Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thurs. March 19, 09 -- Bass showing on flats; Mil Creek dredging update

Thursday, March 19, 2009:
Well, there are some non-power plant fish to talk about. Flats near Barnegat Inlet (mainly north, inside bay) have shown great promise – and a few great fish, at least for this early in the year. Folks working the banks have taken keeper bass and seen a load of surface “V’s, as bass spook off the shallows. Those flats fish are obviously hanging in the milder water and likely taking advantage of the mud-out of grass shrimp and even an occasional crab. Also, as coldwater dining interest to stripers are those truly tough little spearing (late fall young-of-year) swimming around. I’ve mentioned in here in the past that I’ve seen those tiny buggers (spearing no more than an inch or so) through thin bay ice. Hardy to say the least. Another foodstuff for the bust out spring bass is hardhead minnows. Despite being perceived be anglers as outside a striper’s diet, they are actually a prime foodstuff, protected from heavy predation primarily by their ability (and tendency) to swim and seemingly live in very shallow. Anyway, these early-out stripers are not just sunning but also dining, as they do through overwintering, just not at the pace of warmer time eating.
As for Graveling, folks I know have been there to both fish it and simply check it out. Very quiet. Actually, I haven’t heard of a single bass from downriver. There are bass upriver, though they’re very small – the type we sometimes get through the ice. I have to think that arriving southern bass might align with outgoing river bass making for some hot times in the near future. Yes, I’m a perpetual optimist. When that’s gone, I’m gone.

Speaking of small bass, I have it one first-hand authority that for the first time anyone had seen, a couple bass were caught among the many white perch in Mill Creek. I haven’t gotten any updates on the Mill Creek dredging except for a verification that it’s being done – and done soon. Here’s a related email.
“Not just because I live on Mill Creek Road, no no, across the street from the creek, I am interested in details on the dredging. Where are they working, what is the scope of the project? How the hell did they get permission to do it without half the world knowing? It always amazes me how stuff gets done down there. I wonder what will happen when big mouths like me make it our full time residences and start showing up at their meetings. I know that I'd like the mayor to decide which job he wants. I believe its a conflict of interest to be working for two different levels of government.”
You’ve got me on a number of points there, Ron. I think there may be some serious fallout for this – and during an election year. I did hear that the land area at the end of the trail adjacent tot the community center is going to be the deposit point for spoils. How they go that permission is interesting (if it’s true) since that is impacting the actual Mill Creek itself. I’m also told that curtains will be used to reduce the dispersion of mud into the waters. These are technically called turbidity or silt curtains and are prescribed by both federal and state governments to reduce the flow of suspended particulates into water adjacent to the likes of dredge projects. Might these reduce the murkiness in the Mill channels and Mill Creek waters? We’ll soon find out. By the by, the dredge spoils have a ton of leachate, as in drippage. All that runoff is going to be collected and redirected into a purification system and eventually into a sewer pipe, to be expelled near Jennings – somewhere. Exact locale unknown. Seems the American Littoral Society may be getting involved with this questionable project. A lawsuit is not out of the question. More on this tomorrow.
With Holgate about to close for the bird season, a number of south end sightseers got quite a vision of nature running wild, make that naturists running wild. Police yesterday arrested a naked couple caught bounding about on the sand at the 1,000-foot line. I only have dribs and drabs of info but it seems the two might not have simply been high on the fresh sea air. Of course, that was just the opinion of a witness and everyone is presumed innocent until tried in a court of law. Truth be told, I’ve seen naked folks down there on numerous occasions but they were usually scrambling to get their duds on when they saw me coming. These two seemingly relished their open public nakedness.

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