Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, April 13, 2013: Below is a stellar bass report from Great Bay yesterday but I’ve also heard of some brisk bassing in Barnegat Bay, where some folks are working the bridges (night) and other the near-inlet bayside flats and creek mouths. (sun).
The ocean looks exceptional and is sure to give bass today. I have assigned duties off Island otherwise I would surely by jigging Spros, fake-o eels and such. For surer hooking, think bait. Bloodies always a good bet.
Greg O report: “Great Bay is loaded with stripers! With ideal conditions this afternoon/evening I had to give it a go. 6 dozen worms met their maker. Landed approx 30 bass to 30" and missed a bunch of bites. Lots of 15-22"ers. Fun day in the rain.”
There is (possibly) going to be quite a visual spectacle tonight in the form of a flaming aurora. Usually these electrically-charged light shows are more northern in nature but this one is caused by a specific solar flare and will be best seen right here in Jersey. See in-depth article further below.
Shellfish beds in the Little Egg Harbor section of Barnegat Bay reopened at sunrise today. This finally opens all legally clam-able sections of Barnegat Bay to harvesting of hard-shell clams.
It had been – and actually still remains – a mystery as to why so many of these self-cleaning bivalves just could shake the bacteria and viruses they were essentially forced to suck in after Sandy. Even after large areas of northern and middle Barnegat Bay were quickly opened for clamming -- not that long after Sandy, -- the far south portions had to remain strictly off-limits for baymen.
Weekly, and sometimes daily, tests by the DEP indicated south bay clams were having one helluva time shaking organic pollutants. Always doubly problematic with clams is their popularity on the half-shell, i.e. raw. Downing what we used to call “condemned” clams has long been a fast track to ferocious sickness. For that reason, clams are among the most closely guarded foodstuffs in the nation. When the all-clear is given to eating them, as it now has been, you can down clams in full-blown confidence.
Sidebar: Raw clams ‘r us. When the first wave of sushi and sashimi cuisine inched in from Japan, Americans were fully icked-out, some repulsed by the notion of anyone downing raw seafood. Wholly overlooked was the fact we had been eating raw clams and oysters on the half-shell, technically still alive, for hundreds of years.
A solar flare that occurred around 2 a.m. Thursday morning may create a spectacular display of northern lights Saturday evening. The midlevel flare had a long duration and was directed at Earth. According to AccuWeather.com Astronomer Hunter Outten, who stated that this flare was "impressive", these are the best conditions for seeing a direct effect on our planet. On the Kp index, the flare has been categorized at 6 to 8. This is a scale for measuring the intensity of a a geomagnetic storm. The 6 to 8 rating means that the effects of the radiation will have a greater reach.
The radiation from such a flare may cause radio wave disturbances to electronics such as cell phones, GPS and radios, causing services to occasionally cut in and out. While traveling slower than was originally anticipated, the flare effects are moving towards Earth at 1000 km per second.
The more directly a flare faces Earth, the higher the effect will be. Graphic by Al Blasko, Accuweather.com
The flare is also expected to cause vibrant northern lights from the Arctic as far south as New York, the Dakotas, Washington and Michigan, with a smaller possibility of it going into Pennsylvania and Iowa, even Kansas. The lights are currently estimated for 8 p.m. EDT Saturday arrival, with a possible deviation of up to seven hours. If the radiation hits much after dark settles on the East Coast the lights may be missed and will instead only be visible for the West.
A view of the northern lights in Elmira, N.Y., from 2011. Photo byDavid St. Louis
Solar flares create auroras when radiation from the sun reaches Earth and interacts with charged protons in our atmosphere. The effects are greater at the magnetic poles and weaken as they move south from the Arctic or north of the Antarctic. In the northern hemisphere the results are called the aurora borealis, with the aurora australis being its southern counterpart. The result is a spectacular display of light and color for areas with clear enough views.
Conditions updated April 13, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Graphic by Al Blasko, Accuweather.com
Viewing conditions will be best in the mid-Atlantic, specifically for parts of Pennsylvania and the Delmarva. Most of the country will have poor to fair views as a result of cloud cover, with areas further south not experiencing the aurora at all. A pocket of fair conditions sits over parts of Oregon into Washington and southern Idaho. A swath of partly cloudy conditions will also spread over a section of the Ohio Valley for parts of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Ohio will experience fair to good viewing conditions. For the rest of the country conditions will be poor.
The northern lights may also be visible for parts of northern Europe, including Scandinavia, most of Russia and the British Isles, and as far south as the northern parts of Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia and Estonia. Unfortunately, many of those areas will be experiencing a good deal of cloud coverage.
Graphic by Al Blasko, Accuweather.com