Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday, August 06, 2016: Swells just keep coming ... rescue looks.

Saturday, August 06, 2016: Swells just keep coming. There must be something generating out there because the northeast wind swell should have fallen off by now.

Winds are south. There is an air temp swing of 15 degrees from roadway to ocean’s edge, though a swing to the west is pushing in.

Lots of boat anglers out. Tough keeping an eye on the sky since it’s sunny one minute and overcast and threatening the next, even where the rain isn’t present. Keep both eyes open later in the day. The air is so thick you can cut it with a bait knife. That could mean an instant cloudburst, though nothing is showing on the radar midday, except up Wilkes-Barre way.

Below you’ll see rip current rescues. If you’re thinking about going in after the guards depart at 5 today, better know your stuff. Water temps 75-ish.

No word from the offshore boys. Hoping my tuna dropper-offers are nailing it. I also take any excess mahi; still not overly appreciated by the big game folks. The trick is to cook it up instantly. Once cooked and refrigerated, it delicious the next day, dipped in Worcestershire sauce.

Not that anyone has to be told this – or will test my word – but the backbay marshlands, common to crabbers, is beyond even its usual insane self when it comes to biting flies. I kid you not. The Road to Nowhere is crawling in them beyond tolerability. Makes one appreciate LBI even more. Just that close by and life is bloodsuckingly bad. This coming weekly column I’ll be doing a piece on a rumor that the Island’s famed greenhead “black boxes” are taking heat for killing flies that nature places for the bird and toads to eat. 

You have to see this rescue in Holgate ... 



Below is an important read. This upcoming study will shed light on both the black seabass and also artificial reefs. Not that any of us need further proof that artificial reefs rock. NJ's Father of the Reefs, Bill Figley, used to keep me posted on how insanely fast newly-placed reefs took on life -- simultaneously attracting vegetation, crustacean and marine life. Also amazing was the circle of fluke that forms adjacent to the reefs. But, again, none of us need more proof that man-made reefs are outstanding additions to our waters. 

Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partners Initiate Black Sea Bass Habitat Research Project in the Mid-Atlantic

The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) has established a new collaborative project with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), and National Fish Habitat Fund (Fund) to study black sea bass habitat characteristics, fish abundance, and fish diets in the Mid-Atlantic. The project, led by Dr. Brad Stevens of UMES, is titled ‘Hab in the MAB: Characterizing black sea bass habitat in the Mid-Atlantic Bight.’ The new study will combine SCUBA, photography, videography, controlled angling, and stable isotope analysis techniques to better understand the importance of habitat and prey community structure on black sea bass feeding ecology.
“ACFHP and our collaborative partners are excited about the unique opportunity to work together over the next few years to collect data that will inform both science and management, and support healthy fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic region,” stated Kent Smith, ACFHP Steering Committee Chair.
In the summer of 2015, ACFHP applied for and received funding from the Council to manage a short-term research project focusing on Mid-Atlantic habitat (natural and/or artificial reef) and fisheries productivity. Black sea bass was chosen as a focal species because it is managed by both the Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), and because the species is structure oriented. ACFHP formed a subcommittee of representatives from the ACFHP Steering Committee, Council, and ASMFC Artificial Reef Committee to develop a request for proposals dedicated to black sea bass habitat research and/or restoration in the Mid-Atlantic region.  
After careful review of several strong proposals, the ACFHP subcommittee chose to provide a $216,000 award to Dr. Stevens and his PhD student, Cara Schweitzer. Their study will determine if there are differences resulting in the use of artificial vs. natural habitats.
In particular, study objectives include:
Determining the preference of black sea bass for particular habitats by assessing their abundance, size structure, and feeding ecology within natural and artificial reefs;
Improving the understanding of benthic habitat structure by quantitatively assessing biodiversity, rugosity (e.g., surface roughness measurements routinely used by reef biologists), and other habitat characteristics of natural and artificial reefs; and
Determining if increased connectivity of habitat type increases fish recruitment, by experimentally manipulating connecting areas between isolated habitat patches.
“I’m glad that the Mid-Atlantic Council was able to work with the NFHP Board to support this important research,” said Chris Moore, Executive Director of the Council. “The outcomes of this project will significantly improve our understanding of black sea bass habitat and productivity.”
ACFHP is the first of the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships (FHPs) throughout the U.S. to support a habitat research project using the NFHP Beyond the Pond Fund. The Fund is a 501(c)3 entity created in 2015 to provide the FHPs an opportunity to connect with the private sector and maximize funding and collaboration opportunities. It supports the leveraging of resources and grassroots actions to achieve maximum impact in protecting and restoring fish habitat from the local to national levels.
Since 2006, NFHP has been a partner in 599 projects in 50 states benefiting fish habitat. The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. NFHP implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 20 regional grassroots partner organizations. For more information visit:

Frustrating trip yesterday. I went against the grain and avoided the tuna crowds. We made a long run on flat water to an area i felt would be holding fish.

I was right, BUT......

We had rubber hooks.

We hooked, fought and pulled the hook on a small tuna.

Saw a TON of big mahi, hooked a bunch, landed a few. Jumped off the largest bull I've seen north of the edge after a nice air show. An EASY 30-35#

Saw 2 whites, had 1 eat, I teased him up on the long rigger and got him to eat. Again we got a great air show only to have him throw the splash bar after a few minutes.

So the good news was my call was solid, we got the bites, just did allot of long range releasing.

John McMurray
Stupid sexy... so stoked to use these! 
David Stingo




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