Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, June 25, 2010: As the last days of the 2010 Simply Bassin’ peel away, yet another 40-pounder has entered the affray, meaning 5 40-plus fish in the top 8. As in past years, this is a big-ass …

Friday, June 25, 2010:

As the last days of the 2010 Simply Bassin’ peel away, yet another 40-pounder has entered the affray, meaning 5 40-plus fish in the top 8. As in past years, this is a big-ass bass event despite a very slow weigh-in rate this year. Scott Simpson’s (Hainsport, NJ) 41-pounder was weighed in yesterday morning. It was caught mid-Island on bunker. We got as couple more days to add a 50-pounder but with all the 40s the 8-week event has shined, with a very low impact.

A large sheepshead was taken near the Causeway bridges by some buddies of mine who fish that zone a lot, especially when they get down late (from up north) for the weekend. They wigged out and didn’t get a picture but it sure sounded like a huge sheepshead. I always like putting pictures of this species in The SandPaper since they are pretty rare now, though they were once common as pine trees. They even had an entire bay named after them up in NY. The boys did cook the fish all proper like, per my nagging. A sheepshead cooks in its own skin better than any fish out there. Not only does that totally maximize the meat but keeps it so moist that it can be eaten with not so much as salt and pepper, though dipping it in drawn butter is obscenely delicious.

I had a chat with a fellow who has not been doing well at all on keepable fluke. While that is often the luck of the draw, I also gave him the spiel about hand smells some people have that simply alerts fish of a human touch on a bait. His wife sent me a hilarious picture of him fishing from a boat wearing those yellow rubber kitchen gloves. And damn if he didn’t have his first two keeper day. “Now he’s going to be wearing those ridiculous looking things all summer,” his wife LOL’ed in the email.

I’ve had a number of responses to that now nationwide story of the fishing license – lack thereof – that cost a boat almost a million dollars. I’ll hold those emails for my weekly column. I should note that instead of a further uproar against the registry – which I expected to hear – the feelings are running (100 percent) “What was that numbnuts thinking?”

I must admit that I have to agree with that event’s tournament committee. One of the ways those events survive is by not making waves in the states they’re being held. Every fishing tourney has in strictest terms that fish “Must be caught in compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations” or words to that effect. To overlook the lack of a license by an angler fishing in NC would surely have that states Department of the Environment and Natural Resources glaring dagger at the tourney. I will also re-note that NC has had its for-pay licensing in effect – and has for years. It’s not like the situation now existing in NJ, where the license/registry is mandatory but free. That might make the gaffe by the NC angler a tad more understandable.

I hope I didn’t speak/write out of line by referencing the upcoming BHM&TC White Marlin Invitational in regards to the license fiasco in NC. That is purely up to the club’s tournament committee to decide whether to emphasize the registry angle. However, I think there needs to be an early notice to participants, just in case they have to scramble to register with the feds. I believe (not 100 percent sure) that the minute you’re done registering on-line, you’re able to legally fish, even though the cute little paper permit takes a while to arrive.

The incident in NC all but assures the place of lie detectors in big money tourneys – and even smaller events. Not that it seemed the device was going away any time soon, not with events dangling multimillion dollar kittys.

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