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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday, August 14, 2010: A very nice day if I do say so myself. Obviously, I don’t have angling fully in mind since it is still whipped up out there from yesterday’s hard NE winds and there’s still…

Saturday, August 14, 2010:

A very nice day if I do say so myself. Obviously, I don’t have angling fully in mind since it is still whipped up out there from yesterday’s hard NE winds and there’s still a brisk ENE winds. However, the (relative) coolness and clearness and brightness sure make for a welcome (albeit short) relief from the heat. Not that it won’t be into the 80s, it just won’t feel overtly torrid here on LBI.

As if your lawn didn’t know already, we’re getting close to the desperation point on the rain front. And it’ll now take way more than a thunderboomer or two to sooth the thirst. We’re needing a long soaking (tropical?) rain need. If it doesn’t happen soon, we’ll join a number of other NJ counties that were recently officially placed under “drought” condition, per the US Weather Service.

While drought doesn’t really hit fishing directly, it plays into the bay conditions – in a good way. As noted in here a number of times this summer, the bay is very OK. That sure doesn’t mean we don’t need the Fertilizer Bills to go through, it simply means we’re having a reprieve from the hideous bad-bay days of recent summers, when too much algae ruined the spawns of gamefish, like tog, seabass, weakfish, blowfish, kingfish and a few other lesser known breeds. In fact, near the inlets, there have been days with water so clear that folks have been watching the fluke follow their bait even in 15 to 20 feet of water.

On a nature note, we have been having a near freaky low-bug summer. While far from totally absent, I’ve been amazed at the fewness of attacking greenheads, black flies and even mosquitoes, especially when I do bait checks at mainland creeks --where I usually run into biters so bad I literally cannot stay out of truck for more than a few minutes before being taken hostage and possibly hauled off into the swamps for alter consumption. Somewhere on one of my digital photo cards, I have a pic of the windshield of my truck from last summer. I had just pulled up to the far east end of the Road to Nowhere and all my windows were so covered in flies I swear there was almost no light getting in. I threw on my windshield wipers and headed back to LBI.

I should note that one biter making itself aggravatingly apparent is the tiny black mosquito, so-named by me. These are bitches to be sure. They are oddly small for an adult mosquito (since they’re biting, they’re adults) and can land with such finesse land softness they can’t be felt, the way larger skeeters can. They even offer a much understated bite, offering very little in the way of an initial itchiness. Where they easily match their larger kissin’ cousins is the welt and intense after-itch.

I fear there is a high disease potential with these suckers. And I seldom go that scare route. I’m actually basing that on, firstly, the flimsiest of rationales: I just don’t like the looks of them. However, far more scientifically frightening, Ocean County is light-years ahead of every other county in the state (and just about every county on the Eastern Seaboard) for birds dying from West Nile. While most of the dead birds – now including my beloved grackles – are up around Toms River, I have no doubt that is only because nobody (short of me) is in the outback picking up DOAs here in Southern Ocean County. I have actually seen numerous dead crows over the past couple months but hadn’t really given them an extra thought. The release of the latest dead bird data will have me bagging and then dropping off any future dead-duck finds.

Back to that biting bug thing, I should note that deer flies are pretty much at their normal aggravating summer level. I’m guessing that’s because they tolerate hot and dry conditions very well. I hate ‘em overall but they aren’t as bad at biting as they are at dive bombing. Oh, they’ll bite when given the chance but they seem to like circling and bouncing off skin more than landing. Odd thing about deer flies is their uncanny ability to easily tolerate even 90 percent DEET applications. Also odd is the way they back off when their target goes still. The greater the movement, the more they go crazy. They’re also famed for attacking slowly moving vehicles. Come to a stop on a dusty Pinelands road and I guarantee a quota of deer lies will light upon the side windows, having likely chased the vehicle for even miles on end.

I had two more emails suggesting the angler registry license is NOT mandatory. Believe me, my friends, it is 100 percent mandatory – albeit free. It’s odd the way “free” is misinterpreted.

Here is the exact language from the Division of Fish and Wildlife:

“Under a new federal law, most New Jersey saltwater recreational fishermen are now required to register with the new National Saltwater Angler Registry before they go fishing in 2010. The Saltwater Angler Registry is part of an improved data program to help protect the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing.”

Please note: That “most” excludes folks with licenses in other states, those under 16 years old, folks who ONLY fish on vessels that are holders of for-hire (or charter boat and party boat), anyone holding a Highly Migratory Species Angling permit, or those fishing commercially under a valid license.

Easily 95 percent of all anglers are not covered by those exception, ergo, you MUST have registered before you go angling or you can be cited by enforcement, including federal officers, like those with the Forsythe Refuge, i.e. patrolling Holgate this fall.

Just take a minute and get the goofy thing. You’ll fish fall tournaments without that cloud of doubt hanging over you.

News wires:

August 13, 2010 - Maryland health officials say people may be getting sick from eating raw oysters and other shellfish from the Chesapeake Bay.

The culprit is vibrio, a naturally occurring bacteria that's more prevalent in the bay during hot weather.

The state health department says there have been 24 cases of vibrio infection this year. That puts Maryland on pace to exceed the infection totals from previous years. Vibrio can cause wound infections, gastrointestinal disease and other ailments. People with open wounds who swim in the bay are also at risk.

It's not just the bay where vibrio is a problem. A health department spokesman says at least four of the Maryland cases have been linked to out-of-state oysters.

Health officials are advising Marylanders to cook oysters, clams and other bivalves until the weather cools.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A guide says Ted Stevens' last day of fishing was a very good day -- the former U.S. senator was in great spirits as he casted for silver salmon at an Alaska camp and raved about the spinning lures he was using.

'He was happy to be there,' camp guide Byron Orth said. 'The fishing was so good, he was planning to come back the next day.'

But the 86-year-old Republican and four others died the next day when their floatplane crashed en route from a corporation-owned lodge to the Nushagak River camp. Four others on board survived and are being treated at an Anchorage hospital.

The lodge called guides and told them the party was heading out there, but no one ever showed up and Orth figured the trip had been canceled. Hours later, the lodge called and asked if the group was heading back yet.

Everyone figured it couldn't end well, said Orth, a Beaverton, Ore., resident who has spent the past six summers working at the fish camp. He's seen Stevens there over the years.

'You're hoping for the best, but there's a bad feeling in your stomach,' he said.

Federal investigators have finished much of their work at the site of Monday's crash in rugged, mountainous terrain about 20 miles north of Dillingham. Now the focus shifts to interviewing survivors and hoisting the wreckage from a steep mountainside.

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