Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, August 04, 2016: The NE wind beat goes on. ...

Below: It's good to have a crew member behind the wall ... sorta. 

This is ... luck? Skill? Skill/luck? 


Thursday, August 04, 2016: The NE wind beat goes on. Sorry, but I have to re-mention how weird such a protracted stretch of NE winds is for the middle of summer. I’m sure many a knee-jerk global-doomsdayist will say this is yet another sign of things going haywire in the skies above. I’m far more inclined to simply dub it as double-weird and leave it at that, especially with the winds swinging back to normal as early as tomorrow.

This stint of coolish days will likely make this summer’s final rating as “near-normal,” temperature-wise. I’m more inclined to go old-school by thinking, “This means it will be hotter than blazes this fall.”

Due to the wind, the surf is fairly raucous for early August. Today it’s running about four to six feet, maybe a tad larger in prime wave zones. Many LBI beaches have “red flag” conditions, meaning bathing is highly restricted. Any bodyboards must have leashes. Water temps are a tempting mid- to upper 70s. Grass presence is down but still hanging loosely in the surfcasting zone.

Throwback, uh, Friday ... I long ago lost count of the vessels I've seen run aground on LBI. Here's one from not that far back. 

Folks are getting a chuckle out of the cut-aways near the surf, as the hard north-to-south current east away at the newly placed beach replen sands. That eroded away sand is going just where it’s meant to be – out to form sandbars. For that reason, waveriders should be just fine with the eat-aways.

I’m still getting mixed messages over the fall re-repen of Ship Bottom. A higher up in the project said it has yet to be determined if the town even qualifies for the extra sand, though it is leaning that way. Deciding measurements are now being taken. I’ll know more fairly soon.

No dune work will be done in Ship Bottom, as had been requested. I’ll re-note that many of the tweaks related to the finalizing (end) of this project are still up in the air, thus plans can change very quickly. One thing that is certain: Nebraska Avenues southward will be re-done this fall. That’s a given.

Also a given: 1,000 feet of new sand will be tacked onto the north and south ends of Harvey Cedars, as extensions of the North Beach/Loveladies replenishment work.

Bunkieday afternoon: 

Bunker 101: 

GENERAL SPECS: The Atlantic menhaden is a member of the herring family, Clupeidae. An average adult is 9 to 12 inches long, weighs 11 ounces to 1 pound, and can yield one-half ounce of fish oil. Gulf menhaden tend to be smaller. An average adult is 6 to 8 inches long and weighs 2 to 6 ounces. 

1. HYDRODYNAMIC PROPELLER: Flapping a deeply forked tail, menhaden traveling in schools may cover 1 1/2 to 2 miles a day, depending on the size of the fish. Schools are generally composed of like-sized individuals, moving at a consistent speed, and fishermen can judge how big the fish are by the size of the tail whips made by individual fish on the surface of the water.

2. OCEANIC CAMOUFLAGE: A predator approaching from below might mistake the narrow silver belly of a menhaden for the glint of light on the water's surface. A predator approaching from above is presented with a dark-bluish dorsum, with an occasional golden tint, that tends to blend in with the water column.

3. INVISIBLE FEELERS: A subcutaneous sensory system called a lateral line, which runs along the flanks, helps a menhaden feel its brethren and maintain a packed school.

4. SIGNATURE MARKINGS: A dark spot behind the gill flap, followed by two or three rows of smaller spots, may make a menhaden more visible in turbid water to other menhaden. 

5. BREATHING APPARATUS: The menhaden uses gill filaments to pull dissolved oxygen from the water. Special cells in the gills also control the concentration of salt in the body.

6. DIM PEEPERS: Unlike predatory fish that depend on keen eyesight to spot prey, the menhaden is a forager with thick, glazy coverings over its eyes that give it a sleepy look.

7. VACUUM CLEANER: A menhaden swims with its mouth open, filtering up to 7 gallons of water per minute through rakers on the inside of gill arches that sieve plankton.


Further below, you’ll see a highly upbeat forecast for conditions out in the Hudson. I think it might by seriously sloppy heading out tonight or tomorrow but, once out there, things will get better and better. As to the fish, they have minds of their own. Go figure.

Below: Catfishing in Chatsworth Lake. Hey, that's what the sender said. 

I need to throw a bone out to the charter and head boats, which are having a real decent summer. And, believe it or not, they can also get on losing streaks. Again, it’s a good year. Get out there and head out with the pros. It’s meat.

Crabbing remains remarkable … all the way down to Maryland. Yes, that southward extension matters to us. When the Chesapeake goes south, bluecrab-wise, we fill the commercial void with our crabs. I prefer when our best-anywhere crabs stay right here. I recently saw this spot-on read about crabbing:

"Crabs have been studied to death. I can tell you a few things: They swim. They bite. They taste good. They magically appear. They magically disappear.”

Grab ‘em big-time when they appear.


Lifeguard LBI Cup races are tomorrow. See more info below. 



            Enclosed is this week’s fishing report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association.  If you have any questions, my cell phone number is 609-290-5942 and my e-mail address is jamesghutch1@aol.com

Thanks for your help,

Jim Hutchinson Sr. 

After a month of struggling to put together decent catches of fluke, the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are finding more keeper fish. Helping to improve the action is the annual migration of the fish from the bays into the ocean. As a result, the fishing around the inlets has shown some great improvement while the action on the inshore artificial reefs is also showing more big fish. 

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” notes that while “we have been picking away at them; the fishing seems to be picking up slowly but surely.” He believes a couple of days with a good Northeast wind should do the trick. Meanwhile, wreck fishing has been providing a variety of fish for the cooler to take home. 

Captain Fran Verdi of the “Francesca Marie” terms July a “hard month” and says that most trips got their sea bass but the fluke fishing was slow. Suddenly, as August arrived, and his party had lots of action, putting five nice fat fish in the box. The top fish was 24.5-inches long, providing some very nice filets. He has been working some of his productive wrecks in addition to the reef sites. 

Captain John Lewis also notes the recent uptick in fluke action as his recent parties have been able to take fluke filets home for dinner. His most recent trip had fish up to 24.5-inches. It appears late summer is going to be the time for anglers to finally score well on the fluke action. 

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found atwww.BHCFA.net.


Mike Jacobs added 2 new photos.

Looking at this newest satellite shot of the Hudson. I'm excited to say with both temperature readings and chlorophyll, clarity of water-it looks like an absolute HOME RUN that fits the Hudson Canyon like a glove! And a lot of boats have left this morning for a Thursday/Friday run. The weather Saturday Sunday is a bit iffy, but a lot of guys are going today and tomorrow. Looking at these two excellent shots with great conditions, both temperature and chlorophyll, if it does not produce some good catches of tuna-I believe something crazy is going on here. For it is not only the right temperature and warm-water eddys close by, but the most IMPORTANT factor is the word "BAIT." ~~ Show me the best designed singles bar with the greatest bartenders serving drinks at half-price, but if there are no pretty ladies in that bar, in time that bar will go out of business! The same thing is true with tuna Canyon fishing. It is not the "decorations" of that perfect -looking water, nor temperature breaks which are the most important factors,- but Big Eyes and Yellowfin, just like guys in a singles bar, need something to eat! (I am talking about chicken wings for you with dirty minds! ~~ So let's see what happens, hopefully the positive reports will start to come in, but if not-I hope I'm not hearing THE FAT LADY singing in the distance! My gosh! - the season hasn't even begun yet and I don't want to see an obituary of this year's fishing!-There's plenty of time to go, it's only early August, so be positive, better things are coming for those who have the patience to wait! (Which brings us full circle to the singles bar once again!)
Mike Jacobs's photo.
Mike Jacobs's photo.


— David Biggy


Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol Eyes Repeat of Last Season’s Competition Success


Photo by: File Photo by Jack ReynoldsOtto and Mike Weiler row out through the waves.

When the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol captured last year’s Long Beach Island Beach Patrol Association Lifeguard Tournament, it marked the culmination of a competition season in which Cedars made a huge statement. It finally, after some 40 years, had risen back to the top of the Island heap, at last eclipsing the powerhouses of old in Barnegat Light and Long Beach Township.

But with a new competition season right around the corner, Randy Townsend doesn’t really have any way of motivating his patrol other than to point at last season and possibly say, “Let’s just do it again.”

“It had been so long, we don’t have any prior experience in defending a title,” said the 37-year-old captain, who took over in Harvey Cedars in 2010 and immediately began developing the building blocks for a stronger competition squad. “So I really don’t think it’s so much as defending the title as much as I think we should just go win another. But whatever happens, it’s going to be a good time.”

Last summer, Cedars had a good time by winning – a lot. Townsend’s crew won tournament titles in Lavallette, Ship Bottom, Ortley Beach and Island Beach State Park, in addition to placing second in Atlantic City’s Red Bull Surf and Rescue. The women of Harvey Cedars also won big in the Island Beach State Park Women’s Invitational and the Cape May Women’s Paddle Challenge.

“We definitely had a great season last year,” he said. “But none of that has changed the way things are run around here. Public safety is still paramount in our minds. Our job is to save lives and keep the public safe, and have a little fun when we get the chance.”

And while Townsend absolutely wouldn’t dare say anything that could land on another beach patrol’s bulletin board, he certainly believes his squad is capable of having another strong season.

“We’ve been trying to up the level across the board here in Harvey Cedars,” he said. “We have a lot of returning guards, and they’re all very well-educated on how to respond in rescue situations. Our women’s team is really strong again this year.”

Townsend insists his patrol doesn’t have any aces in the hole.

“Nope. We have no secrets,” he said. “It’s just awesome to be able to do what we love and share in the good times with our friends from the other beach patrols on the Island.”

Harvey Cedars expects to have its team, or at least some of its team members, competing in events up and down the Jersey coast, including Cape May’s SuperAthalon on July 5, the Lavellette Invitational on July 7 and the Red Bull Surf and Rescue on July 19. HCBP also will host its Cutter’s Cup on a date still to be determined.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the Island’s beach patrols from Barnegat Light, Long Beach Township, Surf City, Ship Bottom and Beach Haven gear up for this summer’s competition slate, the following is a glimpse at some of the local events you won’t want to miss.


James M Foley with Jenna Lombardo.

10.4lbs Double Digit! Whippin the Giant Flukes today. Jenna and her Dad are on some role.

Views: 454

Comment by J. Terhoon on August 5, 2016 at 3:43pm


Smooth Puffer fish caught in Barnegat Bay. Sushi anyone?

Comment by jaymann on August 5, 2016 at 7:24pm

Wow. I've seen and caught a goodly number of smooth puffers/blowfish but never once did I think in terms of sashimi -- in the fugu vein. 


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