Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, May 02, 2019: For folks who haven’t made it down the shore much so far ....

Coming soon to LBI ... 

Joe Handley Jr
Catching monster, tackle destroying bluefish with Jake Adams this evening on LBI. This fish was in the 15-16lb range and promptly released to fight again.
Carl Hartmann shared a post to the group: Lbi Area Fishing Reports.

Thursday, May 02, 2019: For folks who haven’t made it down the shore much so far this spring, we’re not having what might be called a mild go of it. In fact, the majority of days have the all-too-distinct feel of … frickin winter! It’s the onshore winds, mixing with generally cold jet stream air masses overhead. Even when somewhat mild air graces the mainland (like today), we really haven’t been able to shake long sleeves and jackets. When surfcasting, the elements often beat out the bassing – though it has been well worth a shiver or two of late. Some dang decent stripering continues.

It’ll be hard to recall this current coolness once the upcoming torrid summer sets in. Mark my words, that’s what we’re about to have: a sizzler to an extreme. Of course, per Island tradition, we won’t feel the summer scald quite as much, though even with the ocean AC blowing, you’ll want to keep beach sox at the ready when crossing the skin-melting beach sands. With the bigger slightly darker beaches, it has been a pain, literally, to make a sunny day beach passage.

In a crunch, everyday socks will sorta work when hotfooting from street ends to near-water beaching points – and back streetward again. However, there are now a slew of specially designed beach/sand socks. To see dozens of choices, go to Amazon and type in “beach sand socks.” There are designs for very activity – including simply sand crossings. If you’re into beach volleyball, as is my penchant, it’s time to get choosey. Lightweight and ankle-cut beach socks work best. And they truly work. Here’s just a couple. DYK: There are now lightweight beach sock with traction for rock fishing.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!: I must slip into a temporary state of deep negativity, even though I’m not generally black/bleak of heart. It’s all about striped bass. Big surprise.

As LBI bassing finally shows – after our general skunking for much of last year, the fine and fun hooking is being marred by an uglifying flow of anti-keep sentiment. It’s as if a legally kept bass has become a crime against angling if not nature itself.  That’s bullshit!

Max Finch
Witness Protection Program.

Firstly, regulations are meant to both restrict overfishing and also (!) to encourage keeping fish. Technically, it’s predicated on an ecological-balance concept … as if that aspect comes up much any longer. It doesn’t. What’s more, harvestable bass have been earned by anglers, via the catch-and-release of what amounts to huge numbers of sub-legal fish.

The escalating fury over a collapsing striped bass biomass is primarily based on the weeping and gnashing of teeth over a paucity of trophy fish. And, to be sure, there has been a downtick in the taking of fish over, say, 40 pounds. But that trophy fish trend should not be taken out on the anglers who are thrilled and quite satisfied with fishing and keeping quite-legal fish -- of which there are hundred of thousand in the 28- to 38-inch range.

BIG BASS BS: As to saving big bass with a slot that cuts off keepage over 40 inches, I’ve pontificated on the nonsense that bigger bass genetically produce bigger bass offspring. That’s impossible in a group spawn of iteroparous species. Eggs and spawn from all contributors to a group spawn intersperse. Might farm raised fish be genetically protected and make more huge bass? Nope, nature dictates the ration buy genetically assigning fish to become assorted sizes for the best chance at long-term survival.  

As to the verifiable fact the huge striper cows make far more eggs than smaller stripers, there is easily a 1,000-to-1 ration of “smaller” spawning stripers to mammoth ones. There is also sound science showing chemical damage from pollution becomes manifest within larger bass, meaning the fecundity might be normal but the quality of zygotes can be low. The eggs of smaller and younger bass are what might be thought of as the cleanest, i.e. most likely to succeed and move toward trophy-size growth. That said, sperm from older bass could counteract the pureness or eggs from younger females. That’s purely spooky in an ongoing water pollution sense.  

If Massachusetts and New England states – where anglers live for mega-bass – want to go gonzo on regulating sizes, that’s their prerogative. What’s worrisome is how panicked states have the ears of the further-ranging management groups. Radical regulation changes will likely be trickling down to us … by next year!

I’ll be the first to admit that a draconian cutback in recreational and commercial takes will have an almost immediate and highly positive impact, numbers-wise. In fact, stocks will skyrocket, evoking the cheers, “See, we were right to cut back.”

Once again, that’s nonsensical thinking. Such an instantaneous rebound proves the stocks were fine all along, just demonstrating population swings. A rapid recovery will also vicariously show that managerial moves to reduce harvesting was only a convenient way to pamper to anglers obsessed with the trophy bass population … possibly at the expense of the entire ecosystem.

The recovery of truly damaged species is pathetically slow, bordering on futile in some cases. A population explosion of bass will absolutely worsen the recovery chances of decimated species – those that compete – or are preyed upon -- by stripers.

That hints at my secret agenda. I’m selfishly striving for an ecosystem within which all historic species have a healthy chance for survival -- not just those species most beloved by humans. Face it, Jersey covets stripers and fluke to a dangerously prejudicial degree. Very few voices rise over the continuing decline in tog, black seabass, shad, winter flounder, weakfish … but, heaven forbid, our darling-grade species dip even a bit. Let the wailing commence.

I know I’ll never win the battle to get anglers and management to worry less about micromanaging stripers and fluke to better concentrate on an eco-balance out there -- as is mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act … the parts nobody reads.  However, I have the confidence of knowing that far future generations will look back on our imbalanced and prejudicial fishery management methods, shake their heads, and say “What were they thinking?!”  

A little early my friend , see you in a month or so 
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Reel Fantasea Fishing Charters
Bigger fish showing up!!!
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Paul Haertel 

It was a good last day of tog season for me with a limit including 8.75 and 10.45 lb. ones along with an 8.45 lb. cod.
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Surf City Bait and Tackle is with Bruce Migden.
Bruce with his bluefish that he got this am in SC on bunker. Non tournament
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Gary Rietmann to American Angler
10lbs 33” Monday
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Imagining a World With No Plastic Pollution

Copyright © 2019 Vancouver Province
By Chelsea Rochman and Diane Orihel
April 29, 2019

If all goes well, 2030 will be quite a special year.

Global and local community leaders from more than 170 countries have pledged to "significantly reduce" the amount of single-use plastic products by 2030. Success would result in significantly less plastic pollution entering our oceans, lakes and rivers.

Today, societies around the world have a love affair with disposable plastics. Just like some love stories, this one has an unhappy ending that results in plastic bags, straws and takeout containers strewn about the global environment.

As researchers who study the contamination and effects of plastic pollution on wildlife, it would be nice if by 2030, we no longer heard about plastics showing up in the stomachs of dead whales, littering the beaches of distant islands and contaminating tap water and seafood.

It's time for some good news about the environment, including stories about how cities and countries are managing plastics and other waste materials in more sustainable ways, and how children will have cleaner beaches to play on.

Scientists have known about plastic pollution in our oceans for more than four decades. It's pervasive in rivers, lakes and soils, too. Plastic pollution knows no boundaries, with small bits of plastic found from the equator to the poles, and even on the remote slopes of the French Pyrenees mountains.

Plastic waste damages ecosystems, smothers coral reefs, and fills the bellies of sea life. In the absence of action, the amount of plastic waste produced globally is predicted to triple between 2015 and 2060, to between 155-265 million tonnes per year.

As a welcome response, global leaders have decided to act. At the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in March, environment ministers from around the world signed a voluntary commitment to make measurable reductions in single-use plastic products, including straws, shopping bags and other low-value plastic items that are sent to landfill after being used once.

Similar goals to deal with plastic pollution have been introduced by municipal, provincial, federal and regional governments across the globe. Non-profit organizations and industry leaders are making efforts to tackle the problem of plastic pollution. For example, Ocean Conservancy is uniting citizens and organizations around the world in cleanups to meet their goal of an ocean free of plastics by 2030, and Unilever has pledged to use 100 per cent recyclable packaging by 2025.

Canada introduced the Ocean Plastics Charter at the G7 summit in 2018, committing nations to work with industry to make all plastics reusable, recyclable or recoverable by 2030. That means sending no plastic waste to landfill.

Vancouver aims to be a zero-waste city by 2040. Although the city has reduced the mass of waste going to landfill by 23 per cent since 2008, it still has a long way to go.

Ontario also has its sights on being waste-free by developing a circular economy, which means keeping materials in use for as long as possible. The province aims to cut the amount of waste sent to landfills in half by 2030, a reduction of 4.5 million tonnes, through reuse and recycling.

To propel Ontario into action, Ian Arthur, the member of the Ontario legislature for Kingston and the Islands, introduced a private member's bill in March to eliminate Ontario's use of non-recyclable single-use plastic products such as straws, coffee cups and plastic cutlery, which ultimately end up in landfills.

In addition, schoolchildren in Ontario are working toward collecting 10,000 signatures on petitions to ban single-use plastics in the province.

Canadians would like to see more action against plastic waste. According to a recent poll, 90 per cent of Canadians were either very concerned or somewhat concerned about the environmental impact of plastic waste, and 82 per cent thought government should do more to reduce plastic waste.

Our research, and the research of others, has found that single-use plastic products litter our beaches and coastlines, small pieces of plastics contaminate our Great Lakes and the Arctic Ocean, and microplastics are present in our sport fish and drinking water.

Ambitious global, regional and local collaborations are sorely needed to truly realize these goals. It's time to commit to ending the love affair with disposable plastics.

Individual action does work.

Quench your need for caffeine by using a reusable mug. Hydrate with water from a refillable bottle. Buy groceries that come in containers that can be reused or recycled. Plan your kid's birthday party and your work meetings without using disposable single-use plastics.

A decade of positive habits could lead to a future where plastic is no longer waste, but instead, valued as a material that can be reused and recycled.

Chelsea Rochman is an assistant professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto; Diane Orihel is an assistant professor at Queen's University's School of Environmental Studies.



Little PJ got his biggest striper yet this evening at 23”! Way to go PJ - Keep it up!

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Aaron Edelman, 33", HC

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May things 
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Who dat?

When you drive over the Causeway and spot a Peregrine Falcon perched on the BOIS Tower it’s always fun to scream out the window, “HEY JO DURT!” as you whizz by.

But that might not be entirely accurate. The more appropriate thing to yell is something more like “WHO DAT?!”

Because at that distance, traveling at around 50 (hopefully), with part of your attention tied up with not getting squished between a Jersey wall and the other cars doing 85 (guaranteed), it can be quite difficult to discern the actual size of the Peregrine, which is the primary way to sex them.

“The females are a little bigger!” doesn’t help much during these fast-moving observational opportunities.

But more than that, even if you see two Falcons up there, there is no guarantee that those Falcons are indeed our previous resident pair Jo Durt (82/AN) and Bridgeboy (14/AM). And that’s because, sadly, Peregrine Falcons die quite frequently.

Falcons generally try their best to mate for life, and they most certainly try to hang onto primo nesting spots like the gorgeous, hand built BOIS Tower for life.

Yet control of such a phenomenal nesting structure also puts those Falcons at enormous risk because Peregrine don’t buy and sell their homes; they kill each other for them. This is especially true of the females, and each year we are learning more and more about the higher mortality and “turnover rate” for females at key nesting sites…  not just in New Jersey, but throughout their range along the East Coast.

I call these “hostile takeovers” and it is my absolute worst fear for Jo Durt.

Who dat?

Earlier this spring, it was happily determined that the BOIS Tower and its Igloo were properly serving their purpose as a Falcon Love Shack when we started seeing Falcons more frequently perched on the Tower, and later, what appeared to be an adult incubating inside.

But knowing for sure who these Falcons actually are requires significantly more work. There are no safe assumptions.

Eager to know that Jo Durt & Bridgeboy were still our resident Falcons, we set out to try to read the tiny bands on the legs of birds who are incredibly secretive and like to fly at 240 miles per hour.

Setting up a blind in the marsh below the Tower was the best option for a non-invasive survey and band reading. The BOIS Falcons spend most of their free time flying high, and fast, or perched on inaccessible parts of the Causeway bridge, making band reading extremely difficult. Plus, just photographing a banded Falcon on the bridge and calling it one of the BOIS pair is not a sure thing and requires some big assumptions about what it is doing there and where it came from.

The best way to know for sure is always to read the bands off of a bird sitting on, or very near, the Tower. The trouble is, you have to get close to do that and they don’t want us anywhere near their precious Tower.

Who dat?

I was quite pleased when I managed to get the blind setup below the Tower and myself safely inside without a single sign of alarm coming from the Igloo or the bridge. That is always the best case scenario. I felt like a Ninja. White shadow.

With nothing left to do but wait, wait I did. One hour… two hours… still no signs of life.

With Osprey, the females do 100% of the incubation. To see the male, you need to wait for him to bring a fish home. With Peregrine, the incubation duty is shared, so you wait for them to swap out. Two hours is a reasonable time for an incubation swap. We must be getting close.

It was about 45 minutes later while I was desperately resisting the desire to play Pets Rescue (TM) on my phone out of boredom when I suddenly saw a tiny, silvery flash through the blind’s even tinier window and realized a Peregrine just flew by.  It was only when I turned my lens as far as it could possibly turn in the tight confines of the blind, and twisted my neck and back as far as they could possibly twist, and just a little more than that, to see through the viewfinder, when I spotted Peregrine perched along the edge of the Bay.

And of course, as these things tend to go, it was just out of reach of the abilities of my optics.

I slapped my hands into the wet mud I’d been sitting in for almost three hours in frustration and annoyance, when all of a sudden I heard the sharp call of a Peregrine battle cry right outside of the blind, and caught this single pic of the Peregrine by the Bay taking off like a rocket.

Who dat?

I’m not sure exactly what happened next. Alls-I-know is that I saw two Falcons collide, lock talons in the air, scream, and tumble, right in front of the Tower outside the blind’s window, and then out of sight to the west. Peering through the western window, I saw a Falcon disappear under the bridge, then quickly turned my attention back to the Igloo.

If that was an incubation swap, it would have been the strangest one in history. Because the only thing I was sure of was that the no Falcon ever came, or went, from that Igloo.

Since my back couldn’t hurt anymore than it already did hunched over in that blind, and I couldn’t be any wetter, muddier, or more bored, I decided to wait until sundown. When the sun had finally set it had been almost five hours I’d been sitting there, so I conceded defeat and slunk home in the darkness. Even during the breakdown of the blind and my unusually noisy exit in the still silence of dusk, there was still not a peep or shadow from that Igloo.

I alerted Kathy Clark & Ben Wurst to the situation and it was decided immediately that the Igloo should be manually checked.

All is not lost. 14/AM. Bridgeboy lives!

I was defeated, but all was not lost. It was a thrill to discover back at home that I had managed to pull off one shot with a decisive band read: 14/AM. Bridgeboy lives!

So now all we gotta do is get the female’s band.

I stopped by The Local early the next morning to get a coffee with my still soaking wet, muddy money which I had foolishly left in my back pocket while sitting in the marsh, and rushed off to meet Ben at the Bridge.

Who dat?

As we approached the Tower, it was a great sign to see a Falcon creeping around the Igloo and watching us. It soon vanished and we simply assumed it had taken to the air to defend the nest.

Luckily, it was #takeyourkidtowork day, so Ben’s son Reed was with us and ready to assist. Ben and Reed would check the Igloo, while I would stay on the ground and attempt to read the bands off of the attacking Falcon.

The trouble was I couldn’t find any Falcons in the air. Suddenly, my heart sank. If an adult  just scrams instead of defending the nest… there usually is no nest.

Father’s Footsteps. Reed does a quick check of BOIS on #takeyourkidtoworkday. Could you imagine? Lucky Reed! Photo by Ben Wurst.

Reed was only about half way up the ladder with his dad safely behind when they both realized there was a Falcon still sitting right there on the Tower just above them.


That explains why I couldn’t find a Falcon in the air. I hurried to the other side of the Tower and she took off like a rocket.

Please, please, please, let it be the female.

Who dat? This adult sure “looks a little bigger,” but won’t give up those bands. I call this band-hiding maneuver the “Fluff-n-tuck” when the band is hidden under feathers with the legs tucked tight to the body.

Oh yeah, that’s a Mom for sure. But she’s still not giving up those bands! I call this band-hiding the maneuver the “Tag Tease” when the legs drop, but the band is oriented in such a way that you can only see the seam if the band.


“WE GOT FOUR EGGS UP HERE!” Reed Reports. Photo by Ben Wurst.

Who dat? That’s Osprey Hero, Jr. Thanks Reed! I suddenly have the feeling that I’m going to wind up volunteering for you one day. Photo by Ben Wurst.
And just then, we had a Great Moment in Band Reading.

A perfect pose for a read. 82/AN. Who dat? It’s the Queen of the Causeway. Jo Durt. That’s who.

I’m pleased to report, with absolute certainty, that Jo Durt & Bridgeboy are our 2019 pair at the BOIS Tower.

So what was going on during those 5 hours in the blind? Nothing except Jo Durt being a Supermom. Despite me in the blind, and Bridgeboy fighting with what must have been an interloping Peregrine, all right outside the Igloo, she just stuck to those eggs like glue. Remember, Jo Durt had four eggs last year but only one of them hatched. Maybe she’s leaving no margin for error this season.

But five hours is a super long time to go without an an incubation swap. Even just to stretch your legs. I should know. I was in my own Igloo of sorts down on the ground and was dying. I bow before you Jo Durt. I’m humbled.

Some Mom’s are just like that. I can imagine she communicates things to Bridgeboy like, “Well, if I didn’t have you, I’d have to do it myself anyway, so….”

It is not always easy to identify the adults at the nests around New Jersey, but it is critical work when it comes to understanding the biology of the birds and managing the population. You usually have to match the stealth, the patience, the determination, and to generally attempt to match the wits of the amazing Peregrine Falcon. Despite the frustrating difficulty of the task sometimes, it is a job I absolutely love.

And it is one that robots will never take away from me….

…Or will they?

Stay tuned! at: https://exit63.wordpress.com


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