Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
DOWN BELOW: Something I wrote up on Atlantic salmon ...
Tuesday, June 12, 2018: The summer busys have caught up to me. Also, on summer schedule is a stint of fine, and eventually hot, weather. There’s even a lack of excessive windage right through the weekend. It might be the best fishing conditions in many a week.
A few big bass have come from the surf, mainly on clam or bunker baits – with a salted clam mixed in (see below).
I have every intention of getting in some striper plugging time, even if it’s only at my work street-end. I’ll also be testing night waters for spawn-ready weakies, a purely fun fishery. None should be kept. I fear the fishery will never come back with so many bass in the system -- but I dare not suggest that out loud.
Bluefish are making the best showing of the spring, though they’re simply not a sure-thing.
Loads of big dogfish with some much larger shark species thrown in. Just don’t purposely fish for those big ones. Should you accidently land one, get it back in, post haste. Florida has gotten hyper angry over accidental catches of shark. Authorities there are now going after folks they think are targeting sharks. The Pensicola New Journal reports, “Amid calls to restrict or ban shark fishing from beaches, piers and bridges, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission … directed staff members to craft new rules.” Could happen here if care isn’t displayed during catch-and-release.
This is the actions Florida will soon be banning; also sitting atop sharks.
I had a couple sumptuous black drumfish cakes given to me. I’m being legit when I say they might have been the best drumfish items I’ve ever tasted. The loads of fresh herbs mixed into the cakes told me that recipe would work on any fish item. The recipe is a secret – though I know I tasted garlic bread crumbs within. And were they pickled pimentos?
Below: The look ... but not the ones I cooked up.
Motoring alert: The late-afternoon rush hour off of LBI has been real bad; at worst, 20 minute delays for traffic coming from the south end. It all stems from the reduction to single lanes on the westbound Causeway. I believe those single-lane closure will only be in effect between Monday and Thursday.
Romeo did it again with this 20”fluke off the surf on clams.
Report, feedback from out front from several people is a lot of bluefish activity with size averaging up to 7-8 lbs. Cpl bass as well. Keep those lines tight. ~Jerry
Pro report ...
My head is spinning right now. We struck out Thurs afternoon on the big striper hunt after my big rah rah speech about being there or reading about it. Turns out you didn't need to be there and there's nothing to read about. We trolled all afternoon without a hit, and worse, it didn't even feel like we were going to hook up. No bait, no readings....Deadsville up and down the coast except for Raritan Bay/Sandy Hook, those guys are lighting it up and that's a little too far of a run from Barnegat Inlet. On our way back we stopped at the Barnegat Inlet jetty to cast for some blues just to put these guys into some action and it turned out to be all stripers. Nothing legal, although we came close with a 27 1/2 incher, but a blast on the 10 pound spinning rods. That action was good enough to return yesterday (Friday), of course, we left out the trolling effort. We started out casting 2 to 4 pound blues in the inlet and then when the tide was right we switched to our striper spot and connected with three bass, 24'', 12 lbs and a 21 pounder! Here's a clip of the 12 pounder:https://youtu.be/5PG3IfnDau0 All on light tackle and casting soft plastics. We also caught short stripers on both days behind the sod banks.
Something to chew on regarding Atlantic salmon: Coming across “fresh-caught” is beyond unlikely, it just ain’t happening hereabouts. Atlantic salmon is farmed; less than 1 percent coming from the wild. In fact, you need to personally know someone up Iceland way to secure access to even a tiny morsel of the natural, free-roaming version of Atlantic salmon.
Per www.crownprince.com (seafood experts), “Over the years, the wild caught stock of Atlantic salmon has been so reduced by over fishing that there is essentially no wild Atlantic salmon left. Instead, Atlantic salmon is now extensively farm raised: primarily in Chile, Norway, Scotland, and British Columbia.”
I’ll add Canada and, to a lesser degree, Maine and Washington state to that list of Atlantic salmon aquaculture sites.
A NY Times write-up offers, “Atlantic salmon is a unique species that is commercially extinct in the wild in U.S. waters, but today is the type of salmon most commonly farmed throughout the world. This makes up the majority of the farmed fish we import. In other words, in the U.S., if it’s Atlantic salmon, it’s most likely farmed, and if it’s farmed, it’s most likely Atlantic salmon.”
Still, there are labels out there suggesting an item is “wild-caught Atlantic salmon.” You now know such labeling is bunk. Don’t be afraid to display your knowledge at fishery or restaurant.
But there’s more to the bunk than meets the eye. The mislabeling of seafood items remains rampant, leading to the bilking of Americans to the tune of billions per year.
Oceana.org pulls no punches, saying, “Despite growing concern about where our food comes from, consumers are frequently served a completely different type of fish than the one they paid for. As Oceana’s nationwide study and others demonstrate, seafood may be mislabeled as often as 26 to 87 percent of the time for commonly swapped fish such as grouper, cod and snapper, disguising fish that are less desirable, cheaper or more readily available.”
“Oceana’s testing results demonstrate that seafood fraud not only hurts our wallets, but also honest fishermen and businesses along the supply chain. These fraudulent activities also carry potentially serious concerns for our health as well as the wellbeing of our oceans and vulnerable fish populations,”
TASTE BUDS WON’T LIE: As a highspeed cook for many years, I guarantee that a huge part of the seafood mislabeling problem lies with undiscerning diners, many not knowing the fish they just ordered from shinola. I’d be among the shinola-ites if I hadn’t schooled in proper seafood tasting techniques. I caught kin fast and even became the seafood purchaser for a swanky Hawaii restaurant. I also became notorious to fish mongers. I wouldn’t just look and smelled a product, I’d pan sear a small piece to determine its cooked flavor. You won’t see cooks do that very often.
There is no quick way to become an astute seafood taster, but in mere minutes you can become a far better analyzer than you likely are now. I’ll bet you already have the taste-bud knowhow to soon tell if you’re tasting farmed salmon – which can be decent -- or the luscious likes of wild-caught Alaskan salmon; the wild-caught simply oozing wonderful fats and oils.
Becoming a seafood gourmet takes concentration when sitting down to eat. Such a dining discipline can be tough when all you want to do is settle in to a calm and easy meal. Hey, if you’re willing to eat tiplaia being passed off as grouper, make sure you bring a lot of wine to the meal.
Admittedly, it’s much easier to accept whatever seafood has been served at a restaurant instead of taking time during the very first bite to truly analyze the flavor, texture and, importantly, the aftertaste.
I bring up that aftertaste because the main reason I steer clear of many farmed offerings, particularly tilapia, is a distinct bad-water aftertaste I once experienced. It was back when farmed tilapia first came on-scene, I instantly tasted what I likened to a bay mud aftertaste, even though tilapia are freshwater creatures. While I’ve since read of the watery squalor many tilapias are raised within, I still wouldn’t hesitate to taste-test the newer grade of tilapia now being raised in highly-upgraded conditions.
Sidebar: Aquaculture is the only safe route to feed a world in love with fish. Anglers should take this to heart since aquaculture is the only way to assure the future for virtually all gamefish that are also fished commercially.
But back to developing an educated taste for seafood.
I’ll offer the first training lesson I was given, seeing it was pretty much the only one I was given. Taste food as if it’s something you aren’t quite sure about eating. You’ve done this in the past, maybe to the nth degree when you first tried, say, fermented lizard eyeballs. Oh, stop! You get my drift. Approach even well-known seafood items as if someone might have tampered with it. OK, that does sound really weird, but it proves there is an actual concentration methodology, maybe even a science, behind truly interpreting an item’s quality and goodness. Most of us have such an interpretative talent right on the tip of our tongue.
Obviously, the deeply thoughtful initial taste must be followed by a more in-depth read, preferably via a slow chewing process. This meaningful masticating releases telltale flavors upon your taste buds, which are still tensed within an interpretation mode. And tasting truly is an interpretation.
That’s actually the whole lesson on getting a proper read on seafood. It’s all gravy after that, as you get better and better at micro-tasting items – and storing the dining data to improve on later tastings. Just remember that your taste is your very own. The only time I let on is if an item is just wrong tasting, be it a whole other fish than labeled, or, most deplorably, not up to freshness snuff.I herein have-not the time to get into smell-test protocols. Not to worry, that’s an ingrained ability that comes natural to nearly everyone.
Support New Jersey Audubon at the “Catch of Cape May” on July 21
Fifth-annual event supports New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May
CAPE MAY, NJ – June 6, 2018 – Walk, ride your bike or carpool over to the fifth-annual benefit to support New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May.
The big, not-to-miss event takes place Saturday, July 21 from 6-10 p.m. at Harborview Park, Harbor Lane at Texas Avenue in Cape May.
Hosted by the staff and volunteers of the Nature Center of Cape May, the “Catch,” as it is now called, is a unique event held appropriately enough, at Cape May’s beautiful Harborview Park.
Attendees include full-time and seasonal residents who are actively engaged in the political and economic life of this region. Many attend to enjoy an evening overlooking Schellengers Creek and the fishing fleet at Cold Spring; Harborview Park is the perfect setting for a summer evening event.
The “Catch” showcases Cape May’s epicurean diversity by featuring local selections of seafood and much more,” explained Gretchen Whitman, center director, New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May. “Most significantly, the `Catch’ is just plain fun, as it delivers a night of live music, dancing and dining while overlooking Cape May’s magnificent harbor.”
Proceeds will support New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May’s mission of providing quality environmental education experiences, encouraging stewardship of the harbor area and other natural areas and promoting volunteerism as a rewarding means of community involvement and service.
Guests must be 21 and over. Fees for the evening are $3,000 for a full-service table with a wait staff, $1,200 for a reserved table of 10, $250 for are pair of tickets as “Friends” of the Nature Center and $100 per attendee. For those who cannot attend the event but would still like to support the Nature Center of Cape May, donations are welcomed. Reservations are required; on-line reservations can be completed at www.njaudubon.org/cocm or call the Center at 609-427-3045. Reserve soon, as space is limited.
Date: June 11, 2018
Secretary Zinke Announces $1,608,835 for New Jersey to Support Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Federal grants invest in state and local parks using earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that $1,608,835 in revenues available through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) will be distributed to New Jersey for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants that support outdoor recreation and conservation projects. These funds, which are made up of non-taxpayer dollars from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenues, are part of $61.6 million being awarded to the 50 states, the Territories, and the District of Columbia. The funds come through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks.
“I believe the Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance Program demonstrates how we can work together to improve and expand access to public outdoor recreation opportunities, modernize our country’s park and recreation infrastructure, and support New Jersey communities with new jobs and other economic benefits,” said Zinke.
This year’s distribution of GOMESA revenues is a significant increase from past years with this level of funding expected to continue into the future. Moving forward, Interior will distribute these funds ahead of the traditional annual LWCF Appropriations.
“This is a great state-federal partnership that benefits all citizens,” said Zinke. “Making this change in distribution gets these funds to states so they can start creating public outdoor recreation opportunities earlier.”
“My district is home to Barnegat Bay, the New Jersey Pine Barrens and the Delaware River basin . The LWCF and it’s vital programs help to maintain these natural treasures for everyone to enjoy,” said Congressman Tom MacArthur. “I’m grateful to Sec. Zinke for distributing these much needed funds and I look forward to working with him in the future. I’ve been a consistent supporter of the LWCF and I will continue to support programs that preserve our beautiful region for the next generation.”
After this year, states will receive GOMESA revenues during the winter and traditional LWCF Appropriations during the spring months.
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land and water for the benefit of all Americans. Using zero taxpayer dollars, the LWCF also invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to permanently conserve outdoor recreation areas for public use and enjoyment. The funds enable state and local governments to improve park and other recreation areas in their communities by rehabilitating and upgrading existing parks, creating brand new parks in places that have none, and developing and expanding trail systems that link communities to each other and to additional outdoor recreation opportunities.
The GOMESA was enacted by Congress in 2006 and directed certain Outer Continental Shelf revenues to be disbursed to the States through grants under the LWCF State and Local Assistance Program administered by the Department of the Interior and National Park Service.
Since the inception of the LWCF, over $4.2 billion has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 42,000 projects throughout the nation. The allocation for the State and Local Assistance Program is determined by a formula set in the LWCF Act. For more information, please visitwww.nps.gov/lwcf.