Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, September 29, 2011: Warning to boaters, Buggyists and surf anglers: We’re going through some wild tides – known as “king tides."

Yesterday was a sample of the insane tide swings. The high bayside water was covering many Boulevard right lane zones from Ship Bottom to Beach Haven. It was the look of, say, a moderate nor-easter – though it was generally a gorgeous day, light east winds.

A serious tidal “swing” set in when the stacked bayside high tide water began to evacuate with dropping tide. It was so much like a filled sink suddenly being unplugged that bizarre and somewhat spooky whirlpools were showing around the west tip of Holgate. Those vortexes, maybe 20 feet across, were easily large enough to spin around a yacht. They would form and swirl eastward (with the outgoing current) before weakening and dissipating. I’ve never seen anything even remotely like it there. I was really tempted to grab the boogie board out of my truck and zip out and ride the spinners.

Anyway, these crazy tides require careful boat mooring – accounting for radical ups and downs. They also mean trouble for buggyists driving skinnier beaches. High tides have been overwashing many beachfronts and have also left very little dry sand at the tip of Holgate – of major imprt to anyone considering hanging out through a high tide.

Regarding Holgate, the drive to the end has gotten a bit easier, as section of dead forest, which had been blocking the route, have been washed away. There are now also some cut-arounds, allowing driving around sections of dead wood on the high side. The real troubling area remains the drive-on. While the top of the new access road remains firm, the ocean is eating away at its foundation  – fast. I don’t see it lasting much longer – and I’m not sure the township is hot on continually replacing that right-of-way. 

Onward to fishing – and a fully upbeat report, of sorts. The kingfishing has gone crazy. Ray S. showed me a bag fully loaded with big kingfish he and his wife caught fishing the beachfront in town (Beach Haven). Other anglers have also loaded up on these best-of-eating panfish. There is a need to sort through a lot of smaller models. Crabs are also a problem, especially when using precious bloodworms. Ray was using fake-o baits to make it tougher for crabs to clean the small hooks common to kingfish rigs.

Kingfish rigs are one of the few set-ups best bought premade. The good thing is they’re not real costly and they are seldom lost so you can reuse them over the years. Gospel truth: I still have some cork kingfish rigs my dad used back in the Fifties, when kingfish were a very vital part of LBI fishing. The hooks are actually embedded in the cork.

Back in the day, the feisty panfish could be caught in the swash all summer long.

Not that I encourage it, but kingfish were formerly used as a highly successful chunk bait for both bass and blues. I’ve been among many folks oft finding kingfish in the bellies of stripers. The bass seem to prefer the smaller kingfish, maybe three to five inches long.

How about these water temps. I took infrared readings from Ship Bottom to Holgate (bayside) and had a constant across-the-board 71 degrees, compliments of downwelling from the light but steady easterly winds. I’m hoping that’s the reason the mullet run has ground to a halt. Sometimes, the migrating forage fish stop heading south when only in Jersey, feeling the warm water and thinking they might be to their destination. Remember, not a single one of the millions of mullet moving south has ever done it before. They’re traveling the instinct line. And instinct isn’t quite as exact as, say, one of those voice command GPS navigators.

Mullet banter: “Hey, Chuckie, we there yet?”

“How the f*** should I know!?” 

Still oddly missing are the clouds of spearing common to September. At most, I’ve seen tiny little pods of the silversides, not more than mullet pod size. Spearing are usually rivering along by now, by the upper millions.


Bassing is slow. Bluefishing is also no bargain. Warm water to blame.


Fall is definitely taking its time getting here and so is the fall run.  Water temps in the back are 68 - 69 while the ocean is in the low 70's, however, we should see a change come this weekend.  The other morning I got into some small bass that were eager to please in between the tons of small blues.  It is hard getting a live bait down to the bass with all the blues around.  Interestingly enough is there are some weakfish in the 16 - 20" + range in some westside haunts.  Blue crabs are still in good numbers and some are still shedding with the water staying so warm.  My bait pens are loading up for the fall run which I predict will get cranking within a week.  I still have a few fall dates open for either inlet/back bay bassing or run n gun ocean jigging so give me a call to secure a date. 


Capt. Alex


Barnegat, NJ



JAY, My biggest fresh water bass ever came to me on the day my fishing buddy told me his secret to fishing plugs. It was to cast and only start to reel when the last ring from the splash disappears in the water!  Later that day my first 8 plus lbs bass was headed to be mounted. That tip was in 1981 and its been working ever since and still one of my top learning experiences on a list of many.   JIM G /Waretown    




(9/28/2011) In March of 2010, ESPN Outdoors created a national controversy in claiming that President Obama "wants to ban sport fishing." While the Walt Disney owned media giant has since distanced themselves from the opinion piece (along with saltwater fishing programming in general) following a wave of angry mainstream media response, the underlying truth in the report about how the President's federal strategy "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing" is still alive and kicking and headed towards a Congressional hearing.


On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on "The President's New National Ocean Policy - A Plan for Further Restrictions on Ocean, Coastal and Inland Activities." The hearing is slated to examine the job, energy and economic impacts of President Obama's Executive Order 13547 which establishes a new National Ocean Policy and Council that could severely restrict recreational access to U.S. coastal waters.


"The President's new National Ocean Policy is one more example of this Administration imposing burdensome federal regulations and policies that could destroy American jobs and hinder economic growth," said Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA). "This policy requires a new federal initiative called Marine Spatial Planning, otherwise known as ocean zoning, which could place huge portions of our oceans off-limits to recreation, energy production, transportation, and other commercial activities.


Even more alarming to Rep. Hastings is that the reach of the President's policy may in fact extend far inland, potentially impacting all activities that occur on lands adjacent to rivers, tributaries or watersheds that drain into the ocean. "The implementation of this Executive Order will have repercussions that will be felt not only on our coasts, but throughout our economy, up our rivers and into our farms and homes," Hastings said, adding "this 'zoning' goes far beyond any statutory authority and strong oversight is needed over this top-down, heavily-bureaucratic initiative."


According Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), it's not the first time that the National Ocean Policy debate has come up in the Natural Resource Committee, but it is the first time since President Obama fast-tracked the policy through presidential decree. "Rep. Sam Farr of California has been pushing this ideological hogwash through the House for nearly 10 years, but every time his doomsday bill gets debated in Committee it is tossed out for being utter nonsense and a bureaucratic nightmare," Donofrio said on July 20, 2010, after President Obama used presidential privilege to circumvent the legislative process (see full release at www.joinrfa.org/Press/KingObama_072010.pdf).


Donofrio said Rep. Farr's "Oceans 21" legislation had languished in Congress for nearly a decade, failing to gain Congressional support because of its ability to restrict access to public resources while creating a bureaucratic hierarchy with unprecedented power to regulate fisheries and implement ocean zoning without oversight or public input. "Our President appears to be infatuated with nonsense and bureaucracy, and once again proves that his authority to rule is more powerful than the legislative process alone, signing his name to decrees as if he were a king," Donofrio was quoted as saying a little more than 14 months ago.


Upon notification that Rep. Hastings plans to hold an oversight hearing on the President's overly restrictive presidential decree, Donofrio said he's confident that the House Committee on Natural Resources will reinforce the message they've consistently delivered in defeating the Oceans 21 legislation during the past 10 years.


"Mr. Farr could never get this out of Committee, even under control of his own party, because the policy directives contained in the bill were onerous and too constricting for public participation in the fisheries management process," Donofrio said. "The executive order by the President was simply an end run by this Administration's enviro freak friends, and I hope that this bipartisan Committee steps up for the will of the people and in support of the legislative process."


"Regrettably, Mr. Obama and his administration have displayed a pretty cavalier attitude towards the rights of U.S. citizens, but if he's truly committed to getting Americans back to work he can take some time on Tuesday to listen in to how our democratic process works," Donofrio said. "I'm sure the President will get an eye-opening look at how the Resource Committee approaches the right of Americans to access our public resources."


"RFA has made it very clear, the new National Ocean Council threatens to override all of our current federal fisheries management processes, threatens the integrity of our regional fishing councils and creates an overarching bureaucracy which could summarily dismiss all input from stakeholders. Yes, it has the very real possibility of arbitrarily banning sport fishing activities throughout U.S. coastal waters, and we are absolutely opposed to this presidential decree."


Tuesday's 10 a.m. hearing before the full Committee will be held in Hearing Room 1324 in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington DC, and broadcast live via the web at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.


Chairman Hastings believes that "burdensome federal regulations and policies" could destroy coastal jobs. RFA believes this executive order could in fact "prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing" as predicting. If you believe your right to fish is one worth fighting to protect, particularly against environmental "end run" then JOIN RFA TODAY




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