Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, August 27, 2019: Odd, how this past weekend felt more like a typical Labor Day weekend of the past ... Classic versus new regs

This croppie/crappie fish is freaky big. Any nuclear plants nearby. Great catch, buddy!

A larger than life crappie gets caught in East Tennessee. The giant weighed in at 5.46 lbs and is confirmed as the new Tennessee state record and possibly the new world record.


"I hate this stupid toy!"


NJ Coyotes can be mighty Wiley. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019: Odd, how this past weekend felt more like a typical Labor Day weekend of the past – and I’m pasting back to my lifeguarding days, when there always seemed to be a nor’easter for the holiday weekend, with me still drearily sitting the boards. Not this upcoming weekend.  

The winds is already receding, somewhat. The long-lived honk is on the outs, ready to turn west by Thursday. How long it will take those offshore winds to smooth the ocean is a tough call. It now seems highly unlikely we’ll see any groundswells from TS Dorian, which looks to be crossing central Florida and moving into the Gulf. It’s these still powerful short-period northerly waves/swells that will take time to tame.  

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be in a relatively light and switchable wind pattern. There will be some NE onshores by late Sunday but even those won’t be brisk.

I’ll jinx it by hinting it should be a decent fishing holiday weekend moving in.

Below you’ll see where an old-fashioned summer snapper blue showing is producing copious hookups for light-gear anglers in north Barnegat Bay. I’ll bet we have the same snapperesque showing in our middle Barnegat Bay region.

A tad different this snapper go‘round is the blues are running bigger than the mini blues we used to mug going back maybe 20 years. That could be a good sign for bluefishing Little Egg Inlet’s banks … soon ... should Holgate beachfront open and be driveable.

Unfortunately, there is likely no correlation between the current bayside snapper biomass and this fall’s potential chopper showing, unless: What if the low showing of small snappers for the past many summers hasn’t been enough to draw in cannibalistic fall gators, leading to their paucity? What if big blues make fall migratory plans based on swooping in and eating snappers, which have fattened on tasty bayside goodies throughout the summer? If so, this showing of snappers could turn around fall bluefishing. 

Regarding the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic, this weekend (starting Friday, I believe) you’ll be able to sign up early and often, i.e. the whole family. Anyone/everyone that can hold a rod should get into the 2019 version of the nine-week prize- and money-loaded event – during which a modest, or even an entry-level striper can win big.Taking a daily prize to cover the entry fee is a slam dunk for a motivated entrant. Even if you’re just entering for the early sign-up perks, like unique T-shirts and caps and pizza slice, it’s well worth it.

Hell, this year even I’ll have a fighting chance to win. 

For those wanting to already go the Christmas gift route, there will be a limited number of totally kick-ass "Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic" hoodies with as LBI a look and feel as you can get anywhere. I already got mine and will be showing it in here soon. Regarding those hoodies, you might really want to get on the stick to grab one. They’re a tad pricey but I’ll bet the clam barn a recipient will wear it more than all other hoodies combined, even if that recipient is you.

NEW REGS v. THE CLASSIC: So, what might happen to our famed annual fall fishing tournament next year if striped bass fishing regulations disallow the keeping of trophy fish, restricting us to medium-sized stripers? Tell me there’s an easy answer, please.

While the concept of saving the biggest bass for posterity has no solid fish-recovery basis – there are hundreds of medium-sized spawning bass for each jumbo --  their highly likely removal from keeperdom could make the LBI Surf Fishing Classic a lot less “Classic” and far more first come/first serve, with the possibility of prizes going to the first caught fish. But won’t that all but squelch fishing effort after all the early fish take all the prizes? Oh, you were asking me? Uh, that would be correct. Such a system wouldn’t hold much of a competitive fishing future once the first fishes eat up the big prizes.  

So, maybe, it should be prizes to the last largest entered fishes – under 40 inches -- 40 inches being the best case scenario among regulatory options. And how might entrants who can’t stay until the last weeks of the Classic react to that come-lately winner distribution process?

Here’s a thought: Let’s create a double-secret grand prize bass weight, within legal limits. All entered stripers of any size are in the swim. Then, the magical bass that just happens to be closest to the equally magical length, girth and weight wins the grand prize. Hooray! Whadda ya man it sounds fishy?! It’s meant to … it’s a fishing tournament.

To make it fail-safe, those Classic committee members who know the secret dimensions for the $2,000 striper, will be placed under house detainment for the entire length of the tourney. They will be fed and beveraged. Such a interment system will assure that nobody would know if they are grand prize winners until the final bell has sounded in December. 

Returning to reality, which is never easy for me when I get on a phantasmagoric roll, it is going to profoundly difficult to run tourneys with a slot fish -- or a sub-40-inch maximum keepable size. Obviously, a Classic criterion could be created whereby the largest bass closest to the maximum keeper size would be in the running to win. In the case of identical “closest to” weights, it would come down to the current method of weight, length, girth and entry date, in the order (I think). There would be very little problems with things like daily, weekly and even segment prizes since they’re generally not over 40 inches.

I re-mention that a 40-inch max has yet to be achieved. There are other regulatory options on the table that could throw a whole new can of wrenches into the system. I'm running with the 40-inch one -- most likely to allow for tournaments.  By the by, circle hooks requirements are a given. 

Below: This is a 40-inch striper, albeit a low-girth model:

BETTER TO BE BLUE: Might a bass cutback lead to the Classic heightening the appeal of the bluefish category, where even the biggest of blues can be freely weighed in? Works for me, though much of the tourney’s original historic oomph and intent will be lost to relatively mindless gator hunting -- though we wouldn’t be losing any of the surfcasting skill factor, considering what is needed to land a grand prize bluefish. Back in the days of blues and bass aplenty, we’d rate an initial run of a hookup by saying “It’s either a 20-pound bass or a ten-pound blue.”

Of course, when singing the blues, there is the unsmall matter of our seeing no serious slammer action for the last couple autumns. Maybe, if the big blues hear how needed they might soon be, they’ll go out of their way to return. There I go getting phantasmagoric again.

Image result for world record bluefish

For now, fellow surfcasting amigos, we should throw all we’ve got into this year’s Classic, not so much because it might be swan songing next year – we’ve survived worse hits, including a full-blown bass moratorium – but because this year’s event has had its winning nature heightened.

Virginia anglers angry over new catch limits on striped bass, say tournaments are in jeopardy

Virginia anglers angry over new catch limits on striped bass, say tournaments are in jeopardy

Holding a citation 44-pound striped bass caught off the Poacher, angler Steve Simpson, 44, of Virginia Beach, poses with his catch at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004. Citations are given for fish bigger than 35 pounds in North Carolina and 40 in Virginia. (Drew Wilson)

Anglers will be allowed to keep just one striped bass instead of two a day in the upcoming season, state fisheries officials decided Tuesday.

The move is meant to protect the species by keeping large breeding fish in the water, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission said in a statement. But it could squash the charter fishing industry and a popular fall tournament scene that relied on big fish.

“It kills it,” said Mike Standing, who has run the Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout for more than a decade. "It kills it all. We’ve been telling them for 10 years that there has been a problem with the population and they kept saying there wasn’t. Now they shut down the spring season and essentially shut down the fall.

“This is highly disappointing.”

In 30-day emergency regulations passed unanimously Tuesday, the commission said the changes are effective immediately. There will be an opportunity for public comment in September ahead of Oct. 4′s opening day.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last year determined that striped bass were overfished and that overfishing was continuing to take place.

The one daily fish allowed to anglers will be restricted to 20 to 36 inches. Former regulations allowed for one of the two fish to be longer than 28 inches.

On the commercial side, the commission implemented fishing net maximum mesh size limits of 9 inches for the coast and 7 inches in the bay. The state had no previous restrictions on mesh size, or the size of holes in the net.

A public hearing will be held at the commission’s Sept. 24 meeting, where those involved in the fisheries can argue for alternate ideas.

The commission in April cancelled the spring trophy season, but left open the ability to keep two fish measuring 20 to 28 inches for a one-month period.

Standing said the commission should have considered something like a one-month reduced fall season.

“Something at least so that it doesn’t kills the tournaments or hurt the captains and businesses that support the fishery,” he said. “Something so that it doesn’t hit people in the wallet.”

Standing’s tournament is scheduled to holds its 17th annual event Dec. 5-7 out of Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore. Over the years it has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money and donated thousands to charity. All fish weighed in have gone to local food banks.

Charter captains participating in the striped bass fishery also will be hurt.

“Well, that pretty much shuts it down,” said Neil Lessard of Top Dog charters out of Cape Charles. "We knew it was a matter of time, we’ve been killing so many.

“But my customers come here to trophy fish and they’re not going to drive all that way to catch one fish that size.”

The commission’s Finfish Management Advisory Committee met Monday and voted to not support any emergency management until more research could be done.

During Tuesday’s meeting, deputy commissioner Ken Neill — who is the vice chair of the finfish committee and runs a charter business — said the decision was tough.

“This is a bitter pill to swallow,” he said when asked how the change would effect the charter industry. “What would be worse for captains would be no rockfish.”


Snapper days have returned to Barnegat Bay ... Get out and give LBI's calmer side a check-see. 

Nice activity on the seaside park piers for the little guys.

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‘Polar Coaster Winter': Farmers' Almanac predicts intense cold, snowfall to come in 2019-20

 - A harsh winter is coming, according to the 2020 Farmers' Almanac.

The almanac released its extended weather forecast, predicting a “Polar Coaster Winter” that will make for plenty of freezing temperatures and snowfall in most of the country this season.


The coldest temperatures are expected in late January, which will likely affect millions of people living in the northern plains all the way to the Great Lakes. Temperatures in the plains areas could dip as low as -40 degrees, according to the almanac.

A man walks his dog as snow falls along the Brooklyn Promenade in New York City in an April 2, 2018, file photo. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Between Jan. 4 -7 and 12-15, many parts of the country could see “copious amounts of snow, rain, sleet and ice.” A storm system moving through the U.S. could also cause temperatures to “plummet and drag the coldest Arctic air across the rest of the country into the beginning of February.”

Peter Geiger, an editor for the periodical, said the 2019-20 winter season will be intense.

“We expect yet another wild ride this winter with extreme temperature swings and some hefty snowfalls,” he said.

In the mountain areas, there will be “freezing, frigid and frosty” temperatures, according to the almanac.

The western-third part of the country will see a milder, near-normal set of winter temperatures and rain, according to the forecast. It is also predicting above-average winter rain over the eastern-third of the country, the Great Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes areas.

Pacific Northwest and Southwest regions will see near-average rainfall.

But colder-than-average temperatures will hit the northeast as well as above-average rainfall.

The forecast also predicts a “wintry mix of rain (and) sleet – especially along the coast.”

Spring is expected to start by mid-to-late April, according to the almanac.

The editors of Farmers’ Almanac use “a specific and reliable set of rules” that were created back in 1818 by David Young, the first editor of the almanac, to predict weather conditions for the U.S.

According to the periodical, the rules have been altered over time and turned into a “formula that is both mathematical and astronomical.”

Farmers’ Almanac further explains that the only person who knows “the exact formula” is the weather prognosticator who goes by Caleb Weatherbee. His identity, as well as the full formula, remain a “closely guarded brand secret.”

This story was reported fr



(19/P69) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reminds saltwater anglers, fishing guides and for-hire vessel operators that it is illegal to target certain shark species while fishing in state or federal waters, Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said today.

Both New Jersey and the federal government regulate shark fishing. Certain species have been designated as "prohibited species" by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. The DEP recognizes that surf fishermen encounter sharks frequently, particularly during summer. Anglers who inadvertently hook a shark should make every attempt to release it unharmed. 

"Many shark species do not reach maturity for many years and have few pups at a time, so their populations are particularly vulnerable to increased mortality from fishing and other human activities," Commissioner McCabe said. "If a shark dies before it has had a chance to reproduce, it compromises the species' ability to maintain healthy population levels."

Species listed as prohibited have all been identified by NOAA as being particularly vulnerable due to a combination of factors that include low reproduction rates (sand tiger sharks); vulnerability to certain fishing practices (angel sharks); stocks previously assessed as overfished and/or overfishing is occurring (sandbar and dusky sharks); or species for which there is a lack of data to make informed regulations, such as basking sharks. 

"If a prohibited shark species is caught, it must be released immediately without removing it from the water and in a manner that maximizes its chances of survival," said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Golden. "That means keeping it in the water when removing a hook, not taking photos of a shark out of the water and certainly not taking it home." 

Anglers fishing from shore should never drag onto dry sand a shark they plan to release. Dry sand can be extremely abrasive on a shark's skin and can cause damage if it enters a shark's gills. To safely release the shark, maneuver it into shallow water where it can be safely handled while keeping the gills wet (approximately 2 inches to 4 inches of water, depending on the size of the shark), with its head facing the open water to maintain a regular flow of water over its gills.

 If surf conditions make handling the shark while it is still in the water difficult or unsafe, anglers are encouraged to cut the line as close to the hook as safely feasible.
"Sharks of all species play an incredibly important role in our marine ecosystem," Commissioner McCabe said. "It is important we all adhere to the regulations and management strategies in place to help ensure their future as part of New Jersey's natural heritage."

New Jersey's regulations for state waters are consistent with federal regulations. A summary of recreational fishing regulations for all highly migratory species, including the list of prohibited shark species, is available at https://eur04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fww... .

A guide to identification of the more common prohibited species can be found at https://eur04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fww... .

Information to assist anglers with the safe and responsible handling and release of sharks is available at https://eur04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fww... . 

For more information about sharks found in New Jersey waters, contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Marine Fisheries at (609) 748-2020, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Highly Migratory Species Division at (301) 427-8503.

To learn more about the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Marine Fisheries, visit https://eur04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fww....

Follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP.


Scottish-built floating tidal turbine 'world's most powerful'

  • 26 August 2019
Earlier versions of the O2's technology have already been tested

Work has started in Scotland to build what is described as the world's most powerful floating tidal turbine.

Companies based in Orkney, Dundee, Cupar and Motherwell are involved in the construction of the 72m (236ft) long O2.

Once completed it will be tested in Orkney, where earlier versions of the device have already been trialled.

The Scottish government has awarded the project £3.4m from its £10m Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

Orkney-based Orbital Marine Power is developing the device.

Texo Group will build it at its new quayside facilities in Dundee with key components being made by Gray Fabrication in Cupar using material from Liberty Steel in Motherwell.

The device has been designed to operate in both directions of a tide

It will be installed at Orkney's European Marine Energy Centre, which has been testing marine renewable technology since 2003.

Turbine rotors on the O2 can be turned 180 degrees so power can be extracted from the tide as it moves in and out.

The new version in development could generate enough electricity for more than 1,700 homes a year, the government said.

The device will be trialled at a test site in Orkney

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "We are delighted this landmark turbine, designed by an innovative Scottish company, will a

"We believe tidal energy technology can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential and this fund will help move tidal technologies closer to commercial deployment."

Orbital's chief executive Andrew Scott has welcomed the government's funding.

He said: "The O2 project will demonstrate how this emerging industrial sector has the ability to deliver new jobs and open up diversification opportunities for the UK's supply chain in a growing global market whilst pioneering solutions for a zero carbon future."


SNP is encouraging “family meals” for National Seafood Month By Christine Blank  

www.seafoodsource.com/images/296687e5ca333e1510aa91c1daf8df8d.jpeg" alt="" title="" class="img-responsive loaded" src="https://divcomplatform.s3.amazonaws.com/www.seafoodsource.com/images/296687e5ca333e1510aa91c1daf8df8d.jpeg" />

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is releasing tools early to help retailers push up sales of seafood during National Seafood Month in October.

Emphasizing family meals together, SNP has created a Partner Toolkit for retailers and marketing partners to use. 

“SNP is here to inspire Americans to enjoy seafood at least twice a week by showing how buying and preparing seafood is simple and delicious,” the organization said in a press release.

“Be thankful for October, after the back-to-school rush and before the holiday hectic. It’s the perfect time to focus on sitting down together as a family to regroup,” SNP said. “Renew your commitment to creating and serving meals at home that nourish your kids’ bodies, brains, and help them flourish for life.” 

Research shows that having regular family meals can be “life-changing,” said SNP President Linda Cornish. 

“When children and parents gather around the table and engage each other in conversation, we see the kinds of outcomes we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and weight, and less risky behavior,” Cornish explained.  

The Food Marketing Institute Foundation is also partnering with SNP to reach out to retailers, encouraging them to get involved in National Seafood Month education and promotions. 

“They are sending out the retail toolkit as well as adding it to several of their external communications such as newsletters, blog posts and the SmartBrief [e-newsletter],” Andrea Albersheim, SNP’s director of communications, told SeafoodSource.

SNP’s Partner Toolkit includes:

1.) Quick and easy weeknight meals: Many seafood dishes can be cooked in 15 minutes or less, the Partner Toolkit said, as it provides suggested cooking methods and times for several different types of seafood. 

“Try the 10-minute rule, which says you should measure the fish at its thickest point, and cook it for 10 minutes per inch, turning halfway through the cooking time. That means a thin fish like sole or perch cooks in about 4 to 5 minutes, while a thicker salmon or tuna steak might be closer to 15-20 minutes,” the Toolkit said.

The Toolkit also provides several easy “family meal” recipes, such as Shrimp Pesto Pizza and Alaska Pollock Burrito Bowls. 

2.) Health facts: “The benefits of seafood for kids are big! Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system,” the Partner Toolkit said. “Studies show that seafood just twice a week for kids leads to better attention span, better grades, and better sleep.”

“The fats found naturally in seafood, omega-3s EPA and DHA, are essential to our health,” the Toolkit said. Plus, fish has more vitamin B12 and vitamin D than any other type of food, according to the FDA.

3.) Fun was to “engage your Little Seafoodies”: For younger kids, make seafood visually appealing, such as sandwiches shaped like fish. Encourage kids to dip fish and shrimp in ketchup, barbecue sauce, and other sauces,” the Toolkit said.

4.) Seafood 101: Helping customers be more confident in purchasing seafood. According to FMI’s Power of Seafood 2019 report, consumers would like to try different types of seafood if someone advised them. Eighty-four percent of seafood consumers and 50 percent of non-seafood consumers said they want more knowledge on how to cook/ prepare seafood.

5.) Blog and social media posts, such as: “We care about the health of you and your family! That’s why we are celebrating families this October during National #SeafoodMonth, offering [insert tips, promos, mealtime solutions, or other highlights].” Use #SeafoodMonth and #FamilyMeals hashtags

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