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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, August 19, 2010: Waves: Small. That stormy Wednesday didn’t amount to much. There was a little light rain action but nothing near some early predictions of a drencher. Also, an expected ki…

Thursday, August 19, 2010: Waves: Small.

That stormy Wednesday didn’t amount to much. There was a little light rain action but nothing near some early predictions of a drencher. Also, an expected kick-up of the surf never developed. Today we have the smallest wave action in a good 10 days or more. It looks to be an ideal ocean day even for smaller craft, though south winds could be factor as the day progresses. Water temps even along the beach are 70-plus. With lots of sun showing is looks to be a fairly typical summer’s day, though tomorrow could see the heat pump kick on, possibly for the last 90-degree day until next week sometime.

A newbie to this column – and fishing the area – ran into his first stargazer. I get t least a couple folks asking for an ID on these uglies but this fellow did it after already beheading it and cooking it up. Atta boy. When I told him how utterly undesirable the species was to most anglers he was stunned since he said it’s “tail section” was delicious. I had heard this before. I’ve even eaten stargazer but truthfully can’t recall it being more than OK-ish. That was years back, though. Sometimes trying something is as much what state of mind one is in at the time. I’ll surely give it another gastronomic go this fall. Considering I’ve caught them up to 7 or 8 pounds, it’s not like there’s a lack of meat to work with on their already fatty bodies.

I see (Facebook) where Dante S. has been knocking ‘em dead out at the canyons. Ran into some serious t-storms yesterday.

No sooner do I get some reports that fluking has slowed than and email comes in “We caught over 100 fluke yesterday. I really like white Gulp strips with minnies. We had five keepers, nothing big. Largest fish went for a small gold ‘herring’ dart. I dread the end of the fluke season since I’ve had a lot of fun this summer.”

Well, per an RFA new release below, next year should see a healthy increase in the recreational fluke quota meaning (I hope) a longer season. Of course, the summer-ites could monopolize the increase by keeping the season holiday-to-holiday (Memorial to Labor) and simply dropping the minimum size. As noted in my weekly blog, angler registry data by next year could really help by 2012. Note: I ain’t gettin’ any younger. It seems we’ve been talking about some “next year” return to normalcy in the fluking realm for at least the last 10 years.

Here’s a segment from the RFA report:

On the summer flounder front, the MAFMC voted to increase the total allowable catch from this season's 25.48 million pounds to an increased quota of 33.95 million pounds in the year ahead. The new total allowable landings for 2011 represent the highest allowable catch debated by the MAFMC today. Recreational fishermen are hopeful that this increase in quota means improved summer flounder regulations for 2011, but that still rests in the hands of the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) for 2010.

"The recreational fishermen won't know what this means in terms of regulations until November at the very least," said Capt. Adam Nowalsky, chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance's New Jersey Chapter (RFA-NJ). "As anglers have come to recognize year after year, now we have to wait for this season's landings information to come through from MRFSS to forecast how that compares to the 2011 recreational allowable landings."

"Some of the reasons for this success should go to the science that was contributed by the grassroots efforts of the local fishing community," said Ray Bogan, legal counsel for the RFA. "There has been an extraordinary contribution by the anglers, which makes up a significant portion of the scientific effort in the summer flounder assessments," he said. Bogan noted that private funding through the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, United Boatmen, and RFA, along with non-federal inshore survey analysis by the North East Area Monitoring and Assessment Program (NEAMAP) have helped lead to improved summer flounder assessments, which in turn has led to improved access for anglers.

A letter from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to the New York council members overnight was distributed amongst MAFMC members, in which the senator urged council members to provide increased access to summer flounder and scup resources for both recreational and commercial fishermen. "As the Council knows, these species are not overfished and overfishing is not occurring," Sen. Schumer said in his letter, adding "Fishermen have patiently waited for these stocks to rebuild and were promised relief when they were healthy again. Now is that time."

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LBI UNDERGROUND: A beloved dog belonging to the owners of the Neptune Market in Harvey Cedars died in the worst of terms recently. A vet in Barnegat suspected foul play. The pet sure as hell seemed to have been poisoned. The vet offered that as the lead possibility, though he didn’t fully rule out some other possible causes. Could the pet have come across some of the ant killer now being placed by just about everyone, as the Island get inundated with ants like never before (another story in its own right, to be sure)?

Still, even the slightest possibility of cyanide or strychnine in the streets set the fear factor flying for a part of that quiet community.

Is there truly poisons being set about, possibly randomly, in such a top-dollar town? If so, was the peppered-around poison meant for all pets in general -- placed by some sick-ass retiree or deranged vacationer with an out-of-control phobia over four-legged everythings? Or, was this a vigilante’s whiplash reaction to recent reports of feral cats gone overly reproductive in HC?

Some folks might recall a decade back when feral cats began to rule the roost in Beach Haven and an alleged obliteration effort was undertaken by what some thought might have been borough personnel. The cleansing not only took out the ferals but also sent some local house cats to the pound – and even cat heaven. That wasn’t a poison event, per se, but it was an immediately noticeable purge in response to too many cats. Could the town of Harvey Cedars be quietly undertaking a de-catting? Not a prayer, per that town’s PD chief. That leaves a vigilante – if, truly, the dog had been poisoned. By the by, there were supposedly some other dogs sickened but no confirmation on that. It should be noted that power poisons seldom simply sicken.

Recently, poison warning signs have been placed in public view. They have been placed in the area where it is suspected the deceased dog downed a terminal treat. And it should be noted that it was likely in the form of a “treat.” If the poison was meant to be a kitty coaxer, virtually any other creature, including wild foxes, opossum and even gulls, would most likely also be suckered in by the medium used to carry the toxin. Both cyanide and strychnine are colorless and flavorless, so they’re not much of a dining draw in and of themselves.

Though police are not fully running with the toxic townsperson theory, there is an investigation – ongoing.

I’ll update this underground oddity.

Doctor found guilty in boat accident that cost diver his legs

August 18th, 2010 by Daphne Duret

STUART — A judge today found Dr. Roger Nicosia guilty of violating several navigational rules in connection with a Jan. 9, 2009, boating accident that severed scuba diver Robert Murphy’s legs.

Sentencing is about to start.

Martin County Judge Kathleen Roberts could sentence Nicosia to 60 days in jail and order him to pay a $500 fine.

Nicosia, a 58-year-old Martin Memorial Hospital emergency room doctor, has been on trial on misdemeanor charges that he violated five navigational rules, leading him to plow into the 27-year-old Palm Beach Gardens man while Murphy and two other divers were spear fishing about 4 miles north of the St. Lucie Inlet.

In the non-jury trial on Tuesday, Assistant State Attorney Nirlaine Smartt told Roberts in opening statements that Nicosia did not follow several basic rules of speed and caution. Nicosia’s attorney Bob Watson called it an unfortunate accident and said the boat Murphy and his friends dove from failed to properly display dive flags that would have warned Nicosia to stay away.

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