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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, February 18, 2011: Quite the day. Not only was it mild and easy by afternoon but heading into dark that major yellow moon showing added a cool eeriness to the woodscape. I decided to look for…

Friday, February 18, 2011:

Quite the day. Not only was it mild and easy by afternoon but heading into dark that major yellow moon showing added a cool eeriness to the woodscape.

I decided to look for old bottles. Dug half a dozen bottles from about 1900 but nothing of eBay worthiness. The oddest finds were a slew of copper pieces from old gas lamps, road-grade. That means that somewhere (along Rte. 9?) they had gas street lamps. Such an uppity look was usually reserved for larger cities. The other possibility is a richer family/homestead had some sort of gas lamp contraption. If anyone has some old sites they want dug – share basis – let me know. I got the digging ability and know-how.  

Email: “Hey Jay, my son and I were hiking on Sunday 2-13 and came across some large tracks in the sand that I could not identify. We were in the woods off 72 across from Fawn Lakes. Are there bears in the area and would they have been awake at this time of year? Thanks, Wes.”
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Supposedly, NJ black bear don’t hibernate, though they’ll bed down during the coldest stints. However, odds are very slight there are any bear anywhere in Ocean County – though one never knows. In fact, recent bear hunt just might have caused northern NJ bears to scatter. Still, odds aren’t great that the tracks you saw were bear.

A bear track is hard to mistake. Along with the large size, the separate toes are almost always highly discernable, set off from the primary foot pad. Each toe has a claw mark in front of it. There really nothing in NJ that resembles a bear track.

My main experience with a black bear was in the same Quail Fields I had written about in a recent blog. Just north of the tightly clustered fields are a few cleared zones that are just outside the closed off wildlife management area. Not that many years back, I biked to a rise looking downward across one of those outside fields and I clearly saw what I thought was an exceptionally large black bear -- that had obviously seen me and was hauling ass with the speed bears have become famous for.

I was on that bear’s tracks within 60 seconds. No, there wasn’t a prayer in the world that bear was still hanging nearby. The speed it was moving out I figured it was halfway back to Summit County by the time I had dismounted my bike. The tracks were exceptional, left in sand and even on some orange-ish road dirt of a nearby unpaved road. I had no camera with me, so I literally studied the tracks as if I was about to be grilled by a professor.

To show how large this bear was, the width was easily as wide as the distance between my outstretched thumb and pinky. – the distance system used to measure horse height.  The bear’s running motion expanded the tracks by a bit but that was still one awesome animal. 

Interestingly, I had a very hard time finding tracks from just prior to when the bear saw me. That shows they can walk fairly lightly when casually cruising.  

 

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Fellow Fisherman (and ladies),

The NJ Chapter of the RFA is hosting the 3rd Annual "Fish A Thon" on
Saturday April 30th, 2011 out of the Atlantic Highlands.

We'd love for you to consider joining us for a day on the water and
hopefully catch a few fish. Trip details and cost are attached.

We also ask that you help us promote the trip via forwarding to your
fishing contacts, posting on web sites, displaying in shops, providing
a door prize, etc. The list of fishing issues is growing and we need
events such as this to raise the funds required to fight back.

Thanks for your consideration.

Greg O'Connell
RFA-NJ Surf Delegate

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 February 18, 2011 - Portsmouth, N.H., New England Fishery Management Council member David Preble reported to the council at its January meeting that international negotiations for the management of collapsed stocks of Atlantic bluefin tuna were marked by “some of the most bizarre carrying-on that I've ever seen. 
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“We had people running around with cars with giant bluefin tuna on top, people slapping signs on automobiles, there was even an assault or two,” Preble said. “It was a mess.”

Preble was a member of the United States delegation to the annual meeting of the 48-nation International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas held in November in Paris, France.

On one side of the contention, he said, were environmental groups that wanted to see bluefin tuna listed as an endangered species and wanted to stop fishing all together. On the other side, he said, were fishery managers who were attempting to weigh the merits of continued fishing at some level, given signs that some recovery is occurring. 
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