Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday, February 11, 2012: Winter just can’t win this year, especially along the coast. Minor snow dustings are the best it can muster. Suits me fine. I actually got some nice outdoors time today – between jobs. I metal detected and found a fairly nice 1848 half dollar at a spot where I had found a 1737 half cent last week.


I had a couple folks send me the news report from up Deal way where surf fishermen are still catching keeper bass – on plugs. If you didn’t see the Asbury Park Press article written by Dan Radel, here it is:



It’s February, not a month known for striped bass fishing in the Garden State. So why are stripers still being caught in the surf?

Jack Monteiro of Surf Side Bait and Tackle in Long Branch has no answer.

“What’s happening, no one can explain. They should be in the back bays this time of year but for the last two and half weeks we’ve been catching them in Elberon, Deal and Long Branch,” he said.

Monteiro reports that he, along with a few other surf anglers, have been catching both keeper and short bass in the early morning and night hours fishing the jetties on those beaches. Monteiro theorizes that the bass are still around because of the mild weather and the amount of bait that is still around. He said another reason could be due to an abundance of crabs on the jetties, along with sand eels and herring.

On Wednesday of this week, Monteiro landed and weighed in a 17.9-pound striper he caught at sunrise on a yellow plug. He said orange and gold colored plugs have also been getting whacked by the bass.

“I have no idea how long this is going to last but it’s gotta be news,” he said.

Reportedly, it’s not just one freak bass every now and then either. There have been blitzes with as many as 25-30 fish in one outing. Monteiro said the key has been to fish the end of the jetties where the mussel beds are. He recommends anglers wear Aquaskins and Korkers because of the cold water and slippery rocks and fish with a friend if they want to give this a shot.



Recent email:

“Hi Jay,

If ya do a real good job with packaging and freezing your striper fillets, how long can you expect them to last in the freezer and still taste great?? We broke out a package tonight, and a couple of the pieces had that slightly fishy taste to em. Jay”

(I’ve yet to find a way to perfectly freeze stripers for any length of time. Instead, I do an end-around with the prepping of frozen bass. Firstly – and very contrary to accepted cooking philosophies – I don’t thaw them, per se. I fairly heavily spice the frozen fillets (maybe warm just enough to separate fillets), then oven bake, boil (spiced water), or (believe me, it’s perfectly acceptable in even the finest restaurants) microwave them until just cooked. Then, I include the finished fish in everything from casseroles to fishcakes to (a favorite) spaghetti sauce.


A superb chef buddy of mine takes the already cooked fish, dips them in a thick tasty batter then deep-fries them in a Fryolater or deep iron skillet. Incredible. By the by, the batter is primarily what cooks. He also uses cooked once-frozen bass in stir-fries or floats them in black bean sauce. (Yes, he’s Asian.)

As you’ve likely guessed, these are all ways to overcome any storage tastes the bass have acquired. )




Better late than never category:


Off the wires:

From Fish Radio:


A new hatch and door monitoring system can keep your boat afloat.

More than half of all fishing fatalities come from vessels going down. For example, the sinkings of the Alaska Ranger and Katmai in 2008 where 12 men died both stemmed from flooding through open hatches. That highlighted the need for a system that provides immediate status of all openings aboard fishing boats. To the rescue: a simple monitoring system on doors and hatches with inputs displayed in the wheelhouse. 

"It’s been around for awhile. It is used on military boats, ferries – even on the Titanic, - so it’s not a new idea, but we are trying to do is put it in a package fishermen can use and scale it to their vessel size." 

Chelsea Woodward is a NIOSH engineering technician with commercial fishing safety program. NIOSH is the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, a research unit. 

"In the wheelhouse, we have a display that has three lights for each instrumented door a green light when it is shut and dogged, a yellow light indicating that it is shut but not dogged and then a red light showing that it is open. So the captain and crew can look at the display and immediately know the status of each of the doors." 

NIOSH communications specialist, Ted Teske – 

"Our goal is to make it flexible, adaptable, so that everyone ffrom a limit seiner all the way up to the big catchers can have this systems on their boat and retrofit it to an existing vessel easily." 

The system was field tested in the Bering Sea by the Lilli Ann, a freezer longliner, and the Gladiator, a trawler. Woodward says both gave it great reviews. The NIOSH team also is working on a system for the compartment in the stern called the lazarette, which houses shafts for a propeller or rudder and can often leak. 

"We would liket to combine a flood rate monitor with a hatch door monitor that concentrates on the Lazarette, especially for smaller vessels, and that would tell the skipper not only the status of the door, but what is going on behind the door without opening it. If there is flooding behind that door, he would an indication of the water level before he opened the door, then couldn’t shut the door again." 

Woodward says costs for the monitoring system vary by door, but can be as low as $20. NIOSH is partnering with Wapato Engineering of Oregon to have the systems available by the end of the year. 


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