Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Found this photo showing my bluefish appreciation stems from at least the early Sixties.
Above: Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and his brothers ... This is an authentic photo. Something eerily real about this look's bad-assedness. Check out the cockiness of Doc. Wyatt is the tall one.
Thursday, May 16, 2019: Still on a winning weather streak, though some spits thrown in to keep things honest. It will be ideal spring fishing through this weekend. Get out before the following week’s Memorial Day madness sets in. There truly seems to be a level playing field as to where along LBI’s beachfront you want to successfully wet a line, i.e. actually catch fish. As has been the case, the more time you dedicate the more you have to show off – in the form of photos. Even tides aren’t mattering all that much, though higher slightly better than lower. Fresh bait (bunker) holds its typical edge over old or thawed.
You might as well get used to using circle hooks. Not only are they truly best for successful C&R but such hooks might very well be part of future striped bass fishing regs. They’re always best when chunking with on a spiked rod while drifting off to plug with another stick.
The bassing continues brisk to very brisk … and on the cow side. Weigh-ins aplenty. But also loads of releases.
This is the umpteenth year in a row that the spring striper showing is putting the previous fall’s showing to shame. Overall, this spring’s run shows a dang good biomass is on the move out there, bearing stripers in all size ranges. That hectic pass-through of schoolies was quite impressive. It showed very well despite rotten fishing conditions, which hindered getting a hard read on their numbers. Sufficed to say, they were number-ful.
As to why springtime stripering is now overshadowing fall bassing, I can’t ignore the growing possibility that warming seas are driving bass (and blues) further north – and east – during northward migration. Come fall, they might now take a more direct southbound open-sea route to reach wintering sites. This would take them further out at sea, in the EEZ -- where most anglers simply don’t tred due to regulations.
I’m fully open to other scientific and/or anecdotal reads on this the why behind kick-ass stripering in spring but no serious autumnal return? Per usual, I refuse to believe it’s because of some catastrophic decline in stiped bass numbers. There isn’t. A downtick in cows. Definitely.
Of import, the bass now being caught are in great health. Winter has a way of knocking out many of the infection and parasite ills that come with summer’s war water. I was given some innards from a cleaned 32-inch bass. Short of some minor superficial scarring of internal organs – likely from summer bugs – the inside things were very clean.
I’m not sure what the impact of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant closing will have on the nearby bay environment. The shutdown has led to normal bay water temps on both branches of the creek, unlike the old days when warm water from the plant led to a manmade environment which, I believe, led to a proliferation of anchor worms, especially on bunker and bluefish that would frequent the area. Merely passing through that water could expose fish to the worms.
Below: Atlantic menhaden (a & b) and a black drum (c & d) with anchor worms (Lernaeenicus sp.) attached to the flesh of the fish. These parasites are copepods (crustaceans) that have free-living and parasitic life stages. The large parasites attached to the fish skin as seen in the picture are adult females. These parasites can cause irritations and secondary infections in the skin and muscle where the parasite is attached, although mortality is not commonly associated with the presence of the parasites.
Jay, I bought a pass to IBSP this year, thus am I a traitor?
I always hear they're catching more fish than us on LBI. The drive is slightly longer from my home in Haddon Township NJ.
Yesterday I entered the beach at sun up on the middle access ramp and set up a short distance away. I was using bunker on fish finder rigs and hooked up as soon as I cast in. The first of many 3 lb. bluefish was on my line. They were so numerous, (all released successfully) I would have run out of bait in an hr but I had thrown in a couple of packs of frozen mullet in the cooler from last spring.
I eventually drove away from them to hopefully get a chance at a striper but ended up coming back because no one else seemed to be doing much south of me. One 30" bass that I know of was taken. I caught a few more before the tide was too low and the fish were gone. Hope things get better for all on LBI.
Chris Masino catches another monster! 44” and 32.3lbs caught in Beach Haven on Bunker this evening. Nice fish Chris!! This fish puts Chris in first place for the derby and the Jingles in-Store Tournament!
Was really cool watching you fight that fish and seeing you bring it in, we were watching you as we walked north with the dogs from probably fifth Street by Taylor we could tell you had something serious going on, by 11 street you had it on the beach, and you were like dancing with joy, by 12 street I saw you take out the phone and start taking pictures. Again so stoked to watch you bring that in I think I enjoyed it as much as you did well not possible but it was cool the watch and you had no idea we were coming your way. I got about 50 yards from you when I took out my phone to take pictures, I couldn’t tell how big it was but I knew it was big, so stoked for you— with Christopher C Masino.
HC,bunker. Nice job Tim! Jerry
Good day fishing with great friends Ren, Boston Bob and Ernie...
LBI grower says pick-your-own shellfish OK'd, then vetoed by NJ
WAYNE PARRY Associated Press
BARNEGAT LIGHT — A grower of clams and oysters is shell-shocked after he says New Jersey environmental authorities gave him a permit for a pick-your-own shellfish program, only to reverse course just as the business was to begin.
Matthew Gregg got a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection in December after laying out plans to allow members of the public to buy licenses, rent boats and dig shellfish from a plot he leases in Barnegat Bay, just off Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island.
But after he spent $50,000 and the entire winter preparing the business, the DEP wrote to him in late March and early April, saying the proposed project is not allowed under his permit.
Now, two weeks before the business was poised to take off, Gregg says he does not know what to do, even as he insists state regulations allow him to do what he is proposing.
"We see this as a great opportunity to market our state's fantastic shellfish as well as a chance to connect people to their food," said Gregg, owner of Forty North Oyster Farm.
He thought the DEP did, too — until a letter arrived in late March saying the agency "does not approve this activity."
At issue is making sure shellfish are promptly iced after harvesting — something Gregg says his company will guarantee customers do by giving them ice for free, making sure the shellfish are placed in it within 90 seconds of coming out of the water, then checking their cars before they drive off to make sure the customers' catch is properly iced.
Shellfish taken from the water that are not sufficiently iced can develop a bacterial illness that can sicken people. The state has long worried about contaminated shellfish getting into the market and causing illness, with the resulting bad publicity having the potential to seriously harm New Jersey's $800 million-a-year shellfish industry.
But what Gregg proposes — and what he says he told the state he planned to do verbally and in his permit application — is little different from what recreational clammers do every summer at the Jersey Shore. They can buy a $10 license, and rent a boat or wade out into shallow waters in approved harvesting areas, and dig up to 150 shellfish a day.
Even though it is advisable to do so, no one forces them to put their catch on ice.
"In our scenario, we own the shellfish that we plant on the (leased area) and dictate the time and temperature controls through the mandate of immediate icing," Gregg said. "Our harvests are actually safer in that sense. There's actually a good amount of recreational harvesting occurring on public bay bottom directly next to our proposed pick-your-own program, with no time or temperature controls."
The DEP would not comment on the situation beyond saying it is "under review." It denied his request to submit the matter to an alternative dispute resolution process.
In a letter to Gregg, an agency official said the proposed activity is not allowed under the type of permit Gregg was granted. Among other things, the letter said, the permit requires that shellfish go to a certified dealer after harvesting, not to the general public.
"Your proposed business model fundamentally shifts how aquacultured shellfish product reaches the consumer, potentially allowing a significant number of shellfish to reach the market without the benefit of the public health protections" contained in numerous government oversight regimens, the letter read.
Gregg said state regulations say a leaseholder may authorize another properly licensed individual to harvest shellfish from the leased area. His business plans to become an authorized seller of shellfishing licenses for the state.
He has appealed to state and federal officials for help, with Memorial Day weekend two weeks away, but has yet to get the go-ahead.
Love being outside? Love paddling? If you answered yes, then we need you! We are gearing up for our annual shoreline survey event called “Paddle for the Edge,” where volunteer paddlers collect data about the environmental condition of the shorelines in Barnegat Bay. The Bay is just way too big for our team of scientists to survey alone, so we need your help! We are asking for paddling enthusiasts to join our team and become citizen scientists for a day! For more information, check out our website:https://www.barnegatbaypartnership.org/…/paddle-for-the-ed…/