamed just a few herring at a time. Even now, too long later, I recall sitting nearby and orgasmically downing four plates of these herring as fast as he could make them – as I pushed aside little old Japanese ladies standing patiently in line craftily trying to Bogart the goods. Gospel truth, the chef eventually called me over and showed me how to make them (after he found out I was a sushi graduate student at the store) – likely just to allow someone else to try them. I kinda remember the cooking method but the secret sauce stayed secret, even though I grabbed a vile full of it for later analysis.
As for our largish fall herring, they’re scrumptious. However, they aren’t hurting when it comes to being well boned. They have more bones than a Moroccan graveyard. I have no idea what that means but you sorta get the point.
The best way to prepare fresh herring is to experiment with filleting, whole cooking (pulling the bones out of the steaming meat) and even marinating for a couple days. It’s well worth any added effort.
BUGGY BANTER: I offer the same old cruising cautions as always. The beaches are passable but some skinny spots near jetty ends will suck you down in an LBI instant. What I hate is the way some sickly jetty ends tender an irreversible sideslip onto stalwart posts and rocks, leading to not only stuckedness but also the potential for hard-metal damage.
We are pretty much over the conflict period twixt beachgoers and beach drivers. Still, sunny weekends mean sharing the sands – so share already. Once again, be especially heedful of hounds. I’ve done many a dog walk on the beach and it’s genuinely spooky when vehicles scoot by. Give dog people lots of leeway and slow it to a crawl. Just to be nice, that’s why. As for people walking cats on the beach? Well, there no need to be overly cautious, mind you.
Oh, stop. I’m always hearing from those whiny cat people. But, face it, there has always been this mainly male compunction to taunt cats to hell and back. Clear back in the 1600s, a common expression was born: There’s more than one way to skin a cat. I actually have no idea what that means but it’s still kinda funny just to say.
From beach buggying to gutting cats. And they say I sometimes get astray when writing
BEACH GAS GUZZLER: “Jay, I’m just now driving the beach even though I’ve been heavily into Baja-ing the Pines. Is it my imagination or does beach buggying chew up gas so quickly you can see the needle going down?”
Ouch. We of a mobile angling ilk prefer not to overly articulate on this fuelishness. We, in fact, bury our heads in the sand then turn a blind eye followed by fully ignoring any writing on the wall we can see with our one good eye. What needle?
There’s good and bad news about how finicky a fuel needle becomes when beach driving.
Badly, mobile angling sucks up gas so fast those little bells begin going off as the gallons gush by.
Hey, doesn’t anyone but me recall when gas pumps would ping after each gallon? Can you imagine that now, when every ping means at least $2.50? People would sit in their vehicles wincing as if being hit by high-powered paint balls.
On the good side, it’s often simple gas slosh that makes your fuel needle seemingly jump off a cliff when you begin driving the sand. Much like water in a live well, the fuel in your tank commences to sloshing madly back and forth as you bounce along the beach. This topographical tossing action fools the tank’s internal measuring device into thinking all is lost. The needle perceptibly plummets. Things look a lot better when you get back on the open flat road, though a goodly amount of petrol has perished.
Tricks to minimizing energy expenditure while beach driving: Keep a steady (20 mph) speed, while driving on preexisting tracks. Drive hard wet sand when possible. Always keep momentum (the most important rule in all buggying). Stop on high points, to make it easier to get going again. Drive the highway to the beach buggy drive-on point closest to where you want to fish. My favorite: Just keep telling yourself, “Hell, this gas is already paid for so I might as well enjoy it.”
GLOBAL SHWARMING MORMING: I like going goony on global warming only because many of my science buddies get brutally bent out of shape at the merest feathery suggestion that melting ice caps aren’t all they’re knocked up to be. I do agree that the planet is having a humanity-induced hot flash. The thing is, such heat-ups are absolutely nothing new for the billion-year stint that Earth has been hangin’ in the hood.
I once read this truly bizarre and image-inspiring theory that the flatulence of millions and millions of huge dinosaurs led to a kick-ass planetary warming. I kid you not. Even the current warmification is being partially blamed on cow gases. As the saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up. Actually, you can – but I’m not.
My main devil’s advocacy regarding our global warming focuses on the oversimplified extrapolation that such a warming will lead to an overnight hike in ocean water levels. That rise is simply not playing out as theorized. That’s a hugely good thing for those of us planted coastally.
While mockingly waiting for waters to rise, I’ve come up with my own theory on why no sinister high-speed sea rises have surged over us -- just yet. I begin by openly admitting there is an astounding amount of water coming off melting icebergs. However, water expands greatly when it freezes, taking up more space. As it melts, it takes up essentially less room. The space freed when ice melts is where the melt water resides.
Sure, the polar ice caps and related icebergs are well out of water, but what we have at this melting point in history is, to a large degree, a wash. Lots of melt but enough freed space to accommodate the overflow.
Without a doubt, a total meltdown will inundate where we now stand. It’s done the same inundation routine for eons on end. Face it, our LBI will sleep with the fishes. However, it’s gonna take a ton of time. That looms large for our immediate future. We might actually have some dry time to remedy what we’ve unbalanced in the atmosphere before we think submergence.
By the by, the atmosphere ain’t as dainty as you might think. It is fully capable of massive self-fixes. The good gases that protect us will return once our ghastly gases are expelled. That big dinosaur in the sky will make it all better – someday.
CLASSIC CHATTER: The 8-week 2009 Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic has run into just about every weather pattern known to man, from storms that rock the jetties to days straight from Perfectionville. While this is par for the autumnal course, the sky swings seem a tad more marked than in years past. Truth be told, many casters are fair weathered warriors. I’m vacillating somewhere in the middle. I’ll take on wind and cold like a champ but sulk into fireplace seclusion when wicked rain come knockin’.
The new listing system at www.lbift.com
is where the event’s online coverage is going. This re-gearing of the updating mechanism is to assure the event’s future. It’s part and parcel to participating weigh-in shops taking over the tourney’s growingly costly administrative work, which became a back-breaker for the Chamber of Commerce. Not that the Chamber isn’t still highly involved with the tourney. The office is simply relieved of painstakingly importing every hookup and all the data that accompanies it.
Going to the weigh-in listings. You’ll note that it’s a single listing from largest to smallest – and mixing in blues and bass. I’d like to see the two species have their own columns. The info is all there to show who has won daily, weekly and segment prizes. On my daily blogs (http://jaymanntoday.ning.com/
) , I occasionally list the leaderboard, broken into bluefish and stripers.
The bass take is shining brightly in the first couple weeks of the tourney. There have been eight bass over 30 pounds entered -- and one over 40. Two of those 30-plus fish were taken by Joe Carmelengo (32.13 and 35.0).
Top scale-tippers: (Angler, where from, weight, bait, where caught)
1: Michael Kane, Dolestown, 42.69, bunker, Loveladies.
2. Kenney Depierro, Yonkers, 36.94 bunker, Haven Beach.
3) Richard Metzger, Collingswood, 35.19, bunker, Beach Haven Crest.
4) Joe Carmelengo, LBT, 35.00, bunker, Brant Beach.
5) Joe Carmelengo, LBT, 32.13, bunker, Spray Beach.
6) Bill Montrey, Manahawkin, 31.56, bunker, Harvey Cedars.
7) Edwin McGlynn, Beach Haven, 31.50, bunker, Beach Haven.
8) Brian McAllister, Middleton, 30.88, bunker, Loveladies.
STORM SUBTLETIES: E-question, mailed as latest storm approached. “Jay, I had great surf fishing today, though nothing big enough for the classic. I was wondering if an approaching storm sparks the bite in the surf the way it does with freshwater lakes. Phil.
(Yes and no, Phil. It doesn’t seem that barometer swings matter a whole helluva lot in the surf, but, what does get the fish going is the first signs of a stirred up sea. That’s a bog activator. Also, there could be a bit of a barometer effect with a serious storm moving in, just not as pronounced as we see in freshwater environs.
Small stripers are especially inclined to move into the stirred up suds very quickly, knowing that the first whisks from a storm makes for easy pickin’s, like uncovered crabs, clams, sand eels, worms, mantis shrimp, etc. As a storm revs up, it get a tad tougher for bass to track down any rollover items, however, bigger bass often tend to be a lot slower to work on-scene during storms. They’re often looking for large edibles, like roiled forage fish. The period after things are really getting riled (12 hour or more into the storm) is when it gets exceedingly interesting for fall surfcasters looking for that 50-pounder. J-mann)