Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, May 12, 2016: It’s almost too nice out there.

And somewhere in the Middle East, it is further proven that men around the world refuse to read instructions first. 

Either that photographer knows racing inside out or is on his first assignment and wants to impress his editor ... who might have to congratulate him posthumously. 

 A kid seldom forgets his first experience with a piss-pot turtle. 

OSPREY LOSS: Got word out a flash-crash osprey last night in Manahawkin. Right after dark, folks saw a bright flash of light on nearby electric lines, heard a loud pop and watched in shock as an osprey contacted with live wires. One witness said it "exploded." It's body was found nearby. It was a tagged bird. 

I really hate hearing that, as do the many folks who admire these coastal "fish-hawk" raptors. However, it is emblematic of a massive problem. 

Per the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, "We conducted a quantitative review that incorporated data from 14 studies meeting our inclusion criteria to estimate that between 12 and 64 million birds are killed each year at U.S. power lines, with between 8 and 57 million birds killed by collision and between 0.9 and 11.6 million birds killed by electrocution."

Regarding this osprey death in Stafford, I have to think the fact it was flying after dark meant it was nesting, possibly making the loss tantamount to an entire nest death. According to expert Ben Wurst, "If the male was from an active nest. Most definitely. (Nest) failure is imminent."

I was asked if the metal tagging band found on the body of the bird might have led to the electrocution. Not likely. Yes, the band is a conductor but this incident had all the hallmarks of a collision -- and not a perched bird attracting an electronic current.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016: It’s almost too nice out there. Warm, low wind and, most of all, you can have the beach, bay and ocean petty much to yourself. The inlets are, unexpectedly, getting a decent showing of folks. The beach is ideal but only a lone angler here but not there. Below:  Surf City a.m. 

Banner plane flying over same piece of beach: 

There have been a few more waves of big bluefish. Not the insane showing of a couple weeks back, though a boat angler out of Little Egg loaded up last yesterday. No mention of an exact locale. Photos aplenty.

The bassing is widespread and becoming ocean- and boat-based. Below is a 40-pounder taken on a troll off IBSP. I include waters off IBSP because many – if not the majority – of boats exiting both Barnegat Inlet and even Little Egg Inlet often head that way.

It does look like a 70 percent washout tomorrow. There likely won't be any frontal boundary storms like this on yesterday in Oklahoma: 

However, the arriving very-chilled spring air moving in after the rain is actually a good thing for angling. The still-chilly water -- ranging from low to upper 50s -- is just what the bluefish doctor ordered. That is an ideal water temp for blues. yes, they;re moving north based on the call of the wild but they are also committed to fattening up along the way. If that means lingering in Jerseyish waters, so be it.

10 Day Forecast: https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/08008:4:US

Below: They've added no fewer than 150 steps since I was a kid. 


This spud dredge has moved along. It was a weird sight ... and resembling the Pink Floyd "Animals" cover. 

Below you'll see an ad for boats needed on "Wicked Tuna." The NatGeo show has been picked up for another season.

I still don't know what to make of that whiny little show. It couldn't get any more pissy if the Kardashians entered their tuna boats into the affray. Still, the sound of a drag leaking out the first few clicks, followed by a whine of line gushing out, is still damn exciting. Hell, I'll be lying around watching the the show and have this instinct to jump for the rod.

Of course, I become like some sorta wuss as I cringe when the spearchucking begins. Then I'm back to a quite-cool mindset during the weigh-ins and as the per-pound prices are bandied about. Most intolerable is the bitchin' about behind the scenes or on the radios. Worst of all is the perceptual "If I don't get a fish, my family will die and rot in the cellar." Give it a break. Those guys know they can always resort to using their real estate licenses to sell houses. 


MAY 9, 2016 -- The breakout TV show that follows the exciting and back-breaking work of hardcore tuna fisherman in New England wants to add a new boat and crew to its cast.

Do you know a fiercely competitive, dynamic crew? Are YOU on that crew? If so, we want to hear from you TODAY! 

Producers are in your area right now meeting tough, outgoing tuna fisherman to be featured on NatGeo’s “Wicked Tuna.” It’s the chance of a lifetime for any captain, deck hand or charter service that wants to get their name or company on national television and show America what they’re made of.


Send an email TODAY (no later than May 15, 2016) to WickedTunaCasting@gmail.com with your name and the names of your crew, recent photos of you and your crew, your location, phone numbers and a brief explanation of why you should be on “Wicked Tuna.”

The Bluefin are almost here. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
* You must be a legal U.S. resident and at least 18 years of age to apply.


Below: Hal teaches his bulldog to master the famed follow-the-pen sobriety test. "I'll have you know the dog was driving the entire time, officer." 

Jim Hutchinson
Amazed at the number of 'likes' and 'comments' of my little NYC striper this week. More impressive of course is the 60-pound-plus bass caught down on Delaware Bay last week. A 57-incher - could it be 70? 75? Massive striped bass released to swim again, puts my dinner fish to shame!


Oldest nuclear power plant in NJ will close ... See http://www.newsworks.org/

Board of Public Utilities President Richard Mroz says the planned 2019 shutdown of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant in Forked River, owned by Exelon should not cause concerns about the reliability of the state's electric grid.

"Even though we will lose that generation, there have been other new generation assets built in New Jersey largely with gas fired generation."

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel agrees that the state should be able to make up for the loss of Oyster Creek's power generation, but believes the Christie administration should encourage more development of renewable energy.

"They keep pushing natural gas pipelines and natural gas power plants", said Tittlel. "Yet at the same time they're blocking offshore wind."

PSE&G is exploring the possibility of building a new nuclear reactor in Salem, but Mroz says there's no specific proposal because the costs would be significant.


Good friend showed up to fish!!! Looking good uncle Op


These guys really get into catch-and-release. 


Joe Handley Jr

So the only noodle brain within 5 miles of me turns on his ocean front spot lights and kills my great striper bite I had going on lures. I decided to rig my trusty 11 foot Lamiglass chunking rod with some fresh bunker. Rod isn't in the water 3 minutes and it's bent to the handle in the spike! I fight this fish 20 minutes when the unthinkable happens. My favorite rod literally eplodes! Lose the fish after 5 more minutes fighting him on the nub. Bye, bye rod.
Jake Adams I need a replacement...I hear you and Dave know a guy! Sick to my stomach...
Jersey Shore Fishing: 42-pound striper trolled off IBSP
on May 11, 2016 at 5:20 PM, updated 
May 11, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Tony Arcabascio's Tony Maja bunker spoon struck again with the first big striper taken out of Barnegat Inlet. Dan De Pasquale (16) was trolling the green #4 with his father when the 42-pounder hit in rough and dirty 50-foot waters off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park on Saturday. Arcabascio says that the big bass are just starting to show up in that area.

Striper fishing was tough today for Tank Matraxia's party from Lyndhurst on Capt. Rick Woerner's Carnivore from Sewaren -- except for Pete LaBoy who caught three bass from 29 inches to about 20 pounds one after another just as the incoming tide starting moving in the West Bank area. That was it except for a big blue (which weren't a problem there) and two large skates. Woerner finished up by moving toward the back of the bay where everyone had plenty of action with blues from about 10 to 15 pounds despite getting there at the very end of the tide.  We left those choppers hitting bunker chunks steadily.

Miss Belmar Princess got off to a good start north of their inlet with 4-to-14-pound blues on both bait and jigs, but that action died out during the day. A move to Sandy Hook got them into lots of bunkers with some fish swirling in them that wouldn't hit.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield, and his brother Ed of Edison, fished the Long Branch surf this morning, and had more action than they expected. Allen landed a 30-inch bluefish on a bunker chunk plus two "mini-stripers" on sand worms, while Ed released a 25-inch striper on sand worms. Skates also feasted on the bunker chunks.

At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick's weighed a 25 3/8-pound striper for Dot Gural of Waretown, who caught it on a clam in Island Beach State Park. That was her largest from the surf, and the shop's biggest bass so far this season. Geno Belcastro of Baltimore beached four bass up to 15 pounds on bunker in the park, and J. Christofer had a 19-pound striper plus four 18-pound blues there on bunker. Blowfish have been reported in the surf.


Didn't get fish but it was a great first morning on my new fishing SUP


Sun 10 AM
 · Barnegat Light, NJ

Nesting season starts the first week in June. This will be the first volunteer meeting. 
Lots of new & exciting things planned for this year. 
Look forward seeing both our old volunteers & new ones.
Any one can volunteer.

I wish this school was around when I went to high school! There aren't many that would see handling a terrapin in the student lounge as normal....

Ben Wurst's photo.

Greenpeace Attacks Ray Hilborn as 'Overfishing Denier' as He Receives Major Int. Science Prize

SEAFOODNEWS.COM buy John Sackton  May 12, 2016

After suffering a series of defeats in which US government Science bodies demolished Greenpeace claims of overfishing and habitat destruction in US waters, Greenpeace has turned on Univ. of Washington Professor Ray Hilborn. Hilborn is the foremost scientific advocate of fisheries stability and has contributed to worldwide understanding that when fisheries quotas and habitat protections are enforced, stocks recover and can be fished sustainably.
Greenpeace lost a major battle and public relations campaign recently over Bering Sea Corals when a huge scientific effort undertaken by NOAA decisively showed the claims of habitat destruction by Greenpeace were unfounded. This embarrassed Greenpeace in front of its retail partners— to whom it had described the Bering Sea Coral campaign in apocalyptic terms as a do or die mission to preserve the Bering Sea.
In two weeks, Prof. Hilborn will receive the International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea. This prize is awarded every four years by a consortium of international fisheries science organizations.
The award to Prof. Hilborn is in recognition of the profound impact he has had in a 40-year career where he has applied research and scientific investigation to the ever-changing problems of fisheries management and conservation.
Hilborn has been the leading voice that has changed public and government perception that overfishing was an environmental disaster that could not be controlled. instead he and his colleagues have documented time and again where fisheries management is successful and have compiled the most detailed global database on fish stocks and catch history to show that in many of the developed areas of the world, fisheries sustainability has been achieved.
This message is anathema to Greenpeace, whose fisheries activism depends on maintaining a continuous atmosphere of crisis.
The latest attack is a letter to the University of Washington questioning the funding Ray Hilborn has received from 2003 to January 2016.
Greenpeace tries to smear Hilborn with the same charges used against Climate Science deniers, who have concealed funding sources in published papers. The difference is 1) that Hilborn represents mainstream fisheries science, not radical extremes beyond scientific consensus, and 2) Hilborn fully discloses his financial backing.
Of the $3.55 million in industry funding identified by Greenpeace, over $2 million has gone to support the University of Washington field program in Bristol Bay Alaska, a program that is widely acknowledged to be the premier science program working on salmon ecosystems. This is funded partly by Alaskan CDQ groups.
The best approach is to let Ray speak in his own words. I think most readers will agree with him that this is a sign of desperation on the part of Greenpeace, as Hilborn is successfully countering its message of imminent destruction of all fisheries.

Ray Hilborn:
I would like to thank Greenpeace for offering this opportunity to advertise our research and its results.
Greenpeace is unable to attack the science I and my collaborators do; science that threatens their repeated assertions that overfishing is universal and that the oceans are being emptied. On the contrary, it is clear that where effective fisheries management is applied, stocks are increasing not declining, and this is true in North American and Europe as well as a number of other places. Overfishing certainly continues to be a problem in the Mediterranean, much of Asia and Africa.
The timing of Greenpeace’s attack is not random. In two weeks I will receive the 
International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress. 

This prize is awarded every four years by fisheries science organizations from a number of countries including the U. S., Australia and Japan. In my plenary address I will be showing where overfishing is declining or largely eliminated, as well as where it remains a problem. This is a message Greenpeace seeks to discredit.
Instead of focusing on the science, Greenpeace has alleged that I failed to disclose “large amounts of money from the fishing industry and other corporate interests. ”
The essential issue is conflict of interest. Greenpeace seems to believe that industry funding is tantamount to a conflict of interest, regardless of its purpose. Thus, any time I discuss fisheries I would need to disclose each and every grant or contract I have ever received as a conflict of interest. Taking that approach I would also have to disclose funding from all of the environmental NGOs that have also helped to fund our research and education efforts, including the Society for Conservation Biology, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Perhaps I would also need to disclose the numerous private foundations and government agencies that have funded our work every time I discuss fisheries. The list of funders would be as long as some of the papers.
I, like all reputable scientists, take conflict of interest seriously. This is one reason we acknowledge all funders of the research work discussed in each paper at the end of the document.
The other, of course, is to give credit where credit is due. The fishing industry, like environmental NGOs, government agencies, and public and private foundations, are actively involved in funding our research and education efforts that help create and sustain fisheries nationally and globally. In fact, it is in the financial interest of fishing communities and industries to find solutions that are sustainable and provide for healthy stocks into the future. And funding from these groups should be considered part of an inclusive, transparent and honest research process.
According to Greenpeace’s calculations, industry funding constitutes 22% of the research funds received by the University of Washington to support research and education efforts I lead. Those monies support staff and students and pay for field expenses.
During the period Greenpeace collected data on my grants and contracts, I received $16.1 million in research funding, of which Greenpeace classified $3.5 million as industry.
The top three “industry” groups they list are community groups in small Alaskan communities where fishing is the source of survival. These are not big industrial interests but small communities.
Of the total industry funding, over $2 million has supported our field program in Bristol Bay Alaska, a program that is widely acknowledged to be the premier science program working on salmon ecosystems.
More information on this program can be found at
http://depts.washington.edu/aksalmon/ Videos showing our program activities can be seen at
https://vimeo.com/121969062 and https://vimeo.com/146049113
Fisheries issues are contentious because natural resources are limited, directly affect the lives of many, and everybody has, or wants, a stake. My belief is that all voices need to be heard, and all stakeholders need to be at the table.

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