Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, February 20, 2011: Was it just me or did is seems a tad breezy out there – for the last frickin’ 36 hours! I recorded half a dozen gusts well over 50 mph, pushing 60. It led to some of the season’s driest blowout tides. Typically, it was on a Sunday – no clamming or oystering allowed. Now we’ll see some iffy skies and possibly a cold front related snowfall of an inch or so. Then we’re back to relative mildness. Hard to believe but we’re getting close to bait moves, as the likes of bunker move into the bay. I’ve seen them hanging beneath the Causeway bridges as early as March 5.
The reason we had so few super low tide conditions earlier in the winter was the steady showing of huge storms, which just sat the North Atlantic. That set-up kept the overall ocean water level high even with howling west winds. This go’round there was no low and the bay emptied down to the drain plugs in a couple backbay zones.
In the last couple days I talked with three different anglers who have made pounds and pounds of sinkers and jigheads, mainly to help while away the winter. Seems like as good a way to work toward spring as any. It’s a kinda fun thing to learn to melt and mold. I’ve done a lot of melting over the years, mainly gold and silver. I have to emphasize that most metals, especially lead, give off some nasty vapors right as they reach the melting point. I wouldn’t advise melting lead in the kitchen. Yes, many folks have done just that. Lead is also a toxic metal, easily absorbed through the skin. However, simple precautions can reduce dangers to near zero, particularly by melting in well-ventilated areas and wearing gloves.
Here’s an email suggesting what the odd tracks seen in Manahawkin might be.
“ Hi Jay,
As always, I enjoy reading your blog. In regards to the question about the possible "bear tracks." Any thought that they might have been wild turkey scratchings. In the right circumstances and to a novice they could appear to be bear tracks. Hang in there-spring is coming. Jim H. Jr.”