Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, June 27, 2010:
Real decent fishing skies out there, helped along by light to moderate south winds keeping the scalding weather trapped over on the mainland, where it’ll push triple digits today. The Simply Bassin’ 2010 event ends today.
Fluking was, as usual all over the board yesterday. Some guys had it, some didn’t. I had success stories from the creeks (Barnegat Bay), though I consider a success 3 to 4 big flatties, plenty enough to die upon and even out some in the freezer. The closer to the inlet the better. Of course, there was also the obligatory pissing and moaning over no keepers, per a couple emails and also radio chatter.
How about that bluefish action on the shallows just inside Barnegat Inlet. Birdplay madness with cocktails so thick they had the crystal clear water darkened. They were stuffed to the gills with medium-sized spearing. So that’s where the spearing have gone. I’m wondering if the blues are so concentrated this year that they’re continuously charging across the bayside shallows and driving the spearing into baitballs, instead of allowing the forage fish to fan out and cover just about every inch of the flats, they way they usually do.
Bassing remains extra iffy. No new entries in Simply Bassin’ and I got fully skunked with both late-day plugging and also after-hours bridge jigging.
The big talk in the surfline has been the huge crane working on the sewer outflow off Ship Bottom/Surf City. At least I’m led to believe that’s what the giant in-water crane is doing out there. The only reason I’m suspicious is the way, the past week, heavy work boats have plied the near-beach waters along all of Ship Bottom. The pipe is only off the SB/SC border. What was all the action as much as a mile south of there? I’ll get a story in The SandPaper this coming week, July 4 issue. And, as if you hadn’t guessed, it’s going to be a fully insane holiday weekend if this sizzling no-rain summer carries through until then. In fact, look for the holiday weekend impact to begin with an onslaught Wednesday evening through Thursday – and lasting through Monday. If you need to keep your sanity leaving LBI after the weekend, sneak off midday Monday.
Oil note. As the world watches the spewing forth of the planets black innards in the Gulf, I hear much chatter over the winding of the slick all the way up to us. As noted in here, the odd are slim and none. North Carolina will work its diversionary magic, deflecting the ooze into the sea and eventually over to England, back to BP. One not-nice scenario, would be a concentrated patch of outgoing oil ooze being caught up in a tropical system and driven ashore here. Boy, would that add insult to tar ball injury. Not only would that mean a storm nailed us but the tar could get driven way up on the beach and dunes (not to mention backbay) where it would be hard to clean. Of course, at this time, there seems to be very little oil action making it to Gulf currents that head out around the keys and up the southern part of the Eastern Seaboard via the Gulf Stream – so named because of that current’s source. Personally, I’d be a helluva load more nervous about tropical storms this year.
When it comes to criminal scumbags who steal the Identity of feeble grandmas and such, I think we have to revert to Old West thinking. Back then, you stole a man’s horse and that meant a quick hoist atop a horse, a kick to its ass and captured thief was modeling a swinging rope necktie. Same should go today for someone who steals a person’s identity. In fact, the same neck elongating thing should apply to anyone who looses viruses upon computers.
Since the law is currently doing Tom-s*** about such life-threatening thefts, I say we hire modern day Pinkertons, most likely college-level computer geniuses, preferably those who have already done some time in the Big House and are out on good behavior sabbaticals. Those are the folks who could track down the scum who savage lives by entering people’s private lives like tapeworms in the night. Once they find the bloodsuckers, the New Pinkertons would hand them over to the likes of Navy Seals, who could use them to train for underwater “neutralization” of enemy targets. You watch how fast word gets out to the ID thieves and virus vomiters after one or two of them find themselves thrown into the deep end of the pool – wondering what the hell’s going on and why there are all these bubbles coming up all around them.
Christmas came early for me this past week when I got a CARE package from master plug carver T.W. – plugs left in my mailbox at work -- where “good” surprises seldom arrive. He took pity on me after I lost a couple of the plugs he had given or traded me in the past. The bad side to losing a T.W. plug is the way superb pieces of folk art have gone to sleep with the unappreciative fishes. The good side is the fact those plugs are getting bitten off when savaged by big fish, proving the plugs have more than just pretty faces. I lost the most recent plug to a major spring bluefish.
Along with that plug advance by T.W., I was gifted with a mint condition Rutter Sr. bufflehead duck decoy. Rutter Sr. was a postmaster in West Creek for ages and has carved some of the finest duck decoys anywhere. Now in his 80s, and retired from carving, his artistic wood workings are highly prized. The one I got is of sheer rareness since his signature is hand-carved on the bottom. By the artist’s own reckoning, that’s a real scarcity since he was one of the first carvers to “burn,” a.k.a. “brand,” his signature on the bottom. That became the industry standard for decades on end. It’s still commonly done, but, with the current obsessive high-dollar interest in decoy buying/selling, many modern artists /carvers are going back to engraving or ink signing their signatures on the bottom.
Sidebar: Many older decoys were unsigned. Hell, they were hardworking birds, meant to throw in icy water for hours (maybe days) on end. They were hardly things worth signing, except to show ownership in case any decoy-nappers were in the hood. Nabbing a couple fellow hunters’ decoys when pulling in a string was not totally unheard of. What’s amazing about unsigned decoys is the way aficionados in the hobby can all but glance at a mystery decoy and tell who made it, out of hundreds of famed carvers. Those same decoy experts instantly know when, say, “ a Parker head is on a Shourds body,” meaning a decoy lost its head at one point – either shot up or busted off by folks carelessly picking decoys up by the head – and any head at hand was jammed on, just to get the duck working again.
By the by, it’s kinda common in decoy carving to refer to any decoy as a “duck.” Believe me, this isn’t because the boys don’t know their birds – inside out -- it was simply a general old-time term applied to decoy carving of all species.