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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday June 11, 09 -- Big blues, big fluke tourney, big pelagics meeting

Thursday, June 11, 2009: Waves: Building 2 – 3 foot north wind swell. Winds: NE (early) at 10 mph.
Check out the leaderboard for the 6th Berkeley Striper Club Spring Tournament.. Go to www.fishlbi.com and click the link. Important pelagics meeting coming up ion Manahawkin, See end of this report.

Conditions are a tad pissy out there this a.m. A misty NE wind is riling the surfline, though creating a mighty nice bassing look. The north wind has also egged on the water temps, some of the warmer readings of the year, though still just into the 60s.

The talks of the suds since yesterday has been the big blues cruising much of the Island, strongest mid- to north. Along with some verbal reports I got this two emails:

Jay,
Fished the BH surf from 6-9pm Wednesday night. Very slow...not even a junk fish. Not wanting the seasons first skunk, I moved to an area that is good to me in the fall (mid island). Well I got a bit of a bite going just after 1am. Caught my seasons 3 biggest bluefish. Biggest was close to 10lbs. Man, are they late this year. Also, caught a teen sized striper at 16lbs...what else is new. All the fish were hooked in the lip, so I set them free to fight again.
Fished Monday as well. No bass but bluefish to 4lbs dominated the catch. Thankfully the junkfish count has been low. Just a few dogsharks. I quit around 2:30 am as I ran out of bunker. Left em' biting.
Joe H

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Hi Jay,

North End, at Dusk tonight, big Bluefish were hitting bunker head. Just thought you might want to know there are Blues around, at least tonight they were and they were hungry. (12-14 lb. range), Scott.

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Fluking is a mirror of the past few years with massive numbers of shorts and minimal numbers of take-homes. If there’s a bright point it’s the goodly number of doormats among the few keepers. Fortunately, fluke is one of the very few fish where the very largest ones can be among the tastiest. Remember to think about keeping a few huge meaty belly strips for the next fluking trip. The down side: You have to have, on hand (while fishing) the carcass of the fish on which the bait strips came. I had a second top fluker note that strips of bluefish (de-scaled) also work very well when targeting larger fluke. Most everyone knows how well small snapper blues work but they’re a long way off. Seems everyone is looking for some way or another to pull keepers out of areas that seem all but bricked with undersized flatties.

Those doormats might be worth some serious cash this weekend. One of the nation’s largest fluking contests takes place. Here’s a promo.

“The 15th Annual Jersey Coast Anglers Association Fluke Tournament is this Saturday June 13th, 2009. This week is the last week to enter. There are 9 ports for the tournament. The tournament has over $70,000 in cash and prizes, including automatic entry into a drawing for the $10,000 Grand Prize, 9 first place port prizes of $1,200 cash, and a slew of rods, reels, marine electronics, and tackle gift certificates as runner up prizes. Click Here to visit www.jcaaa.org and learn more.

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OFFSHORE ANGLERS NOTE (!): Important pelagics meeting to be held in Manahawkin:

June 10, 2009 - NOAA's Fisheries Service is holding a series of public meetings this summer seeking comments on potential changes in the way commercial and recreational fishermen fish the U.S. quotas for swordfish and bluefin tuna in the Atlantic.

In the case of both fish stocks, U.S. fishermen have not been able to catch the U.S. quotas designed to ensure that the stocks are fished sustainably.

While these species are managed internationally, the United States manages the domestic part of these fisheries by taking into account the ecosystem and working to reduce bycatch of turtles and other species. This approach increases expenses for U.S. fishermen and makes it more difficult for them to compete in the marketplace with cheaper imports from fishing nations that subsidize their fleets and do not use an ecosystem approach.

'Swordfish are nearly rebuilt, yet our fishermen are only catching 54 percent of the U.S. quota,' said Jim Balsiger, acting NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service.

'Bluefin tuna are a more complicated story. U.S. fishermen have followed quotas based on scientific recommendations designed to end overfishing. There may be ways to fish more of the U.S. quotas for both stocks in a sustainable manner.'

The public process will also be a chance to examine using 'catch shares,' which would allocate a portion of the total catch to a person, company, community or sector, to better manage these fisheries. NOAA will also examine novel ways to limit the bycatch of sea turtles, marine mammals, or undersized, prohibited and spawning fish in the bluefin and swordfish fisheries.

'We've heard a number of ideas from constituents and we want to broaden the conversation to include recreational fishermen, environmental organizations, and the general public on how best to manage these valuable highly migratory fish species,' said Balsiger.

This effort to involve the public comes as NOAA's Fisheries Service announces this season's bluefin tuna quota for U.S. commercial and recreational fishermen. The rule puts in place reductions in overall quota that were adopted at the November 2008 meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the international body that manages tuna, swordfish and other species that cross international boundaries.

The rule, which published on June 1, raises the daily catch limit from one to two bluefin tunas for recreational fishermen. NOAA had originally proposed a daily limit of one but raised the limit to two per day after reviewing comments from the fishing industry and analyzing the change for consistency with the bluefin tuna rebuilding program.

The new rule maintains the three-fish per day limit for commercial fishermen.

NOAA received many comments and suggestions during the recent bluefin tuna rulemaking on ways to improve long-term management of bluefin and swordfish. These proposals will now be part of this summer's public process.

In addition to considering catch shares and bycatch reduction, some of the proposals that will be discussed include: * An industry request to allow more bluefin tuna to be landed that have been incidentally caught in longline fishing gear * A proposal to allow approximately 5,000 commercial tuna fishermen who use rod and reel to land swordfish at low catch levels * An industry request to lower the commercial minimum size for bluefin tuna from 73 to 65 inches Public comments on bluefin tuna fishery issues will close June 30, while comments on all other issues, including swordfish, will remain open until Aug. 31.

Public meetings to obtain additional comments will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. EDT at the following locations. All meetings will begin with an opportunity for people to view information on the issues raised in the public process and ask questions at 5 p.m. EDT, followed by a presentation and opportunity for public comment beginning at 6 p.m. EDT.

June 23 Holiday Inn 151 Route 72 East Manahawkin, N.J. 08050
June 25 Roanoke Island Festival Park 1 Festival Park Manteo, N.C. 27954
June 29 Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor 180 Water Street Plymouth, Mass. 02360 July 21 Belle Chasse Auditorium 8398 Hwy. 23 Belle Chasse, La. 70037
July 28 Broward County Main Library 100 S. Andrews Ave. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33301


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Tom Fote warns the nation in D.C.;

June 10, 2009 - Pollution experts on Tuesday pressed a congressional panel for stronger action to keep pharmaceuticals and other contaminants out of the water, saying they are hurting fish and may threaten human health.

Thomas P. Fote, a New Jersey conservationist who sits on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, said the pollutants are damaging commercial fisheries. He told congressmen not to 'study a problem to death and never do anything.'

Fote appeared in a lineup of witnesses Tuesday before the subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife of the House Natural Resources Committee. The witnesses pointed to research showing damage to fish and other aquatic species from pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other industrial chemicals, especially those that alter growth-regulating endocrine systems. Some scientists worry about the potential of similar harm to humans.

'Hundreds of peer-reviewed publications ... demonstrate that numerous ubiquitous chemicals in the environment can interfere with development via the endocrine system, but there appears to be no will or authority to remove those chemicals from the supply chain,' said zoologist Theo Colborn, a professor emeritus at the University of Florida, who founded the nonprofit Endocrine Disruption Exchange.

The witnesses appealed for Congress to promote consumer take-back programs for unused drugs, to encourage industry financing of disposal, and to do more to keep discards from waterways and landfills.

The hearing comes on the heels of an Associated Press investigation that reported pharmaceutical traces in drinking water supplies of at least 51 million Americans and in many waterways. The drugs range from antibiotics to psychiatric drugs to endocrine-disrupting sex hormones.

One witness, pharmacist Fred Massoomi from Nebraska Methodist Hospital in Omaha, broke his collarbone in a recent fall and sat stiffly during his testimony. Asked by a panel member if he was in pain, he said, 'Not right now.' Then he lifted a plastic bottle and smiled. 'If I need any pain medication, I'll just drink some water,' he said.

Most cities and water providers don't test for pharmaceutical contaminants. The biggest source is considered to be human excretion, but manufacturers and health care facilities also send millions of tons of unused drugs into rivers and streams every year.

Utilities say their drinking water is safe, and no human risks are confirmed from pharmaceutical pollution. However, research shows that the pharmaceuticals sometimes harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species. Also, researchers report that human cells fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs.

The House has already passed legislation to study the problem and find solutions, and the Senate is considering such a bill. Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam, who chaired the hearing, said she has talked to colleagues about the need for more legislation.

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