Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(Donations greatly appreciated. Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008-4418. PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday, December 12, 2010:
The ocean exploded into action. Admittedly there was a bad on-shore flow but the ocean sure seemed to take it to the limit. It’s 10-foot-plus out there and it’s in a high erosion mode. Holgate will be taking a fierce beating. Odds are not good of getting on through tomorrow. Many folks have been looking into reported on-again/off-again schoolie striper action.
I don’t see a wind let-up this entire week. Wind chills will be atrocious for late fall. I’m hoping to maybe sneak in some clamming in Holgate with the blowout tides. It’s also a decent time to sneak back to certain secret sedges that show huge oysters holding tightly under the edges.
I’m still looking for any suggestion from anglers on what they’d like to see in the form of a gift -- make that a realistic gift. Jmann99@hotmail.com .
Here’s a well-written diatribe about Loomis rods – and the future of rods?.
“Jay, Jay, Jay, my friend, G. Loomis does not "Lead the planet on rod science." In fact, Loomis ceased to be an innovator a long time ago, not long after Gary Loomis sold the company to Shimano, and they have been resting on their laurels for a while now. They still make good rods (I won't say "blanks" because last year, Loomis announced that they would no longer be selling unfinished blanks to custom builders), but they're no longer in the vanguard of those makers who are pushing the envelope on new stuff . In my opinion, the innovators out there now are Gary Loomis' new company, North Fork Composites, St. Croix, and, to a lesser extent, American Tackle (AmTak's new titanium Virtus guides are, in my humble opinion, among the very best guides one can use on a surf rod. Being titanium, they cannot rust, which makes their relatively high price a good investment for some).
Loomis' "no-custom" policy, by the way, by itself virtually guarantees Loomis' place an a non-innovator, because advances in rod construction, like spiral wraps, almost always come from custom builders first, and get copied by factory makers later. A good example of this is "low rider" spacing, which was developed in Japan for distance-casting applications, and was adopted here about a dozen years ago by a few builders and fisherpersons who existed on the lunatic fringes of the shore-fishing world, and gradually and slowly became more popular, more recognized as a viable way to set up a fishing rod. Now St. Croix has co-opted Lowriders on their wildly popular Mojo and Legend surf rods, which are selling like hotcakes, and which are seriously threatening Lamiglas' position as the dominant maker of truly surf-worth higher-end fishing rods.
The smaller the market, economists know, the faster things can change. And while the fishing market is an enormous one, most of it is freshwater (i.e. bass) stuff, and most of the saltwater stuff is for guys in boats. The surfcasting market is very, very small, and consequently things can change pretty fast. Loomis was an innovator at one point, but those days are long gone.
I'm working on a new custom right now, by the way, on a nine-foot Viper blank from American Tackle. The blank has a Texalium (aluminum-impregnated fiberglass) butt, with a stout graphite tip section, and is rated something like 2-6 ounces. As a spiral-wrapped Big Wood Heaver (rod for throwing big wooden plugs like pikies), it will beat up, and take the lunch money, of any other plugging rods out there, including everything in Loomis' current lineup. For truly innovative stuff in the surf, you need to look at the smaller companies, and Loomis ceased being one of those the minute Shimano bought it.
By the way, take a look at Gary's new company; the website is http://www.northforkcomposites.com. They haven't released any surf models yet, but when they do, look out: it will be the first time that ultramodern graphite technology is going to be available to the surf rat. It's going to be fun to watch, and will be a true innovation, like what Loomis used to do when Gary was still leading the company.
Keep up the good work on the blog, man - I love it. Cheers, and happy non-denominational holiday greetings to you.
PS from Chris G.: “One more thing, Jay: for a gift idea, a custom rod is hard to beat. This qualifies under the Rule #1 of what makes a good gift: something that the recipient will love, and has long coveted, but would never let him/herself buy. Get a gift certificate from a good custom builder, and then the recipient can go to said builder and have the rod of his dreams built after the holidays (it functions like a gift certificate this way, in that you don't have to worry about getting what the recipient doesn't want). If you have the $250+ a good custom costs, it's hard to beat this as a gift - the recipient can get a rod that is unique, that nobody else anywhere has, and that will fish great and make his friends green with envy. How can a Christmas present be better than that?”
Pro report: “Hello All,
Well, the boat is cleaned up and out of the water, all shrink wrapped and stored away for the winter. Now we're just waiting for April to arrive so we can get back at it again. For the most part, 2010 was a pretty good year. Plenty of huge bass during the spring, and decent numbers most days this fall when the weather would let us go out and play. Weakfishing was again a major disappointment in 2010, but the phenomenal fluke fishing we had all summer made up for it. Sure it was mostly catch & release fishing, but 100 fish days were common and we even had a few days where we landed over a fish a minute for four hours! If all those 17" fish we released show up again next year, it could be amazing.
So now it's on to updating the web site and getting things ready for next year. On January 8, I'll be part of the regional faculty for this year's Saltwater Sportsman's National Seminar Series hosted by ESPN's George Poveromo in Atlantic City. This year's event will be held at the Trump Marina Hotel/Casino in AC, and will be a solid six hours of fishing discussion by panels of national and regional fishing experts... plus me :). Information on the program can be found at http://www.nationalseminarseries.com/. It's usually a great day of fishing talk and outstanding door prizes, and if you decide to attend make sure to say hello!
This is always a sad time of year as it marks the end of yet another great season in which I've had the opportunity to spend time and fish with so many good friends, both old and new. I know I've said this in the past, but I truly understand how fortunate I am to have been blessed with this opportunity... thank you all for giving it to me.
Have a wonderful Holiday season, be safe and enjoy the gift of life. Hope to see you all again in 2011.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters