Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, November 24, 2015: As expected, we’re seeing near-extreme blowout tides.

Below: I'm just not sure what kinda fail this is ... I mean I can take a wild guess... 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015: As expected, we’re seeing near-extreme blowout tides. Hopefully, everyone loosened the lines to their vessels. It’s tough because first you have to secure against rapacious west wind but then loosen them for the wide tidal swings. May your cleats hang in. Below: Even surfers find it too shallow to paddle out to the waves. 

The sandbars along some areas of LBI are out and dry – it’s that low out there. We have the offshore wind effects and an approaching full moon tomorrow. It should be very easy to fish from the low tide bars. Just watch the tide closely. Astro-tides can switch in a mere minutes.

Not as quick to tidally switch are the clam flats of west Holgate. I see ideal clamming conditions for a few days to come, with low tides midday through the mid-afternoon. I strongly advise against driving back to the mudflats. It's your call. Just stay on the legal side of the signage -- if you can even see the signage over the five-foot meadow grasses. Please leave the chowders in place. They're breeders. You can feel a chowder before fully digging it out. It is not as easy as you might think for an exposed chowder to dig back in. Just look how hard it is to fully dig them out. It took serious time for them to burrow down. A dug then left chowder becomes rat/gull food in many cases. What a waste.

Above: natureniche.zenfolio.com

While it seems so easy to drive through those high Holgate grasses, there are nasty-muddy creeks sprinkled about -- way out of sight. Hitting one of those slews can put your head through the roof if driven over too quickly. And if you drive them too slowly, you'll fall into them -- bogging down to hell and back. I have no idea what South Shore will charge to get you off the mudflats.

The boat bassing is out there -- but where? It's a lot more drop-and-see than it had been.

Per my upcoming weekly blog:  Boat bassing remains good to excellent. There have been some sudden plunges in the action but no sooner does one flotilla’s bite slow than a lone captain off in the distance hits nonstop hooking – leading to a watery stampede to the site. That’s just the way the follow-the-leader bass bash is played this time of year. No hard feelings – hopefully.

BEACH REPLEN: They'll be done the current work, heading down to Nebraska, by mid-December, i.e. soon. Hopefully, they'll fill in that ugly cut-away just south of Nebraska. 

The action will then shift to North Beach and a section of northern Surf City. Sometimes after New Years they'll make the big move to Beach Haven and (finally!) Holgate. Loveladies might not see sand until May -- possibly into June. Might that intrusion into Loveladies summer be a payback for those oceanfront homeowners. Nope! Great Lakes Dredging is simply working things out the way they feel is best -- and still keep fairly much on-schedule, though they'll need an extension to go past June. Such a request now seems very likely to happen. 

I'M OUTTA REPLENISHMENT: It’s time to once again talk about pounding sand, which is my uncouth way of bringing up the replenishment issue. The current project could last until May, 2016 … or more, throwing in a storm delay or two. 

I’m phasing out of the replenishment business. I’m no longer going all sandballs-out to defend the effort at every erosional turn. I’m just out of micromanaging every grain that hits the beach. 

Take for instance, now. Sure, some of the brand spankin’ new sand on replenished beaches is seemingly bolting back to the three-mile borrow site from whence it came. So what? I know it won’t make it. That dredged beach sand, even when washed into the ocean, stays in close. At the same time, it is inexorably driven by natural forces to move south. Even sand placed in Harvey Cedars will eventually migrate all the way to Holgate – and into Little Egg Inlet.

 While quieting my fight to defend the replen, I’m still more than willing to openly and publicly compare the value of tourism versus the price of beach repairs. The project costs $512 million. The annual NJ tourism industry makes a staggering $35.9 billion per year. Every replen dollar spent earns the NJ economy well over 50 dollars – and that’s on a rainy day. Imagine a business where one buck gets you 50. I’m stocking up on that business. 

My new stance is simple and unspoken: Anyone who can stop the project at this point, knock yourself out. 

Disturbingly, I’m no longer as convicted to the notion that the upcoming Beach Haven and Holgate replenishments sands will rush to the rescue of the now hopelessly eroded northern section of the Forsythe Refuge’s Holgate Wilderness Area. 

Due to delays in replenishing Beach Haven and Holgate, the Wilderness Area erosion has gotten so bad, so entrenched, that I’m no longer sold on my own much-publicized belief that littoral drift will arrive in time to save the mobile fishing day Holgate. 

The coming together of ocean and bay now happening might very well demand an actual mechanical replenishment, at least the NJ-owned beaches to mean high tide. Such machine-driven sand-pumping are prohibited under Wilderness Act rules. However, it could conceivably be done if all machine work is restricted to the NJ beaches. 

Here’s hoping I’m overwhelmingly surprised when, by this time next year (God permitting), sands of change have moved in like gangbusters, offering a massive fattening of the Holgate erosion zone, and making for even more ideal habitat for piping plover – which had a banner year in Holgate’s new washover areas, a success I had confidently predicted.  

Above/below: Piping plover at 

Recent Weigh-Ins for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic ... 

Event Time
Weigh-in Time
Catch Location
Yesterday, 10:00 PM Today, 6:30 AM Brian Schmidt Striped Bass 23 lbs. 40 3/4 in. 21 1/2 in. Harvey Cedars Bunker
Yesterday, 8:45 PM Today, 8:00 AM William DiBernardo Striped Bass 20 lbs. 6 oz. 38 1/4 in. 21 1/2 in. Harvey Cedars Bunker
Yesterday, 2:45 PM Yesterday, 5:15 PM Kevin Gaydula-Cook Striped Bass 29 lbs. 2 oz. 41 3/4 in. 23 in. Surf City Bunker
Yesterday, 12:45 PM Yesterday, 1:35 PM Frank Reilly Striped Bass 15 lbs. 4 oz. 35 1/2 in. 17 1/2 in. Surf City Bunker
Yesterday, 12:30 PM Yesterday, 2:45 PM Kenneth E Grab Striped Bass 18 lbs. 5 oz. 36 1/2 in. 19 1/2 in. Ship Bottom Bunker
Yesterday, 11:23 AM Yesterday, 11:55 AM Lynn L. Shallcross Striped Bass 28 lbs. 9 oz. 41 in. 24 in. Harvey Cedars Bunker
Yesterday, 10:35 AM Yesterday, 11:25 AM Ralph Vitale Striped Bass 13 lbs. 12 oz. 33 in. 18 in. Brant Beach Bunker
Yesterday, 12:00 AM 11/22/2015 - 7:45 PM Daniel E. Maxwell Striped Bass 22 lbs. 38 in. 21 7/8 in. Harvey Cedars Bunker
11/22/2015 - 4:45 PM 11/22/2015 - 5:44 PM Rich Astor Striped Bass 25 lbs. 7 oz. 41 3/4 in. 22 1/2 in. Harvey Cedars Bunker
11/22/2015 - 4:00 PM 11/22/2015 - 5:00 PM Ryan Fredrickson Striped Bass 14 lbs. 5 oz. 35 in. 19 in. Harvey Cedars Bunker


Fishermans Headquarters
@TheStriper Captain Ken Nutt of Barnegat Light, NJ 


I have been on the water the last three days.  Saturday and Sunday were charters and Monday was with Barnegat High School’s Fishing Club aboard the Carolyn Ann III. Saturday’s trip with the Ernie Dellheim party was a tough one. After 6 hours of fishing the trip was ending with a big skunk. Unless you count the clear-nosed skate that we released J I did almost everything possible from the back bay to the inlet to the end of IBSP to get a bass on the line.  Then when I was ready to call it I saw a few gannets hit the water south of the inlet.  With a momentary lapse of reason, I decided to not go in the inlet to go home, but went but went out of the inlet to fish some more. Because we have been fishing all day and not catching, why not continue the pain for a little longer. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Arriving to the location of the gannets my fish finder lit up with bass and then bunker.  A quick snag an drop resulted in a swing and a miss.  After that  it was 3 for 3 with bass from 18 – 24 pounds.

Sunday morning’s trip we headed right back out to where nothing going o we left the fish biting only to find nothing going on.  We worked hard and ended with one short bass and one going 40” or more. Today the wind and the chill were relentless.  There were about 20 students on board the Carolyn Ann III to brave the elements. It was tough conditions and the Captain worked hard searching for bass.  We found and snagged some bunker but it was not easy. Dereck Bonk from BHS had the hot hand landing a keeper and a big blue. He also had one bass that was net shy and never made it over the rails.  We managed a few schoolies at the trips end. There was one other nice keeper bass caught.  I will let you figure out who caught that one ;)

I am starting to wind my season down but it isn’t over. There is still a good body of bass off our beaches, a good showing of bass in the bay, an amazing amount of peanut bunker in front of the inlet, big bunker and now some reports of sand eels.  I have Wednesday afternoon, Friday, and Sunday open and there looks like we will have a warming trend. 

Screaming drags,


Capt. Alex


Barnegat Bay, NJ



That's not to say that I caught them, but if I'm there when it's happening I feel it's OK to report on it. I had some regulars on Saturday's trip and we pulled a complete zero for our morning of fishing. The wind was cranking out of the NNE, the inlet and the ocean was really rough, too rough for my boat. I wasn't too concerned as the inside game had been good every day. Yeah, not this day. I took these guys to every spot I have ever caught a striper in the bay...twice!  Some spots, three times. Using live spots. Hitless, I offered them 50 percent off their next trip. BTW, that inside bite is back on now. Saturday was a little heavy on the boat traffic running out the inlet and turning right around to come back inside. The water clarity was bad, too.

Sunday was a little better but I felt more like an observation vessel than a fishing boat. In the end we put one decent fish in the cooler, like 10 or 12 pounds, released three slot size fish, we could have kept them with my tags, but the group opted to release them. All three were all at once on one of my homemade umbrella rigs. Released a gator bluefish, dropped two fish on the bunker spoons and that was that. Two of my friends fishing the same exact spot were blasting away casting lures on the drift and the other was connecting on the troll every pass with decent size cooler fish. All the action was off of Seaside.
So, even though we weren't at our best, the fishing was good. The migration run is in full swing. More readings than bird play but 7 to 12 pound fish on light tackle. Bunker pods are still around. They didn't have the kind of fish pressure they had last week but it usually doesn't take the new herd of fish long to find those pods. Great readings of big bait balls. Some of it's bunker, some are squid, and also sandeels.
Here's how the next five days are laying out: GO STRIPER FISHING! Every day for the next five days the wind is forecasted as 5 to 10 knots from every direction on the dial. That makes for a calm ocean during the height of the migration. The air temps are in the high 40's to low 60's! At this time of year, you don't wait to hear how good it was. You get a weather window like this in late November you grab it with both hands.
We will be sailing, two trips a day, every day for the next five days: Wed Nov. 25, Thurs Nov 26, Fri Nov 27, Sat, Nov 28, and Sun Nov 29. Open Boat or charter. Leaving at 5:30 AM returning at 11:30 AM, and then again  Noon to 5 PM (except Thanksgiving, no afternoon trip). Also, in regard to our Thanksgiving morning trip, we will be back by 11:30 AM sharp to get everyone back in time to get to where they need to be. Including me! On the other days, if I don't have the afternoon booked, I usually stay a little longer. $500 for the 6 hour charter or $170 person for the Open Boat reservations. $450 for the 5 hour afternoon charter or $150 person for the Open Boat reservations. Three people max on the Open Boats, all fish are shared.
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing


Please Support the Miami International Boat Show!
With the end of the traditional fishing season approaching, fishermen and boaters start looking to the boat shows during the winter months to gear up and get excited about next year's season.  Our friends at the National Marine Manufacturers Association, long supporters of the Recreational Fishing Alliance and who run the Miami International Boat Show, have asked for our help to overcome obstacles being put up at the local level that could prevent the 2016 Miami Boat from happening. This year the Miami Boat Show, which runs from February 11th through 15th, 2016,  will celebrate its 75th Anniversary 
at a new location-Miami Marine Stadium and Basin. 
Elected officials in Miami-Dade County, as well as Congressional representatives in Florida, need to hear from you about why the Miami International Boat Show is important and valuable to Miami, the State of Florida, and the marine industry. 
Please take a quick moment to voice your support to these decision makers who hold the future of the Miami International Boat Show in their hands.
RFA and Viking Yachts Host U.S. Senator Cory Booker
Visit illuminates impacts of recreational fishing on southern New Jersey and need for amendment of federal fisheries law
New Gretna, NJ - U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) visited the Viking Yachts facility last week to observe firsthand the impact that recreational fishing and the marine industry have on south Jersey and to discuss fishery issues.  
In touring the facility, Sen. Booker spoke with laminators, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and many of the other 1,300 craftsmen involved the production of Viking's line of fishing boats.  Hosted by Viking Yachts President Pat Healey and Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) Executive Director Jim Donofrio, the purpose of the visit was to illustrate how intertwined fishing and the jobs associated with fishing are with southern Jersey communities.  In addition, how federal fisheries laws need to be amended to strike a balance between the long term sustainability of our nation's marine resource and the needs of the recreational fishing community.   
Pat Healey pointed out that the significant investment made by Viking and other fishing businesses in terms of manufacturing infrastructure and employees confirms that no one in the recreational sector has an interest in compromising conservation or catching the last fish.  Jeff Gabriel, Legislative Counsel for the National Marine Manufactures and Martin Peters, Government Relations Manager, Yamaha Motor Group, who were also in attendance corroborated how important fisheries issues are to their members and businesses.  

Viking specializes in boats used to target offshore species, however, Senate Booker, ranking member on the Senate Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard Subcommittee, acknowledged the connection that all fishermen share and the significant economic impact generated across all recreational fisheries.  
Discussions ensued about the pending reductions for the summer flounder fishery in 2016 which is New Jersey's largest recreational fishery. The RFA has gone on the record that NOAA has the legal discretion to set the 2016 quota above the recommendation put forward by the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC).  The summer flounder fishery spans all income levels, ages, and experience levels which is why it inseparably linked to Jersey's multi-billion dollar tourism industry.  
"It is encouraging to have Senator Booker taking an interest and getting engaged in these issues," stated Healey.  "Magnuson reauthorization and summer flounder are the most pressing issues for fishermen in New Jersey. Summer flounder is the most important in-shore fishing we have for our anglers and our marine trades."
The RFA continues to work with a coalition of industry leaders that includes the American Sportfishing Association, the Center for Coastal Conservation, the Coastal Conservation Association, the NMMA, Yamaha Motor Group and others to advance common sense amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) which is currently undergoing a reauthorization.  The coalition made excellent progress in the House culminating with a bill that was supported by the recreational fishing industry being passed earlier this year.  The coalition is now looking to the Senate for a comparable bill.  
"Saltwater angling is the greatest growth segment within the marine recreation industry," said Gabriel who sits on the RFA Board of Directors. "Tens of thousands of jobs depend on access to healthy, sustainable fish stocks.  Personally, I'm optimistic that the future of recreational fishing and boating is bright, but we absolutely need strong leadership in Congress, particularly in the Senate, to provide the proper changes to federal fisheries laws that will allow Americans of all stripes to enjoy time on the water.  I'm confident that Senator Booker is capable of providing that leadership and that he understands the importance of the recreational boating and fishing industry not only to the nation's GDP, but to the benefit of all Americans."
"We were extremely pleased that Sen. Booker was able to see the impact of recreational fishing on the labor force firsthand," said Peters.  "And we were even more gratified for his commitment to work with the recreational fishing coalition on MSA reauthorization, which is vital to ensure that the economic impacts he observed today are accurately represented.  The RFA and the entire recreational fishing coalition looks forward to working closely with Senator Booker and his staff over the coming months as we seek legislative that benefits anglers, boaters, and ultimately, the country."
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a markup hearing on June 25, 2015.  Among the bills discussed was S1403, The Florida Fisheries Improvement Act introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).  Though somewhat narrow in its scope, the bill included some positive provisions, in particular, to provide rebuilding flexibility and allow for alternative management in the recreational fisheries.  However, at the hearing, an amendment offered by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) was accepted and stripped much of the positive aspects of the bill.  Senator Booker voted against the bill as did several other senators from states with big fishing interests, notably, Senators Cantwell, (D-WA) and Sullivan (R-AK).


Frank Angelo added 3 new photos.

Had the pleasure of taking my old friend John Parker on a striper trip today on my boat. A beautiful day out there with a whale , diving gannets, and over a dozen fish caught
Frank Angelo's photo.
Frank Angelo's photo.
Frank Angelo's photo.
Bites on boys doing work on the MagicTails!!!
Dante Soriente's photo.

Bill Machotka



Piping plover population on the rise in New Jersey

Associated Press
11:40 a.m. EST November 21, 2015


LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Scientists have some rare good news about an endangered shorebird: The New Jersey population of piping plovers is on the rise.

While the birds are still at risk, their numbers increased by 17 percent this year, to 108 pairs.

“We’re cautiously encouraged,” said Bob Considine, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. “This is a very good trend for a state-endangered and federally threatened bird, but it’s important to remember it isn’t out of the woods.”

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, which works with the DEP to study and count the birds at 19 active nesting sites across the state, released the figures late Thursday. Todd Pover, the group’s beach nesting bird project manager, said Superstorm Sandy actually helped the birds by scattering sand along coastal areas, creating the ruts and depressions in which the birds settle.

“Piping plovers prefer sparsely vegetated low-lying habitat where they can be camouflaged,” he said. “When the sand is spread across a wide area, it actually creates new habitat for them.”

The latest study showed the statewide fledgling rate was 1.29 birds per pair, down slightly from 2014, when the rate was 1.36 fledglings per pair, but above the 1.25 fledgling rate that scientists believe is necessary to maintain the Atlantic coast population of piping plovers.

Northern Monmouth County has the largest percentage of pairs in the state (55 pairs, or 51 percent of the total), with the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook Unit accounting for most of them. The region comprising North Brigantine Natural Area and the Holgate and Little Beach Units of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge accounted for the other significant concentration of breeding pairs in the state (43 pairs, or 40 percent of the statewide total).

The Holgate section of Long Beach Township had the largest jump in abundance for any individual site, doubling its breeding pairs to 24 this year.

The news was not so good in Cape May County, where the piping plover population continues to decline. The coastline between Ocean City and Cape May Point saw just eight pairs in 2015, compared with 11 pairs in 2014, and 43 pairs in 2004 at its peak. New Jersey Audubon and other groups continue to work to restore habitat in Stone Harbor and other spots in the region.

“The Cape May County area, which was once one of the most importance regions for the species, has performed poorly and continues to do so,” said David Mizrahi, a vice president at New Jersey Audubon, who said reversing that trend is a top priority.

The piping plover remains on the endangered species list in New Jersey and the threatened species list federally.

The New Jersey population is still below its peak of 144 pairs in 2003.

Along the U.S. East Coast from North Carolina to Maine and the Canadian maritime provinces, there were about 1,790 pairs of piping plovers in the most recent range-wide study in 2013. The number is up from 790 pairs in 1986, but the growth has leveled off recently, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.



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