I don't care how many Dramamine you take before you begin a shift on this oil rig ...
Sunday, October 15, 2017: The big calm-down has begun. The waves are down to four-feet and the water is an ideal cleaness for surfcasting. In fact, let the fall fishing soon begin in earnest. With tonight's cold front and a few days of autumnal west winds, conditions will be ideal for hitting the beach with both chunks rods and plugging rods.
The lay-down will also allow the first look at any near-beach baitfish pods, since forever. While I don’t think mullet will show with any great abundance, the peanut bunker, rainfish and spearing are hitting their migratory stride.
As much as it pains me to say it, the rainfish and spearing mean teasers will come heavily into play when both plugging and jigging. And, yes, teasers work when jigging. In fact, they shine when run off a dropper-loop providing it's a goodly distance above a jig.
As to peanut bunker teasers, there are astounding “bunker” flies being made. They’re large and although they’re designed and balanced to be used on saltwater fly-fishing equipment, they make the perfect teaser, especially when used with metals, that allow the flow of the fly to shine. Downside is they can be costly and blues of all sizes go nuts on them.
Water temps have dipped a bit. Inlet water yesterday was 67.8 (Holgate) and the ocean was about the same, at 67. Despite the arriving chill in the air, the ocean will take it’s good old time cooling toward that trigger-point for gamefish -- circa the 60-degree mark, which sparks a gamefish bite … and is cool enough for slammer blues to feel comfortable. Blues are a chilly-water fish by nature.
Although we’ll see a quick chill, milder air is once again forming to the west and south, geared to move our way later in the week. Don’t be stunned to see another 80-degree day.
CLASSIC CHATTER: The first decent influx of slammers lit up the board, here’s what it currently looks like. While there is the expected showing of blues on the north end, Ship Bottom is shining.
The two stripers can be seen as indicators of bigger and better things to come. However, the bigger of those two was a big winner, prize-wise.
I chuckled when I saw one of those bass was taken on a “sand flea.” That’s no real surprise to me. I had just written of winning over stripers with a single sand crab meant for tog, dropped off beachfront jetties. In fact, with the surf as stirred as it has been, using a sand crab is a bit like fishing from the hatch.
There are 574 sign-ups for the Classic but I know of quite a few "regulars" not yet entered. Get on the stick! What’s more, persuade any folks on the cuff to sign up. If ever there was a year when anyone, anywhere on LBI, can win big, it’s this year. In fact, I’ll reflect on those weighed-in Ship Bottom bluefish. They prove off-Islanders can simply pull onto the Island and commence to surfcasting, post haste. By the same token, a drive to the north end will allow non-buggyists to tap into the Barnegat Light South Jetty action, allowing easy access to some of the biggest fish LBI has to offer. If jetty fishing, make sure you first have a game plan – a safe rock route -- to haul a big hookup out of the water. We've had many an angler go down, a couple even needing water rescues.
Below: Not as innocent as it looks.
LOW TIDE TROPHY BASS: It is remarkable how far into shallow water even big bass will come when on the hunt for crabs – the number one foodstuff of stripers. Countless big-ass bass are taken within the swash, in barely a couple feet of water -- and sometimes a mere underhand cast from the beach. .
The shallows-striper syndrome shows most during low and even blowout tides.
The craziest example of huge bass caught in skinny waters was a 50-pound-plus trophy striper weighed in at Bruce and Pat’s, maybe the late 90s. The day it was caught – and I was on the beach -- was so blown out that the only near-in water deep enough to fish was adjacent to jetties. Well, a novice caster bought some frozen “crab bait” bunker at the shop and went out, midday, bright sun, and threw a red-float bluefish rig into one of those jetty holes. Bam! An epic striper in what was literally only a few feet of water.
Being a plugger, the majority of my bass hookups are close in. However, many a near-in hit are “followers” that hawk a plug further out and follow it into the shore break -- then hit it as a last-resort, lest that oddly-swimming thing escapes onto the beach.
When plugging the surf, I often cast parallel to the beachline, instead of straight out. Working the beachline swash/trough offers the highest likelihood of a plug/jig bumping into a close-in bass.
I read an interesting account from a basser – and expert scuba diver – up in New England. It answered something I wondered about regarding stripers in ultra-shallow water, namely, why don’t you see the dorsal fins of stripers crossing shallows, the way you see shark fins? Well, this angler/diver has video evidence that some stripers turn on their sides to slip over shallows. That leaves a very small surface signature. Bluefish do the exact same side-slipping action when zipping over flats and such. As do dolphins.
While on the subject of fish backs, little old mullet are famed for swimming with backs fully erect, even over flats. They’re so easy to see in shallows they become dead ducks to net casters. I recall good-mulleting times when I’d see schools of mullet scooting across sandbars, in inches of water. Their upright dorsal fins gave them away.
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Sustained cool weather may wait until end of October to reach northeastern, midwestern US
Temperature roller coaster to unfold across northeastern US
With warm air set to dominate this week across the midwestern and northeastern United States, it may take until the end of October for cool weather to finally get the upper hand.
Cooler air is making a comeback following this weekend's surge of warmth, but it will not hang around long.
Temperatures will be back to more typical mid-October levels on Monday from the Midwest to the Northeast as a cold front sweeps off the coast.
Highs ranging from the 50s in northern New England and the upper Great Lakes to the 60s elsewhere are more common this time of year.
For those residents grabbing jackets before heading to school or work on Monday morning, an even chillier morning in the Northeast awaits on Tuesday. Temperatures by daybreak Tuesday will plummet into the 30s west of I-95 cities with frost in some interior locales.
Freezing temperatures will threaten any plants outdoors or crops that survived the cool shot at the start of October across the central Appalachians.
Forecast temperature maps
Northeastern US interactive radar
US winter forecast: La Niña to fuel abundant snow in Rockies; Bitte...
“After the brief cooldown to start the week, the eastern half of the country will see a warming trend through the end of the week,” AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido said.
Starting at midweek, highs in the 60s and 70s will dominate. Most communities will not see any rain as each day features a partly to mostly sunny sky. Calm mornings will gradually allow fog to return to the river valleys.
The weather this week will be perfect for hikes to see fall foliage, pumpkin picking, sporting events and fall festivals. Some residents may even want to fire up grills for dinner.
For cool weather fans, Vido anticipates true autumn weather finally winning the battle against the recent warm spells later this month.
“There are signs that suggest a flip in the weather pattern during the last week of October in what could lead to the first chance of sustained cool weather across the Midwest and Northeast,” he said.
While the jet stream (a fast-flowing river of air along which storms ride) and cool air will get bottled back up in Canada this week, Vido expects it to drop southward later in October and not rapidly retreat.
The result will be an extended period of near- to below-normal temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast.
By the end of October, average highs range from the 40s and lower 50s in northern New England and the upper Great Lakes to the lower 60s across the Ohio Valley and the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic.
Typical lows range from near 30 F to the lower 40s from north to south across these two regions.
“Below-normal temperatures will likely bring killing frosts and freezes to more of the interior Northeast and Great Lakes, away from the immediate lakeshores,” Vido said.
“It also may be time to finally stoke fireplaces or turn on the furnace for many residents.”
Those planning their Halloween costumes should not let the warm spell this week lead to them shivering on the holiday. Be sure to plan to have an extra layer of clothing underneath your costume or incorporate in a jacket.
Vido expects one more way for the cool spell later this month to give residents more evidence that winter is on its way.
“It is even possible that areas across the Upper Midwest see their first snowflakes, which historically happens by late October,” Vido s
Art LevyHolgate Update
Not fake news. I was told by high-ranking authorities that there is a purposeful and concerted effort to downplay -- or even squelch -- these terroristic incidents out of a legitimate fear of copycats. The copycats syndrome is not only irrefutable but becoming horrendously obvious. As media, I'm jammed like petrified wood between a rock an hard place, knowing the public should be informed while being absolutely certain that homicidal whack-jobs power-up on, become emboldened by, media coverage -- often committing their unthinkable acts to become front page news. I have no answers. See also: (cut and paste) https://theintercept.com/2017/10/11/terrorist-donald-trump-airport-...
Suspect In Would-Be Airport Bombing Nabbed With Help From REI
An undated photo provided by the Buncombe County Detention Center shows Michael Christopher Estes, who is accused of planting an improvised explosive device at the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina on Oct. 6.
Someone left a bomb at the Asheville Regional Airport. That much was clear. The question was, who?
The airport in Asheville, N.C., serves tens of thousands of people every month. According to an affadavit, federal marshals called the FBI on Oct. 6 to report the presence of an improvised explosive device.
Bomb technicians neutralized the device, which was packed inside a glass jar. Bomb dogs indicated the presence of explosive material. Analysts determined that the bomb was powered by ammonium nitrate, packed with nails to serve as shrapnel, and set to go off on a timer — an alarm clock, minus its bells, set to 6 o'clock.
As for the man who dropped it off, FBI investigators had surveillance footage — a white male wearing black clothes, with a black cap. He'd walked in after midnight and left a bag inside the building.
They also found a brand-new backpack in the woods near the airport — REI's "Traverse 70" brand. Inside the bag were gloves, a fuel source, a roll of Gorilla Tape, and "what appeared to be an alarm clock bell," Agent James Anderson writes, "consistent with the bell missing from the clock" in the bomb. Plus there was a spoon — gray, polymer.
FBI agents also tracked down surveillance footage of a white male apparently purchasing some of those materials, as well as other bomb-making supplies, at a Walmart and Lowe's in Arden, N.C.
But he paid cash at both venues, and the FBI still didn't have a name.
Then they found an REI in Asheville where a man had recently purchased a new backpack. A Traverse 70. He also bought a spoon — gray, polymer.
There was no video footage this time. And again, the man paid cash. But, Anderson writes, "the individual ... used an REI membership number when paying."
An REI membership entitles a customer to 10 percent back on purchases every year. In this case, it also gave the FBI a name — Michael Estes. After releasing a still photo from the surveillance footage, authorities found Estes in downtown Asheville. He was arrested on Oct. 7.
Estes told authorities that he created the bomb and placed it at the airport but said he did not actually set it to go off, the FBI says.
Estes said he was prepared to "fight a war on U.S. soil."
The suspect has been charged with multiple federal crimes and is currently in custody.
For the first few days, this story received little attention outside of North Carolina. Now, it has been brought to the national spotlight, largely because Shaun King, a columnist for the Intercept, wrote about Estes on Wednesday.
King pointed out the particulars of the story — an improvised weapon, planted at an airport, by a man who said he was declaring war. King asked what would happen if the attacker were "an immigrant, or a Muslim, or a Mexican ... Mainstream American outlets would be covering the heroic bravery of those who thwarted the terrorist plot. ... in this case, though? Crickets."
Every year, law enforcement officers in America make multiple arrests over improvised explosive device plots or incidents in which no one was actually injured. The level of news coverage, as King notes, can vary enormously.
Here's a sample of such incidents from this year:
- In February, Adam Hayat allegedly made several explosive devices and left them at a hotel in downtown Denver, scrawling "explosives" on a closet door mirror. He was later arrested in Las Angeles. His federal case is ongoing.
- Also in February, a Florida man named Mark Barnett allegedly created improvised explosives to plant in Target stores along the East Coast as part of a profit-driven bomb plot. Someone he allegedly attempted to recruit to his plot turned Barnett into authorities and he was charged in federal court; his federal case is ongoing.
- In July, Luke Mullen was arrested after allegedly making bomb threats against the Colorado Springs Airport; police say he had four explosive devices and a machete inside his vehicle.
- Also in July, a blast outside the Bixby Air Force Recruitment Office in Oklahoma caused property damage but no injuries. Benjamin Roden, a former airman, was arrested and is facing federal charges in connection with the incident.
- In August, Elijah Blankenship in Ohio was arrested and charged with creating multiple homemade explosives. His arrest came shortly before an anti-racist vigil in honor of the victims of the Charlottesville, Va., attack, but court records don't indicate whether there was a connection to the event.
- In September, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that Douglas Kennedy of Tifton, Ga., was charged with manufacturing explosive devices after a bomb went off in the parking lot of the Tift Regional Medical Center; no one was injured. Tifton had allegedly constructed and detonated at least three other bombs, none of which hurt anybody.
- Earlier this month the FBI unsealed charges against three alleged ISIS supporters accused of plotting attacks in New York City in the summer of 2016. The alleged plot, which involved improvised explosive devices, was foiled by law enforcement, the FBI says.
In each of those instances, an apparent plot was never carried out to completion; if a bomb did go off, no one was hurt. None of those stories made headlines here at NPR.org.
Barnett's Target scheme, the Bixby recruiting station blast and the foiled ISIS plot were covered in many national outlets.
Hayat, who is of Pakistani descent, received relatively little coverage in the national press but was featured on multiple right-wing websites, including Breitbart News.
Other incidents, including the arrests of Mullen, Blankenship and Kennedy, were covered almost exclusively on the local level.
Ophelia, strongest eastern Atlantic hurricane on record, roars toward Ireland
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
On Saturday, Hurricane Ophelia accomplished the unthinkable, attaining Category 3 strength farther east than any storm in recorded history. Racing north into colder waters, the storm has since weakened to Category 1, but it is set to hammer Ireland and the northern United Kingdom with damaging winds and torrential rain on Monday as a former hurricane.
The Irish Times reported that the storm could be the strongest to hit Ireland in 50 years. The Daily Mail reported that the UK Met Office had compared the storm to Hurricane Katia, the tail end of which struck the region in 2011.
(National Hurricane Center)
The storm, about 700 miles south-southwest of Ireland’s southern tip and packing 90 mph winds, is jetting to the northeast at 38 mph. As it heads north, it is forecast to weaken further and morph into what’s known as a post-tropical storm by Sunday night.
It is passing over progressively colder water, which is stripping the storm of its tropical characteristics. However, even as these cold waters cause the eye of the hurricane and its inner core to collapse, its field of damaging winds will expand and cover more territory — even if it doesn’t pack quite the same punch near its center.
Percent likelihood of at least tropical storm-force winds over Ireland and the United Kingdom. (National Hurricane Center)
Maximum sustained winds of at least 70 mph are projected by the time Ophelia reaches Ireland, and the National Hurricane Center forecast shows almost the entirety of Ireland guaranteed to witness tropical-storm force winds of over 39 mph. Hurricane force gusts of up to 80 mph are possible.
“This will be a significant weather event for Ireland with potentially high impacts — structural damage and flooding (particularly coastal) — and people are advised to take extreme care,” the Irish Meteorological Service said. It issued a “red warning,” its highest-level storm alert for the southern and coastal areas.
GFS model projects wind gusts near 80 mph over southwest Ireland early Monday. (WeatherBell.com)
The UK Met Office issued an “amber wind warning” for northern Ireland, the second-highest alert, where it is predicting wind gusts up to 70-80 mph, and released the following statement:
A spell of very windy weather is expected on Monday in association with ex-Ophelia. Longer journey times and cancellations are likely, as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected as well as some bridge closures. There is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage. Flying debris is likely, such as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts with beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties. This leads to the potential for injuries and danger to life.
Parts of southern and central Scotland and northern England also may face a hazardous combination of tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain.
Because the storm is moving so fast, its powerful blow will be brief, the worst lasting six to 12 hours in most locations. It will leave the British Isles by Tuesday morning.
On Sunday, ahead of the storm, strong southerly winds were drawing abnormally warm conditions into the British Isles, with high temperatures up to 77 degrees (25 Celsius) forecast. The Daily Mail reported that “swarms of deadly jellyfish” (actually, Portuguese man o’ war) had washed ashore on southern beaches.
Ophelia’s place in history
Ophelia near peak intensity Saturday. (NOAA)
When Ophelia became a major — Category 3 (or higher) — hurricane Saturday, it marked the sixth such storm to form in the Atlantic this year, tied with 1933, 1961, 1964 and 2004 for the most through Oct. 14, according to Phil Klotzbach, tropical weather researcher at Colorado State University.
The storm is most remarkable, however, for where it reached such strength — becoming the first storm to reach Category 3 strength so far east.
Much-above-normal water temperatures and light upper-level winds helped the storm reach such unusual intensity so far north and east in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sea surface temperature difference from normal over Atlantic waters which Ophelia traversed. (NOAA)
While having a major hurricane so far east in the Atlantic Ocean is rare, it is not particularly unusual for former tropical weather systems to slam into Ireland and the United Kingdom. As we wrote Friday, this happens about once every several years, on average, conservatively.
[Ophelia may slam Ireland, Britain as an ex-hurricane, but this isn’...]