Sunday, August 30, 2009: Waves: 3 to 4 feet with some residual larger sets. Water clarity: Very good.
We might as well begin with some Holgate talk, though I know that doesn’t impact a ton of you folks but maybe it’s an interesting read considering that end of the Island continues to fall into the sea at a fiercest fast rate by geological standards. Regardless of the erosion, it Holgate opens to the public this coming week. I believe it’s Tuesday but, technically, it’s when Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) Conservation Officer Chris gives the go-ahead. Last week, Chris and Stu D. took down all the summer “Keep Off” signage, with the exception of those at the entrance near the parking area. It’s not until those last signs come down that public access is allowed. Once open, access will be allowed all the way back to the clamming area. However, I’m told that almost all the flats we used to clam are grown over with very high grasses. That’s been happening for the last few years and is actually indicative of an effort by the Holgate tip to migrate westward, as barrier islands are geologically inclined to do. The sand forms, the grasses build and areas that were underwater are uplands. Obviously, that westward migration can’t happen anywhere else on LBI because we’ve bulkheaded the bayfront, thwarting the process taking place in Holgate.
As a sidebar to all the Holgate erosion, I want to point out the astounding build-up of underwater sand around the old Beach Haven Inlet and southeastwardly to the shoals off Little Egg Inlet. There is now enough sand accumulated there to replenish all of LBI – with Brigantine and all Atlantic city thrown in for good measure. Let’s hope that when the Holgate erosion gets so dire that it dissects the island that the feds come to their senses and realize they cannot allow the demise of the south end since it concurrently leads to the demise of state-owned areas as well. The law clearly state that landowners are responsible for assuring that nothing takes place on their property that jeopardizes the pubic or conflicts with public welfare.
Elsewhere, the surf is settling after a through roil beginning last Friday. Fortunately, Dan sagged enough to miss us. The winds were never a huge problem. Today is downright gorgeous, albeit sultry. Conditions are decent for bloat fluking, as end times near, though drifts are slow with light winds blowing. Bugs could get problematic real quickly with these westerlies.
Important: I will note something a tad disconcerting about fall surf fishing in Harvey Cedars. The beach replenishment project for the borough is now officially on. It will begin (maybe) around Thanksgiving. The Weeks Company has won the contract. Finer screening will be used at the ends of the dredge pipes so no munitions can possible arrive on the HC beaches. Also, the sand will be taken from (I’m fairly sure on this) “the Lumps” zone – not where it was taken for the Surf City project. This start date is not etched in granite but the company can’t mess around very long before starting due to seasonal weather considerations (winter) and future contract commitments. It SEEMS much of the fall fishing season will be over by start time. However, the December schoolie season could be sanded under. Sidebar: Harvey Cedars is in desperate need of beach sand. The town has worked like crazy to finally get the work done. I only bring that up to warn that the town fathers and many residents wanting the sand might not be overly enamored with last-minute efforts to thwart it. That said, it is the right of any and all folks to voice their reservations – and ire – over things they’re not wild about. I fully support beach replenishment, I just as strongly support the right to complain.
I got some feedback on the stir over rapidly declining numbers of seabass, including an email from someone with the state – though he wrote me as a private citizen. The train of thought is pretty much the same “What the hell else can we fish for?” If you think that’s true now, just think in a few days when even fluke are off the menu. I had another email that wasn’t mean-spirited by any stretch but wanted to make it clear that not everyone is wild about fishing for bluefish. “You get into them and you can’t get away from them. It’s interesting for about 10 minutes then you start cursing them. If all I have to fish for are small blues and an occasional undersized bass, I’ll just stay at home on weekends.” There was more to the email, backing off a bit from those initial whines but he’s very right on many fronts. I will note he’s a fanatic weakfisherman so he, by his own admission, is a bit bent out of shape this summer.
To that bit of a down report, I’ll add what I feel are actually overall goodish feels about the overall fluking summer. Once the throwback count is duly griped over, quite a few folks had damn decent overall flattie takes. One guy made a good point when he noted, “I never worked so hard for (keeper) fluke but I think it improved my fishing. And I got out more.”
I will include part of this email “Why don’t you writer about how many undersized fluke are being taken? I see it at the docks where I live. Guys will clean undersized fish right in front of me. …”
I offered this gentleman the proper Fish and Wildlife numbers but offered my standing motto that I am NOT the fluke police and try as hard as I can to keep this a fun sport and not bitch and moan pastime.
I often go to some chatrooms and can’t believe the undercurrent of negativity that rushes through with regularity. I frequently get basted and blasted on one site because I alledgedly offer too many exact sites. Truth be told, that’s total and complete bullshit. On http://jaymanntoday.ning.com is an archive of over a year of daily reports. I defy anyone to show where I give the exact locales anywhere near the exact GPS and landmarks offered within that very same chatroom. My blogs will persevere because I really enjoy writing about fishing and nature.
Boy, did that get me astray – which might be expected since it really isn’t red-hot fishing out there.