Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report


Mickey Melchiondo: Pat, Pops, Randy, and me with some nice Bass we kept for the table.


Thursday, June 21, 2012: Absolutely ideal surf fishing conditions out there, except at max lows. Clean but not overly clear water; loads of marine life. OK, so maybe there’s that slight matter of 90-degree-plus heat and little if any wind. And it might be said that only mad dogs and anglers stand in the midday sun. However, I have a half a dozen keeper-sized striper hookups reported. One of those was a released “maybe 35 pounds” bass.


I believe there is sky-high potential for plugging. While I minimize talking about the fishing I do, I’ll be cashing is that sunset and sunrise plugablity. I have a couple vintage “muskie” plugs to try – quickly, before rinsing off and rewrapping. By the by, I’m not even on the far edge of the league some area plug collectors are in. Folks like Chris M. and others have thousands and thousands of prime plugs, often in dupes (duplicates). I know of one “shop-grade” collector who buys new plug colors by the boxload – and keeps them that way. My heroes. Hey, in angling life, he who has the most plugs wins – or so I’m told by collectors who have invested tens of tens of thousands of dollars (absolutely no exaggeration) in their collecting. 


WORM DOWNER: I had a fairly frantic call from a gal whose infantish boy had eaten a “worm” that her angling boyfriend had left in her house.

You’ve likely guessed we’re talking a plastic worm here. And, yes, the tike apparently related it to candy gummy worms, which that same boyfriend had given the boy, undoubtedly to make him like him.


First of all, it’s a bad practice to win over the hearts, minds and taste buds of kids just to get them to like you. Face it, if you’re unlikable, you’re unlikable. Just kidding. It’s better to get kids to like you by, maybe, pretending to accidentally fall down and roll across the carpet and bounce back up to your feet every time you arrive. Or, you could pull your mouth apart with your fingers and then  … wait a minute, where was I going with this?


Oh, that’s right, the tike scarfing down a plastic worm. Well, the mom thought I was making light of the matter when I asked if it was a flavored or unflavored worm. Sure, you guys know why I asked that. She didn’t, until I explained that the likes of GULP! are flavored, via organic substances.


Sure enough, that’s what it was. A GULP!. The apcke was still in-house.


I then paled a bit of forensic detectiving. I led the mom to look for any spit-out pieces. Sure, enough. Sherlock Jay wins the day, almost.


On closer inspection of the room, it turned out she could piece together most of the chewed worm. Actually, more like two-thirds of the worm. Some still seemed to have gone down the tube.


Despite a likely ingestion, the child was showing absolutely no ill effects. In fact, it sounded like he was rearing to try out some GULP! jerk shads.

I then thoroughly soothed her fears, calming her down by verbally rubbing her back. “I assure you there’s no problem whatsoever.”

I then nonchalantly hung up and had a rethink. I frantically went on a search regarding what in bloody hell might happen if a human eats a GULP! Not only did I call shops and called up about 100 websites, I even ran out to my truck to sacrificially bite off a piece of a GULP! sandcrab. I stalled upon recalling the fellow at Fishermen’s HDQ had read the GULP! package, clearly stating, “Not for Human Consumption.” I got pissed. Why in the hell didn’t that 3-year-old read that warning before chewing on a plastic worm. Kids nowadays. That’s probably why I never had kids. Face it, everyday there are new kids nowadays.


I was just about ready to recall the gal to discuss that slight matter of “Not for Human Consumption” when she rang back. The entire worm, albeit chewed to shreds, had been accounted for. I was a bit relieved that I hadn’t commenced to munching on a GULP! sandcrab, though I have to admit my interest is now pecked. What would it be like to eat a GULP!? Maybe with a bit of cocktail sauce. 




Barnegat Bay Action Update - Special Announcement 
DEP's Education and Compliance Sweeps on Barnegat Bay this Summer

Stay out of restricted areas set aside for wildlife. Do not harass nesting birds and other animals.

Buoy mooring chains and lines to prevent them from scraping on the bay bottom and harming submerged aquatic vegetation and animals.

Use pump-out boats and facilities. Do not discharge wastewater holding tanks into open water.

Maintain 100-foot distance (about the length of six cars) from natural shorelines, bay islands and sensitive ecological areas, and use marked navigational channels for travel.

Minimize wakes in all shallow areas to help reduce erosion and harm to aquatic plants and animals.

Appreciate wildlife from a distance.

Help reduce air pollution by cutting the engine and not idling in open water.

Keep trash, recyclables, hooks and lures in secure containers and dispose of them properly on land. Recycle used monofilament fishing lines instead of throwing them away.

Avoid giving invasive aquatic plants and animals a ride. Thoroughly clean boats, personal watercraft and equipment when transferring them from one water body to another.





Barents Observer] by Trude Pettersen - June 21, 2012

We could be facing another record low level of ice in the Arctic this summer. After a period of rapid ice loss through the first half of June, sea ice extent is now slightly below 2010 levels, the previous record low at this time of year.

The summer of 2007 saw the smallest Arctic summertime ice extent since satellite record keeping began in the 1970s. As of June 2012, with summer 2012 just beginning, ice is melting faster than at this same time in 2007.

On June 18, the five-day average sea ice extent was 10.62 million square kilometers. This was 31,000 square kilometers below the same day in 2010, the record low for the day and 824,000 square kilometers below the same day in 2007, the year of record low September extent, the National Snow & Ica Date Center (NSIDC) reports.

In February NSIDC reported that the ice extent in the Barents Sea reached the lowest level recorded since satellite surveillance started. Air temperatures over the Laptev, Kara and Barents seas ranged from 4 to 8 degrees Celsius above average in January-February.

The main contributors to the unusually rapid ice loss to this point in June are the disappearance of most of the winter sea ice in the Bering Sea, rapid ice loss in the Barents and Kara Seas, and early development of open water areas in the Beaufort and Laptev Seas north of Alaska and Siberia.

Historically, the ice reaches its minimum extent between the first week of September and around the end of the third week of the month, Walt Meier, a research scientist at NSIDC says to Discovery News. "We are seeing a lot of areas opening up within the Arctic Ocean, and along coastlines that normally are still ice covered," Meier said.




The Miami Herald] by Susan Cocking - June 21, 2012

They grow fast, have lots of offspring, and die young. Most people like to eat them and there’s more commercial effort to harvest them than ever before. The aquaculture program at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School is growing them in tanks and aims to teach other fish farmers how to do it.

Dolphin fish, also known as mahi mahi, is the latest experimental research species at UM’s aquaculture lab on Virginia Key. The colorful pelagics join cobia, blackfin tuna, Florida pompano and goggle eyes swimming around in large fiberglass tanks.

“They are iconic yet elusive,” professor Dan Benetti, director of the university’s aquaculture program, said of dolphin. “There’s got to be somebody interested in raising these fish commercially.”

Growing dolphin in captivity is nothing new; scientists, including Benetti, have been at it on and off for about 30 years. Unlike some tuna and grouper-snapper species, mahis are not currently overfished, so there has been no urgent push to develop techniques to farm them. But that could change with increased consumer demand and fishing pressure. So last year, Benetti decided to “revisit” the species, looking for ways to raise them profitably and sustainably.

Getting the marine lab rats to reproduce has not been a problem. Beginning with a bull and several cows caught last fall off Miami by research assistants John Stieglitz and Ron Hoenig, the dolphin quickly spawned and their offspring have done the same. Now a couple thousand fish — from tiny larvae to the apex 20-pound bull nicknamed Guppy — occupy several tanks.

“They are the most prolific fish in the ocean,” Benetti said. “In five to six months, they’re already spawning. They spawn every day.”

But the downside to life in the fast lane is that they die young, he said — most before the age of 2 years.

The biggest challenge to raising dolphin has been to satisfy their enormous appetites, which unfortunately drives them to cannibalize one another.

Younger fish are fed pellets containing meal and oil made from other fish. As they grow larger, they get hunks of sardine and squid. But when they get hungry between feedings, even the fingerlings have been observed ganging up on their weaker brethren and devouring them like pack animals.

“They beat the cobia in nastiness,” Benetti said.

The scientists are looking for ways to replace fish meal and oil with a more economical and sustainable feed for their charges. Developing that technology would make dolphin more attractive to prospective farmers.

Meanwhile, Benetti’s 25 students and research assistants — many of them recreational anglers — seem enthusiastic about the dolphin project.

“They’re fun to work with,” Stieglitz said. “We’ve been doing cobia for so long, it’s a nice change of pace. And we enjoy the brood stock captures.”


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