Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thur. June 3, 10 -- Goodly bass to me; Scarred bass to others

Thursday, June 03, 2010:

I had my largest bass of the plugging season this foggy a.m. It just did a press up to my rod where the 28-inch park resides. It bested that mark by a goodly length, so much so it became a certain release. I dine on stripers that just make the 28-inch mark with me pursing the tail, which is legal. You’d be surprised how many just-on-the-mark bass there are. I took my bass on a dead surface plug. I had cast out and saw a loop in my reel. I pulled off line to loose the loop and just as I had taken in the excess, I actually heard a goodly splash at the point of my resting mirror-sided RF. It was on. That suck-in worried me a bit, for unhooking reasons. After a not-long fight, sure enough, the bass had sucked the three-treble plug almost sideways into the gullet. Fortunately, I did a line shake and all but the trailing treble freed up. The fish was easily big enough for me to reach my hand well down her throat to power out the one tenacious treble. Virtually no blood showed. A tail-splash release showed that gal would have many more years to come – made wiser by her (likely) first mix-up with artificials.

Sidebar: I have vivid accounts of fluke, bluefish and chain pickerel feeding within mere minutes after being caught and released. However, I have generally never seen such short-term memory in stripers. This could contribute to the angling fascination with going one-on-one with bigger wiser bass. However, the seeming craftiness of bass falls by the wayside when it comes to catching on to snag-and-drop. Bass lose their brains in the presence of a bunker balls. One also has to realize this the snag-and-drop technique is relatively new. OK, so you’re granddad might have tried it back in the day, but, on the whole, it’s all the latest rage -- and the bass ain’t actin’ like scholars. It is often shooting ducks in a barrel. Still, I’ve yet to hear of a just-caught bass quickly reshowing on the same boat or bank, as fluke, blues and pickerel have done. I know for a fact those three species have short memories, having personally re-caught specific fish shortly after releasing them. It is not that tough to recognize a fish you had formerly caught, be it patterning, scars or, most often, wounds from the previous hookup.

I have half a dozen fluke reports that “ditto” each other. Keepers are coming in at mainly a 10-to-one ratio, give or take. The only deceptive angle on those ratios is the way keepers often come in clusters. That means you might see a boat zip through a couple dozen undersized models then quickly take a handful of keepers. That’s when the famed spot-markers come out, including varieties like my no-expense-spared Clorox bottle, attached to kite string weighed down with a battered 5-ounce beach-found sinker.

If you’re angling from now through the weekend keep a doubly-wary eye open for thunderboomers. We’ve had some nasty ones already and it’s not even summer. The Weather Service has been spot on in predicting the paths of specific cells. As more and more data is fed into the Weather Service system – each storm offering its info into a master computer -- the route of specific storm cells, including their forward speed and intensity, is getting more and more predictable. I maintain my unorthodox belief that markedly peculiar – and possibly severe – storms will arise with the upper air arrival of suspended particles from the Iceland volcanoes. I’m guessing hail might be a factor – one that scares the crap out of my cranberry-farming buddies. Hail can wipe out an entire cranberry crop in mere minutes.

Closer to home crops, I’m not getting very good reports about blue crabs. Possibly the most common heat-of-summer email questions I get is how the crabbing is. If anyone has insights on the crabbing, be it via backyard traps or boat outing gearing to blueclaws, pleas email me at jmann99@hotmail.com.

I was using night-vision binoculars near the bridges and saw not only the expected otters but a slew of scurrying minks. I had been told of a marked influx of these fine-furred fish eaters, which were eating pond fish. However, I didn’t expect to see four or five zipping around the spans and over to some Ship Bottom lagoons. I won’t mention the rat activity.

E-question: "Jay,
Caught 2 Stripers (30" range) in the North End surf over the last couple of days both of which had most of their scales missing from the dorsal fin back to the tail. Hoping you would have an opinion on the cause, sickness or predation ? Have you heard of any similar occurrences? Safe to eat ?? Thanks for your time in responding, Walt"

(Sadly, I’ve heard of many such cases, mainly as the Chesapeake stripers move northward. It is the mycobacteriosis problem. The good news is the infected fish are out in the open waters -- and likely have stemmed the spread of the disease. However, some scientists in Maryland say that infected stripers do not fully shake the disease, even when better forage and cleaner water is found.

I’ve seen numerous photographs of catastrophic damage to internal organs from ongoing mycobacteriosis, even when the outside manifestations of the disease are reduced -- to what you see. The fact you didn’t mention red swollen oozing lesions indicate the fish you caught were over the external symptoms.

I have also read less pessimistic scientific studies indicating fish can and do recover, even internally, though the internal scaring remains.

As for eating them, I have to say I don’t think it’s a good idea. By the same token, login dictates cooking SHOULD kill all bacteria. For me, I’d rather wait for a mint-condition specimen. Even then, I keep an eye on internal organs when I clean fish. Still, if it looks good outside, it’s worth inviting home to dinner.



[Asian News International] June 2, 2010 -

Copyright 2010. HT Media Limited. All rights reserved.

London, June 2 -- Rising levels of man-made noise pollution are threatening fish, according to scientists. The researchers reviewed the impact on fish species around the world of noises made by oil and gas rigs, ships, boats and sonar. Rather than live in a silent world, most fish hear well and sound plays an active part in their lives, they said.

Increasing noise levels may therefore severely affect the distribution of fish, and their ability to reproduce, communicate and avoid predators.

'People always just assumed that the fish world was a silent one,' the BBC quoted biologist Dr Hans Slabbekoorn of Leiden University, The Netherlands, as saying. But, Slabbekoorn and colleagues in The Netherlands, Germany and US report how the underwater environment is anything but quiet. So far, all fish studied to date are able to hear sounds, either by an inner ear or a lateral line that runs along a fish's side. Different fish vary in the sensitivity of their hearing.

Generally fish hear best within 30-1000Hz, though species with special adaptations can detect sounds up to 3000-5000Hz. Some exceptional species are sensitive to ultrasound, while others such as the European eel, a freshwater species that spawns at sea, are sensitive to infrasound.

That means human-generated underwater noise has the potential to affect fish just as traffic noise affects terrestrial animals such as birds, say the researchers.

'The level and distribution of underwater noise is growing at a global scale but receives very little attention,' said Slabbekoorn.

Noise pollution might severely affect the distribution of fish, and their ability to reproduce, communicate and avoid predators.

For example, some studies have reported that Atlantic herring, cod and blue-fin tuna flee sounds and school less coherently in noisy environments. That could mean that fish distributions are being affected, as fish avoid places polluted by man-made noise.

Noise pollution could significantly impact communication between fish' so far over 800 species of fish from 109 families are known to produce sounds, generally broadband signals at less than 500Hz.

Noise pollution could also interrupt their reproduction, by causing stress or restricting their ability to find a mate or keep them from preferred spawning sites. It could also prevent fish from hearing each other and communicating effectively, and affect their ability to detect noisy prey, or hear oncoming predators.

The study was published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution


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