Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday -- Dec 11 ... calm before the cold

(Donations greatly appreciated. Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008-4418. PayPal: jmann99@hotmail.com)

Saturday, December 11, 2010: There is a goodly number of anglers on-Island today. Conditions are very nice, even for boaters – those with boats still in the water. On that subject, a lot of folks are pulling boats this weekend as that hideous cold snap – and fierce west winds – approaches. Of course, there will likely be a bit more fishing before year’s end but the odds of good conditions isn’t high.

The gale conditions will kick in tomorrow, first from the south then around to the west. By Tuesday we’ll be into the worst gusts.

Weather note: A low will form off Massachusetts on Monday, on the tail of the cold front. That’s yet another indicator that La Nina is pushing the weather just to our north. Under el Nino, the lows on the end of winter cold fronts form off Hatteras. The up side is the lack of huge snow storms (for now) while the down side is the stinkin’ cold that gets driven into the region. There does seem to be a sign of a modest warm-up by late next week. However, the real warm-up (unseasonable) will come just after the new year. That could bring the storms with it. For now, the cold will likely make it hard to find schoolie action, especially if you’re thinking in terms of a Christmas bass.

Lakes in the Pinelands are already frozen in many areas. It got cold enough to freeze some dirt road puddles to where they can be driven over.

I had two more emails asking about Christmas gifts for anglers. I went so far as to get some suggestions from shop owners. Damn if every one of them didn’t come to the same suggestion/conclusion did: give a gift certificate. One gal is all but harassing an Island tackle shop to decide on the exact aluminum rod rack to get for her hubby. She doesn’t compute that rod racks can go front, back, in-bed and even on-roof. What’s more, she won’t accept the notion that a photo of racks or even a rod rack brochure, symbolizing the gift she is giving, is utterly effective when presented on Christmas morning. Then hubby can pick and choose. But she’ll have none of that. She wants to shop to decide. She also doesn’t realize that a custom-made rod rack – as most are – can’t be returned with a smile and a hearty “I’d like to exchange this for a new one.”

Anyway, I have no trouble suggesting a slew of plugs as stocking stuffers. I say that because many anglers aren’t sure what plugs they want anyway. Hell, most guys are like me: Give me a plug and I’ll have a blast giving it a go. I’ll even be the first to say, “I got it as a gift and didn’t think the damn thing would work and now it’s my favorite plug.” In fact, I’ve had that happen in a whole other way. During my plug hunts through post-storm beach wrack, I find every brand known to man. Most of them I’d never think of using – unless they be free. Then I’ll start slaying stripers with a found plug and give a huge, albeit aimless, thumb’s up to whomever used – and lost – the killer plug. They surely knew something I didn’t.

Here’s a small (incomplete) blog I’ve begun on some general gift ideas:

About ten years back I actually did a suggestion list – and haven’t done the same since then. Still, some gals have long memories and now annually all but beg for suggestions. Damn you guys are hard to buy for.

For the sakes of fellow anglers, I always e-suggest ideas like a Loomis rod gift certificate. I personally think Loomis still heads the planet on rod science, however, I’m always the first to point out that some good old low-end generic rods are now just plane excellent.

This year, I’m also pointing gift-givers toward what has become a glut of upper end reels, seemingly spurred on by the uppity likes of Van Staal. Oddly, when I mention the likes of $500 for a reel, I actually get a bizarre, “Oh, that’s not that bad.” The hell it ain’t! Still, I have a couple high-end reels (gifts) and they’re admittedly pretty damn nice. Maybe even worth the money. However, many of those atmospherically-prices reel are not kick-ass on the feel front – Van Staals can get aggravatingly sticky now and again – but mainly along the endurance lines. It’s good to know you can fully submerge a reel and have it be no worse off for wear.

I’m not sure it’s every angler’s thing but some of the new handheld GPS units – and even in-vehicle models – are mighty nice nowadays. They’ve even reached the efficiency point to where they can actually find satellites in our outback. For years I’ve been fully plagued by handhelds that took forever to find enough satellites to function in the Pines. Of course, I usually used entry-level waterproof GPSs (a mere $100). Then, recently, I was loaned an absolutely top of the line Garmin Oregon 400T 3-Inch Touchscreen Handheld GPS Unit with Preloaded Topographic Maps. Spoiled me for life. Yep, it’s a touchscreen that precludes the insane menu searching button pushing requirements of cheaper models. However, it’s up around $600. Closer to reality is the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx Color High-Sensitivity Mapping Handheld GPS. It clocks in at a bit over $200. By the by, if you want to shop handheld GPS units, I suggest you first explore the Garmin zone. No other brand wins more praises than Garmin. If you do get an Oregon 400T, can I borrow if now and again?

Something that not every angler has is a kick-ass flashlight. No, not some plastic one you have to bang to get it to light type but a Streamlight-like military/police variety that means business. A killer flashlight can be a lifesaver. The ones with chargers for in the vehicle are the most functional.

I have a number of flashlights for various purposes – from a large Surefire military beam model that can light up other planets from the backyard to powerful blacklight UV models to collect rare insects and spiders (especially scorpions) at night in the woods – yep, they glow real good under blacklight. No, we don’t have scorpions but we do have some blacklight glowing spiders. By the by, those glowy crawlers are a blast to collect then place on your shirt before walking into a crowded bar that has blacklights flooding the place. Gals love that manly crawly poisonous bug look on a guy. (And I wonder why I’m still single.)

For this year’s go-get-‘em flashlight, I have to recommend the small but kick-ass Fenix TK12 R5 (280 Lumen Cree XP-G LED) Flashlight (or even the Fenix TK10 and TK11), picked Flashlight of the Year by a number of online rating services. And, yes, there is a huge number of websites fully dedicated to nothing but flashlights. They’re kinda freaky when you wonder what those guys do with all those flashlights they crave.

While on the subject of beams for Christmas, think about a sweet – often very affordable – headlamp, one worthy of any degree of darkness. I give the nod to the Lenser 7497 H7 LED Headlamp. The company has higher end model headlamps but this is rated the best brightness-for-the-buck. Obviously there are tons of other types to check out so feel free to spend the next 20 days trying to sort through the assortment.

As I do my final blog for The SandPaper 2010, I’d really be interested in including some gift ideas you, the angler, might like receiving. Fast email me at jmann99@hotmail.com. You might want to skip a new Lexus SUV – though I do see some very nice GMC products.

For the many angler surfers out there. Here’s a quick note from the Wooden Jetty Surf Ship in BH, as it does a temporary close-down Tom B. can concentrate on family/newbaby life:

Wooden Jetty Cell Phone 609-276-2360

We're emptying out the shop this weekend and next

weekend and will have some weird hours, but we do

have some great last chance deals.

Just a few items left

that are priced to go for the holidays!!!

stocking stuffers:

$10 Surfers Journal DVDs

$10 leashes

$1 keychains

50% of all birdwells and katins

and these unbeatable deals on new surfboards:

see the website www.WOODENJETTY.com for pictures.

6-0 Planet Blue Twin Fin, glassed on wood fins, was 375, get it now for just 200

8-0 Robert August Girls Model, was 830, get it now for just 500

8-6 Robert August Girls Model, was 830, get it now for just 500

9-10 Surfline Hawaii, was 875, get it now for just 550

9-4 Robert August"What I Ride" Autographed. was 918, get it now for just 600

9-6 Robert August Retro, volan, wood tailblock, was 1050, get it now for just 700

9-2 Gordon and Smith SS Model, stepdeck, high density foam wedge stringers. was 1150, get it now for just 800

9-6 Dewey Weber Professional, volan, stepdeck, t-band stringer, wedge cut with black glue-up. was 1350, get it now for 1000

see the website www.WOODENJETTY.com for pictures.

Wooden Jetty Cell Phone 609-276-2360


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